One hundred and fifty pounds soaken wet …
That was Petr Svoboda when he arrived in Montreal. A defected Czech. Not defective.
Thrown onto the ice and into play barely able to stand against a stiff wind; weight-wise. Teams around the league took advantage of his skinny – ness. They hit him. They hit him hard. Time after time, Svoboda got up and skated away. Boy could he skate …
A ballerina on ice if their ever was one. Beautiful to watch for a Habs fan – a nightmare for forecheckers with grit and weak skating skills. Svoboda would spin, Svoboda would seemingly skate on one foot and lay elegant crisp passes onto a streaking mate’s stick. Svoboda learned to read the play and avoid the hits.
Petr Svoboda was here to stay.
It was a Friday night. An evening commonly reserved for the Montreal Canadiens to charter a short trip to Buffalo, N.Y. If it was the end of the week with Saturday nearer than a snowflake to the tip of a tongue in a bitter snowstorm – the Habs, more times than not – in the land of Perreault’s old club.
On one particular Friday, a delivery was ordered to a house in the suburbs of Montreal. A wealthy area by the name of Kirkland, Qc.
The order? Two large pizzas. One all dressed – the other; pepperoni with extra cheese. The delivery driver recognized the name on the bill. It was the name of a Czech defenceman. One of two brothers raised by a certain Mr. And Mrs. Svoboda. Petr was hungry, the delivery guy had a Honda and the pizzas were hot!
Svoboda of the Canadiens, not brother Karel ( although later, the younger sibling would have a sip of the water bottle in the Montreal organization), had been injured for about a week. A bum knee, not a lower body injury as they call it today. The delivery guy knew of the rearguard’s misfortune. Svoboda unaware of the delivery guy’s fortune. Number twenty- five of the Habs was about to find out.
Steaming hot pizzas on the passenger seat, jokers in the right hand lane – the Mikes Pizza guy was on his way …
At that time, a thirty- minute guarantee was in effect. The delivery guy snoozes? The delivery guy and his boss loses. Simple. To the point pizza rules. Part guarantee, part excitement got the pizza employee at the house on time. The boxes containing Petr’s pizzas prim, proper and priced at twenty bucks a piece. ” Two twenty dollar bills for Mikes – a ten dollar tip for the bearer of good eats” thought the driver as he grabbed the meals and headed toward the home.
There were two Cherokee Jeeps in the driveway. ” His and hers?” Wondered the employee. He glanced at the size of the home. A beautiful mansion – like edifice smack dab in an area of Kirkland named Timberlea. Just like that – the tip augmented to twenty in the full time student’s mind.
He approached the door. He grabbed the knocker and knocked. What else is a knocker for?
Several minutes passed. The door opened. To the shock and satisfaction of the twenty- two year old, a beautiful blonde stood before him. ( No – it was not Petr Svoboda, not that there is anything wrong with that).
The driver fumbled his words. In the space of three minutes, he had come upon three knockers – two if a set is considered as one …
The Mikes’ employee had always heard about the beauty of Svoboda’s wife. The Internet was not mainstream, nor was the Swedish beauty that stood before him. A photo of the defenceman’s bride uncommon. She had blue eyes like the sea on a clear day. Framed elegantly with blonde bangs spun from gold. A fantasy in many a man’s dreams.
“Um … That’s forty dollars please!?” The driver awkwardly stated / asked.
“Sure thing ‘Hun’ …” Her words floating through the air like rose petals in a summer’s breeze. ” Darling … Could you bring me my purse please? ” The arc of her back turning to the delight of the delivery guy.
Already aroused, the driver was now excited! Petr Svoboda was on his way. An autograph, a stick – maybe even a photo was in store along with a hefty tip from the wealthy player. As a young man, he was in the company of a goddess and a hockey player – right now, his life was very good.
He heard footsteps as him and the blonde shared awkward glances and weak banter. As the footsteps drew near, a relief was felt for both. What does a model say to a delivery boy and how does a delivery boy say the right thing! His hands lowered in front of his crotch to hide the truth …
If he were not happy before, the present moment made him down right giddy. There, just feet in front of him, side by side with ‘the fantasy’, stood another Swedish babe with a purse in her silky hands. He had not been drinking. Of that he was sure. He was not seeing double – he was seeing double. Two statuesque women stood in front of him with golden smiles. He needed a drink – a double.
“Heaven is a nice place …” He thought quietly.
Anti- climatic Crime?
“How much is it?” One blonde asked the next.
“Forty …” Replied one blonde to the next.
“There’s a joke in here somewhere …” Thought the delivery boy.
The ‘new’ blonde reached into her purse. Following a brief discussion over the payment which contained words such as ‘ my turn’ and ‘ no way’ – the new blonde handed two twenty dollar bills to the delivery dude. He accepted them, placed the bills in his pocket and smiled.
Blondie and blondette smiled. He smiled back. They smiled some more and on it went for a few minutes. No words – just a lot of teeth.
The delivery guy was waiting for a tip. He was also waiting for a glimpse of Petr Svoboda. Neither Czech ( cheque ) appeared.
” Um …is Petr Svoboda here?” He asked. ” I am a big fan, I was wondering if I could get an autograph?”
Blondie one responded.
” He’s in Buffalo!” She exclaimed, knockers knocking with intermittent giggles. ” If you are a fan you should know that …!”
The delivery guy took an immediate disliking to the blonde – goddess or not …
Rather than explain his reasoning, the pizza guy turned and grabbed the door handle. He turned it slow, giving the utmost opportunity for a tip to be delivered. He shuffled through the door. The entire time – hoping for a gratuity from the two ladies.
There he stood outside. Door closed. No tip, no kiss, no fantastical ‘menage a tri – color’s wife’. Not now, not never.
To say the delivery guy was mad is an understatement. A rich hockey player’s wife did not put out! Nor did her and her friend put out. Svoboda himself was not here, he had a fifteen minute ride to the restaurant with gas money that was brief. He started to walk away from the door, the knocker and the knockers …
He came upon one of the Cherokees. His own car keys in his hand. He was angry and what happened next can be directly attributed to the non – Swedish tip.
He took his keys. Starting fom the front of the green Cherokee – he placed the tip of his ignition key upon the paint. He looked around to see if anyone was watching. The coast was clear.
Walking on a downward slope, the delivery guy placed pressure on the front side panel. Slowly adding strength as he walked; the pizza guy commenced putting a scratch on the Svoboda’s family car (one of). Satisfaction replaced surliness in the boy’s heart. Rationality replaced the criminality of his actions. He was, in his very own way – stealing from the rich and giving to the poor!
He was all right with that …