It's high school all over again.
It's Friday night, another dance celebrating the school's big win over our cross-town rival or, perhaps, in today's ultra-sensitive world, it's something about hugging baby seals in a rainforest.
We're all on the gymnasium floor watching that kid who has absolutely no rhythm spastically dance the exact same way to every song that plays. People are staring at him. He thinks he's good. That's one theory. Paramedics are standing by.
And then there's the new girl Â– let's call her Las Vegas. To put it bluntly: Las Vegas is hot. You can't help but stare at her. She's glitz and glamour personified. Everyone loves Vegas, but she comes with baggage. There are seedy stories about Vegas, not the type to up your street cred considerably, but stories that make most everyone wary of approaching her - the old what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas sort of thing. Still, she's patently hot and the line is starting to form.
On the other side of the room sits Chet Â– captain of the football team Â– who goes by the nickname NBA. He too thinks she's hot, but is really worried about these tales. He's recently been through a rough time himself and he'd prefer to start building some positive PR before he's inexplicably linked to Al Qaeda or something. He's incredibly cautious, to say the least.
And then there's that really dweeby kid, NHL, who pretends to be cool but would eat worms for spare change if it would improve his social status, even incrementally. Thing is, NHL is connected. His dad is like a big player in certain areas Â– has the coolest clothing store in town; owns the arcade; has a real history and presence in the smallest of circles. If people could bypass NHL to get to his Dad they would. Unfortunately for everybody but the boy himself, NHL is the conduit to cool. Getting him on your side is like painting the basement floor in The House of Cool.
NHL thinks Vegas is hot. He would grab Vegas in a gerbil's heartbeat, but has to play this sly and coy and to pretend she needs to win him over. He holds his pencil like a cigarette. He can't even act cool.
Vegas thinks NBA is hot. She knows he's the quickest ticket to social royalty, but also the hardest ticket to get. She bats her eyes at him from across the room and flashes a smile. He ignores her like a polar bear ignores the salad bar. He has definite interest in her but Â– again Â– there's that reputation.
What NBA needs is a sacrificial lamb.
What Vegas needs is a sacrificial lamb.
I think NHL is about to ask her to dance.
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