It is on this lonely Thursday, that I am in downtown Vancouver, wandering aimlessly having a crisis. I was fired from my job with the Canucks organization, and because of my poor education and limits physically, I have been unable to find steady work above minimum wage. On top of that I could not pay my rent so I was evicted and spent the past two months on the couches of my family and friends. I was finding jobs at fast food restaurants and movie theatres, but kept getting fired for reasons I deemed unfit (falling asleep watching Batman while on the company dime might have been the only appropriate termination).
So today on this sunny yet slightly chilly day I am looking for work but I am at the end of my rope. I have no money and have burned all my bridges, over extending my welcome as a bad house guest. I have no clean clothes and am getting rather hungry. I am in yaletown, looking like something out of a horror movie I’m sure, when I lean against a starbucks window and fall asleep. I awoke to a starbucks employee hitting me with a broom telling me to go away and that I’m scaring away his macchiato sipping customers. I get up and run around the corner, tears welling in my eyes when I crash into a person, their drink spilling all over myself and this poor fellow. I get up apologizing over and over when I look up and see it is none other than Vancouver Canucks goaltending specialist, Cory Schneider.
MattTheMascot: Oh my, I’m so sorry Mr. Schneider. I’m so so sorry.
Cory Schneider: Calm down, it’s ok, it’s just coffee.
MTM: Are you burned? I’m so sorry!
CS: I said I’m ok, and call me Cory please.
MTM: Ok, sorry, Cory.
(I’m acting like a 6 year old meeting Santa Claus, bumbling and pausing after every word)
CS: Like I said its ok. Is everything all right? You look like you have seen a ghost.
MTM: I shouldn’t bother you with any of my problems. Please let me give you some money so you can get that shirt washed.
CS: Oh don’t worry about it. Wait a minute…. You look really familiar. Do I know you?
MTM: We have met before yes. I was an employee of the Canucks up until a few months ago.
CS: Right the interviewer…. You called me a “Ginger Ninja” in Minnesota.
MTM: Oh god that’s right…..
CS: For which I punched you in the balls.
MTM: And I deserved it too. I was super messed up that night.
CS: And I apologize for hitting you. I shouldn’t have done that. I am working on keeping my emotions in check. I am practicing the art of Buddhism to alleviate stress in my life.
MTM: Thanks for making sure I didn’t die in Minny, like Dany Heatly, Zack Parise and Ryan Suter are about to do.
MTM: You know the term shap?
CS: Are you kidding? Myself and Kes are masters at the art of shap. We shappity shap all day long, we just didn’t have a term for it before.
MTM: That’s hilarious, but I really should be on my way, I don’t belong in this neighborhood and the VPD will probably come and beat me half to death for being poor in a rich white neighborhood.
CS: Wait wait wait. I heard about how Gillis was a jerk and fired you. The rest of the team and I all felt bad, even if you caused us some grief for a few months…. (he laughs) I want to help you out, let me try and get your job back.
MTM: But won’t the impending lockout take precedence over getting a bum his job back? I can barely afford food let alone new clothes and a haircut.
CS: Pish posh, just relax. I will help you with that. We need to clean you up if you even think we are getting in the door.
(Cory takes me to his local pad, a penthouse suite in one of the tallest buildings in Vancouver. He offers me a shower and some clean clothes. We then go to a barber, get a shave and a nice haircut.)
(He hails a cab afterwards and we set off towards Rogers arena)
MTM: Cory, you’ve done so much for me, how can I ever repay you?
CS: Hamhuis told me to do as an act of faith. He really likes you.
(We arrive at Rogers Arena, and enter past large guards that each look as though they could rip a tree out of the ground. We are directed to Mike Gillis’ office on the top floor. More guards await us there, this time armed with automatic assault rifles and bulletproof vests.)
CS: He is expecting us.
MTM: Ok what is going on here?
(Mike Gillis turns around in his leather swivel chair like a bad bond villain.)
Mike Gillis: Sit down and shut up.
(The guards leave the room, leaving the three of us alone.)
MG: Matt you are lucky you are even allowed back in here, after the stunts you pulled. Our friend Cory here and his teammates came to me after I fired you and asked for you back. I initially hesitated, but Cory phoned me today and asked again. Now I’m not going to hire you back into your original position. I’m also not going to be hiring you back officially on paper either. I need you to get information for me, information I cannot get. Our players and other team’s players will open up to you, and I need that intel.
MTM: Uhhh, question? Why is Cory here hearing all this?
MG: Simple, he’s my mole, and you’re going to be his partner. He’s also your superior officer and will be your contact on the inside. I will provide you with security clearance and anything else you will need.
MTM: And if I say no?
MG: Then I shoot you in the head, with no remorse. (He pulls out a gold plated handgun.)
MTM: Hey whoa whoa….. Why all this hate? We are all good Scottish men at heart aren’t we?
CS: I’m German.
MG: GET THE HELL OUT.
(The doors open again and the security guards point their rifles at me.)
MTM: Ok I get it, I’m leaving.
On our way out Cory hands me an envelope, gets in a limo and drives off. In the envelope is a blackberry, a Bluetooth headset, 5000 dollars and a note that says “Wait”
Here we go again…….
The experience of moving to a new place of living can be a dream, or a nightmare. For some of us, we get to upgrade, while others are forced out to other more meager dwellings. I was fortunate to move up on the scale while moving away from a current hell hole called Maple Place. I have made a poem concluding my move out of that surrey dump, of which I am going to share with you.
Goodbye Maple place
-I wish to never return except to see the friends I have met
Goodbye annoying people always wanting to touch and caress my dog
-Stop that, it’s weird
Goodbye bin divers at 4 am
-It’s too early to stir around the smell of garbage, you stink
Goodbye heaters that never work in the winter time
-We really hope the next people take you to court over them
Goodbye mysterious hole in the bathroom wall
-I tried not to look at, it was creepy
Goodbye terrible water pressure and shatty plumbing as a whole
-Never understood plumbing or I would have fixed it myself
Goodbye horrible maintenance and cleaning staff
-I used to see how long it would be in between vacuuming and floor washing, sometimes up to three weeks.
Goodbye terrible drug addicted neighbors who stay up till 4 am every day
-Your d-bags and will get yours one day
Goodbye weird people with dogs (Mike and Melissa you guys are great this doesn’t apply to you)
-Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean I want to talk to you at all.
Goodbye bed bug infestation.
-Oh yeah new tenants…… about that
In conclusion, I hope the good people who live there find a way out soon. For the rest of you, stay and rot for all I care.