“I’m on the streetcar outside of Sneaky Dee’s – there are like fifty people pounding on the window – can you hear them?” My sister Liz turned the phone to the crowd so we could hear the insanity, “I’m going to Yonge Street, you want to come?”

“Hmm – I’ll think about it.” I was under my warm sheets, the room aglow with the light of my Macbook. I didn’t want to go anywhere.

Although my husband and I were a far cry from the typical Tim Horton lovin’ hockey fans, we did like most Canadians tune in yesterday for the big Olympic game. However, when my sister called, the game was well over and we had regressed to our usual routine of watching DAMAGES, and were just two episodes away from discovering who bloodied Glenn Close.  Further,  my tummy was bloated from too much Brie and I had just swallowed a Benadryl. I wasn’t swooned with the idea of joining the mob.

“We should go.” Suddenly the man who has expressed zilch interest in hockey since we hooked up eight years ago was making a plea.

“I dunno….do we really want to go cheer on the streets with beefy drunk hockey dudes?”

“It’s important.”

“Isn’t it just going to be like Nuit Blanche except colder with jocks everywhere instead of intoxicated teens?”

At this point he is cranking the window open.

“Yep…. I can hear it.”

“On a scale of one to ten how much do you want to go?”


After feeling like a nerdy Woody Allen – weighing out all the possible outcomes,  I finally conceded to join the Canadian uproar.

We arrived at Dundas and University and Liz warned us:

“You have to high five back – because if you don’t, they’ll get mad.”

“I want one of those.” I motioned at an inflatable finger. I have always loved boinking people on the head with inflatable things

Suddenly the exact type of person I have spent the past ten years avoiding surrounded me – blasted hockey dudes wearing face paint, clad in hockey shirts, yelling things like “PETE!” “YEAHHH” “C-A-N-A-D-I-A-N!” and of course our signature “WOOOO!”.

   “I feel like Canadians ‘wooo’ more than any other nation. Do we not know any other form of cheer?” Liz sighs with frustration.
  “Yep. We are really good at wooing.” Looking up, even the Pepsi ad said “WOO”

It was a competition for the most obnoxious honk and wasted guys hanging off the sidewalk were emulating fucking to the beat of the horns – grabbing at imaginary waists and thrusting. Mob scenes always get a little bit primal.

I converted quickly –  first with a soft ‘woo’, then escalating to full body wave and finally beating the air like those dudes from Jersey Shore.

“Come on! You gotta get into this!!” I relayed with glee. Even though my husband was the one who urged me to come, he preferred the quiet high-five. Which on this occasion was the subtle cool move – although on all other occasions totally unacceptable – we have always been adamant anti-high fivers although oddly – rarely object to a thumbs up.

Okay, I admit it – it was totally fun. There were babies on their dads heads wearing little hockey capes, lewd dudes on their friends shoulders screaming non-sensical jeers, Degrassi’s Adam Ruggiero was being tossed around in a giant hockey hooligan mosh pit. Cops on horses were doing nothing. The OMNI TV reporter was practically mauled. Some puck-bunny chick joined a game of pick-up but idiotically – she was wearing three-inch pumps. A giant fat man showed his bum crack off while waving the flag from the sunroof of a Hyundai. People were mowing down at Baton Rouge, piggy-backing one-another, wearing beer cans on their head, singing Black Eyed Peas and Luuuuing en mass. It was a total pandemonium mob scene that felt like a Simpsons spoof – but with genuine pride. I heard that peaceful sushi restaurants were invaded by drunk revelers who just came in to scream at everyone and break the chopsticks with semi-violent high-fives – making the diners feel simultaneously awkward, inadequate and completely civilized.

On our walk home we took turns pretending to be Olympic Athletes waving at the crowds – well Liz and I did.

“I would wave like this”

“I would do little twirls and salute”

“That was way too Hitler like – you gotta be more like this.”

“Oh shut up!” my husband chimed in with a laugh.

As we approached our home, we looked at all the lumberjack wearing hipsters zigzagging Ossington and couldn’t help but feel that we did the whole Olympic rah-rah thing right and they were stupid for staying in the West end.

“Do you think we will watch hockey now every Saturday night – and drink beer?” I ask


“Yeah – I guess not.”

Back to Glenn Close, I couldn’t bear to look at Facebook.