Here is a list of my interviews in chronological order.
More fun to come!
One chilly night in October, myself and several of Vancouver’s bloggers went to a charity hockey event called “Bieksa’s Buddies”. In this game, the focus was to have fun and to raise some money for local charities. The game was entertaining and made everyone in attendance forget that there was a lockout happening in the real hockey world.
After the game, a few of us stopped off for a drink at a campus pub called The Dirty Pit. We heard a ruckus in the corner and saw that it was none other than Kevin Bieksa and Willie Mitchell. Dan Hamhuis was in the booth beside them with Manny Malhotra. Being half cut and feeling ballsy, Wyatt and I went over to their tables and said hello.
MattTheMascot: Kevin! Hammer! Wow Willie Mitchell! Hi Manny…..
Manny Malhotra: You’re lucky I don’t destroy you in public.
Willie Mitchell: What am I missing here guys?
MTM: Well, maybe if you stiff lip jedi knew how to take a sarcastic joke, you wouldn’t try and cut me in half with your lightsaber.
WM: What? You’re a jedi? You’re hilarious.
The Stanchion: It’s true. I know all about the Canucks and their jedi powers.
(Manny looks at The Stanchion, waves his hand in face and says….)
MM: Wyatt go with your friend Kevin here, he wants to have a word with you.
STANCH: (eyes glazed over) Ok.
Dan Hamhuis: (looks at me) Hi Buddy! I’m going with Kevin. Byyyyyyeeeeeeee!!!!
(The other group leaves us)
WM: Are you kidding me? What’s really going on here?
MTM: Ok fine I’ll tell you. Just know that there are things that you may not understand.
(He nods, Manny is visibly twitching in anger)
MTM: I worked for the Canucks as an interviewer/columnist for a short period of time. I was able to make Manny here mad enough to try and cut me in half with a lightsaber, exposing his jedi craft at the same time. He was obviously distraught about it.
MM: You made me look like a fool! (He stands up, palms slam on the table) And one day I will have my revenge!
(Manny leaves the pub. Using his force powers he blows the doors open and zaps poor UBC mascot Thunderbird with force lightning, turning him into a giant smoking chicken)
WM: Wow you really pissed in his corn flakes…..
MTM: Tell me about it. Sorry I come with quite a bit of baggage. Anyways what made you come here for this game?
WM: Juice and I have been friends for a long time. He asked and I couldn’t say no.
MTM: Being a local guy who was a fan favorite, do you get recognized a lot here in Vancouver?
WM: Not as much as I would have thought. The people here forget fast and easily. Too much weed smoking and coffee drinking equals short attention spans.
MTM: If I just happened to have a joint with me would you blaze with me?
WM: I wish. I will admit I do miss it. But NHL drug testing would pick it up instantly. And I kind of like my job you know.
(He smiles, lifts his Stanley cup championship ring and kisses it)
MTM: Wow man. That looks like it’s worth more than my house.
WM: No you can’t touch it.
MTM: I wasn’t… I mean… Ok fine.
WM: So what’s your angle? Why are you here?
MTM: I’m just a regular everyday normal guy looking to shap it up with you man. What’s makes you think I have “an angle”?
WM: You know how Manny said he’s a jedi? Well I’m special too. I am reading your mind fool. (He taps his his left temple with his index finger)
MTM: You’re a funny guy….
WM: What does Mike Gillis see in you? If he wants information he is going to have to come with someone stronger than you.
MTM: I’m sorry Willie… I didn’t want to this but you leave me no choice.
WM: if you even think of using that taser you pulled out of your pocket I will scramble your brain like an omle…….
(I was fast and got close enough to graze him. He squirms a bit seems otherwise unfazed. So naturally I zap him again. He passes out and comes to a second later, confusion in his eyes)
WM: What happened? Why does my leg hurt?
MTM: Nothing happened. What are you talking about?
WM: Wait…. I can’t hear your thoughts, damn you tased me didn’t you? Electro shock is my kryptonite….
MTM: That’s my cue….
I ran out of the bar, as fast as my legs could carry me. I need to call Schneider, I need help. I haven’t told him about what happened in Toronto yet…..
