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Loose Change: If you know what I mean

Well, I’m still crying. Just finished watching the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and they never fail to get me all excited (emotionally).

Steve Yzerman’s version of Carmen was incredible and having the five inductees “pass” the Stanley Cup around while miming was simply breathtaking. I haven’t bawled this much since dropping that lone bottle of vodka on a holiday Monday.

And, as much as interpretive dance can sincerely choke one up (Lamoriello does Paradise By The Dashboard Light?), ultimately it’s the speeches that really get to me. To watch these hardened warriors try to pronounce three-syllable words is pretty much beyond description.

That simple twist of a phrase, that beautiful scattering of adjectives, is enough to make a grown man cry – even more (damn you, Battle of the Blades!).

Especially enjoyable is the nuanced way the speech says something without actually saying something. You hear what they’re speaking, but understand on a different level what they’re trying to say. It may seem obvious, but what is actually being said is oh so much more.

Read on. I’m sure you know what I mean, I mean, what he means, or at least what he means to say:

“They say adversity builds character…”

(And hammers build houses. So what? Never saw the importance of leading with a quote, but it does make me sound worldly)

“To my wife, honey you deserve to be up here, too...”

(But there’s no category for that, is there? So I guess you’re going to just have suck it up and watch me bask in my glory aren’t you?)

“It is an honor to be included in the Hall with such great names...”

(Like Thomas Dunderdale. I hear he could barely skate, but that really is a great name)

“Mom and dad, I owe you so much…”

(OK, so I’ve paid you back for all that gas money, with interest accrued over 25 years. Are we square?)

“Ma, those early mornings driving me to practices and games...”

(And all this time you were just looking for dad after another one of his late inebriated nights with the work buddies)

“And to my brother and sister for supporting me all these years...”

(You both got houses out of the deal, so stop your whining)

“I’d be nothing without my teammates…”

(It’s a team game and we have to ice six skaters. Really, it’s not rocket science)

“And I share this induction with them…”

(I can get you Hall of Fame admission discounts most weekends)

“You taught me how to win…”

(Simply outscore your opponent. Again, not rocket science)

“There are so many people to thank. I know I’m bound to miss somebody…”

(You try blocking shots with your head for 18 years)

“I was honored to play for the one of the finest organizations in the game…”

(Not one of your checks bounced. Don’t think I didn’t appreciate that)

“It filled me with pride the first time I put on that jersey…”

(And heat, it filled me with heat. Would it kill you to occasionally run the furnace in that old building?)

“This room is filled with so many of the heroes I grew up idolizing…”

(In the right light that guy with the bumpy nose looks kind of like Batman)

“To my fellow inductees, who I battled often on the ice…”

(And given the chance I’d still gouge your eyeballs out, but since these are rented tuxes I’ll wait until an alumni game)

“Winning the Cup was the highlight of my life…”

(I mean getting married was, or rather the birth of our first daughter was…oh, and of course our second…Can I start over?)

“It is a privilege to put on this Hall of Fame blazer…”

(You don’t have it in beige do you? Dark colors make me look pudgy)

“And to see my plaque up on the wall…”

(But please hang it near the ceiling. The portrait artist made me look like I have a lazy eye)

“This is a night I’ll never forget…”

(Although, in all likelihood I will, since I am now considerably older – which is why I’m getting my son to record the whole thing with his camcorder)

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you Loose Change every second Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Check out his website at

Hey, the Holiday Season is coming and I know you haven’t really thought much about what you’re getting that person who’s oh-so hard to buy for. Instead of taking a pot shot with another blinking novelty tie, why not try something that really says you care (or at least that you tried to care)?

For the first time ever, you have a chance to buy original Hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoons straight from the source (I finally wrangled the rights from my Taiwanese overlords). They are perfect as gift even if the recipient has the exact same name as you.

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