March 2 — Hockey

On the metro a man struck up a conversation with two strangers, a woman and a man sitting together, about hockey.

“Is there a game tonight?” he asked them. They were wearing jerseys and heading toward Gallery Place.

“Who are they playing?”

“Toronto,” said the woman.

“Oh, Toronto. That should be a tough game right? They’re Canadian so I assume they’ve got to be pretty good. They grow up on the ice up there.”

Stereotyping Canadians. The only sort of stereotyping you can get away with these days. I realize the man knows nothing about hockey and wonder why he started the conversation in the first place.

“Actually they’re more in a rebuilding year,” the woman says. “The Caps are really the team to beat right now.”

“Oh, is that so?”

Ignorance exposed.

“Yeah, but every team really tries to bring their A game when they play the Caps,” the woman says, trying to save him. “Toronto could still put up a fight.”

“Ok so it should be a good game then,” the man recovers. “Especially on your home ice. That always makes it interesting.”

It’s situations like these that make me averse to small talk.

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