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Loose Change: Reading the subtext

I suppose we’re all a little like mindless cattle in the way we take in the news. We graze, we chomp and we occasionally regurgitate, often times unsure of what we just tried to ingest (cows have been known to eat shoes, which is both nutritionally horrible and eerily cannibalistic).

Most of us read the headlines, but don’t really get the news. The lottery win might be the best thing that’s ever happened to that struggling couple, but, you know, just by looking at him, it won’t be long before she dumps his sorry ass.

It’s the story behind the story that’s most interesting. There’s a hidden subtext to most news that the bulk of us (at least the ones who don’t, ahem, have a Nobel Prize – The Global Significance of the Etch-A-Sketch was my thesis – and an IQ bordering on theoretical) don’t get.

Which is exactly why I’m here. I’ll get you past the obvious and help you see things on a different plane (could also be different plain if you’re reading while operating farm equipment).

Let’s dive inside the news and read between the lines to get to the real story.

Readers: digest (wow, that was brilliant).

The Story: Ex-NHLer Bob Sirois claims in new book the NHL has anti-Quebec bias.

Inside the Story: Former Capital and Flyer Bob Sirois feels the league disrespects players from La Belle Province and has written 288 pages to substantiate that claim.

Subtext #1: Bob Sirois is not dead.

Subtext #2: Who is Bob Sirois?

Subtext #3: That humorous manuscript you gave up on years ago about one-eyed aliens purchasing a convenience store? Talk to an editor in Quebec.

Subtext #4: Everything beyond Chapter 2 is pure filler.

Subtext #5: So who is finally going to speak up for the blatant and brutally obvious anti-Denmark lobby?

The Story: Former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly approves four-man review committee.

Inside the Story: Rob Blake, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Recchi and Chris Chelios are charged with reviewing the details of Kelly’s unexpected dismissal.

Subtext #1: A simple greeting card won’t do this time.

Subtext #2: Chris Chelios found work!

The Story: Boston Bruins’ Milan Lucic has successful surgery on right index finger.

Inside the Story: Boston Bruins’ Milan Lucic has successful surgery on right index finger (I thought that was obvious).

Subtext #1: Massachusetts is the place to go for anything from the elbow down.

Subtext #2: Milan will be nostril mining with his left hand for the foreseeable future.

Subtext #3: There’s a section of the paper for unsuccessful surgeries?

The Story: Former couple Angelica Bridges and Sheldon Souray in nasty custody battle over Bridges’ risqué professional lifestyle, so says Vegas Deluxe’s Robin Leach.

Inside the Story: Evidently, Bridges stars (?) in Vegas adult revue and Sheldon’s not exactly pleased at having his daughters near that type of lifestyle.

Subtext #1: Bridges either shields her children from her work or feels adding “pasties” to a resume can be quite impressive.

Subtext #2: Work on your slapshot and you too can have a hot (ex) wife

Subtext #3: No matter how cool the league thinks it might be, it’s still but one step away from the Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams I Used to Be Somebody set.

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? Email him at


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