- This classic hockey tale is a true story from Rob Staffen of St. Mary’s, Ontario -
Where to start…hmmm– Pee Wee AAA when I forgot my jock at the International Silverstick and never told anyone, the time(s) I had to let my son change in the back of the suburban because I got lost going to the game (and was presented shower curtains for my truck by my players at our Christmas party), the time I pulled our goalie (as Coach) when the other team had the puck, or the time we were winning 5-0 with just 7 minutes to go and I opened up my big mouth to rally the other team to a 6-5 win—so many great moments.
No the story, I am about to tell is about friendship and hockey. I was playing Coach for the mighty ‘Red Team’, a four team non-contact league with players ranging from the age of 22 to 62 in St.Marys, ON. Competitive yet fun (most nights). I was about to leave for our usual Monday night late-night tilt, went out to the garage and went to the back of the van—and no keys. “‘Crap” (or something similar) I said, “I am going to be late for the game”. I put down my equipment and went back to the house, located the keys, hopped into the drivers’ seat and backed the van out of the garage. THUD went something underneath my van. Panicking that it was the dog, I was shocked to discover something even worse. I had driven over my hockey equipment not once but twice (both wheels) and it lay crumpled on the driveway. Fearing the worse—skate blades broke, I was rather fortunate to discover that only my helmet had not survived the tragedy. This is where the friend part comes in. Dunny is a great guy (most days) and he also owns a Sports store and he has been my line mate for more years than either of us care to remember.
This was an emergency-so I phoned Dunny and he hadn’t left for the game yet. I pleaded with him to pick up a new helmet at his store and bring it to the game—I would pay him tomorrow. The great retailer he was delivered the helmet as promised. Amazing Customer Service. However, I had forgotten to tell him “The story was between us guys”. After all, you don’t want to appear too stupid if you are a Coach (unlike Don Cherry sometimes). Well by the time I got there everybody knew on both teams—it was laughable and funny and I deserved it.
I wish this was the end of the story.
Exactly one week later, Monday night rolls around again. I go out to the van, no keys—go into the house, get the keys, hop in my van and back out of the garage. THUD, not once but twice again. “You have got to be kidding me”. I go in front of the van and low and behold, my equipment sits crumpled once again on the driveway. And yes the only damage is my brand new CCM helmet that I had purchased last week. I got the idea of phoning in sick for the game but no one would believe I would miss a game –so the only option is to phone Dunny again (my friend??). “Dunny, that helmet you sold me is broken…. it is squished sideways.” Dunny replies “Not again”. I am a very bad liar—“Yes Dunny- again- but this time it is between you and me. Can you do this for me?” Excellent Customer Service again (or so I thought). By the time I got to the arena, the arena staff knew the story, the two teams on the ice (before us and with us) knew the story and later that week everybody in town knew the story as it somehow made the local paper (another close friend). Very embarrassing (yet funny) Twice.
The moral of the Story is “Pick better friends” or if you have friends in retail “Sign a Confidentiality agreement covering any anticipated embarrassing potential purchases” or “after driving over your helmet once—buy a few extra helmets at another store in another community for back up.” All great ideas but too late for me.
Cheers to Rob Staffen for sending in this hilarious story!
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