Once in a while there is an undercover mission I simply am not cut out for undertaking. When Scribe and I heard about the Kings’ Fathers trip, I realized this was one of those missions. I wanted to take it on, but what is a handsome young guy to do, dress up as a piece of luggage? No, this mission called for the expertise of one man, a man we call Bobby.
I phoned Scribe and told him how all of the fathers of Kings players were gathering for their traditional trip. “Surly, what can I do to help?” he asked. “Simple,” I replied, “You are going to infiltrate as one of the Kings’ fathers.”
“That’s crazy” he insisted.
“What’s crazy about it?” I posed.
“Who is going to believe I’m old enough to be their father?”
“Why anyone who is in their early-to-mid twenties, naturally.”
Silence over the line, followed by a sole sniffle.
“When did I get old Jacob?” He lamented.
“A while ago Bobby, a while ago.” I said in my most consoling voice.
“OK, OK. So whose father should I be? They say Jarret Stoll is the best dressed player on the team, that might work.”
“I’m afraid not. This is much more than a game of dress up. At first, after seeing how much Christmas ham you put away the other day, I figured you had enough girth to pass for Penner’s dad…”
“Watch it, Surly”
“Quiet, let me finish. But then I realized Dustin is a father himself. He’d see right through your act.”
“I always thought I looked a little like Andrei Loktionov. We often sport the same bowl cut. But I can’t speak Russian.”
“Bobby, you beautiful genius, that’s it!”
“Russian parents don’t speak to their children. They snarl, they grunt and that’s if they acknowledge them at all. Andrei hasn’t been home for a while and he is so desperate not to get sent to Manchester he’ll do anything the team tells him. I’ll have Howard forge the appropriate documents, the team will introduce you as his father and even if he suspects something, he’ll keep his mouth shut. Speaking of keeping mouths shut, I know it will be hard for you to stay silent but remember, you are there to observe and report. This is for the readers, Bobby. We’re all counting on you.”
After some grumbling and cursing under his breath, which I assumed was just practice, Scribe agreed. A quick call to Howard and the airlines and 4 hours later Scribe landed in Chicago to meet the team for dinner. This is what he heard.
Matjaz Kopitar: “So, what have you learned so far this season, son?”
Anze: “Oh, the dot to boards game, playing heavy, staying at the perimeter, shoot from anywhere mentality, using verbs as nouns…”
Matjaz Kopitar: “Interesting…what do you look forward to learning the rest of the season?”
Anze: “I don’t know…unlearning that shit?”
Mr. Greene sits at the table.
Matt: “Dad, you have that look.”
Mr. Greene: “What look?”
Matt: “That look. What did you do?”
Mr. Greene: “Nothing!”
Jamie Kompon waddles up clutching the seat of his pants. “OK, who took all the toilet paper out of the bathroom?”
Matt (leans over to his dad and whispers): “Nice!”
Mr. Johnson: “Son Mother Fucking Johnson.”
Jack: “Dad Mother Fucking Johnson!”
Mr. Johnson: “How the Mother Fucking are you?”
Jack: “I’m Mother Fucking great.”
Mr. Johnson: “Your Mother Fucking Mother sends her love.”
Dustin Brown: “Dad, are you enjoying your sthteak?”
Mr. Brown: “Very much, Duthtin.”
John Stevens leans over. “That’s not very nice, making fun of your son’s lisp.”
Mr. Brown: “What listhp?”
Dustin Penner: “Smo I Sragh Troo Thra Gruy, I’mphin Thymetst.”
Dean Lombardi: “Dustin, don’t talk with your mouth full, it’s rude.”
Mr. Penner: “Hey, don’t talk to my son like that.”
Dustin: “Thea you trhellim dard!”
Mr. Penner: “Shut up son, I can’t understand a damn word you’re saying.”
Dean: “That’s because you have food in your ears, Mr. Penner.”
Mr. Penner: “There’s only so much room in my hand bag.”
Justin Williams: “…”
Mr. Williams: “…”
Mr. Williams: “You look good.”
Justin: “So do you.”
Mr. Williams: “…”
Mr. Richards: “LA is really windy.”
Mike: “It’s not that windy, dad.”
Mr. Richards: “Don’t get smart with me. I just came in from outside and it’s fucking windy.”
Mike: “This is Chicago, dad.”
