I’m in Medicine Hat for the weekend. I guess I should mention, I was totally non-plussed to see the Flames lose in game seven to The Mighty Ducks last night—’nuff said.
However, last weekend was a little more exciting. I went to visit a friend in Calgary, watched the Flames game where they actually won, and then had a job interview on Monday morning that went spectacularly well. (Some extenuating circumstances may prevent me from being available to actually take the job, but the interview was great).
For those of you that have never been in a hockey town during playoffs, let me take a moment to describe the experience. Calgary is a booming town and as such traffic has taken on a new level of horror. I understand even the life-long Calgarians, many of whom were born in traffic jams on their way to the hospital (and as such are used to bad traffic), have been complaining about how unbearable it’s gotten.
But when the hockey game starts the streets clear out. Everyone sits on the edge of their seats, glued to their TVs. At a moments notice the entire city jumps to its feet and makes a collective cheer as one of the Flames scores. Those brave few souls that venture out of their homes to refill their beverage/junk food collections will be notified of any goals via cars honking and people cheering from their homes. It can feel pretty disappointing if you happen to miss a goal, but all the same, its exciting to hear the reaction of so many people around town.
Watching the game anywhere would have been entertaining but we had a particularly fun evening lined up watching it on the roof of a building in downtown Calgary only a few blocks away from the Saddle Dome. And if all that weren’t enough, two of the people attending were also celebrating their birthdays! It was a perfect setup for a great night, so needless to say, a great time was had by all.
That was, until somebody discovered they had imbibed just a little too much wine just a couple of glasses too late.
You’re probably wondering if that someone was me, and the answer is no… luckily for me, The Universe was turning its wrath on someone else. But it meant that going down after the game to enjoy the festivities on 17th Ave (or Red Mile) was out of the question and I missed seeing the 18,000 fans stumbling into one another giving each other hugs, and spilling their drinks on each other, and telling complete strangers how much they loved each other, in celebration of the win. Instead I caught an independant private cab (what some would have described as a sketchy unmarked gypsy cab) back to the place I was staying for the night. Meanwhile my friend gripped onto the homemade puke bucket in the back seat hoping not to have to use it. Oh the adventure!
When we got to the place I quickly setup the futon for myself and was about to get her into her friends bed when I was surprised to hear her say she wanted to sleep on the futon beside me, and of course she wanted her trusty bucket nearby too. I got her all wrapped up in a blanket and pillow and laid her down to sleep.
As the moment just before I drifted off arrived; I looked over at my platonic friend and contemplated on what a fun time we’d had. The cheering as the Flames won, the yelling down from the top of the building at the happy fans as they made their way to the Red Mile and the all around unifying force that only a home town win can bring. Despite the evening being cut short, what I really liked most was how good it felt to have someone to take care of again, even if it was only for one night. It’s moments like that, where I can make someone feel just a little bit better, that make me most happy to be alive. Oh and of course the Flames winning was a nice bonus.