Friday, September 4, 2009

THUG ZAPPER (no. 5) The Conclusion

The Conclusion

Ok, so this whole tale of now five episodes began back right after Easter of 2009. It started with me making my picks for the 2008/2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

To recap events so far:

No. 1

I hooked up with Rup Iverson, NHL rep – Enforcement Technology in Oakland, CA while on a job hunting trip to the west coast. He was in the middle of a secretive test of a method to control fighting in the NHL via use of a taser type apparatus. Needless to say the test was a complete fucked up mess. One of the on ice officials that was supposed to zap a player involved in a major tussle accidently shot the fool thing right into his own face. It gagged me something fierce the way a smoldering decaying dead moose will when you come across it in the woods prior to wolves finishing their cleansing of the carcass.

Yup it convulsed me at the damage done and even the inclination of an idea to end fighting in hockey. Whoa! What a shame.

Anyway, Rup realized that his test was a rip and before I left he asked me to look into developing something better. He hinted that I could make a lot of money if something successful came out of my workings. You know, he gave me all that bullshit that he really respected me for what I’ve done for hockey and that I was walking with wood …. blah, blah blah.

No. 2

It’s mid May now and I’ve already revised my picks for the Cup. Wishy-washy on my part? Yeah, well so what. I got to watch more good-hockey on Versus this year than any ever previous. (Ahh, yah – we can thank unemployment for that, ehh?)

Well I flew back home from the west coast and even though I can’t stand the thought of no fights in hockey – I spent much of the flight thinking about ways to do this and make some money. Strange how not having an income drives your thought processes. Some will give up their religion to earn a buck, ehh?

Once home and back in the saddle with my honey I schedule a meeting with my crew to see if they buy into this shit for Rup and the NHL. We watch a game, drink beers and eat heated up frozen pizza. Its my usual buds: bros Jingles and Bronzy, Stinky and D-Pity. A good assortment of scroungers, moneybags, tech-geeks and foolhardy risk takers that love hockey. Yeah maybe Rup is right; me and my boys do walk with wood. We can be the shit, ya know.

Our plan is to come up with something like remote controlled dog training collars. Salvaging stuff from Stinky’s junk yard, some returns from Bronzy’s work and Jingles’ ingenuity we ought to piece something together on the cheap. If it works out then D-pity can fund us to go into production.

The best memories that I’ll take from this meeting is the recollection we had of Jingles’ old junior coach referring to his son’s girlfriend being about as handsome as a can of smashed assholes. What a hoot Bif was!

No. 3

Now it’s already late June and the Stanley Cup finals are behind us and the Penguins have taken it all. Way to go boys! That was some great hockey played this year. I can’t wait until season.

We held another little pizza and beer soiree. The pizza was fresh this time thanks to Bronzy. And the brewskies were some of Jingles’ home-brews – that stuff will just torque your ass. D-Pity, Wayno Studholm, couldn’t make it this time due to his planned development on his farm property for an ice rink. Jingles had managed to piece together one working system of collar, charging system and remote control.

Jingles gave us just a shit load of techno-crap that just went right over our heads but said that he and his youngest, Dilbert, had done some testing on it at home down in the basement. He thought that it worked just fine even though the test had been through his jeans on his calf instead of around his neck.

With this info we set up an on-ice test in a game situation with some of the guys that skate pickup and some of the Nightmares. Jingles is going to wear the collar, I’ll zap him remotely from off-ice and Stinky will videotape the whole thing. The whole idea was for the opposing players to take as many chances as possible to instigate a fight with Jingles.

It comes down to a pretty good sized young pup named Joshy that finally got Jingles ticked off. I let them each throw a few punches and everybody else is backing off letting the fight develop fairly. Ehh? I zap him once and all he does is growl like wild cat. I let the system recharge for five seconds then hit him again.

Jingles comes unglued and picks the kid completely up and throws him over the net. Stinky goes bananas trying to film the whole scene. Bronzy jumps over the boards and skates up to Jingles to calm his ass down.

Finally, checking things out, Joshy is okay and Jingles leaves the ice and comes up into stands and sits with me. He says that he doesn’t think it works. All it did was make him lose it and get angrier.

We chug some beers after the skate ends and all plan to meet again in a week or so.

No. 4

We have the meeting at Jingles’ place for a big old barbeque. More home brew than you can imagine and Jingles has to give us a tour of his little brewery. Long necks all around. Yupper!

Since his debacle on the ice last I mentioned, he had dicked around with the collar some and amped it up a notch so as to give a stronger initial shock. In the course of our drunken discussion we sort of came up with the idea that we’d name our device the Thug Zapper (hence the name for all of these foolish little tales, ehh).

