The year is 2012. The month is…let’s say NOVEMBER 2ND. The NHL lockout is now over and behind us and we never have to think about it again for another seven years. We all survived that Bristol Palin poker celebrity cruise show that aired on Sportsnet every night in place of NHL broadcasts. The locusts, in the end, were merciful invaders and moved onto greener pastures, leaving us with mere crumbs, which we devoured gratefully and without shame. But at least the Mayans were wrong, so high five on that.
Your Calgary Flames return to the Saddledome, refreshed and relaxed after an extended break away from the rink. With FlamesNation having a tremendous, some would say inappropriate amount of access to the team, coupled with the bluster to do what we want that only comes from knowing there’s no one out there who can stand in our way, we approached the Flames to provide us with short essays documenting how they spent their lockout vacation. Which is what we’re calling it now. Again, because we can.
Flames Nation is pleased to offer you another installment of The Flames Lockout Vacations. This week, Tim Jackman, and certainly not The Book Of Loob, recounts how he spent his time off.
Timothy Jackman III, Seafarer
Good morrow to you, elder statesmen of the brotherhood of Flames supporters, it is I, Tim Jackman, of the North Dakotan Jackmans, Captain of Industry and Third Line Pugilist, here to regale you with tales of wonder mixed with capitalist savvy, as I recant the exploits of my work sanctioned sabbatical from the game of ice hockey.
I did not sit idly by as the pedestrian antics of so-called billionaires rattled the foundation of a game beloved by so many. As you all know, the Jackmans are replete with a family history of wealthy industrialists, and I, being no exception, put my vast wealth and advanced societal status to good use. On my yacht. Oh, how the Jackmans love to yacht.
Why just three weekends previous, my entertaining vessel, the Jackman Overboard, played host to one of my legendary societal soirees, docked steadily along the shores of Lake Entrepreneurian, a freshwater blue superstructured at my behest. From space, Lake Entrepreneurian is made to look like a bust of my ever dignified fascimilie, and is quite certainly my most cherished Jackman-shaped possession I own.
I find these socials breathe new life into my depleted spirit, not solely because it gives me ample chance to discuss manufactory with like minded capitalists such as myself, but also as it provides an otherwise fleeting opportunity to break bread with one of my most adored associates, The Commodore.
"Commodore" I say, beneath the obtuse gravity of my own hearty bellow. "What news from abroad?" This is my standard greeting for the Commodore, as he affords himself only mere moments of time for these constitutionals before setting off in search of new territoty to liberate with self starting financial benevolence. A noble quest indeed.
"Alas, Dearest Jackman, it appears as though we may have spread the power of industrialism to all feasible lands. Perhaps my quest is nearing it’s inevitable conclusion" replies the Commodore, a hint of wist barely escaping his embouchement.
We two together gaze out across the blue yonder while clutching onto the solid gold rails of the Jackman Overboard, bristling, each letting our own silence lend credence to the interaction that our words are incapable of expressing. Even as the orchestra delicately navigated through Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, and the champagne fountain brooked ever so softly nearby, the growing quiet was the only palpable observation between the two of us.
"There’s only the two of us remaining" I utter after a brief pause, but the effect is not lost on the Commodore. "Stern is believed to have been left to the grim devices of the deepest parts of the Amazon,"
A moment of silence is observed out of respect to our dear colleague Stern.
"Indeed, you speak the truth, old chum" The Commodore’s tone now somber and concerned. "He was a good man. He was never meant to entwine himself into our pact. I never thought he would have outlasted as many of the Condor Guerilla Battallion as he did. Though I suppose that Sacred Elephan Skull and the fortune it promises does not award itself to the underdogs who finish a distant third, Jackman"
"Nor should it. It’s not in spirit with the pact"
The Commodore then excused himself to go give his regards to Lady Kyte, the grieving widow of the now expired Stern, leaving me to my thoughts as I watched the tide roll in thanks to the custom constructed Sea Machine installed at the floor of Lake Entreprenurian. I can sense now that the dynamic with the Commodore has changed. The playful banter will always be there, but the meaning is lost evermore. We are the sole two survivors, and human nature can only be denied so long. I will have to keep a sharp eye on him. He is a wily veteran, and has a deep understanding of sacred and mysterious agreements between former junta agents. Likewise, I covet those rubies promised to the winning survivor of the agreement, not for the financial reward, but in the spirit of competition and the championship it implies. Given the chance to spend a moment alone with the Commodore, outside the expanse of my lush sailing bateau unsullied by such dark intentions, I’m not sure if I would deign to gain a permanent upper hand over him to attain the spoils I so richly deserve.
