Big Billy – The Hockey Hangover

Well, the hockey playoffs are over and the Stanley Cup’s been raised. But let me tell yis somethin’ – me and the boys raised a few cups ourselves while the playoffs were on. By the end of it, it seemed like every night there was a game, somebody would be havin’ everybody over to watch it on TV and have one or three wobbly pops.

It started off innocent enough. Me and Cyril and Timmy and Tommy were at Tim Big BIllyHortons as usual one morning when Murph came in and said, the wife’s gonna be at her sister’s tonight, why don’t yis come over and watch the game? So we did, and had a few drinks – nothin’ foolish – and watched the game and had a few laughs.

So the next day, Timmy says, to hell with it – why don’t yis come over to my place to watch the game tonight? Well we had such a good time the night before, we thought it was a great idea. And that was probably the first night we got real messy. Me and Cyril didn’t have any money for beer, but Murph brought a 60-ouncer of the Captain with him and shared it with us. I don’t think any of us could tell you what happened after the first period, but we made enough trouble that Timmy’s wife packed up and left that night and started sayin’ at her mother’s place.

That was the worst thing she could have done, really, because as long as she wasn’t gonna be home, we had a place to watch the game every night. The next night, Cyril ran into this fella Johnny he used to work with and when he found out Johnny had a few bottles of moonshine, needless to say he invited Johnny along to watch hockey with us.

And on it went – every night there was a game on, we’d head all head over somewhere, usually Timmy’s, and stumble home hiccupin’ (or worse) sometime in the middle of the night.

As you can imagine, this was none too popular with Minnie. But, see, I reach a point with Minnie sometimes where I make her so mad, she starts bein’ nice to me again, and let me tell ya somethin’, that’s a lot worse.

Want some bacon and eggs? She asked me one morning when I stumbled to the kitchen table. I couldn’t believe it. I never came home until after 2:00 in the morning, I woke her up tryin’ to get into bed, I’m hung right over and she’s gonna make me breakfast without a word about it?

Suuure, I says, even thought the thought of food was turnin’ my stomach.

Just gotta wash the pan first, she says, and then she clanks and clangs and smashes all the pots and pans in the kitchen while she finds the one she’s lookin’ for and then knocks them all around again while she’s wipin’ it off. My head was poundin’ so hard that when I poured another coffee, I stirred it with my finger just to avoid the sound of the spoon clinkin’ around the mug.

And that’s the point when you really gotta stick to your guns to make it through a hangover like that. Because even though you can’t handle noise, and the smell of the bacon when it hits the pan makes your stomach turn, you also know that the best way to make the room stop spinnin’ is to get some food into yourself.

But after about two weeks of this routine of comin’ home late after the hockey game and gettin’ up and stumblin’ around like a hungover zombie, Minnie put her foot down and said that was it. She said she’d have no more of it.

Well, I said. How about I go watch the game with them, but I don’t have anything to drink?

So, god love her, fair enough, she says, and off I go.

I made it until about halfway through the second period because by then just about everybody was sauced and have you ever been the only sober one in a room full of drunken idiots? Timmy and Tommy were arm-wrestlin’ on the coffee table and Murph and Cyril were about to come to blows about whether Toronto would win the cup this year (even though they weren’t even in the playoffs). So I said to hell with it and got into Cyril’s beer.

Anyways, as you can imagine, that didn’t score me too many points on the home front.

I stumbled to the kitchen table the morning after the last game and Minnie says to me, I heard on the radio they won the cup last night, did they?

Yeah, she’s all over, I said.

Good, she said. I had about enough of you idiots drinkin’ your faces off watchin’ hockey every night.

I know, I said to her. Sorry, dear, it was all in fun.

Yeah, well. You’ll have to find somethin’ to do tonight, I guess, she said.

No, I said. Timmy already invited us over tonight to watch the Blue Jays game. And I didn’t even have the words out of my mouth before the wet dishcloth hit me in the face.

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