We all about suffocated as Stinky regularly cut the cheese. Sure glad that Jingles had installed a top of the line ventilation system down there for his brewing processes or we all might have died.

We basically now have two complete Thug Zappers and D-Pity agrees to wear one besides Jingles in our next test session. I reiterate that the damn device has to break up a fight or we aren’t going to get one red cent from Rup and the NHL.

Before we depart from the basement Jingles pulls out something resembling the nuclear briefs that I gave to him as a joke Christmas gift when he was a kid. The dang thing is a wired up electrified jock strap. After all the “No ways!” had settled down, he explained that it was only a back up idea if our current version doesn’t work out.

So its time for another test and to move on with this story.

No. 5

We made arrangements and bought the ice that was usually for the Friday night pickup. The regular pickup guys didn’t know the difference except that we charged them a few bucks less than normal because they might lose a little ice time due to us trying to test something. (Ha, ha!)

Prior to the skate and since Jingles’ barbeque he said that he had spent a little more time fine tuning the equipment and told us that it was all going to work great. “Going to be no problems tonight. No sirree!”

Since word had gotten around about the test that we had already done. Jingles explained to everybody what was going on and that if there was any disgust with his or D-Pity’s play to not hesitate to drop the gloves and ”start pistoning our immaculately perfect faces.” He explained that I’d be in the stands controlling the remote of the Thug Zappers and then he showed them the collars.

Joshy was part of the group and he moaned, “Oh no … not this royal shit again.”

Jingles apologized to him again and said that the system should work much better this time and that he expected to drop immediately upon getting zapped tonight. Totally and instantly disabled.

Well that was the plan.

I could see that Wayno, old buddy, old pal, was getting a little fidgety. He signed up for this at the barbeque so I hoped that he wouldn’t back down now. His new girl friend, the architect, was in attendance so I went to talk to her and told her that she had to convince him to head-on strong for the team cuz we needed him to not back out now. Ehh?

So she yells at him to come over and when he gets there she cozies up to him, rubbing her body all over his gear and giving him little love pecks. Then she turns to me and gives me a wink.

Shit if that did him a lot of good. Like he could feel her through his gear, ehh? Maybe she got something out of it other than gear odor. Whew!

Anyway it did the trick and old D-Pity was ready to roll.

We got the skate underway and like a usual pickup game we weren’t using any officials. You police your own game cuz it’s just for fun. Right? Each team had almost enough guys for two complete line changes. It probably would have better if we had more on each side; that way everybody would have more energy and the tempers could flair a little better.

A decent, no, let me say a great goalie was in each net. One will be a first year midget this year, normally too young to skate in late night pickup but goalies are an exception and never have to pay either. I’m glad that they showed up. So were the other guys. It always makes for a better skate if ya have netminders. Everybody plays like they would in a game (ha, ha – except for the shift durations, ehh) if they aren’t tipping the nets over or playing pipes only.

I’ve got the clicker for each Thug Zapper collar. Left hand is holding the one that D-Pity is wearing and my right hand has Jingles’. Stinky is running the video camera again sitting right next to me in the stands.

So you ask “Jasper Wheats, why the hell aren’t you skating too?”

Shit all mighty. Ever-since I had the friggin brain injury, I haven’t played a single shift. I’ve even turned over Norris’ Nightmares to be coached by Bronzy and Jingles. It’s only recently that I have been on the ice at all and that has only been to help coach beginners that are just learning to keep their feet below their asses. And I’ll tell you that my own sense of balance sometimes isn’t a whole lot better than theirs.

Satisfied? Ehh? Well I’m still walking with wood anymore – only it just might be little wood. Ha, ha!

Moving on here and getting back to the action on the ice, it’s obvious it’s going to be a good skate. To keep Jingles an Wayno from fighting with each other they played on the same team. Bronzy joined them too cuz he said he didn’t want to fight with either one of them. Joshy Joined them too cuz he didn’t want to tangle with Jingles again. They had a couple other hot skaters and a couple of weekend warriors about Bronzy’s age.

Goalies switch ends about half through the skate, whereas the teams don’t during pickup. So each team had equal chance based on the goaltenders and their skills. I’m telling you that young kid was limber enough to bend like a pretzel and had one quick glove hand. The other guy has a reputation of being a brick wall. Just solid as a rock, plays the angles well and is no-go everywhere while he gets his body behind every shot. He’s also known for some dirty shit if ya plant your ass too near to the crease.

He could cause some excitement later. Who knows.

