Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well, as usual nothing goes as planned.

I originally wanted the Red Wings to win the Cup this year even though I picked the Bruins to take it all. Instead the Bruins fall by the wayside and I end up liking the way the Penguins play and hope that they take it all – which they did. Dem boys is walkin with wood! Ehh?

Do I sound a little wishy-washy? Sure. Probably. But heck I’m a Kings fan and they weren’t anywhere near a playoff spot; so I figure that I’m entitled to cheer for anyone I want. Mainly though, I really, really enjoyed watching Pittsburgh play. For the most part, it’s like watching a whole team of Alex Ovechkins.

His post season awards should help to appease the Caps fans. Tim Thomas’ Vezina and Chara’s Norris should appease the Bruins fans. And hopefully, but probably not, Datsyuk’s double wins will mollify the Red Wings devotees.

But getting back to things “not as planned”, me and the boys didn’t get together on the following Saturday to discuss the zapping dog collar doodads. Too many interfering activities came up and it finally came down to all of us getting together at my cabin again for beer and pizza on Friday night, game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Bronzy brought fresh pizza from town this time so it was considerably better than the frozen cardboard pies that we had at the last meeting. It’s absolutely amazing what these small little differences make when you’re in your ninth month of unemployment and kinda living on the edge.

Wayno Studholm, D-Pity, didn’t make it to our little gathering. He, the suck-buttin rich fool that he is, had gotten tickets to the game and was down in Detroit. We looked for him while watching the game but never saw anybody even closely resembling his sorry ass. Said he took his architect to the game and wrote it off as a business expense. I think the dude is finally saddled, but we’ll see.

As last I explained, Jingles was going to stop by Stinky’s to pick up some salvage components and Bronzy was going to snag some returned garage door openers from his work. The major tasking since our last meeting was on Jingles to fiddle about with this stuff on his bench down in his basement.

So when Jingles shows up, besides having a couple of sixers of his home-brew, he’s got a Dairyland milk crate full of zapping apparatuses. Seems as Bronzy had dropped off the garage door clickers sometime along the way and Jingles had kluged up a test sample with some documentation to back up his test results.

We’re watching the game, munching the pizza and chugging the home-brew. That’s some good shit he brews up. I really like it. Jingles is trying to relax and enjoy the game but I can tell that he’s all amped up over the gear that he brought over. At the end of the first period he starts pulling stuff out of the milk crate, spreading it out on the floor and pulling paperwork out of folders.

“Ok”, Jingles starts in explaining. “Of the stuff that Stinking gave me, only one collar was repairable and now functions. It will give a fairly good zap and runs on a nine volt battery. It will recharge for a secondary zap at around 70% initial strength in 5 seconds and about 50% for the third jolt in another 5 seconds. The testing that I did indicates that a full charge requires about 2 minutes connected to the battery. The zap is created by discharging a capacitor from a collapsing LC circuit.”

Whatever the fuck that meant????

He pulled out charts and calculations and I could tell he wanted to do an in-depth explanation. I had to nip that shit in the bud – right here and right now.

“Good, good,” I said. “I knew you’d make some headway. How about the remote control?”

“Right, Jasper. All of the remotes that Bronzy got me were repairable and I was able to get them all to work with a little dickering and a couple of component replacements. I went to the manufacturer’s website and got the transmit frequencies from the codes that were marked on them. They weren’t so revealing in how they tagged the frequency or applied the protocol for transmitting the commands to the receiver. I had to put the puppies on a digital scope, lock in the phase and then capture the signal when I pressed the buttons. I won’t get into the details,” he was definitely trying to keep from wetting his britches cuz he was getting so excited explaining this shit to us, “but anyway I got one system to work just fine. I had to spend a little money making a receiver/decoder that could trip the zapper. But it wasn’t bad.”

“Hang on to your receipts so that you can get reimbursed,” I said. “How about your time? Did you keep track of that? Hey everybody, keep track of your time and your expenses that you spend on this. I want it all on the up and up. If this pans out then we’ll consider all of this as accrued business expense being reimbursable when we get funding. Plus it can help provide the data for developing a budget, schedules, etc. If Rup thinks that there’s a lot of money to be made at this then I want us to do it right.”

That’s me, all business minded as opposed to Jingles being all tech’d out.

Jingles starts telling us how he ran a little test at home using the zapper. He said that he had wrapped it around his calf, over the top of his jeans, and had his son Dilbert control the remote. He said he just walked around in the basement and told Dilbert to zap him unannounced.

“This little sucker spasmed my calf and shot a jolt up into my hip area, I guess. I stumbled, while Dilbert started cracking up, and bounced off of the washing machine but didn’t completely fall. It worked pretty damn good, if I say so myself, even through my jeans.”

“Well, why the hell didn’t you try it around your neck like it’s designed to be used, you stupid dumb-ass?” Bronzy piped in.

