Saturday, February 18, 2017

THE ICE PRINCESS WORE A PINK HIJAB UNDER HER HOCKEY HELMET, AND DEFEATED THE EVIL PRINCE

by Abdila Papantzin Gwiazdowska

In a time not so long, long ago, in a not so faraway place, a handsome American business savant was saddled with being a billionaire.  Distracted by his riches, and a magic tube that his minions carried and held before him, he was tricked into sponsoring a women’s hockey game.  

A hockey game?  Really?  There's no hockey in fairy tales . . . 

 The great prince of industry - let's call him Mr. T to protect his privacy - was told he was sponsoring a beauty pageant.  He assumed he might kiss the beautiful and talented winner as he liked to do whether welcomed or not.   

             Mr. T requested, using dump trucks filled with money, that the pageant be called Mr. T’s Most Amazing, Miss Teen Hockey and T University [entire Universe!!!] Scholarship Pageant.  The greatest pageant the universe had ever seen!  Mr. T guaranteed it.  

Unbeknownst to Mr. T, the pageant was a fundraiser supporting women in sports.  The quite large donation was gladly accepted. 

Who could pull off such a switcheroo?  The trickster was a legendary, French-Canadian hockey playing nun.   Her name was, of course, Sister Gordiosa Howe.  She was also publisher of the underground Ms. Ice Hockey of North America Liberation Front magazine.  Some called her the Joan of Arc of hockey.  

In Calgary, Sister G once rode into the Saddledome in full hockey gear (hockey stick aloft) while on a white horse.  The horse stayed on the bench until the third period when nature called and the Zamboni made an early entrance. 
      
 It was Sister G's idea for this modern beauty pageant.  The puckish and wily nun, convinced the Aryan looking, really really rich, reality star into being the promoter.  She did this because she spoke to him in French with a Russian interpreter. He did not understand a word of it, yet he smiled the entire time.  

The Russian language beguiled Mr. T and made him do things he would not ordinarily do.  It made this billionaire dream of being drunk on expensive imported vodka and snuggling with a bare-chested Russian dictator while they watched former U.S. allies on the Baltic Sea being invaded by soldiers from the east.  The air was filled with international sexual tension that could not be stopped by N.A.T.O. or Republicans in Congress.  

 Bad things happened.  But, good things happened before the bad things did.  Then things improved, but only for a short time.  Then came the ultimate victory on ice.  Yes, the big red, Soviet hockey machine was crushed.  Oops, different story.     

 This beauty contest was uniquely cool.  There was no bathing suit competition.  Rather than donning bikinis, the teens played a hockey game in pink helmets and wore either pink black or pink white sweaters (as jerseys are called in Canada).  Every young woman wore full hockey pads and full gear.  Skates were sharp and ready for the ice.

Instead of judging body beauty with posing and prancing while mostly unclad, this all-teen sporting contest judged contestants on three things.  1) Competitive spirit. 2) The largest bruise received in a game-changing effort during the game.  And, 3) Hockey sense (this is equivalent to a three-dimensional, moving I.Q. test requiring vector analysis.  Yes, physics). 

 The contest was once called Miss Teen Hockeytown.  [A certain northern pizza magnate made them change the name as he owned the trademark even in a parallel universe.  The location of this ice pageant was the legendary Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit.                                  [That's Joe's fist, not the arena]      
 You know, that little French city on the river across from the hallowed, promised land of Canada?  

        A series of intentional misprints by crafty union members in Ontario led to this name: Ms. Teen Hockeytownship Ice Tourney.  (Hockey fans called it the Ms. Teen Hockey game)   

Spoiler alert: Ms. Teen Hockey won the contest by receiving the largest and narlyest bruise on her thigh.  This hematoma was 3 inches above her kneecap when she took a slap shot full on while she played defense, wearing number 5. 

Yes, we all know, in reality, the Carolina Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers back then, and the Red Wings still wore that feather-winged automobile wheel that still inspires the faithful.  All Canadian teams wore what they always wore except when they didn’t exist.  Yes, the Habs and the Leafs always existed even during pre-historic times though I can’t remember who has more Stanley Cup wins.  Smiley face here.     

 Why a bruise? Her hockey pants were a tad too short and her knees were bent. You see, there was a small gap between her shin pads and her breezers.  She blocked a 60 m.p.h. shot with her unprotected thigh flesh.

The bruise was soon black, blue and had a hint of maroon.  Like the undecayed flesh of a long forgotten saint, the discolored skin smelled faintly of toasted macaroons.  Just a hint, mind you (and this was while the rest of her body reeked of bacteria-infused hockey equipment left to molder in the trunk of an old Thunderbird between games. 

 Back to the bad thing that happened: Mr. T’s go-to move was a sneaky, quick grab at Ms. Teen Hockey’s you know where. This grab, interrupted, came as the teen was leaving the bench to go to the locker room before the award ceremony.  Ms. Teen Hockey was still in her skates and hockey gear, with a hockey stick in hand. 

Mr. T leaned in for a kiss and extended his hand.  In return he was treated to some fancy hockey stick work to his nether parts.  Just a love tap in the world of hockey.  The wooden stick blade covered in pink tape met designer wool trousers. Ouch. 

Ms. Teen Hockey could have been called for spearing, but the refs were still on the ice and the game was over.  Mr. T was unable or unwilling to present the trophy - a bronzed Jill (think of a Jock and strap but for girls) set atop four game used pucks, all wrapped together with black hockey tape.  Her beauty crown: A pink hat topped with an embossed Cheshire cat.  Meow. 
         
           That winner’s trophy and pink winner’s hat is not to be found anywhere. No, not even in the Hockey Hall of Fame.   

The attempted groping and quick defense by a trained hockey playing teen was not captured on camera.  The video is not right here:  http:Whereisit?.com

Even so, the real and unreal world was saved by young women playing hockey.  Don’t tell anyone, but she had a pink hijab under her helmet and she whispered something to him in Spanish at the time of impact.     

Mr. T continued to live on an island in the east where an eagle-eyed French woman with a gigantic torch 
kept watch over this broken and humiliated man; a guy so defeated that he was never to run for elected office or watch another women’s sporting event.   

 So, in this universe, a place, far, far away from fiction, there is a young woman who still dreams of playing professional hockey; a world where skill and talent bests icy warfare, hits to the head and other violent and unnecessary contact. 

                                                    .    .    .                                              

Ms. Teen Hockey before the bruise: 

The original, amazing, unaltered photo by L.T. Gwiazdowski titled "Boom!"
                                                   
P.S. This frozen fairy tale was written by an assistant coach, occasional adult player and proud parent of hockey players - one young woman (who dreams of being Canadian or living nearby) and one young man.  Both of whom wear the number 5 on the ice.  The writer also wears #5. 

P.P.S. A.P. Gwiazdowska was the child of non-hockey playing folks who had roots in that proud country that was invaded by Russia (and the Soviet Union) many times.  (We haven't forgotten about September 1, 1939 either. )      

P.P.P.S.  No one with a ski or ska at the end of their surname is bitter about any of that . . .