Thursday, January 10, 2008


Growing up in the Northeast, winter activities used to include skating on the local ponds. Yes, we had ponds - even one good-sized lake - in town, and in the dead of winter they froze up nice and solid.

Skating in a rink doesn’t hold a candle to skating on a lake.

In a skating rink, you just go around and around in circles. OK, not circles, exactly. Ovals. You get a straightaway where you can get up some speed, then a curve where you can execute your flawless crossovers. Whoop-de-fucking-doo. And all the time, dodging other skaters - a mob with a classic Gaussian distribution of skating abilities, ranging from Miss Holiday On Ice to the oaf who just severed your toes by tromping your left foot with his hollow-ground skate blade.

But on a lake, you can cut loose. Skate anywhere your heart long as your heart is not pleased to take you where the Black Ice lurks. There is nothing like skating on a hard-frozen lake, especially after a brief rainshower (followed, of course, by a cold snap) has polished the surface to plu-Zamboni perfection.

You’d think a kid like me would have played hockey, but no. Hockey players were made of sterner stuff, especially as we got older and alcohol became involved. Maybe it was because of its antifreeze properties, but there was no point in trying to play hockey unless you could drink your weight in beer.

At Princeton, the closest I could come to being on the Hockey Team was...

...the Cockey Team.

The Cockey Team played the nastiest, most brutish Intercollegiate Sport on the planet: competitive defecation. Worse even than Rugby (but not by much).

As Cockswain, I wore the treasured jersey, emblazoned with Number 2. Once I was graduated, they retired it.

The cheerleaders would whip the crowds into a veritable frenzy with their hearty chants and songs:

Pinch a loaf,
Pinch a loaf,
Pinch a loaf,
We’re Number Two!
Sis Boom Bah!

Ohhh, lay a length of cable
For Old Nassau...
Then go and wipe your sphincter
Until it’s raw...
Ohhh, Harvard’s too hard
And Yale will fail
To crimp a Big One off
And fill that trusty pail...

The Ivy League was extremely competitive in the Cockey world. Ivy, as most of us know, has plenty of fiber...and in addition we were exposed to constant streams of Bull-Shit in our classes. It’s no wonder we were on top of the Midden Heap three years in a row.

“But what have Hockey and Cockey to do with one another?” you might well ask.

Well, whaddaya think the very first Hockey-Playing Caveman used for a puck, anyway?

[A belated Tip o’ th’ Elisson Fedora to SWMBO, who is responsible for inventing the concept of the Cockey Team. Yes, that’s my bride, folks: a gorgeous lady with a mind fully as filthy as mine.]

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