Stinky added, “Yeah Jingles, what’s up with that? All your bench testing and shit and then you do a dry run on your calf? Sounds to me like some sort of wimp-ass test if you asked me.” Then he belched a wretchedly righteous burp. “Damn, you do brew some good beer though!”

“Look you guys. I was just trying to be a little precautionary. I didn’t know what the final effect would be. You didn’t want me to fry my brain or something. Shit, you guys wouldn’t be able to continue development without me. Besides, I bet none of you would even have volunteered to test it on yourselves, calf, hah, not to speak of even on your own fool-ass scrawny necks!”

“And Dilbert loved it. He laughed so hard he had to sit down on the floor to catch his breath. Then that little tike, that must have 100% plus of my DNA, said that I had to try it on him. Well I did, a couple of times, but I told him that he couldn’t ever tell his mom.”

The second period started up and Bronzy told us to shut up and watch the game. Seems as though he had a bit of money riding on the outcome.

A few minutes later while I’m beginning a long draw on my brew, Stinky yells, “Shit, Crosby’s gonna get a penalty for that!”

I look over my bottle and see Crosby all over his opponent but instead of a whistle he gets spun at the same time and is just torqued into the boards something ugly. Due to the nocuous effect it had I commented that it looked like one of Jingles’ late hits from back ten years ago or so.

Jingles of course defended himself saying those weren’t late hits, he was just applying what Biff taught him in Juniors. “Finish your check, take your man out!”

“Right Jingles. You’re always trying to put somebody in the hospital,” Bronzy piped in.

“I don’t care what you say, Jingles has always helped the team, playing the way he plays,” as Stinky defends Jingles. “You Wheats brothers each have your own special hockey skills that have added to our successes. Now I wonder what the fuck happened to Sid, play didn’t even stop. Those yack rappers said he was slow getting back to the bench. Shit there he is and looks like he’s in some kinda hurt.”

“Big deal”, Bronzy snipped. “My money’s riding on the Wings.”

I added, “Well I think he’s a great player. A hero for today and the great game of hockey. So I hope it’s nothing too serious.”

The game continued through the period and we didn’t see Crosby on the ice again until the third. And even then he came off in pain.

Jingles’ home brews ran out and we had now switched to the cheap commercial stuff that I buy at the market down in town. No-name, three-two. It tastes like beer and during the summer it sweats like beer. Didn’t really matter cuz Jingles’ home brew is probably on the upside of eight percent alcohol and three bottles each just about had us all knocked on our asses. Well, at least I was. You get used to three-two and I guess you just become a friggin light-weight. Ehh?

The second period ended and for the life of me I can’t remember what the score was. I mean, I know the Pens won 2 to 1. But for the life of me, I can’t tell you much else about the game from somewhere in the middle of the second period on. Just seemed like they shook hands afterwards really quickly. “Yeah, let’s get to the Cup!”

But I do remember that we talked about the zappers again and Jingles told us how it went when he zapped Dilbert.

Dilbert’s big into Legos and told his dad to zap him the first time while he was laying on the floor setting up some sort of battlefield. Zapped him and he spasmed and the Legos went flying everywhere. He got up to the couch and laughed hard telling Jingles to do it again. Told him to zap him while he was looking at a magazine on the couch but to try it around his waist this time instead of his calf.

Jingles said that Dilbert tried to act like he didn’t know it was coming but was giggling the whole time. When he hit the button on the remote, Dilbert arched his back and lifted off the couch about six or eight inches. Ripped the magazine in half and pissed his pants. Again he stated laughing and said to his dad to do it again.

Jingles was a little concerned, especially because of the uncontrolled urination, and decided that it was enough and reiterated to Dilbert to not tell his mom a thing.

We discussed a game plan and decided that we had lost a couple of weeks of schedule time and that we should try the zapper in a game environment at pickup the next night, Saturday. It was actually the continuation of the Nightmares’ off season practice schedule but was pretty much open Ice and a lot of those kids and the Outlaws come out to skate. Jingles decided that he’d wear the collar, as intended, around his neck and I’d sit in the stands with the remote and Stinky would videotape with the microphone on me doing narration of what’s happening on the ice.

To try to get Jingles really riled, after the teams were picked up for the evening skate, I talked to the guys on the opposing team. I explained to them that we were testing something that Jingles’ psychiatrist had prescribed and we really needed them to push him around, talk in his face, etc. and really rile him up. Since Jingles was gonna being playing defense I said the best bet was to park in the slot and then talk some shit. “Tell him he skates like a jackass and that he should stay off the ice – he’s just wasting some good ice time.”

That ought to get him all jacked up. He’s never been one that was slow to drop the gloves and talk the shit real good himself. This should work out real good if the zapper does as promised.

