The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hockey Night in Outremont

By Anne Chudobiak

I don’t like hockey, but if I want to see my friends during the NHL season, I don’t have much choice: I have to watch it. They meet every Saturday for pizza and the game. This past week was special. Our hosts were the proud owners of a new couch. There was no way I could beg off. “It’s blue corduroy,” they told me.

I don’t know why I am invited to these things. Once there, I make it my goal to distract everyone from the television, usually with gossip. (“Nobody watches hockey on hockey night,” says my daughter. “They just stand in the kitchen and talk, talk, talk.”)

Last Saturday, as we were talk, talk, talking, my gaze drifted towards the TV, where I caught the stats for Johan Franzen, centre with the Detroit Red Wings. Only I misread “Johan.”

“Jonathan Franzen!” I said.

“Who’s that?” asked my host.

“The American novelist,” I prompted. “He wrote The Corrections.

“Oh,” he said, “that sounds vaguely familiar.”

For a second, I was shocked. How could you not know Franzen? He writes for the New Yorker.

And then I was relieved. You don’t know Franzen. You don’t care who writes for what. I decided then that I would attend hockey night more often. If they’ll still have me. I’ll even bring the beer.

4 Comments:

Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Ahhh, those are the best kind of friends sometimes!

Fri Mar 23, 01:02:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Sometimes I'm at a big conference at work and the thought pops into my head, "You are probably the only person here who has read William Gass" or looking out over city of Toronto from my balconey and it hits me, "Is there anyone else in the city who's watched every episode of 'So Notorious' and listened to the complete works of Anton Webern? On the same weekend?"

Unlike you, this doesn't help me join in with others and their bizarre obsessions. You are lovely. I am cranky. I'm going to take a page from your book and settle in with something that thrills somebody else for a change.

I'll report back.

Fri Mar 23, 10:42:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

As it so happens, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country is my favourite novella.

Fri Mar 23, 12:38:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

I don't know what that Andrew is talking about, but I think he's saying he's going to take up hockey...

Tue Mar 27, 12:36:00 am GMT-4  

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