Ice On The Brain

So I’m sitting here with a bag of frozen pierogies on my head.


Because the laziest hockey blogger in the blogosphere recently got a hair transplant.

Yes. That’s me. Lazy and balding. Creatively-challenged and follicly-cursed. It’s not easy for a woman to admit this, so I’ll just share it with you, dear, dedicated Hockey Independent readers.

And, I owe you an apology for my laziness. I wrote at the beginning of last season that I would blog regularly. Then life and the job and writer’s block and the Islanders ginormous losing streak got in the way. But this season should have fewer injuries and a few more bright spots. Maybe that’s the optimist in me talking. Or maybe it’s the Vicodin. Who knows. What I do know is I can’t wait for this season to get started.

I realized I was in full hockey mode (Baseball? What baseball? The Mets played this season? In uniforms and everything?) while I was getting my transplant done. You see, turns out a transplant is an 8-hour process, and you get to watch TV while they sew new hair into your head. That’s right. I said into, not onto. And, yes, you’re awake while they do it. Drugged, but awake. In order to earn my TV rights I had to endure a number of shots to the back of my head a.k.a. the donor area (why they barely hurt at all!) and then a bunch to the front of my head a.k.a. the grafting area (HOLY CRAPBAGS did they hurt!!!…but only for a few seconds) until my noggin went numb. Then the surgeon, the wonderful Dr. Anthony Mollura, made 1,350 incisions in my head, which thanks to my anesthesia helmet, I couldn’t feel. After all that and an on-the-house lunch (I like to think the surgery was free and I ate the world’s most expensive turkey sandwich), I finally held the remote in my hands.

Now thanks to occasional stints of unemployment, I’ve gotten to know daytime TV. And I hate daytime TV. I wasn’t going to sit there trapped in a chair watching game shows or soaps or cartoons or people sitting around a coffee table yabbering and jabbering away (I get that expression from my Australian family, fair dinkum). I have zilch attention span, and even on a controlled substance I can’t sit through daytime television. What was I going to do?

Finally, I found a rebroadcast of a Rangers preseason game. “Mind if we watch hockey?” I asked the two nurses working on my head.

“Not at all, sweetie. You watch whatever you want.”

They were friendly young women who admitted they knew nothing about the game, but seemed very interested that I write about the Islanders and have met a good number of players through the Booster Club. After the conversation died down a little, one of them suddenly asked, “Have you seen Crosby?”

Crosby? Wow. Could it possibly be that even with their self-admitted non-existent hockey knowledge, they actually DO know the name of the sport’s biggest star? That’s a good thing! Hockey names becoming household names! Save our sport! Viva la Zamboni!

“No, I’ve never met him,” I said, “but I’ve seen him play.”

There was a super awkward pause until one nurse said, “Umm…Crosby is a guy we work with. I was asking her if she’d seen him come in today.”

I laughed at the uncanny coincidence. “Wow. That’s the name of one of the top hockey players. Sidney Crosby. He plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Well, he’s hurt right now. There you go. Now you do have some hockey knowledge.” Vintage Brenna. Always spreading the good word. Hallelujah.

Plus, you gotta admit, that’s real dedication. Watching preseason hockey during surgery? C’mon. I hope that wins me back the few points I lost not blogging for a year. Please, dear reader, consider it. Anyway, I did get to talk hockey during the procedure with the head nurse, Chris, who came in to relieve one of the others (it’s such an arduous process that you literally have a personal team working on you, and they switch off with each other to take breaks).

Chris sat down and upon noticing the TV, asked, “Are you a hockey fan?”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Rangers?” he asked.

“Nope. Islanders.”

“Really?” he said, surprised. “Well, I hope we can get along, ’cause I’m a huge Ranger fan.”

Now I needed to choose my words carefully. “Well, let me tell you two things. First, I won’t tell you how this game ends…”

“So you’re telling me the Rangers lose?”

“Uhhhh, maybe, but do NOT allow that very accurate and undeniable fact to disturb your focus!” I quipped. “And secondly, while you are sewing through the flesh on the top of my head, I too am a Ranger fan!”

Hey, there’s no fooling around here. I am more than willing to switch sides when we’re talking incisions and needles and blood. Chris laughed at my good-humored paranoia.

“What do you think I would possibly do to an Islander fan?”

That’s when I envisioned my head in my head. I see it – clear as day – six months from now – my little niece saying to me, “Aunt Brenna, your hair is starting to grow in! Hey, it looks like it says something…”

“…Aunt Brenna, what does ‘POTVIN SUCKS’ mean?”

It took 1,350 holes in the head and a bag of frozen pierogies to inspire me to write about hockey again.

Call it a case of ice on the brain.

Let’s get this season started.


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Filed Under: New York IslandersNew York RangersSatire


About the Author: An Islander fan since first grade, Brenna is waiting for the glory days to return. God-forbid the Islanders move, she's praying they leave a casino in their wake, so that she can drown her sorrows at the Let It Ride table. And boy, is she a lousy gambler.

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