My obsession with seeing Sidney and Marc-Andre Fleury hoist the coveted punchbowl is over, leaving me trembling with every possible symptom of withdrawal.
As a result, Saturday night at our house without Don Cherry or Hockey Night in Canada was pure hell. We sat on the couch sweating, staring at one another like two virgins on an awkward, sober first date.
Gone were the chips, the dip, and the giant-size bottle of Mountain Dew. Gone were the fabulous highs and the gut-wrenching lows. Even Murphy crawled out from under the sleeping bag and headed home.
The party was over. What ever would we talk about if not hockey? Jack doesn't give a rat's ass about tennis, finding me an affordable nursing home somewhere in a Tuscan vineyard, HGTV, back splash tiles, art, fabric, bankruptcy, Prince Harry, or cellulite.
I don't care about paintball, X-Box, the Lakers, NASCAR, golf, UFC Undisputed 2009, street hockey, poker, Wipeout, football, wearing the same socks for 12 days, boxing, or McDonald's 10-piece nugget meals.
We were clearly at a crossroad in a once perfect, 13-year relationship.
Waking up Sunday all crusty-eyed and rested up after a good night sleep, you could already cut the air with a knife. The silence was deafening even to the elephant in the room. And I needed a fix.
Good thing I knew exactly where to go. To the waterfront. Where the Mayor's raw sewage meets the underbelly of society in search of instant gratification.
I needed ice cream. Big chunks of nuts or fudge in a vanilla base. Some caramel maybe. Too much chocolate makes me thirsty and we were out of Dew. I needed ice cream in a bad way. And I needed it in a waffle cone.
Little did my unsuspecting roommate know, I'd been sneaking off to Pinky's in Point Pleasant Park for weeks now. Walking the dogs. As if. Fuck the dogs. They'd been sitting in the car with the windows up – drooling – watching me scarf back waffle cones so fast the minimum-wage summer help sprouted heat-related stress acne trying to keep up.
It wasn't long before Jack too was worshipping at the altar of all things summer. With green eyes glazed over, he was frothing at the mouth, following the scooper like a puck on a Sports Centre recap. I watched his face as he headed toward the truck, smiling, with a double waffle cone, half- mocha, half-Grizzly Tracks. "Mom, we can't go yet, Pinky's has fries."
Suddenly, we were sitting together looking at the water, chatting about old times like long-lost lovers. The conversation was lively and moved from the benefits of vinegar (for holding on the salt), to how the ice cream drips out the bottom of the waffle cone, signaling time to pass the puck to the dogs waiting patiently in the cheap seats.
Screw hockey. This is ice cream season.
Pinky's is locally-owned and has 5 locations in HRM including Point Pleasant Park and the Dingle. I met the owner and he must be a pusher, because Pinky's is even at a couple of local rinks.