It was a cold day in October when I was summoned to jury duty in New Westminster. While sitting in the courtroom wondering how I could get out of it, I saw a familiar face. The one and only – drunk driving, friend killing, trade demanding little baby boy – Dany Heatley.
After sitting through hours of nonsense we were both released at the same time. I chased him through the streets of New West and managed to catch him outside a starbucks begging for change. He was dirty, his shirt had holes in it, half of one his eyebrows was gone. He smelled like a sewer spit him up. So nonetheless, being a terrible person, I decided to extract whatever information I could out of him.
MattTheMascot: Dany Heatley? Is that really you?
Dany Heatley: You recognize me?
MTM: Of course man, you were one of the best Canadian forwards in the NHL.
DH: Do you have any spare change?
MTM: What has happened to you? Let me buy you some food and a drink.
DH: I don’t want your food. I need money for cocai…. I mean yeah food.
MTM: Why are you here? I mean in BC I mean.
DH: I came to BC after I first met Zack Parise. He came to the Wild, as you probably know, walked into a players meeting, slapped me and said “This is my team now bitch”. No one on the team likes me anyways so I looked for another team to tryout with. Vancouver seemed logical so I came here. Once the NHL locked us out I ran out of money and now I can’t get home.
MTM: You signed a huge multimillion dollar contract only a few years back. What happened to your money?
DH: Cocaine man. Nothing but blow. During the offseason they don’t do drug testing so I use that to my advantage. I basically live off of scraps during the hockey season so I can have a couple of months to not sleep and bang hookers.
MTM: You look like you haven’t slept in months.
DH: Last night was really rough. I got into a bar fight after I picked up a girl who wound up being a guy. I stuck my hand down “her” pants, flipped out and then he punched me in the face. That’s when I realized I was in a bar called Celebrities and apparently it’s a gay bar. I was so high I didn’t realize what was happening.
MTM: Don’t you have any friends here? Other players that can give you a hand?
DH: Obviously you don’t know me that well. Nobody likes me. Not even a small bit. I don’t know why, maybe it’s due to my excessive alcoholism and drug addiction. Maybe it’s my penchant for hookers and blow.
MTM: What about your family?
DH: They all live in Germany and won’t accept my collect calls.
MTM: That still doesn’t explain why you were at jury duty here in new west.
DH: I thought that it was a gathering of alcoholics and was hoping to get some cookies and coffee.
MTM: I wish I could help you more man. I’ll give you the cash in my wallet and buy you a meal if you’ll accept it.
DH: Just leave. I’m a grown ass man and I can find my own way home.
MTM: Fine be that way. Hockey is better off without you.
(I phone Cory Schneider to give him a progress report, and he tells me to phone Gillis directly, as he said he was bathing in champagne with his lady. Gillis told me to come to his office)
(30 minutes later in Gillis’ office I explain to him what I learned with Dany)
Mike Gillis: Your next assignment is in Toronto. Here is your information and tickets (he hands me an envelope). Inside is bonus cash and a new phone. Now get the fuck out.
Wow what a long day. I’m tired. I’m on a plane first thing tomorrow to Toronto. This is getting weird and can’t help but think that I’m being setup for something.
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…….
It’s been awhile since I spoke with the Vancouver canucks, so imagine my surprise when I got a phone call early one morning from Ben Brown, Director of the Vancouver Canucks Media Relations, asking if I’m available for a job. I of course asked what the job was, which Ben replied “We want you to be the first to interview our newest Canuck, Jason Garrison.” I jumped at the chance, a local guy who is new to the team will be a big assignment.
I shave off my nearly three months of scuz and pull myself together. I am to meet Mr. Garrison at the Fairmont Vancouver hotel, and am surprised to see a mob of people young and old, salivating at the chance to meet the newest player to come from the Florida panthers. Evidently I wasn’t the only one with the information of him being there. I see a familiar face in the crowd, my friend and fellow blogger Wyatt aka @TheStanchion. I ask for his help and decide to tag team this interview. We manage to get our target to a secluded area within the hotel while security holds off the Justin Beiber-esque crowd.
MattTheMascot: Hey Jason, that crowd was crazy, good thing you have your own security deployment.
Jason Garrison: Gillis warned me about that ahead of time, I underestimated the craziness of some of the fans here.
