Friday, March 21, 2008

shark food

This past Wednesday evening, elder monkey and I attended a San Jose Sharks hockey game. She'd been to two before, but was on our laps at the time. This was her first time that she remembered. The two of us drove on down to San Jose in good time with no traffic and parked way out in the free zone. She's a little hiker and we hoofed it quickly, pretending we would "chase" various groups of people. Before we knew it we were at the gates with our tickets, pack full of treats, but most importantly "Sharkie" in hand.
She takes a look at the hundreds of folks milling about.
"What are all these people here for daddy?"
"To see the Sharks hockey game honey, just like us."
"Wow, this must be one big shark tank!"
"Well, that's just what they call it hon, but really the only sharks in it are the hockey players."
"Yeah, and my Sharkie!"
"Yup, and your Sharkie honey. And lots of others. In fact, look around and you tonight and you will see other people with their little sharks swimming around when the right music plays."
"I don't want my sharkie to swim around!"
"It's up to you sweetie, you'll see."
We arrive at the front of the building and que up.

Magic Fae Fae and the baguette wrapped in a kitchen towel did their job at concealing the hooch, just as planned, allowing us safe maneuvering past the rugged security, consisting of the ticket scanner guy asking sheepishly: "oooh, hey, can I check your bag there?" I wondered if Canadian hockey arena workers made it into the american leagues as this case sounded to be.

We secured our tickets in a pocket and made our way up the stairs. It is a stroll all the way around the arena to get to our section and we pass all the concessions. Her eyes were aglow with the possibilities. She stops at the fresh popcorn.
"I think that later, I want the sweet popcorn, if we happen to find some."
Happen to find some!
My heart melts.

We find our seats and sit down for the last 5 minutes of the pre-game stuff. The monkey looks around, mouth agape at the multimedia presentation that is the NHL. When the puck hits the ice, I break out the baguette and fixin's and start constructing sammiches. Monkey wants one with cheese. I think to myself, we did it, we did! a kid who eats stinky cheese on home-made bread!

Five minutes into the game a fight breaks out that seems to last forever. Figures.
"Why are those men hitting each other?" she wonders aloud, in a voice that everyone in the section can hear I'm sure.
"Well sweetie, sometimes in hockey, when someone is angry at someone and wants to fight them, they take off their gloves and the referees lets them duke it out!"
"Oh." I can see her imagining that all she needs to do is wear gloves the next time she's around her brother and angry.
"He sweetie, don't get any ideas, you don't play hockey yet."

After finishing the first round of food and making it through the first round of high-fives with strangers during the first goal, she requests one with salmon next. Yeah, that's my kid, right there. I tear her off another hunk of bread and put some nice slices of smoked salmon in there for her. Her eyebrows nod up and down with approval and I hear a few sounds of contentment.

To celebrate the occasion, I do what hockey fans do. I have a beer. Only I remain seated and pop open the pink water bottle to drink some fine homebrew. That's right, you heard me. Snuck in homebrew. Shit, I figure, at $7.75 a pint for a beer on tap at the tank, I'll open one at home and transfer it into an unbreakable container for safe transport and "suffer" through the effects it has on the beer. Ahhhh, the tough moral decisions that one must face in this life. Good thing they go rather nicely with an IPA.

We nosh away for the rest of the period. After seeing everyone else get up and go somewhere we decide to try it ourselves, buying a bag of "confetti popcorn." She takes her first taste and makes a face.
"That one tasted like banana!"
We make it back to our seats and I make myself another sammich and polish off the beer. We witness a horrific crash behind the goalie into the boards that results in a player leaving on a stretcher with a broken leg. One of those kind of games, just filled with brawls and injuries. We get through two periods before losing all steam.
I ask her if she wants something else like a hot dog or maybe some fries.
Time to go.
"Well, let's pack up and head out sweetie."
"Yeah honey?"
"Can we wait until we see the ice cleaners one more time?"
"Sure sweetie, sure............"

After the Zambonis did their work and "everything is smooth again" we let ourselves out and began the trek back to the car. She makes it all but two of the blocks on her own. During those we look for jets landing at the airport nearby while she tells me how excited she is to be up so late to see the "golfey players." At the car we get her into jammies and start listening to the radio broadcast. In the final minute, the lead changes twice. We pull away and it's sudden death. She's talking non-stop. "Sweetie, it's after 10 o'clock, can we be quiet for just one minute and then we'll talk?"
"Okay" she manages to exhale.
10 seconds later she's out.
It's a real nail-biter.
In a shoot-out the Sharks win. I'm ten minutes from home, the monkey is asleep, jammied and smiling in her sleep. I'm one happy dad.

The next morning I reached in the pack and took out what was left of the bread. A dorsal fin it appeared. I reflected on how yummy the rye and wheat combo worked with the alder smoked salmon and ultra tasty chevre. I sliced up the remains and put it in the toaster, then got out the remainder of last night's fixin's from the fridge. I figured we could revisit our menu from the shark tank (minus the beer) and eat shark food for breakfast.

Two of my favorites on home-made sourdough baguette slices.
The SGS combo. Salmon, Goat, Sourdough.
Mmmmmmmm........shark food.


Mimi said...

Genius! Use the kid as a mule for smuggling in the good stuff.
Your food is a thousand times better than what you can buy at a sporting event. I bet the people around you were jealous.
It was a pleasure reading this post. The two of you had one of those good times that you'll both remember.

K & S said...

what a great adventure you and your elder monkey had. brought a smile. Happy Easter to you and your family.

Chilebrown said...

Homebrew and smoked salmon. You are are a braggard. Is that a word? You are going to turn your Monkey into a Yuppie Snob Hockey Nose Breaking, Salmon eating, and Brewpub critic. She is going to turn it to Dad some day.

Zoomie said...

Something about the juxtaposition of all that innocence with a hockey game really points up the beauty of the one and the crazy energy of the other! Sweet story - glad you have that memory!