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.
7:31AM — Dear Sonesta Hotel,
Here’s what I love about you: your sheets (what’s the muhfuggin thread count on these sweet ladies?), your hand soap, body lotion, and shampoo (lovely stuff, the scents unisex, almost shaded toward masculine, which is a rare thing in the hospitality industry, I can tell you from a ton of experience), your proximity to historic Philadelphia City Hall (which is a very impressive sight, and when lit up, with spotlights trained on the rooftop statue of Ben Franklin, downright inspiring), your friendly and nattily attired concierge who helped me to pronounce the name of the Schuylkill River (“SKOO-kil”), and did so smilingly (even though he probably answers that question nine thousand times a day), and your hotel bar, with friendly staff and nice, dark corners where a person might install themselves if they do not wish to be identified by drunken Flyers fans.
But, Sonesta Hotel, here’s a quick list of stuff I wasn’t so crazy about: my panoramic view of a brick fucking wall and, if I craned my neck and squinted, a tiny sliver of the rooftop pool and patio (closed, obvs.), the shower I couldn’t get to the right temperature, even after 45 minutes of trying, the paucity of Bourne films available in my room, and your low-ceilinged parking garage, wherein your valet dude totally scraped War Horse’s roof while finding my baby a stall for the night. Thanks for that, Sonesta. If I legally owned this thing you could expect a letter from my lawyer. Count yourselves lucky.
8:35AM — Trying not to think about War Horse’s injury. It’ll add character. But let’s face it, if she were a real horse, I’d be putting her down. A quick one right between the eyes.
9:55AM — Neat little breakfast joint off the lobby. Four bagel sandwiches and a banana nut muffin, XL coffee, two bottles of OJ. No idea where I’m going today, but I don’t want to be peckish.
10:20AM — Giving serious thought to doing the Rocky run again. Only this time maybe actually going into the art museum at the top of the steps. Why not?
10:21AM — Nah.
11:50AM — Checked out, threw that concierge a fifty, just cause, had the valet bring War Horse up, parked her on the street, climbed up to inspect the roof. A big ugly, but I don’t think she’ll leak. Threw my bag in and went for a walk, up to City Hall. She’s a beaut. She’s a City Hall I understand. One City Hall I don’t understand? Toronto. The fuck is that?
12:20PM — Walking around, don’t know where I’m going. No run today. Found a Barnes & Noble, bought the Rocky soundtrack. Why not? Shit’s inspirational. Go on, hum it right now. Inspired? Bet your sweet ass you are.
12:39PM — Totally forgot War Horse doesn’t have a CD player. Gonna have to get one put in. Sucks to have this Rocky CD and not be able to blast it, like, just drive by those steps in War Horse with her windows down, rocking that shit at crazy volume. How. Amazing. Would. That. Be?
1:30PM — Okay, done with Philly. Thought about the art museum, but remembered that I kind of hate being bored and sometimes standing in museums alone on blah days actually totally depresses me. Like, throws me in a hole. Just awful. Even if the art is good. Something about the buildings. Don’t know.
Then thought about seeing the Liberty Bell, but fuck it. It’s just a bell. So: gonna drive west. Just go. No idea where.
Further NHL Lockout Reading:
- “Hockey Night in Ramallah” by Ian Orti. Diplomats smuggling hockey sticks, suitcases full of Canadian Tire balls, and a CBC News cameraman welding nets for league in Palestine.
- “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