The other team had about four or five guys in their late twenties that I know had played juniors and were still good strong skaters. One of them, Zach, had my back in a bar fight a couple of years ago when my bros weren’t with me. It was against some cousins or associates of Tidwilly. Happened while he and the Wanker boys were in the slammer for jumping us Wheats out in the parking lot one night. So I figure that Zach can hold his own on the ice. They also had one big old bruiser that I wasn’t familiar with. Built like a freakin lumber jack – all shoulders and upper body. Had a kinda nasty little pirate look to him too – kinda reminded me of Wild Bill – for those of you that remember him. I guess this lumber jack of a dude was one of the other guys’ cousin and had come down from Hibbing for the summer. I heard him talking to his cousin and he had a French accent. I would have guessed that he was from somewhere north of Grand Mere in Quebec rather than a rust head from Hibbing. They also had a couple of The Nightmares skating for them and then some guys closer to Bronzy’s age filling in the rest.

You look at the group out on the ice for the start of the game and it looks like a normal ragtag bunch of guys. No new gear standing out except on the young goalie and pairs of gloves here and there – mainly on the juniors you know. My guys are wearing white or light colored jerseys (some blood stains that didn’t wash out are dark brown spots and drips) and the other guys are wearing dark sweaters. Helmets are all required but face protection is an option. I generally don’t approve of cages unless all are wearing cages cuz they can be used as a weapon by going into another guys face. Oh well, there were only two on the ice tonight. Not gonna complain.

Bronzy takes the puck and fires it into a far end corner to get the game under way.

Game on boys! Let’s see what happens.

Joshy is centering our first line with Bronzy on right wing. Some kid is on left, Jingles and some older dude are playing defense. Joshy forces the play coming out of the zone and the other kid gets beat coming out of the zone on the left boards. Bronzy sweeps back through the center while Jingles and his partner are backing up. The kid with the puck is one of the Nightmares and he likes to hot dog it a bit during pickup and forgets that he’s got teammates. Bronzy and Joshy focus on him as he dekes to his left and then straddles the blue line stopping at the point on the far boards, finally, waiting on his team mates. No checking, so he would have been glommed in a regular game at this point. He’s on Bronzy’s side of the ice so he takes the play and reaches for a sweep to take the puck away while Joshy backs off to pick up the guy breaking across the center. The dude pivots and rolls away from Bronzy and hits the third guy coming into the zone,

Shit we look like a bunch of hacks out there getting beat right and left. Their right wing takes one stride with the puck and turns it into a give and go dropping a soft pass back to the first guy into the zone who one times it high over the net.

Jingles’ partner pulls it in quick and circles behind the net with a quick pivot and comes back out the way he came in hitting our left wing on the half boards who then takes three hard strides out of the zone and hits Joshy who is crossing over center into the left lane. He goes in hard along the boards with an anchor on him the whole way going behind the net and backhands a sneek to Bronzy who tries a tip back at the net. No strength and their goalie, the young pup, covers it up.

End to end! That pretty much defines pick up. Occasionally we’ll see the puck change hands in center ice, but that takes up too much energy and we’re all running long shifts. Not the best hockey in the world – but hell it’s probably the most fun next to pond hockey where you might have two on two or three on three and half your game is focused on not breaking an ankle on the bad ice. Right!

Lines change and the lumber jack is on the ice now. He’s not fast but skates very protectively. Hadn’t noticed it before but he uses a short stick and because of that he skates all scrunched over with the puck underneath his tented body if he so desires. Very defensive offense if I say so myself. He’s strong in the corners and you don’t want to get in his way if he comes up the boards. Poke checking is about all you can do. During his first shift I never saw him make a forward pass. Just some drops as he used his body to clear a path for the follow-on guy. Interesting – a strategy that seemed to work well although he did get hit twice from behind with shots by his own team mates. Ouch!

So far we were about twenty minutes in and nobody had gotten real pesky yet. Their goalie was stumping us totally and they only had scored twice on us. Once on a deflection on slapshot from the point and another five-hole tweeners from about twenty to twenty-five feet out.

Only an hour long skate so in ten minutes we’d get the kid in our nets.

The dude from Hibbing that was all shoulders had been coming up the boards every time so far until Jingles had stumbled on their blue line and fallen down right in front of him. The big old goose swept left of dipshit Jingles and continued straight up the ice towards our net. Luckily D-Pity was playing dee with Jingles and had already shifted further back to cover for a break out (that didn’t happen – just puck hogging, ehh) and was lining him up the whole way back into our zone. Finally someone from our bench yelled at Wayno to stop backing up and force the play.

