Posted by: pendrops | September 25, 2007

real human people


“I’d like to get her in the penalty box,” the half-drunk idiot behind me slurred as the pretty girl in a sparkly blue costume stood at the glass watching high-speed pucks dance off the twine in front of her.

The “her” in question was one of the girls who spring to action during breaks and time outs to clean the ice around the side boards and nets. You’ve seen them if you’ve been to a Preds game – you can’t miss them. The girls are amazing skaters who also happen to be glittering eye candy. The kind of eye candy that causes grown men sitting next to their girlfriends at hockey games to make repulsive, obtuse and all-too-cliché comments about body parts and what they’d like to do with them.

But sad as it is, I’m not much better than those has-been-beer-drinking-stupid-heads. You see, for years I’ve been going to Preds games (and countless other sporting events) where scantily clad ladies prance around for gawking guys. And you know what happens when I see them? Claws I didn’t know I had come out, after which I perform a covert scan of my own frame, curse my sugar belly, decide my outfit is frumpy, resolve to buy more sassy apparel, and apply another glob of lip gloss.

Then I spend the rest of the game mad at Jason for no reason, trying to avoid seeing the glittery girls who are 10 years younger than me with their unblemished skin, flowing hair, and flawless curves. Of course, this typically happens from our seats in the third tier, where I’m free to make all kinds of assumptions and suffer my various neuroses.

So imagine my surprise when Jason and I arrive at our seats, seats we won, on the front row, situated precisely next to the opening where these girls enter and leave the ice and generally mingle throughout the entire game.

“Fantastic,” I mumbled under my breath.

“Uh-oh,” Jason said knowingly, turning to see my disapproval at sitting next to the flesh fest that would take place at our seats for the next 3 ½ hours.

As Jason moved hesitantly down the aisle in front of me, directly toward the line of chick-lets preparing to head onto the ice for their big pre-game dance number, I pulled him back and said, “I’ll sit there,” pointing at the seat less than six inches from the waiting dancers and ice princesses.

My bum had barely begun to warm the seat when one of the girls (the brunette one with candy-apple red lips) looked up at me and said, “Hey!” the way you’d greet a friend. “You’ll get to see all the fights! Great seats!” (I think it was her thumbs up that put me over the edge.)

Before I could respond, she looked ahead, followed the girl in front of her onto the ice, and bobbed, shimmied and threw spirit fingers in the air to deafening rock music.

I didn’t know what to do with myself. Her comment was so unexpected, so unnerving, so…nice. But these girls don’t have personalities, they’re not supposed to be nice, they’re just perfect bodies paraded around for guys to oogle and girls to be jealous of, aren’t they?

As I watched the cheesy pre-game antics (can we just play hockey, please?), I couldn’t help glancing in the mirror before me. I can be mad all I want at the half-wit schmucks around me, but in my own envy, insecurity and judgment, I have turned these girls – these real human people – into the same thing that these schleps have: objects.

As the girls bounced past us, Jason whispered, “See, they’re real people, too.”

Truth be told, I wanted to kick him in the stomach, but I couldn’t deny it. They were real people. Fake tans, yes. Hair color from a bottle, yes. Plastic-surgeried torsos, yes. But real people nonetheless.

It took me the whole of a hockey game to realize this, but I knew something had shifted when the imbecile behind me made his penalty box comment. I wasn’t angry at him for my normal reasons; I was angry because he had debased a real person; someone with dreams and hobbies and kindness. Someone who liked to stand at the glass and see hockey fights.

“I’d like to get him in the penalty box,” I whispered under my breath, “and kick his hairy, wide-load…”

(Note to self: work on anger issues at next hockey game.)



  1. Isn’t it amazing all the emotions that come out at a hockey game…I think I need a good Preds & Detroit game to get some of my pent up emotions out!

  2. I was thinking the other day not only did I love watching Brad play effortless in hockey, but deep down as I walked out of the rinks I always felt so
    refreshed after yelling like crazy.

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