The Stanchion: Let me start off by thanking you for this opportunity guys, it’s great to meet another Vancouver Canuck.
JG: Your welcome, who else have you met with on the team?
STANCH: I’ve met the whole team, gambled with them, golfed with them and had them all over for a BBQ.
MTM: What? When? Why wasn’t I invited?
STANCH: Sorry space was limited and you always embarrass yourself somehow, I couldn’t have that on my watch.
JG: I am interrupting something?
MTM: Sorry I got off topic. So Jason what does a white rock boy like yourself do in your spare time?
STANCH: Wow that’s umm, awesome man. I also read that your last NHL fight was with your new teammate Manny Malhotra. Are you guys going to be fine playing together?
JG: Water under the bridge man, Manny and I are both Jedi. We sometimes have disagreements and we hash it out but we are fine now.
MTM: So we are going to have three Jedi on our team, are you guys going to use the force to win a cup?
JG: That’s the plan dude.
STANCH: OK I can’t wait any longer. I gotta know, Charizard or Bulbasaur?
MTM: WWF or WCW?
STANCH: NWO Wolf pack or Hollywood?
JG: AWOOOOOOOOO WOLFPACK!
MTM: Steak or Salmon?
JG: Steak AND Salmon.
STANCH: You just blew my mind man. Who would win in a fight? A Samurai or you?
JG: Pretty obvious.
MTM: Ok how about Zdeno Chara or Captain Kirk?
JG: Captain Kirk, but with a tag in from Spock.
STANCH: A pack of hungry wolves or Maxim Lapierre’s smile?
JG: Those wolves wouldn’t stand a chance (he winks).
MTM: Have you ever been compared to Mr. Garrison of South Park?
STANCH: Last one from me, wanna come to my BBQ on saturday?
JG: Sure thing, just text me your address, here’s my number. (He scribbles on the back of an autographed photo of himself)
MTM: Can I come?
STANCH: Yeah, about that, sorry bud I can’t have too many people and Bieksa is bringing a big crew with him.
MTM: Oh ok, I understand. I guess.
JG: Don’t be a baby about it, suck it up buttercup.
MTM: Oh because that makes it so much better.
JG: Anything else? I have a tee time with David Booth and Malhotra in an hour and I don’t want to be late.
MTM: No no were done.
JG: Gentlemen, it was nice to meet you and Stanch I’ll see you Saturday.
Later that day I get a text from Mike Gillis telling me I’m fired. He says I’m not asking the right questions and making a fool of the organization. As if it couldn’t get worse I heard Trevor Linden was at the Stanchion’s bbq. I was so upset I went back home and ate a tub of Neapolitan ice cream. But I didn’t eat the chocolate or vanilla. Great now I need a job again….. sigh
Thanks to an assist to Chris Higgins’ abs, I am still alive and ready to take on my next assignment. My manager tasked me with tracking down the notoriously hard to interview, but super awesome person, Manny Malhotra.
On this beautiful sunny day, I was downtown looking at buying a new suit for the playoff interviews I’m bound to have. I was trying on something when I heard a familiar voice.
Manny Malhotra: Listen up cash register girl, don’t you know who I am? The Manny never pays full price!
MattTheMascot: Hey Manny, everything ok?
MM: This girl here doesn’t know who I am. The Manny never pays full price for a suit. (He looks at the cashier) I am your bosses brother. Give me my discount!
MTM: When your done, can I bother you for a few minutes? Ill buy you a coffee.
MM: Sure. Once this moron gives me my suit AT A DISCOUNT ill meet you outside.
(I leave and wait for him. Less than five minutes later he emerges with a suit slung behind his back)
MM: Sorry you had to see that brother. Sometimes people need to be put in their place.
MTM: Hey I totally understand. What coffee do you want? I’m buying.
MM: Tim hortons brother.
(I sigh under my breath, despising timmy ho’s but I remain respectful. After getting our coffees, his bodyguards block off a section of the cafe and we resume.)
MTM: Ok first things first, I have never seen you act the way you did in the suit place. Is it normal for you to have such outbursts?
MM: No not really. (He takes a sip of his coffee and spits it out) What the hell? I asked for three creme and five sugars. (He throws his coffee at one his bodyguards) GET ME ANOTHER ONE!
