WASHINGTON, D.C. - I woke up yesterday as if it were any other day. I hopped out of bed, took a shower, and caught the early train to work so I could get a jump start on providing top notch customer service to my clients.
But even though it may have seemed like a run of the mill Thursday in autumn, it was anything but that.
See, through the help of one Travis Hughes, I had secured tickets to what would be my first live hockey game of the season -- a matchup that was likely billed as the Clash of the Titans.
Ovechkin vs. Remaldo.
Once I realized that I was going to be able to watch my childhood mentor and hero play some rare hockey in between suspensions, I knew I had to make the most of the opportunity. After all, it’s only a matter of time before he’s likely banned from the league for showing leadership through "dangerous" and "reckless" hits that people who have probably never played the game hate so much.
At lunchtime, I took the metro (which, by the way, is a goddamn disaster) to a local art supply store to pick up some sign making supplies. Much to my surprise, there was no extra security or heightened police presence in downtown Washington, which, like, what the hell? Back in September when the Pope came to town, the city went freaking nuts. But when a generational talent comes to a town that has Kurt Cousins as its quarterback nobody even acknowledges it? I don’t know about you, but that sure seems like a typical Obama-era double standard to me.
Anyway, after I had assembled perhaps the best sports signs in history (more on that in a bit), I pondered what my next move should be. After connecting with my inner Remaldo, I realized that the only appropriate thing to do was get totally loaded.
So I logged out for the day, met up with my compatriot in the evening’s Remaldo festivities, and headed over to Chinatown to grab some (read: a lot of) drinks at Rocketbar. Fun fact about Rocketbar -- it’s the one place on earth that smells exactly like a fart passing through the fog of warm morning breath. I can’t think of a better bouquet to have on me before seeing my hero.
After pounding way too many Miller Lites (don’t @ me), Pensburgh blogger and mayonnaise aficionado Mike Darnay -- who is currently traveling around the world sampling local artisanal mayos -- met up with us. Now, I know what you’re thinking -- why in the world would I want to spend my Remaldo homecoming with a Pens fan? Well that’s a good question if you’re incredibly stupid.
First off, even though most talk about the Pens is focused around Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, let’s not forget that they too have employed the services of guys who should have suspended their way out of the league years ago. Looking at you, Matt Cooke. Because of this, Darnay thoroughly understands how important it is to have deadweight on your roster in the modern NHL -- it’s how you win.
Secondly, when he’s not busy literally guzzling down gallons of Mayonnaise, Darnay is actually a pretty nice guy. Case in point: I went to the bathroom before the beginning of the third period. Well, Darnay thought I might miss the cutoff for alcohol sales because of this, which I did (a rookie mistake, smdh). When I got back to my seat, BAM! Darnay hits me with 25 ounces of ice cold pony juice (read: Bud Lite) to keep me properly lit.
Back to the story. So we finally decide that we’re properly prepared for the evening’s festivities, pay my modest bar tab (pictured below), and head across the street to the Verizon Center. Along the way, we see a good number of Bruins jerseys, but none for Remaldo. Most likely fairweather fans in my humble (and correct) opinion.
Of course, the second I got inside, I immediately started educating Capitals fans about what they were exactly about to witness. I did this by not only incoherently screaming "REMALDO" at the top of my lungs, but also by showing off perhaps the single greatest quote in the history of American literature:
While I was busy turning Caps fans into Remaldoites, my fellow Remaldo-liker Claudia was on the campaign trail. However, her being the way she is, didn’t want me to show her face on this prestigious blog. SMDH, _laudia is more like it, IMO.
Come to think of it, a Trump-Remaldo ticket really makes a lot of sense. Remaldo has clearly proven he’s a dedicated leader, sometimes by literally injuring defenseless people to make sure his team succeeds. Given that preemptive strikes like the Iraq War are always a resounding success for the team that is America, I think this characteristic makes Remaldo a clear frontrunner in the GOP field.
Of course, the only person more qualified than Remaldo is Donald Trump, a guy who will hold foreign leaders accountable, has built a company from the ground up, and has developed the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, perhaps the most valuable parcel of land in all of golf. But you know what they say -- behind every successful man is a borderline NHL player. I see no reason why that shouldn’t be Remaldo.