At that point Mr. Wayno D-Pity Studholm put on the breaks and planted himself like a small tree trunk and Mr. French accent lumber jack plowed right into him knocking him for loop continued to the net and smashed our goalie while shoving the puck into our net.

Our goalie was back at him in a flash swinging his stick at his calves and then up in a second getting into his face with his blocker.

D-Pity left his gloves right where his hands had landed on the ice and was up and jumping on the lumber jack from behind landing a right to the goon’s right jaw.

Ole Frenchy lumber jack pushes the goalie back into the net with his left hand and use this same energy to rotate to his right back into D-Pity who completely missed with a left because of the move. He swung right and caught the top of lumber jacks helmet as he lowered his head and charged into D-Pity again.

D-Pity jumped up a bit and grabbed the dude under the chin with his left forearm and wailed on his left cheek with is right.

Everybody else had backed off now including our goalie.

Stinky is yelling at me, “I’m getting this, I’m getting this! Are ya gonna zap him or what? Come on Jasper we gotta see if this works this time.”

The choke hold on the dude from Hibbing plus Wayno’s pummeling is taking its toll. He drops a little lower trying to shake Wayno off while he’s grabbing Wayno’s jersey at the neck.

The advantage is still Wayno’s so I figure that I better zap him. Left hand or right? Left hand I remember and I press the big button on the clicker.

Wayno screams “Wooooooaaaa!” as his legs come out from under him and he starts to drop it seems like in slo-mo.

Mr. Lumber jack had his hand touching the collar while grabbing D-Pity’s jersey and got a zap too pulling his hand back fast and faded to the ice slowly too.

With that done everybody else on the ice made sure the shit was over and helped both skaters off of the ice.

Stinky and I went down to interview them.

Wayno was cool but still shaken up. He said that the damn Thug Zapper worked like a charm. Said it was like a massive spasm from his head to his toes and everything went loose. He thought he might have peed himself and that he’d better go check. Basically he pronounced it a success.

Now Mr. Hibbing dude, that we found was named Stefan Boucher, was actually from Quebec originally but had been in Hibbing for only the last couple of years. Said that the hockey up there was great but you could only skate in the fall, winter and spring. He was very glad to get in a summer skate. Anyway, he said that he had felt the zap go up his arm and down one leg. He explained in his French accent that the muscles went all weak and his fingers felt like they had hyper-extended causing him to lose his grip on the jersey. Said that it was really something.


By this time it’s now past the halfway point and time to trade ends for the goalies. The brick wall that was in our nets was a bit more than a little pissed off at Stefan but he’d calm down after he and his fellow netminder switch ends.

We were down now four to one and were counting on the young kid in net to balance the scoring or maybe even tip the scales our way.

Whoa dogs! I’m getting way off base here and sounding like I’m more concerned about the outcome of the pickup game than I am about our test of our Thug Zapper.

In addition to interviewing D-Pity and Stefan about the physical results all of us involved pow-wowed for a few minutes off of the ice. Stinky ran back the video record for us all to watch and then we made a quick assessment.

Had the first zap tonight on D-Pity not gone well then we probably would have called it a night and gone back to the drawing board so to speak. Bronzy hinted that it maybe worked too well and was now glad that he never made it into the NHL. Wasn’t looking forward to ever getting zapped. Stinky thought it looked great and commented on how quickly the fight stopped after I hit the clicker. It was less than a second he figured. Jingles was all pumped up and started talk techno-crap again and at that point I said, “Good. It works good. Or maybe even great. Now get back out there and see if we can get another trial zap or two yet before the skate is over. Wayno, can you handle another one if it comes to that?”

“Shit yeah Jasper! I’m feeling just fine now. Let’s go guys!”

Stinky and I climbed back up into the stands as play was already under way and the guys snuck back onto their bench.

After about ten minutes into the goalie switch our side still hadn’t managed to score. Jingles at this point in time decided that instead of playing defense that he’d skate up.

Now you guys know that have been following my stories that that brother of mine just sometimes acts like a complete fool lunatic when it comes to competitive endeavors. The years that I’ve played hockey with him I can vouch for that emphatically. So what’s he do on this first shift up on forward?


(And don’t I just love the way Mr. Avery plays? Yes sirree!)

Stinky is filming this and he whistles and yells, “Sweet, Jingles is getting ready to ring some bells!”

I respond, “That stupid shit! He’s just gonna get his own bell rung!”

He’s pestering the goalie big time and getting him ticked off – swinging his stick and jabbing the edge of his blocker at him.

The puck’s still in their zone and Jingle’s turns back to us for an instant while Stinky has him zoomed in.

