What you're about to read is vintage Hab It Her Way, written before HIHW was even a thing. I posted it as a note on Facebook one year ago, before individual game tickets went on sale. This year, I'm preparing those of you who'll try for ticket packages. A few of the references are now a little outdated, but I've decided to keep the original note as is. You probably won't be surprised by how strange it is. Enjoy.
So, tickets for all this season's Canadiens games go on sale this Saturday. Lunatics everywhere (myself included) will be stuck at their computers trying to buy tickets, spending their hard-earned money to be a part of history, or to boo the Leafs, or to see superstars in action (although chances of another Alexander Ovechkin ass goal might be a tad slim.)
Why am I writing a note about this, do you ask? Because it's an insane ordeal. It used to be complicated and then it became a nightmare. You have to access an "online waiting room" before tickets go on sale to even get a chance at buying them, then hope that you randomly get selected to buy tickets early so that you don't have to wait forever, and even at that, hope that the game you want isn't sold out, that you get the seats you want, and you have to choose quickly before the powers that be get angry, and of course, you can only get up to four tickets for one game on one credit card. It's barbaric. And on top of that, your aforementioned wish for a short wait probably won't be granted, and you're stuck at that computer for hours at a time, staring at a screen that doesn't ever change, watching as the most anticipated games sell out to those more fortunate than you, hoping it'll be your turn soon, begging the universe for reprieve, and generally hating your life.
(But they promise it'll be better this year. Fingers crossed.)
After trying for a ten-game package last year, then getting stuck in last year's "technical difficulties" fiasco, I've learned to be ready in case the process takes all day. (Because it might)
So if you're gearing up for an epic day of um, sitting, here are some ideas to get you through the day.
You're going to get hungry, especially since you have to be in the waiting room by noon (thanks for basically ruining lunch, HOCKEY. You really don't seem like a sport that would support brunch but whatevs, I won't whine).
Get your favourite snacks. And stuff that's easy to assemble and/or eat. I'm going to try and regulate my Nutella consumption.
Have something to drink handy, so that your throat doesn't get too dry while you stare at your computer screen and say "COME ON! WHY IS IT NOT MY TURN!" A bottle of water. Some caffeine to keep you going. A can of Molson, if you want to go meta and tip your hat to the Molson brothers. It's also a good choice if you're in the habit of drinking alone at home, in front of your computer, in the middle of the day. (... ?)
Maybe a sandwich or a bagel if you don't mind assembling it while THE BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE hang in the balance!
Don't eat anything too hot or messy (that's what she said).
PASSING THE TIME
I hope you have DVD-Rom (do people still not have DVD-Rom? I don't know) because obviously watching something will pass the time. Or Youtube. But what, you ask?
If you're going for a DVD, first of all, maybe don't watch it fullscreen so you can see your waiting room status whenever you want to. Also, you might want to make it something you've seen before. (Then again, I don't know what moron would be like "Hey, let's bust open this Mulholland Drive DVD just to help pass the time! I hope the movie's good")
I watched some Arrested Development on Saturday trying to get a ten-game package (I've been rewatching the whole series just because), and I definitely recommend it. Something you've seen before, that makes you happy, half an hour at a time? Nothing wrong with that, at all.
There'll be two episodes of Glee on the Global TV website by Saturday. Glee is delightful. Watch it. (Unless for some reason, you watch hockey but can't stand to hear "Don't Stop Believing," which would be messed up.)
Youtube is awesome for times like this: you only commit a few minutes to each video, and you can pause it, and ... Okay, I know you're familiar with the concept of Youtube so I'll shut up.
If stand-up comedy's your thing, stick to shorter clips in case the comedian's really funny. Half an hour of Carlin will zoom by, but if your punishment in the waiting room ends and you get through to buy tickets but somehow miss your shot, you've got no one to blame but yourself. (No, you cannot blame George Carlin. Doing so makes you a humongous douche.)
