For the past three days I've found myself in the grip of a second horrible, nasty flu since fall. I’m calling this one H2N2.

 

The last time, I suggested fellow sufferers plant yourselves on the couch and become flu divas for a day. The problem with trying this again in a three-month period is that: a) everyone still remembers how much trouble you were last time, and b) well, that’s it really.

 

I am happy to report though that my partner, Liz, is doing everything possible to help me recover by Saturday. The reason: Liz loves two things. Me. And hockey. I’m pretty sure in that order. Once a year she gets to have both together when the hockey league she plays in hosts its annual charity event, The Wives Game.

 

The Wives Game is a one-hour match played by the spouses, partners and friends of the regular woman players. You don’t have to be a wife to play. You don’t even have to be female. There are always at least a couple of men among us. The only criteria is that you can’t have any discernible knowledge of, ability in or talent for playing hockey. If you can’t skate either, so much the better.


Last year, our male goalie had to be helped to the net by his girlfriend and propped into position where I’m delighted to say, he ended the evening with a shutout. The fact that no one on the opposing team ever touched the puck didn’t diminish his triumph one bit. Sometimes, players refuse to come out for their turn, preferring to sit on the bench and chat, one woman saying, “What’s the point? We can’t score to save our lives.” I’m always surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs' coaches don’t have to deal with this more often.


Friends and partners of the players ante up $10 each to enter us in the game, then sit on the sidelines and call out supportive things such as, “You going to lie there all night?” Some of us have dubbed the event “Mocking for Money.”


Funds raised go to Gilda’s Club, a fine organization providing care for cancer patients, making it all worthwhile. And playing hockey lets out a part of me that sits on the sidelines for the rest of the year. Twice I’ve taken home the trophy for “Most Hell Bent On Skates.” And if my temperature goes below 101 come Saturday night, I’m looking for No. 3.