“Oh Jasper, Jings has got his shark face smile on. Something’s going to happen soon.”

“Keep the camera on him. I know what you mean. How many times have we seen that smile before? Right when all hell is about to break loose.”

Old Stefan the lumber jack looking dude was pressing the play out closer to the blue line when he notices the shit that Jingles is pulling down in the slot. Before you know it he’s making a beeline to his own net.

Jingles is back side to him as he clobbers him from behind with a full speed cross check. The jolt pushes Jingles straight into the goalie who has his blocker out aimed at Jingles’ jaw. All three bounce back across the cross bar which keeps them from falling over.

Jingles pushes the goalie in the face using that as leverage to turn back into the guy that hit him from behind dropping his stick and gloves along the way.

Stefan didn’t know what was coming as Jingles began pummeling his guts a few times which caused him to bend in towards Jingles at which time Jingles grabbed his jersey at the neck opening drops his own head to give Stefan nothing but helmet to swing at and began pounding rights just above where his left was holding the jersey. Yup, blind punching of one hand at the approximate location of your other hand – teach ya that in fight school boys.

Jingles is just pounding this guys face. You couldn’t see his hand it was so fast – easy comparison to the dukes of a light weight instead of an overweight aged puckster.

At that point I hit the button on the clicker in my right hand. Nothing happened.

Then Stinky said, “Jasper I think you just dropped Wayno.”

Oh fuck I must have changed hands with the clickers during our little pow-wow.

I immediately hit the left clicker button.

Jingles screams bloody murder and jumps about four feet straight up in the air. He drops completely lifeless looking. And the fight is over. Quick as shit!

Success again I’m thinking. Yes!

Stinky, at this point in time says, “Whoa, Wheats! I don’t think something’s right. It looks like the collar came off of Jings way before you zapped him. Let me run the video back.”

He does real quick like and then does a computer enhanced zoom on the laptop that he’s connected to and sure enough you can see that when Jingles runs into the goalie’s blocker from the initial cross check, that the blocker hit’s Jingles in the neck and knocks the collar off.

Well, what the fuck?

At this point in time Jingles is moaning intensely while laying flat on the ice. I’m running down from the stands, opening a gate, jumping onto the ice and running over towards where my little brother is laying on the ice. I slide up to a stop while dropping on one knee and crash right into Jingles’ left knee and roll over him planting my right hand on his mid-section to try to keep my balance.

He lets out another blood curdling scream, “Oh my fucking balls!!!”

I immediately flash to the thought of the nuclear briefs. Jingle you didn’t? Oh no!

I kneel over him and calmly ask, “You didn’t wear that wired jock strap did you? Please tell me you didn’t and that you’re only suffering a hernia or something.”

He forces his shark smile back on his face and says “Yeah, the nut cracker. Ahh, ouch. I had to try it. Shit! I disabled the collar cuz I didn’t want you to know. Oh fuck does this hurt. But it did the trick didn’t it?”

“Jingles, you are one fucking asshole. This is probably a major mistake on your part. We better get you to the hospital. Can you stand up?”

“Whoa, I think so. Oh fuck me this hurts.”

I yell for some help, “Couple of you guys help me get him up and skate him off the ice. I’ve got to get him to the ER.”

He spent two days in the hospital. Somehow when he wired up this jock thing-a-ma-jigger he got the circuit wrong and instead of it being a high voltage low current shock he got a medium voltage but high current shock and it just about fried all of his equipment. The result being kind of a fried weenie sandwich.

Thank goodness he had great medical insurance and a forgiving wife.

He told me that he’d be using ‘Depends’ for a few of months and that if he could ever do the nasty again it would be via the benefit of some prescription little blue pills and some shit implant device that ya gotta pump up.

Well right now he needs to concentrate on healing the burns. His catheter comes out in a couple of weeks. What a pisser.

Yesterday we had another meeting at Jingles’ place to discuss the Thug Zapper some more.

We came to the conclusion that it was a bust. We like fighting in the NHL. That’s that! Enough said.

I’m calling Rup on Tuesday and telling him that Old Jasper Wheats and his crew couldn’t come up with any good ideas and that our best idea was for him to tell the NHL upper management dudes that we like fighting and if the superstars can’t handle that then may they really aren’t hockey super stars anyway.

Oh by the way, I’ve included a photo (might be copyrighted – who knows? if the image doesn't come up try this link: that I lifted off the internet of some dude that pissed on an electric fence. The damage to his equipment is horrendous! Jingles’ was not quite this badly sizzled but it gives you an idea of just how bad it was. Poor guy! I hope that he can walk with wood again someday.

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