MTM: I’m sorry I must have misheard you. Don’t take it out on someone else.
MM: No brother its the people behind the counter. They ARE MORONS!
(The coffee house goes quiet)
MM: That’s better. THREE CREME FIVE SUGARS BITCH!
MTM: Hey man chill. Its just a coffee.
MM: Brother I’m not arguing with you. Next question.
MTM: Ok, you played on San Jose with Joe Thornton. How was he as a teammate?
MM: Oh you mean old fat head? Some leader. He used to make rookies clean his shoes. He thinks he is some form of god. I tell you brother, he was a terrible person.
MTM: That doesn’t come as much of a shock. Do you have any playoff traditions?
MM: My family comes from pakistan. There when you wish for good luck from the gods, you sacrifice a goat. Here that is illegal. So now I encourage my family to grow beards instead of spread violence.
MTM: That’s a great way to help spread cheer. And besides goats are hard to come by around here.
MM: That is inconsequential. Anything is possible if you have enough money.
MTM: You played with Wayne Gretzky. What was your favorite moment that you spent with him?
MM: One day, when we were on the streets, someone came up to the two of us and tried to rob us with a large knife. Wayne used his mind trick power to convince the guy that his life would be better served at the bottom of the hudson river. So he ran to the bridge and jumped off.
MTM: You know that mind trick jedi stuff isn’t real right?
MM: That’s what the world would like you to believe. We jedi are going to rebuild the world.
MTM: Your a jedi?
MM: I was Wayne’s padawan. He taught me to control my anger. David Booth and Maxim Lapierre are also jedi knights.
MTM: Judging by today’s sequences of events, I’d say you need to brush up on your skills.
MM: What did you say to me?
(He steps back out of his chair, pulls something out of his pocket and turns on what happens to be a very realistic looking lightsaber)
MM: Now you will die impudent worm!
MTM: Well this has turned out lovely.
(He swings an overhead chop designed to cut me in half. I side step to the left. He then slashes across my mid section, of which I barely avoid getting my entrails spilled onto the floor. I grab a chair and throw it at him, and then I run out the back emergency exit. I hear him say something behind me)
What the hell? Why can’t I just have an honest interview with these people? Why do they always end badly?
The playoffs are just around the corner. wonder what’s next.
12 Questions – The Real Interviews is a series in which I ask real people real questions. One word answers.
My first guest is The Stanchion. A Chance meeting at Rogers Arena during the Canucks VS the Ducks provided me time to sit down with one of Vancouver’s newest twitter celebrities.
#1 Coke or Pepsi “Pepsi”
I’m a coke person, diet coke to be exact. Not judging.
#2 Tim Hortons or Starbucks “Tim Hortons”
Personally, I dig starbucks. But whatevs.
#3 XBOX or Playstation “XBOX”
I don’t have either, so either are cool to me.
#4 Favorite Beer “Kokanee”
No answer could have been any happier to my ears.
#5 Sid the Kid or Ovechkin “Ovi”
Both superstars. Toss up.
#6 Schneider or Luongo “Schneider”
Well it was after Luongo was pulled in the game. Poor timing.
#7 Dank or Hank “Daniel”
Trigger man takes it.
#8 The Beatles or The Rolling Stones ” Ze Beetles”
Well he didn’t say it like a french man, but regardless, good choice.
#9 Family Guy or South Park “South Park”
Stewie can’t cut it in this battle.
The two fold questions
#10 Autobot or Decepticon “Decepticon”
Megatron or Starscream “SOUNDWAVE”
Before I could even ask he screamed out Soundwave. No worries, its a good choice.
#11 Star Wars or Star Trek “Star Trek”
Federation or Borg “Federation”
This one hurt. Cut me real deep. I wasn’t sure people like that existed. I appreciate his honesty, even if I do not agree.
#12 80’s Heavy Metal or 90’s Hip Hop / Rap “90’s Hip hop / Rap”
2pac or Biggie “2pac”
Either would have been perfectly acceptable as they both were significantly awesome and inspiring.
That’s all for now. Oh and a bonus “HD” video of the new Canucks home ice intro at Rogers arena. Filmed via my superior inferior Blackberry Bold 9700 which will be blown up soon.