Monday, September 13, 2010

The Day Scott Hartnell Tried To Live

Saturday saw many things for the post-pubescent Canadian Tuxedo. After sleeping for 11 hours, I roused my fire verm and ambled out into the sunny day, bravely moving forward on my wobbly fawn legs. After a few hours of studying for the aspiring mental health professional's equivalent of a flaming hoop, it was determined that a study break was in order. I textually baited my roommate to wander around the desolate urban streetscape with promises of giving him my last clove cigarette. Trading a controlled substance for temporary companionship is nothing new to me. Ask Desperate Pickle just how desperate he gets sometimes (ANSWER: NyQuil and over-the-pants handjobs desperate) and you will understand how little I have to offer other people without access to a 24-Hour pharmacy.

As we walked the narrow thoroughfares of lower Manhattan, I was totally oblivious to the fact that I was mere minutes away from a life-changing event. I came away from this event wanting to erect a mosque. So many things had to happen just right to be positioned the way I was for what happened next. How far back can I take the chain of events that needed to occur in such a way that I would be able to have this chance occurrence? My life is the Unrated Director's Cut of Crash. Or Crash. Depending on if I've masturbated recently. Slow people walking, missing the first R train, waking up randomly after 11 uninterrupted hours, being born in April 24+ years ago...all of these events were relevant and necessary to what happened next.

Out of a seemingly unmarked boutique on an otherwise sparsely populated side-street stepped a large man in a black t-shirt and jeans. Usually when I see this while I'm out walking, it's me noticing my reflection in the window of BabyGap- but only after I finish my mental fantasy of making an adult set of coveralls entirely out of hastily-joined Osh Gosh B'Gosh baby coveralls. But this time was different. This man was not me. This was not my beautiful house, and the woman with him was not my beautiful wife. She was his wife, and that was his tied-back mop of reddish gold curly hair, and the the world I inhabited that afternoon was his oyster. For the man was none other than Philadelphia Flyers Power Forward and Gritty Winger, Scott Hartnell.

"That's Scott Hartnell," I said with certainty as I simultaneously and inexplicably pushed my Chicago-born (walking) partner. My speech turned to chopped declarative sentences as I transformed into the creepiest person ever, walking into the middle of the street to get a better look. Yes, I flanked Scott Hartnell while he was shopping with his wife. Because I am not small, and because I was drooling, Scott Hartnell saw me and stared, smirking at my dumbfounded recognition. No one else was around. It was just me and Scott and 7 million other residents of a small island who decided they didn't need to be on that stretch of sidewalk that day.

Me: "You're Scott Hartnell!"
Methought: You're Scott Hartnell! It's Scott Hartnell! Santa?!

Scott Hartnell: "Uh, yeah, hi!"
Scottthought: Christ.

Me: "Oh wow. Hi. I didn't want to bother you, but I'm a really big Flyers fan."
Methought: You're talking to Scott Hartnell! He hasn't punched you in the face yet!

Scott Hartnell: "Oh, no problem." *Easy-going chuckle* "Thanks man, are you guys from Philly?"
Scottthought: It speaks!

*Scott Hartnell offers his hand*

I look down. I notice its size, its ruddy complexion. The hand of a man who shoots left and punches people and probably (maybe) fingerblasts the woman standing next to him with. The hand that gave me this memory. The hand that has wiped Scott ass.

*Shakes Scott Hartnell's hand eagerly*

Me: "I'm from outside Philadelphia, this is my roommate here. He's from...Chicago. It was a brutal playoffs in our apartment, man."
Methought: You fucking idiot. First of all, there's no way Scott Hartnell doesn't think you're gay right now. Second, was it a brutal playoffs? Do I even know about brutal playoffs? Scott Hartnell played pro hockey for 9 straight months and then came two games away from winning the most hard-fought and celebrated championship title in all of sports and it was hard on ME?! IN MY APARTMENT?! I want Scott Hartnell on that wall, I need him on that wall. Third, you are sweating so, so much right now.

Scott Hartnell: *Raised eyebrow* Oh yeah? How'd that work out?
Scottthought: Queers.

Me: "It was really rough but,"
Methought: Are you describing your gay sex, you idiot? God damn it you are blowing this.

Me: "I'm excited about the new season. Good luck with camp and everything!"
Methought: You are not going to ask for a photo or an autograph. Ignore the pen in your breast pocket. The man is shopping with his wife/girlfriend/sister in the off-season in New York City to get away from cretin mongoloids like you. Do not look him in the eye. Look at the ground. That's what you deserve.

Scott Hartnell: "Oh, thanks. Glad you're a fan." Or something.
Scottthought: I'd be totally willing to sign an autograph or take a picture with this young incredibly gay man, but Jesus Christ he just keeps turning red and staring at the ground.

Me: It was really awesome meeting you, thanks, have a great weekend!

Scott Hartnell *to my roommate, as we walk away from each other*: "Hey man, I like your sneakers.

*Camera Pans to my roommate's feet. He is wearing his orange and white and black Reeboks. Camera pans to Scott's feet. He is wearing identical orange and white and black Reeboks. Camera pans to my head exploding while antimatter rushes in to fill the vacuum that has spontaneously formed*

Roommate: Haha oh wow that's so crazy!
Roommatethought: Haha oh wow that's so crazy!

Scott Hartnell, Scott Hartnell's Wife: *Laughter, Exit Stage Left*

Me: That was Scott Hartnell!
Methought: I will think about nothing else for the next 9 years.

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