Tim Jackman III, Philanthropist
When my thoughts shade themselves in such a black hue as they did after my encounter with The Commodore, I find the only method to recoup my mood is through charity and glad-tidings. Such actions come in all shapes and forms, and, you may be surprised to learn, are open to those of all walks of life, those with sizeable means or otherwise.
For instance, noted businessman and tycoon Ken King contacted me via Falcon Express a fortnight ago, banking on my aid in matters fiscal, hoping to pick but a crumb of knowledge from my vast cognition in the industry of prosperity.
Now I have under my employ several readily available men to think about these matters for me, but you do not become a pillar of success like I have without knowing the ins and outs of fortune better than anyone else. And the first rule, as told to me by my Grandfather, Timothy Tiberius Clementine Jackman during one of the many bedtime tales he would relay to me was "Never work for free"
But Mr. King is an associate, and a hapless one at that. If his public knew that I have been minding his books for years now he’d be a laughing stock, but I suppose I’ve let the cat out of the bag on that one, haven’t I? Funny, that.
"No Kenneth, you cannot write off the Calgary Hitmen as a business expense. They are not an expense. They are a business, and one you do not personally own. We’ve discussed this before at length. You are a mogul, I suggest you behave in the manner of one,"
My heart aches. As I roll up the parchment containing my reply and place it into the chamber affixed upon the meaty claw of the mighty falcon, I sense Kenneth is distressed, and such anguish usually leads to him pursuing a deeper interest into his hobby, managing a hockey team. He is rather inept at it, and I would offer my interjections and suggest he cease such a hopeless endeavor, but when Kenneth is in a mood, he’s rather unreachable mentally. My fear is that he will trade away young upstart and Jackman Overboard Pool Attendant Sven Bartschi, and I particularly loathe the interview process for new pool boys.
Tim Jackman III, Sportsman
But alas, fair Citizens, I am a competitor, and the fires of gamesmanship burn eternally from within me. It is in my very nature to compete, and to conquer, the way the Jackmans have done boldly and without mercy for generations now as we firmly plant our feet into the trenches of the upper echelon. As a member of the priviliged elite, it is my birthright to vye for more, and take it as I see fit.
Which is why the Jackmans have always been keen enthusiasts of the fox hunt. A noble tradition that may be inequitably banned in parts of Europe, there appears to be vague, almost transparent rules on the matter in North Dakota, a condition the Jackmans take great delight in superceding.
The sport of fox hunting, anecdotely, has been performed by sending out a militia of scent hounds to snuff out and execute foxes, while a team of handlers follows by on horseback, unarmed. I have never found this to be a favorable method of the hunt, as I prefer to live by the old adage "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself". Genetics is on my side in this matter, as they are in most, as my ample proboscis provides me with a vastly superior sense of smell than any average beagle.
Nay, instead I’m apt to lie in wait amongst the thicker foliage and let the foxes unassumingly come to me, where I apprehend and dismantle them swiftly and with impunity. I then signal my hunt aide, Sven, to come forward from his preselected place of ensconce and store my newly deceased trophy in my fox satchel. It is indeed a large and impressive tote, and it needs to be as I am fully capable of putting the fox population of the Midwest in grave endangerment territory.
Tim Jackman III, Everyman
In truth, friends, I was as pained as I trust you all were during this brief labour disruption. And indeed, while you lot took to the internet with bluster and rage, I retreated to one of my many estates to indulge in the finer points of being so many tiers finer of a gentleman than the totality of you people.
But in the end, the sport of hockey is where Tim Jackman keeps his heart, and no amount of polo matches vs. the Admiral McCarthy and caviar tastings could ever quell my insatiable desire for the frozen pond. It is with that essence that I return to the game I love, and why I write these words to you, the precocious middle class. Equillibrium is restored, brothers, let us never recant these dark times any longer.
Onbe last thing though, I also took up cage fighting, and I will kill any last one of you who looks at me funny. Seriously. Try me. Come at me bro, I will end you.