In the absence of our national sport -- and in the very real presence of ongoing (and, some would suggest, idiotic) National Hockey League labour woes that are threatening to put an entire season on ice (or, er, off ice) -- Canadians are at a loss.
We're at a loss for words (expletives directed at Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr excepted). At a loss for anodynes to cure (or, at least, coat) the pain of this seriocomic tragedy. At a loss for distractions, diversions, anything to take our minds off our besieged national fabric that is fast fraying in the abhorrent absence of (have I mentioned?) NHL hockey.
We've lost our past-time. We have lost our Cherry. And our MacLean. Now we are in danger of losing our marbles.
We take up ballroom dancing, but discover we have two left feet, little rhythm, and no grace. We try cross-stitching but are left feeling empty when we create a wall hanging that would suspiciously look like Lord Stanley's Cup, if it weren't so poorly crafted. We go to the hardware store and throw ourselves into a seminar on "basic grouting," which isn't half as glamorous, or nearly as fun, as it sounds.
We start to write poetry and, to that end, can be found in neighbourhood coffee shops, wearing berets, and pulling muscles in our heads as we attempt to conjure up the perfect word to complete an unfinished stanza: "Hey," we shout out in the pained voice of an artist at work, "what rhymes with puck?"
We go to sports bars, dressed incognito -- hoping, praying that no one we know will ever recognize us -- and we watch (gasp, gulp)... basketball on the big screens. Never have we felt so unfaithful. Never have we felt so guilty, so dirty. We slink home, dejected, fearful that the NHL and its players' association will never get their acts in synch, fearful that we will never find anything on Earth to fill what has become a mighty void. We cry ourselves to sleep and wake the next morning to news reports that couples across our great (and apparently resilient and creative) country have apparently decided to fill the mighty void with...
Indeed, retailers from coast to coast are reporting a remarkable rise in the sale of sex toys -- and they attribute this solely (and, we must admit, without benefit of research or science) on the NHL lockout! Sex toys. Sex games. Sex paraphernalia -- monkey bars, trapezes, pole vault poles, and such. Sex guides (and if you're purchasing the paraphernalia, for goodness sake get a guide). Lingerie. All flying out the door like there's no tomorrow -- or, at very least, like there's no hockey today.
Talk about good vibrations. Alas, something positive has finally come out of the labour lunacy. And, perhaps there are more positives to come...
If, as documented by assorted obstetrics departments across the country, our nation actually witnessed a sharp increase in the number of babies born nine months after the publication of the bestselling erotic trilogy, Fifty Shades of Gray, then we cannot even conceive what kind of baby ka-booooom we will see nine months from now. Which, by the way, is when many predict the NHL and its locked-out players will finally come to their senses.
For their sake, let's hope that this whole sex toy craze hasn't caught on to the point where, when the puck finally drops, no one notices, and no one cares.