A tasty bit from a review with a long title about a book with a long title.
But then I am reminded of my friend — the one whose nose fills with the smell of beans whenever she hears that old hockey song. It was her mother, after all, who insisted on watching the game on Saturday nights, just as she had done with her family growing up. If hockey is our national pastime and a key aspect of our culture, we would do well not to forget half the population. Most women’s games may not get national media attention — they may not even be televised — but if you focus on them, you will see that the players are skilled and the games lively and hard-fought. All that is left is for someone to write about them.
“Rinkside Reading: what does hockey’s literature say about the sport?” in Literary Review of Canada by Naoko Asano reviewing Stephen Smith Puckstruck: Distracted, Delighted and Distressed by Canada’s Hockey Obsession.
To get the full impact of the olfactory memory and the import of the review’s concluding musings on gender and sport you need to treat yourself to the domestic scene painted by Asano at the beginning
A friend once told me something funny about the old Hockey Night in Canada them song: whenever she hears it, the smell of baked beans wafts up her nose. It is a uniquely Canadian kind of synesthesia, the product of Saturday evening dinners in the 1980s and ’90s when her father — it was his night to cook — always made the same meal: hot dogs, french fries and beans. Saturday was the lone night of the week when TV was allowed during dinner, and the TV was only ever tuned to hockey. Hence the game’s anthem and the aroma of Heinz beans in tomato sauce.
My dad was not one to open a can of beans (though he did cook on occasion but never beans [beans were done by my mom from scratch with molasses]). My mom loved hockey. Her favourite player was Jean Béliveau. He was always a gentleman.
And so for day 1309