This is what Swedish revenge looks like. (Photo credit: Mark Baer, US Presswire)
The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our rivals and the exotic places they come from. For the first of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Bruins Fan” and helpfully explain why living in Boston is worse than gargling with cat litter.
The Geography of Bad: Let’s just put a few things on the table. Some cities are horrible because of where they are. Tampa comes to mind. Not quite poor enough to be swamp trash, not quite rich enough to be coastal, it’s the worst of Florida compressed into one atomically fetid spot. Or take Winnipeg. God help anyone who has to go to Winnipeg.
Other places aren’t so much insufferable because of where they are, but because of who lives there. Philadelphia, for example, where entire generations have refined the art of being over-privileged and grating. Dallas, which is just about all we need to say about that hole. Or pretty much the entire state of Arizona.
That said, there’s a whole special category of wretched for cities that, were the Lord truly merciful, He would just dump into the ocean and pretend it never happened. Can you guess which blighted dung pile is featured in this week’s list of awful?
Ding ding ding! Boston, America’s capital of bedbugs and mange. And sitting atop it all are Boston Bruins fans. To help with this week’s influx of overly loud and underly mannered Bruins, we offer “How To Spot A Bruin.” You’ll thank us.
But first, let us briefly explain how curdlingly ghastly Boston is.
How Much Awful Is Awful?
We all know their entire team is terrible; from Coach Claude “Ratso” Julien to Zdeno “The Kraken” Chara to Patrice “Bite Us” Bergeron, they don’t so much compete as throw a 60-minute tantrum on the ice. I would say it’s hard to know where to begin, except it isn’t. Any game will do. Like Saturday, when we saw human blimp Tim Thomas taking pot-shots at not one but two Capitals and Brad Marchand– that sophisticated gentleman– grabbing hold of Nicky’s visor, giving it (and him) a good shake the way a cracked-up inmate might.
And we know that what passes for officiating during a Bruins game is just slightly less of a baggy-pants farce than Dancing With The Stars. Every bully needs a compliant tool to help them maintain their bully aura, and the NHL zebras are exactly that for the B’s.
And surprising exactly no-one, Boston itself is a 400-year-old collection of loud-mouthed louts and bad sports, beginning we expect with a hilariously rigged game of “Burn The Witch.” Taking its name from the Native American word for “Can You Believe These People?” the city of Boston is basically a forgotten backwash that people are always from but never moving to. If you’ve been, you know why.
And then, somewhere underneath all that, you’ll find the Bruins and their fans.
How To Spot A Bruins Fan
- “What Did You Say?” The Bruins fan is instantly recognizable not by what they look like, but what they sound like. At first encounter you may think you’re experiencing a bad case of tinnitus, but it’s most likely the Bruin. Operating in a register that psycho-acousticians classify as “annoying,” Bostonians don’t so much speak English as they torture it. Think of that sound the dentist’s drill makes on your molar and you have your basic Bruin.
- “Wicked Pissah!” Once you adjust to the shrill tenor of the Bruins’ voice, you’ll next notice that you can’t understand a thing they’re saying. ‘Perhaps they’re having a stroke?’ you might ask. Don’t worry. What you’re hearing is the Bruins jumbled jargon they call “speaking.” Semioticians such as Noam “Boston Red” Chomsky speculate this may be little more than an effort to confuse non-Bostonians, lulling them into a stupor so they might then steal your doughnuts.
- Giant Mutant Bumble-bees. Next is the native Bruins’ traditional costume. What’s white, black and gold, and covered in mustard stains? Either Don Cherry on a bad day or a Bruin. (Ha! A tw0-fer!)
Shambles. Next, note the Bruins’ manner of movement, adopting a sort of shambolic shuffle between their seats and the Sam Adams beer stand. Experts have long been puzzled by this almost devolutionary quirk, yet Bostonians have been quick to adopt it as their own. I believe it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning who once said “…the native Bostonian, in all elements, possesses the grace of a swan…a really fat, drunken swan.” Or not, we don’t care.
- Seatmates. If all of these clues don’t alert you to being in the presence of a Bruin, there will be no mistaking them should you be unlucky enough to be seated next to them. You may notice the faint whiff of brackish water, or a vague nausea washing over you, as if you had just found forgotten baby diapers. But once the game begins there will be no mistaking them. They will be the ones with the blood-lust in their eyes. They will be the ones loudly sharing their complete lack of hockey knowledge. You will want to turn to them and ask,’Pardon good Sir, but why are you an idiot?’ You must avoid this temptation; go to your mental happy place, keep calm and carry on.
- The End. Finally, you will know a Bruin this week by how fast they scurry out of the Verizon Center when their team loses like crazed lemmings flinging themselves off a cliff. Think how quickly Timmy the Whale left after being harpooned by our Swedish fishermen.
We could continue (and we may!) for sometime chronicling the waking nightmare that is Boston and the Bruins. But we also learned something else recently. For all their bluster, the will cracks just like anyone else. And we believe it has.
Oh, and I’ve just been informed it’s “Fatso” Julien. Wicked good!