There's Jeff Dunham, comedian/puppetmaster (yes, that is his shtick, he makes funny and then brings out the Muppets on crack, and he's who everyone's husband got for Christmas if my days as a video store employee told me anything) who's funny enough to keep you entertained but he also won't Carlin you out of a Centennial jersey game.
If you want to keep it really short, probably the best 15 second clip I've found on Youtube is this. As if you haven't seen a Walken impression before, but still, funny.
Or, if you're going to spend an afternoon memorizing any song, make it "We Like Sportz." Because la ville est hockey.
Get some music, obviously. Last year I tried out like a dozen radio stations on iTunes and busted out a Beastie Boys cassette. Yes, a cassette.
If you're going to waste half a day for three minutes of ticket-buying, you need something to sing along to.
Make some playlists. How about those Canadiens.com "my playlist"s? You can choose one and just go with it (I won't tell you which player had the most songs on his playlist that were already on my iPod), or you can make some sort of huge massive combination of all of them. So do it. Henri Richard's is the most recent one so you should find links to all the others. Beware of the Milli Vanilli on Laraque's playlist, which is proof that truth is stranger than fiction.
Think of a new life for those player name and number T-shirts that you might not wear anymore this season because they're chillin' with Selanne, or you don't want to waste your patches and glitter paint covering up that "Higgins" with "Gionta."
Don't bother with anything but the first page of this article.
Make a headscarf, and then if you know any Rangers fans offer to make one out of their old Scott Gomez shirt and then you can have gang wars.
Or frame your shirt (I've already suggested this to some people, *cough*MY SISTER*cough*):
There are also instructions online to turn your shirt into undiepants but that seems a bit odd. Or maybe not. I don't know.
Do you have a laptop? Do you have a treadmill or a stationary bike? Stick the laptop on a table in front of your treadmill and walk while you watch the Centennial anniversary game sell out.
Clean your keyboard.
Paint your toenails.
Look at pictures of Chris Pine. (What? Who said that?)Dance!
Call up a friend, maybe someone you haven't talked to in a while, or maybe someone else feeling the sting of waiting more time to buy tickets than you'll probably spend watching a game (post-game stuff and CH Express notwithstanding), and sing them a really bad song. Like, just terrible. Try to get it stuck in their head. It's a terrible thing for one human being to do to another, but maybe it'll help pass the time.
Magazines. You can get out some Canadiens magazines and re-read them, or - even better - go buy a couple of ridiculous celebrity gossip rags and have yourself a laugh. Or just pick up a Saturday newspaper, I guess, but there'll be less crosswords with clues about Speidi and Dancing With The Stars, so that's your call to make.
Sure, you can just make witty Photoshops with pictures of players, but if that's not your kind of thing there are tons of other ways to pass the time while remembering why you're spending a lovely afternoon indoors.
You can do the hockey Youtube thing: watch Jeremy Roenick cry at his retirement press conference, watch highlight reels, rate stuff on Hockeyfights.com, watch fan videos (Mike Boone can tell you what all the good ones are... they pay him for that, because obviously the universe SUCKS), watch players get pied in the face... whatever you like, T.I.
Make lists. Who grows a good mustache? Who can breakaway like nobody's business? Who would you draft to be your ultimate NHL Rock Band musicians? Who'd be on your All-Star teams?
Make a card for Tom Kostopoulos to say how much you're going to miss him.
Look up anagrams to Habs players' names. There might be something funny, like how David Letterman rearranged spells Nerd Amid Late TV. Or Justin Timberlake makes I'm A Jerk But Listen. (Yes, this idea sucks, but they can't all be winners, can they?)
Go to shop.nhl.com and do not stop until you find the absolute ugliest, most ridiculous, most unbuyable item on the entire site. If this were football it'd be easy. Dog shirt with Michael Vick's name and number on it? Done. But maybe it'll take a little longer in the NHL shop.
Whatever you do, I'm hoping you don't have to wait too long and you get awesome tickets to games that turn out to be really great. I hope we win like crazy and kick some ass and make the highlights every night, and all that other stuff that hockey fans say.