The skate was pretty good. The kids from the Nightmares looked really hot. The season had been good for them and they were playing with intensity. Jingles was getting beat pretty good in neutral ice during the start but later started backing up sooner and was giving them more ice but able to take the guys out pretty good in the slot. One long legged forward, Joshy, had taken my advice to heart and was regularly parked just outside the crease whenever they came into the zone. Jingles was working him pretty good – cross checking and putting his stick between his legs and shit like that.

I could see that Joshy was talking trash at him most of the time too.

It must have been about twenty minutes in or so when Jingles turned away from Joshy to watch a guy coming out of the corner when Joshy gave Jingles a shove from behind while hooking his left leg. Jingles went down and was up in flash back into Joshy’s face. Joshy shoved him away again and Jingles gloves went flying. Joshy’s fell to the ice like feathers in the wind but grabbed Jingles’ jersey before they hit the ice and was already letting go with a roundhouse. Jingles ducked back his head while swinging to Joshy’s gut with one hand and knocking his helmet off with the other.

Joshy is torpedoing on Jingles’ face with his rights. And Jingles is now getting in close applying his old wrestling moves now to stifle the punches. He drops a little bit and grabs Joshy with a bear hug – picking hip up off the ice.

Joshy is now two handing the back of Jingles’s helmet and neck but can’t dislodge the bucket.

I’m watching all this and talking into the microphone as Stinky is videotaping.

“Zoom in Paul! I’m going to zap him in just a sec!”

Everybody is letting them go – nobody is trying to break it up. I’ve got some open ice between us and them so I push the button on the remote.

Jingles lets out a retching sound like the combination of a cat’s growl and the howl of a yeti. A couple of Joshy’s teammates move in closer now and Jingles hasn’t dropped yet. I count out loud, “One, two, three, four, five,” and press the remote again. In the meantime Jingles’ helmet had been knocked off and one more guy had managed to grab his jersey and Jingles had spun around into the crease. I don’t know where the goalie had moved off to but the zap hit Jingles again. That same freakish scream echoed in the rink.

Jingles flinched by picking up Joshy all the way over his head and pitched him over the net like he was just a ten pound bag of potatoes. He growled some more and got in the other guys face and you could hear him scream, “You want some too?”

I can hear Stinky quietly saying “Oh fuck, oh muther fuck. Jingles is unglued. Oh fuck.”

I said to Stinky, “Did you get all that?”

“Yeah, yeah. You know Jasper, I don’t think this worked. Not one fucking bit. I think it just juiced Jingles up even more. I hope that kid is ok.”

In the mean time everybody backed away from Jingles and about then Bronzy jumped over the boards and was skating up to the mess telling Jingles to calm down.

It took a few moments and everything got back to normal. Joshy was ok and Jingles skated over to the gate and climbed up into the seats and sat down next to me. You could hear some of the guys on the ice saying that whatever the shrink had given Jingles it wasn’t strong enough.

“Jasper, I don’t think this works,” Jingles whispered to me in a raspy voice. “I felt two zaps pretty good. Did you try a third? All they did was make me madder and amped me up pretty good. I think we’re going to have to go back to the drawing board. Ehh?”

“No I didn’t try the third time. Things were pretty much over by then. Everybody backed away when you tossed him. How’d it feel? How are you feeling now?” I asked.

He whispered again, “It’s a pretty good jolt. Both times. But it just seemed to instantaneously pump me up with adrenaline. I went Hulk on that dude, Jasper. I mean hair-brained Hulk on him! I hope he’s ok. Yeah, and I feel pretty exhausted right now – kinda winded, but it’s coming back ok. Paul, I’ve got to see the video.”

Paul played it back on the camera’s little screen and Jingles just kept saying “Oh shit! Shit! What a mess.”

We let the guys finish their skate. Jingles didn’t think it would a good idea to go back out with them, though he was feeling ok, so he went to shower and changed.

After the skate we went over to the bar where Bronzy joined us.

“Shit!” Bronzy exclaimed as we sat down at a table. “Jingles you went absolutely berserk out there! Reminds me of the time when I was kid around Christmas time and Jasper picked me up and threw me into the junipers over at Mom and Dad’s. The zapper didn’t seem to stifle you at all. Did you feel it?”

“Oh yeah, I felt it alright. It just got me more pumped rather than debilitating. I think we’re going to have to rethink this thing. In an idle mode it probably does what we want but when you’re already juiced up and getting ready to dance it just seems to invigorate you even more.”

We pounded some more beers and closed the place. But before we left I said that I wanted everybody to think about this and come up with some more ideas. We’d meet again next Saturday afternoon. Jingles said he’d throw a barbeque so bring the families.

Well, as you can see – this is to be continued. It doesn’t seem to be ironed out yet. I hope that we can figure something out that works. Something that we can show to Rup within the month. It’d be nice to have something in “production” in time for next season.

Hope that all of you are walking with wood – I sure figure that Jingles is. But damn he’s always been a little crazier then the rest of us and I’ve got to give him credit for being the testie.

Later dudes and dudettes. Skate hard!

To be continued ….