Mr. Richards: “But the paper said you got traded to LA.”
Mike: “I’m going to the bar.”
Mr. Clifford: “So, I told the waiter the steak was overcooked and to take it back.”
Kyle: “What did he say?”
Mr. Clifford: “Nothing because I punched him. So, he got his manager.”
Kyle: “The manager take the steak back?”
Mr. Clifford: “No, because I punched him too.”
Kyle: “Did you leave a tip?”
Mr. Clifford: “I punched the cook.”
Kyle: “That’s awesome but now I feel left out.”
Mr. Clifford: “We can punch each other if you like.”
They punch each other for a few minutes.
Kyle: “I miss our talks.”
Drew Doughty’s dad introducing himself to everyone.
Mr. Doughty: “Hi, I’m Drew’s father.”
Mr. Greene: “Nice to meet you, I’m Matt Greene’s father”
Mr. Doughty: “Excellent. Nice to meet you, 2.95.”
Mr. Greene: “What?”
Drew’s dad walks away.
Mr. Doughty: “Hi, I am Drew Doughty’s dad.”
Mr. Richards: “Oh, hello, I am Mike Richards’ dad.”
Mr. Doughty: “5.75, really nice to meet you.”
Mr. Richards: “5.75?”
Mr. Doughty walks around and points to Willie Mitchell’s father. “3.5, right? Wow. Your son looks just like you!”
Jack Johnson leans over to Drew: “Hey man, why is your father being a dick?”
Drew Doughty: “Shut up, 4.35.”
A strange man barges into the restaurant, yelling at someone outside.
Stranger: “And the horse you rode in on!”
Manager (rushing up): “Sir, please keep your voice down.”
Stranger: “Fuck you, my son’s an NHL STAR!”
Manager: “Mr. Lombardi, is this man with you?”
Dean: “I have no idea who this man is.”
Stranger: “Dean! Buddy! Long time no see.”
The stranger stumbles into a chair and pukes on his shoes. The pilot from the Kings’ charter plane comes rushing in.
Dean (to pilot): “What the hell is Patrick O’Sullivan’s dad doing here?”
Pilot: “I don’t know, we were unloading the baggage and he just popped out.”
Dean: “By the smell of him I’d say he’s been in there since before I traded Patty.”
Pilot: “What should we do?”
Mr. O’Sullivan reorients himself. “Where’s my son?”
Dean: “We traded your son, Mr. O’Sullivan.”
Mr. O’Sullivan (turns and runs off): “You can’t keep us apart! I love my son!”
Dean: “To Carolina!”
Mr. O’Sullivan stops and jogs back towards Dean.
Mr. O’Sullivan: “Anyone on your team need a good role model?”
Dean: “Oh wait, it was Edmonton.”
Mr. O’Sullivan (running out again): “I’m coming boy!”
Pilot: “Isn’t Patrick in Phoenix?”
Dean (smiling): “Yeah, but I didn’t trade him there.”
Andrei Loktionov: “I know you am not my dad.”
Andrei: “Cut shit. Is OK. Better to have you than have Slava’s father. Duck.”
Scribe is hit in the head with a shot glass.
Slava Voynov: “Good one dad!”
Mr. Voynov: “This man not Russian. Russian don’t bleed until hit with at least 4 shot glass.”
Scribe passes out and comes to a few hours later in a hotel room.
Scribe: “Where am I?”
Mr. Clifford: “Shhhh.”
Mr. Williams: “Are you sure this is a good idea? Do we have to do this to everyone?”
Mr. Doughty: “Of course it’s a good idea 3.65.”
Mr. Brown: “Sthop doing that. No one likesth you.”
Mr. Richards (13 year old girl mocking voice): “Sthop doing that no one likesth you.”
Scribe: “What the hell is going on?”
Mr. Kopitar: “Standard Kings operating procedure for Non-North American players and fathers. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems.”
Scribe: What’s not as bad?”
Mr. Johnson: “Hold him down Mr. Clifford. Start the tape Mr. Greene.”
Mr. Greene presses play on a remote control as Mr. Clifford pins Scribe to his chair during the next 5-hours while the TV shows a series of dump and chase plays from the last 10 years.
I am happy to report that Scribe made it out and returned home early this morning with only a mild upper body injury. I’m told he got “banged up”.