Once we realized we had fulfilled our civic duties on the main concourse, we headed down to the ice for warmups. As I scrambled to get a spot right in front of the glass so I could pound it uncontrollably -- a thing totally not obnoxious people do all the time -- I kept searching for the main attraction.
Bruin after Bruin skated by, but they were all no names. No offense to Alexander Khokhlachev (LOL that name has to be fake), Kevan Miller (learn how to spell -- it’s K-E-V-I-N), and Patrice Bergeron (who?), but no one showed up to see a bunch of people who will be skating in the minors come December.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t starting to get worried. Was Remaldo injured? Was he suspended for something that I had missed? Was he busy taking shirtless selfies for bae in the locker room? These kinds of delirious thoughts will race through your mind when you’re about to confront your hero.
Just then, like a beam of sunlight shining through the clouds after a rainstorm, out came Remaldo. His skating subpar, his shot wildly inaccurate -- I felt like I finally met the man of my dreams. Someone I could spend the rest of my life with. Someone who could replace my wife (who had just left me).
So right then and there I decided I was going to make it official. If Obama was allowed to ruin our country by single handedly making same sex marriage legal, I figured I may as well take advantage of it. That’s right, dear readers -- I decided to ask Remaldo to marry me.
This proved to be a hard task. See, even though I am incredibly handsome and both men and women find me irresistibly attractive, Remaldo was so focused on his game that he barely noticed me at first. Sure, my feelings were hurt a bit, but if I’m being completely honest, the fact that he’s so laser focused on being a marginal hockey player made me love him just a bit more.
Because my good looks had failed me, I knew that I had to change tack. So I resorted to politely tapping the glass and asking for his attention:
And while the video above shows him accidentally not hearing me, eventually I was able to get our sweet prince’s attention. Remaldo slowly turned his head towards me and flashed his pearly whites. Darnay had luckily put his jar of mayo down at that moment and was able to snap a pic of my soon groom-to-be. Just look at this guy:
I knew this was my chance.
I quickly grabbed one of the signs I had prepared for the evening and flashed it right in front of the Bruins superstar:
Remaldo looked directly at the sign, and his smile grew wider. In that moment I felt like I was the happiest boy on the planet. I was about to become engaged with the most mediocre talent the NHL has ever seen. We would be spending the rest of our lives together, growing old in some place that Remaldo probably thinks is exotic like Orlando or something. It was about to achieve nirvana (note: not the band).
And then it all came crashing down.
Remaldo looked me right in the eyes and, in what felt like slow motion (although that may have been the gallon of beer I had just consumed) shook his head back and forth. Suddenly I realized that the smile he had shown me before was not out of adoration, but rather something much more sinister. He had built up my expectations for the sole purpose of tearing them down.
For all the talk about Remaldo having heart, I guess we never really focused on his ability to break one.
But, much like our former should-have-been captain, I wasn’t about to give up. I still wanted him back. If that wasn’t going to happen in the form of holy matrimony, then I guess just getting him back on the Flyers was a nice consolation prize. Luckily, I was prepared:
Unfortunately for me, Remaldo never got the chance to hear my pleas. After the proposal rejection, he seemed to try and avoid the corner of the ice where I was stationed. I’m not really sure what was up with that, so I continued politely tapping the glass and calling his name out. Alas, he skated off the ice and out of my life without even noticing me.
I felt like a complete and total failure. Not only had I failed to secure a new spouse, but I also didn’t achieve my goal of helping the Flyers. The only thing that I had to hold on to was the 60 minutes of Remaldo laden hockey that was about to begin. Or so I thought:
@AL_K_BSH he's scratched, man.— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) November 6, 2015
I spent the rest of the night continuing to consume beer (these were, unlike the earlier ones, sad beers) and crappy stadium food. A game of low energy hockey was played and guess what? The Bruins lost. Really makes you think what the outcome would have been if they hadn’t benched their best player.
Don’t think that because of what happened last night I’m going to give up. I think maybe the proposal didn’t work out because I had, in my haste, forgotten to purchase a ring. Well, this morning I cashed out my 401k and sold my car. I’m probably shopping for the largest diamond in history as you read this.
So farewell for now Remaldo. I know you’ll have changed when I see you next. I know I will have too, much like the the tides are constantly changing (but we don’t know how that works).
I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.