Stantastic Voyage

Dan & StanI feel the need to clear up a nasty rumor that could cause serious harm to my reputation in today’s toe-the-line politically-correct universe. Recently I was accused of having an obsession with big breasts. Allegedly, according to the anonymous source, I was overheard going on about “D Cups.”

For the record, what I was really saying was “The Cup.” As in the one-and-only Stanley Cup, the oldest and most recognized trophy in professional sport. Lord Stanley’s Mug, as it is often affectionately referred to, was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston, who was Canada’s Governor General at the time. Actually, it was Lord Stanley’s kids, who had been turned on to hockey by their Canuck friends, who pestered their dad into commissioning the prize. Originally presented to “the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada,” since 1926, it’s been the prize trophy of the National Hockey League.

mea maxima cupa Since my firm starting doing work for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992, the Stanley Cup and I have, well, I like to think grown close. Oh, sure, you may see photos in the paper (never mind the hundreds I’ve posted to the Hockey Hall of Fame website) of sweaty, buff young guys planting their kissers all over Stan, but I know they’re just passing affairs, albeit passionate ones.

And although I’m not family, and not one of his official white-glove-wearing keepers, nevertheless Stan and I have something special — a deep-seated, long-term bond that comes from working closely together for almost 20 years. Hell, I even know how to tell Stan apart from his stand-in doppelganger.

To quote the other Gump (the one who never drank from the Stanley Cup): “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

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Don’t Let Bullies Kick Sand In Your Faith

Celebrate life. Seek the light. Church of Phasmatia.Excluding the fact that some faiths (I’m not mentioning names here because I don’t want to get killed) take themselves so seriously you wouldn’t dare ridicule them in public, one possible measure of whether a religion has hit the mainstream might be when people start telling jokes about it. So, the other day I heard my first Phasmatian joke, and that’s when I realized that the Church of Phasmatia has finally arrived.

The joke goes like this:

A Phasmatian priestess, a Roman Catholic priest, a rabbi, and a Buddhist monk walk into a bar. After a few drinks, the Catholic observes, “Celibacy is the cornerstone of our priesthood. I’ve been celibate for thirty years.”

“That’s nothing,” says the Buddhist monk, sipping on a mocktail, “I entered the lamasery when I was only a boy. Not only have I been celibate my entire life, but I was also celibate in my previous two lifetimes.”

“Oy vey,” says the rabbi, shaking his head. “Celibacy is not desirable for a cleric. Marriage is important, and not just to resist temptation, for how else can you truly understand the workings of a family. I have been married for forty years, and although my wife’s nagging gives me a constant headache, never have I even so much as looked at another woman, for lust and adultery are sins.”

The Phasmatian priestess finishes her drink and looks at her companions. “We Phasmatians not only believe that sex is not a sin, but we teach that it’s a celebration of life to be embraced. In moments of sexual ecstasy we approach communion with The Universal Spirit. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been celibate for almost two hours, and I’ve got to be getting back to the orgy.”

Four Phasmatians walk out of the bar.

It’s no surprise that it is the Phasmatians’ liberal-minded attitude towards sex that generated this humor, given that dirty jokes are universally one of humankind’s favorite pastimes. It would be easy to start complaining about all the positive and deeply spiritual aspects of the religion that are being glossed over by this stereotyping, but I’ll focus on the positive and let it slide. I guess it fits in the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” department. Anything that brings Phasmatia to people’s attention is a good thing, and once they have a chance to explore the religion further, they may be converted.

Now, perhaps some of you are wondering why I’m standing up for Phasmatia, given the way I’ve been vilified by them, and the threats that have been issued against me. Well, I guess that falls under the category of tolerance. Every religion has its deplorable fanatics, but we should learn to separate the fundamentals of a faith from its fundamentalists. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be on our guard, or resist those that attack us, but at the same time we need to be careful not to prejudge others of that faith. And that’s no joke.