A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Once upon a time in a great northern kingdom, there was a magical city called Vangroovy. The people there were totally cool because they lived in the most wonderful city in the whole mystical world. They had mountains to climb and oceans to sail; tall trees they loved to hug and beautiful weather all year round. They lived on raw fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. They drank delicious local wine and spent their weekends smoking medicinal herbs and watching David Suzuki on TV. Vangroovy would have been paradise, indeed, except for one thing – all the people in the great northern kingdom suffered from a terrible sadness. Their holiest relic, an ancient Cup given to them by a wise statesman named Stanley, had been stolen. Years before, a wicked troll named Gary had borrowed the Cup to share with his southern friends, and now he wouldn’t give it back. Each year, the cities of the great northern kingdom sent their best knights to make war on the armies of the evil troll and retrieve the holy relic, but each year he’d find a way to defeat them. Many great knights fought in these Winter Wars – Sir Alfredsson, Sir Iginla, Sir Roloson (to name just a few) but all to no avail. Twice the Knights of Vangroovy had come close to beating the armies of the wicked troll and seizing the holy Cup. But in the end, the great Roger of Neilson was forced to surrender, and even the mighty Quinn was defeated. A dark cloud hung heavy over the land.
One day, two young magicians from a faraway place called Ikea, came to Vangroovy. They were named Hank and Dank. They said, “We are young now, but as our powers grow, we will use our magic to fight the evil troll. Who will fight with us?” Many young knights stepped forward — Sir Salo, from the timeless land of Selanne, Sir Jannik the Dane and Sir Raymond the Swift. More knights joined them: Sir Lou from the Holy city of Montreal, and three friends from the land of the Moose — Sir Kevin, Sir Alex and Sir Kesler the Grim.
“We are ready to fight,” they said, “but who will lead us?”
One man spoke, “I, Coach V, Alain de Vigneault will lead you. Follow me!”
For four long years, the war raged. Each year, the Knights of Vangroovy won many victories, only to be thwarted — again and again — by the wicked troll and his minions, the Red Wings, the Ducks, and the evil Chicago Blackhawks. But the power of the Knights of Vangroovy was growing and the wicked troll sensed his time had come. He called on his Centaurs to help him. Half man, half zebra, these beasts used their awesome power to punish the Knights of Vangroovy and turn the tide of battle against them. Many brave knights fell in those years: Sir Markus of Naslund, Sir Willie, Mattias of Ohlund and the greatest of them all — Sir Trevor of Linden, who had fought side by side with the Mighty Quinn in the Battle of MSG, in ’94. But always there were other courageous warriors to take their place: Sir Edler, Sir Ehrhoff, Raffi the Relentless, Hamhuis the Soft Spoken and the valiant Malholtra. The war continued.
Now the Knights of Vangroovy are within sight of the Cup, once again. There have been many casualties; the knights are battered and bruised, but they have defeated the evil Blackhawks, the Predators and the Sharks. With the help of Gillis the Magnificent, they have silenced the Centaurs and hold them at bay. Now they face their greatest enemy. The Cup is guarded by the ferocious bear cavalry of Boston, led by a giant and by Timothy of Thomas — a wizard with no bones. This is the final battle. There will be no prisoners, no quarter sought or given. The wounded will remain and fight — or die — where they stand.
“Troll! Hear us! The Cup is ours, and we’re coming to get it. Stand and fight. We will not be denied. So cry ‘Louuuuu,’ and loose the dogs of war.”