The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
It's all about family, as they say. No matter where life might take and what you may accomplish, it means nothing without having a close family member nearby to resent your success or relish your downfall, or perhaps both.
In that same sense, the National Hockey League will always be about The Original Six members, no matter how many teams Kentucky has. The league may get third cousins and have the gene pool diluted by consuming its own, but hockey will always revolve around and be about the founding Six Brothers.
To start, there's Marcel, who lives in Montreal and is the oldest and most successful of the six. His career path has both defined the family and torn it apart. Straight out of college, Marcel got a great job and had been steadily moving up through the ranks of his Fortune 500 company. That is, until 1993, which is the last time Marcel got any kind of promotion or wage increase. Still, most in the family thoroughly resent Marcel. Most arguments at the dinner table end with Marcel either opening his wallet or that darned 400-page photo album. Marcel often dines alone.
Second oldest is Tom, who resides in Toronto. He is slightly younger than Marcel but is light years behind him in talent and career accomplishments. Sure, there was a time when Tom and Marcel used to be very competitive but again, there's that photo album.
Tom went through a fairly awkward stage back in the early 70s when he had too much of the good life, fell into a very unhealthy relationship and has been paying on the accrued debt ever since. He lives in a very nice neighborhood and has a great job, but frankly, is mortgaged to the hilt. Marcel has offered to help, but Tom steadfastly refuses. Tom feels positive things are starting to come around for him, although the change has been 40 years in coming.
Danny lives in Detroit and is essentially the peacemaker of the family. Realistically, Danny and Marcel are more closely aligned in career aspirations, partly perhaps because they dress so similarly.
Danny, like Tom, had some real issues in the 70s and 80s, but, unlike Tom, used the counseling to positively overcome his addictions.
Danny is now married, has 25 wonderful kids (with more on the way) and has just added another wing to his wonderful homestead. Tom rarely visits.
Neil resides in The Big Apple and is the most starry-eyed of the bunch. His good looks have led him to amazing career success, but there have been instances where Neil relied way too much on those aesthetics. There was a time Neil was all about tailored suits, expense accounts and pedicures, but it wasn't until 1994 that he realized something was missing. That year he was re-united with the love of his life (he had a torrid affair back in 1940) and it's been relative bliss ever since. It is relative only in the sense that Neil's starting to like three-piece suits again and his love hasn't been seen in 12 years. Neil thinks she has an apartment across town, but rumor has it she's moved south.
Lastly, there's the twins. Bob, who lives in Boston, and Chuck, who is from the Windy City. One cannot talk about one without mentioning the other. Their lives mirror each other. Being the youngest, they have had enormously large shoes to fill and have horribly failed in doing so. Both had great jobs out of college, but have squandered away their opportunities through bad financial planning and utter career stagnation. Word has it Bob is an alcoholic, which means Chuck, sadly, won't be too far behind.
The twins are nothing if not ambitious and resourceful. Bob recently purged all the old suits (both of them) from his wardrobe in an effort to change his luck and Chuck bought a whole new set of lawn furniture and a BBQ, even though he never ever invites anyone over to the house to use it.
Oh, and in case you hadn't heard, Chuck just lost another job. Sounds like you might have a roommate very soon, Dan.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org