June 29, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys

I am sitting at my computer this morning, revising the book outline for the second hockey book. I've been writing up a storm and haven't been keeping the outline up to date. The outline helps me keep track of what happens when.

Anyway, I came across a scene that I'd forgotten about and thought I'd post part of it here. Part of what I love about writing these hockey books is the opportunity to show guys being their lovable guy selves. I enjoy reading that stuff in other people's books, and so it's not surprising to find it showing up in mine. The scenes with the Barracuda teammates are especially fun to write.

This scene features Calder, the hero of the second hockey book, and his older brother, Hart. Calder is recalling an incident...

Years ago, his mom had picked him and his brother up from a hockey game. For some reason he couldn’t remember, her trunk had been full of heavy boxes. Hart managed to stuff his in, but Calder had to put his in the backseat. As a result, the smell crept out and invaded the car like an olfactory bioweapon.

Hart, sixteen at the time to Calder’s fourteen, had lost the “shotgun” battle, so he was sitting in the back. “Something died in your bag, CS,” he said.

“Whatever, DB.”

Their mom thought that CS stood for Calder’s first two initials and DB meant “dumb brother.” But to the boys it was shorthand for cocksucker and douche bag.

“Mom,” Hart said, “We’re studying about the human body in science class, and I think Calder is constipated and when he sweats, crap comes out of his pores.”

“Hart Griffin, that’s disgusting,” Jenny said.

“I agree,” Hart said. “Let’s open the windows.”

His mom shook her head. “It’s eight degrees outside.”

“I don’t care. I swear I’m gonna puke.”

“Here, I’ll turn the fan on.”

It didn’t help. Even Calder had to admit it. At times, he envied other athletes like basketball players whose protective equipment consisted of one item—a jock. Hockey players, on the other hand, had that and much more, all of it soaked in sweat from each wearing. The odors seemed to build on each other even after washing because sometimes the stuff never dried out between the morning skate and a same-day game.

The noise from the fan provided cover for what Hart said in Calder’s ear. “I swear to God, Satan’s shit smells like fucking flowers compared to your bag.”

Laughing in spite of himself, Calder turned around to sock his brother.

Jenny twisted her head to nail them both with a glare. “What did you say?”

“Shit” wasn’t a word Jenny approved of but would sometimes let go. “Fuck” or any of its permutations constituted a loss of dinner.

“I was saying what’s coming out of Calder’s bag is probably what hell smells like.”

She eyed Hart in the rear view mirror. Calder knew his brother’s expression was now more heavily guarded than the President. He must have passed inspection because their mom said, “It is pretty bad, Calder.”

From that day on in their family, hockey bag smell was referred to as hell stink.

Photo by Mary_Thompson

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