The Barnstormer has secured the cooperation of a locked-out NHL player who has agreed to document each day he is kept out of action on the condition that we do not reveal his identity. Ever. Read all the daily diary entries of “Cheap Throat” here.
2:55PM — Wake up. Shut up. Back on Canadian time. How’d that happen? Yesterday was aces. Figured out the wireless in here and that took ages. No offence to French people, but this problem had a lot to do with your language. Anyways, fought with the front desk to get someone up here to do this manually so I could stream TSN on the old handheld only to discover you can’t get TSN stories out of Canada unless it’s hockey. But I wanted college ball highlights. Anyways. I have to head’er to the Louvre because I can hear my mum’s voice in my head all the way across the ocean. Plus might be artstars there with low self esteem or something.
3:15PM — Paris. Fuck your subway system. Just fuck it. Plus why am I riding the subway system? I’m a millionaire. But I keep hearing Dad’s voice in my head from all the way across the ocean. Have to find a way to block those two out. And a taxi.
4:20PM — Louvre. Really? The Mona Lisa is small. All I’m gonna say about that. Outside was the best part — got my photo taken by that pyramid thing from The DaVinci Code. Dad loved that book. Movie was cool, though I never got why they made Tom Hanks grow a mullet. Was like watching Jagr solve religious crimes. He’ll be stoked about the photo. Dad, not Jagr. Got Mum a Mona Lisa mouse pad. Not from the Louvre, but like she’ll know.
7:25PM — Sat outside a cafe and had a half dozen espressos. Seems like thing to do in Paris. Plus seen it in loads of movies. Like in that movie where Leo DiCaprio basically melts Paris in his mind while drinking at a cafe. I didn’t do that. I just tried to melt the skirts off the talent as it went past. There’s talent here, but nothing disproportional. Nothing like Montreal or Moose Jaw. I know. But still. The Moose knuckle has talent. Just saying.
8:55PM — Things to do in Paris: Find an American bar to watch NFL games.
8:57PM — Things not to do in Paris: Get an STD. If the locker room and movies have taught me anything it is that French girls don’t shower much.
9:16PM — My NFL fantasy team is balls. 1-4, will be 1-5 after the Monday nighter. I thought Carson Palmer was gonna have a year. And I banked hard on Randy Moss coming back strong, but after week one he has been shit. Wonder what’s happening with all those NHL poolies. Wonder what the CBC showed on Saturday instead of Grapes and HNIC. Probably that fucking Heartland. Or the Summit Series. Jesus. That generation and its Paul Henderson goal. Move on.
9:44PM — At some pub-type deal near the hotel. Kinda dead. A few NFL games on the tube, but no one cheering or nothing. Me and the boys usually watch games on Sundays. Not many Sunday games on our sched. Coupla pints, some nachos. Lay some cash down. Cover the spread, cover the tab kinda thing. Best when we’re on the road. I miss the road. I miss the boys. I miss the ice. Fuck Bettman. I need another pint.
10:00PM — No, really fuck Gary. Fucking prick. I bet he’ll let us sit the year. Owners don’t care. Fucking hypocrites. Can’t afford the cap where it’s at, but lay out $200 mill for Suter and Parise? Need us to take a pay cut, but paying Redden $6 mill to play in Connecticut last year? Need cost certainty, but bet $9 mill on Bryz not going fucking batshit crazy in Philly? Bull-fucking-shit. Something’s wrong there.
10:11PM — I mean, we’re dicks, too, the players, don’t get me wrong. And the fucking agents. The agents are the real dicks. Inflating salaries and all that. And kids like Eberle and Hall getting big dollars, and been in the league for ten minutes. And these Fehr boys. Bet they don’t know icing from their assholes.
10:23PM — Dad’s real pissed about all this. Got buddies who usher and own concessions. They’re really hurting. One guy has two kids at U of T, tuition’s due, and he can’t make it. Tell that to your kids. Tell your kids they gotta leave school because the fucking hockey players want to make more money. Tell them they gotta give up their dreams, because the players living their want to be better compensated for it. The PA should start a scholarship fund or something.
10:42PM — Okay, screw Paris and its lame Irish bars. Screw Gary and his dyed hair. Screw Bill Daly and his lies. Screw the boys playing over here for good dollars and not losing a thing.
11:01PM — Text from Dad: “Jerry just got laid off, and he had a real job. Ben and Marie just lost their home. Your cousin, a PhD, just took a job as a waiter. Ed Solomon has a tumor in his leg, can’t work anymore. Enjoy your vacation from privilege.” Woah. Spanked.
11:32PM — Will probably leave Paris tomorrow. It’s a flight hub. Wish I’d gotten Inez’ number. Maybe could call the airline. Nah creepy. Will see what deals there are goin places from here. Hear they’re kicking up a big fuss over Briere and Giroux over in Berlin. Might see what that’s about. Maybe go to some away games and heckle from the stands. Then maybe check out a few other GEL squads and keep going east. Then double back and go North. Sweden or something. Sounds like a shitty route plan, I dunno. But the whole Europe thing is about the size of the Eastern Seaboard so I just treat it like road trip and count the Air Miles.
11:55PM — Oh yeah one more thing: in Europe they call cell phones handies. Heh. Everyone in Europe gets a handy. So. Many. Handies. Might go look at one tomorrow. Just want someone to ask me if I’m looking for a handy so I can say yes, I am. I’d love a handy.
Further NHL Lockout Reading:
- “Cheap Throat: The Diary of a Locked-Out NHLer“. Read all the other entries here.
- “A Fan’s Note: How to Fix the NHL” by Mike Spry
- “Complicit in the NHL’s Demise: How the NHL & its players hate hockey, and how the fan is at fault” by Mike Spry
- The Barnstormer’s Take Hockey Back fan protest event