Ice hockey season, that time feverishly awaited by millions, is firing up.
We have ice hockey in our family.
Both Husby and I have played.
But it's probably not what you think.
It has everything to do with ice.
But nothing to do with sticks, skates, thrown gloves, or referees. (Although we could probably use one or two of those latter.)
And it has everything to do with food.
Maybe I should explain . . .
Waiting for your order in a restaurant can be excruciating.
Especially if you're hungry.
And let's face it – if you're sitting in a restaurant, ordering food, you're probably hungry.
Moving on . . .
There are many things to keep you occupied while you wait.
Studying the other diners.
Visiting with your dinner companion/s.
Reading the dessert menu.
I should point out, here, that whoever designs the dessert menus is a certified genius. Everything – everything – looks and sounds stickily, creamily, chocolately, divinely delicious. Mouth-watering descriptions merely add to the pictured perfection of chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate.
And whipped cream.
Where was I?
Oh, yes . . . waiting for food.
My Husby uses the time to watch the people.
But when he starts to receive a few too many irritated, uncomfortable glances, or when his reputation precedes him and we have been seated in a non-viewing zone, he must come up with some other form of entertainment.
That's how he invented 'ice' hockey.
In this activity, one uses the chunks of ice from one's glass and tries to flick them, using finger and/or thumb at one's dinner companion.
Whereupon (good word) said companion retaliates.
Because who wants to sit there and merely become a target?
We try to keep the mess to a minimum.
But don't always succeed.
Case in point . . .
We were waiting for pizza.
It was taking a long time.
Something about the cows needing to be brought in so they could be milked so the lengthy process of turning the milk into cheese for toppings could begin.
Husby was bored.
He got a chunk of ice out of his glass and flicked it in my direction.
I caught it and flicked it back.
He returned fire.
This went on for some time.
He simply couldn't get it past my ultra deft defence.
Finally, he stopped and sat there, frowning at me.
I grinned back at him.
Then he raised his eyebrows in challenge.
He picked up his glass, which, by now contained only ice chunks and . . . upended it onto the table.
Then he fired every single piece – using both hands – at me.
It was an onslaught.
“Excuse me, folks, here's your pizza.”
We looked up.
The waiter was standing there, holding our pizza and staring at us.
He looked . . . frightened.
“Oh,” I said.
Grant grinned. “Put it here,” he said, swiping a spot clean.
The waiter gingerly set the hot pan down on the wet table, then beat a hasty retreat.
The pizza was great.
There's nothing like pizza after you've worked up an appetite playing a good game of ice hockey.
Especially when it's served with a large dollop of embarrassment.