Thursday, August 27, 2009

"It Was The Strangest, Strangest Thing"

I have a “Clock-CD.” It’s like the “clock-radio” I got for my Bar Mitzvah, except that with this, along with the radio, there’s a CD player. I like this thing. It allows me to wake up to the CD selection of my choice.

It’s a nifty appliance. And it only took me three months to figure out how to use it. That could be a record in this house. We are not very technological. We’ve owned a DVD player for a couple of years. We have an attractive mobile sitting on it.

Not long ago, my friend, Paul, surprised me with a wonderful present. It’s a CD, whose sole track contains the original theme song from Hockey Night In Canada. Hockey Night is a deeply rooted Canadian tradition. The games were my most reliable companion through my adolescent Saturday nights. The gift stirred powerful memories. No dates; great hockey.

Ever since I received the CD, I’ve been waking up to this energizing anthem. Which goes something like this:


“Da da-da da-da

Da da-da da-da

Da da-da da-da



“Da-da-da da da da-dahhh

Da-da-da da da da-dahhh

Da-da-da da da

Da da-da-da

Da da da-d…”

This may not be doing it for you. I have the melody in my head. But if you don’t, “Da-da-da da da’s” meaningless. Sorry. I got carried away.

I love that theme!

Go find it on the Internet. “Original Theme to Hockey Night In Canada.” It’s irresistible. It’ll make you like hockey.

My Hockey Night “wake-up” never fails to start my engines. Every morning, I jump out of bed and skate straight to the bathroom.

All right.

One morning, as usual, I hear the blast of this unmistakable Canadian call to arms. For several seconds, I allow its driving rhythm (and its soothing nostalgia) to wash over me. Then I reach over, and I press the button to turn it off.

To my surprise, in contrast to every other time I’ve done this, this time, the music doesn’t stop.

It just keeps going.

I press the “Stop” button again.

“Da da-da da da…”

The Hockey Night theme song continues to play.

I stop for a moment, trying to understand what’s going on. Then, suddenly

The music stops.

All by itself.

I have no idea what happened. I guess there was a “delay”, or something. What does that mean? I have no idea. But at least it’s over.

I start to sit up…

“Da da-da da-da…”

It’s back.

The Hockey Night theme’s, like, thirty seconds long. Apparently, the way it’s set up, after it finishes, the track stops playing for couple of seconds, and then, it re-starts. I thought it was over. But I was wrong. Because there it was again.

“Da-da-da da da da-dahhh…”

“Da-da-da da da daddle ahhhh…”

I begin pressing every button on my “Clock-CD.” But it does no good. The Hockey Night theme keeps playing. Then ending. Then playing again.

I’m starting to get agitated.

I love Hockey Night In Canada.

But it’s jangling my nerves!

I roll over in bed. I reach out to my “Clock-CD.” I press the button…

And it stops.

And it stays stopped.

I’m lying in bed thinking, “What the heck just happened?” Suddenly, it all comes clear to me. I realize why I’d been unable to turn off the music.

Apparently, immediately – and I mean mere seconds – before my “clock-CD” was programmed to wake me up, I was dreaming that it already had. The Hockey Night theme? It wasn’t real. I was hearing it in my dream. That’s why I couldn’t turn it off.

Imagine my perplexitude. In my dream, despite my greatest efforts, I was unable to turn off the music. And moments later, in the “awake” version, I could.

It was the strangest, strangest feeling. Like a hockey-themed Twilight Zone.

I wouldn’t categorize it as a nightmare exactly.

But I really don’t want it to happen again.

Postscript: And then it did.

When I was in the hospital, I had this I.V. thing in my arm. When I came home, the area where the I.V. had been felt extremely sore. In fact, my first night, I woke up from the discomfort it was causing. Surprisingly, when I was awake, the area barely hurt at all.

My whole life, I’ve been a huge fan of sleeping, preferring it, generally, to being awake. (Soothing snoozes, over bumps and bruises.) These experiences, however, have prompted me to seriously consider changing my allegiance.


MikeThe Blogger said...

Did Murray Westgate appear to you and sing the other national anthem of the time? ... “When your tires are humming and the motor purrs - and the wheels are turning and the thought occurs - that it’s good to be alive in this land of ours - good to drive in this land of ours - what a great great feeling what a wonderful sense - of pure enjoyment and of confidence - when there’s something you’re aware of - your car’s been taken care of - at the Esso sign of confidence - at the happy motoring sign.”

rms said...

Now I've got Hockey Night in Canada theme in my head. Ah, it's so Canadian. Thanks, Earl! It's our second national anthem.

Corinne said...

My friend had the theme as her cell phone ring.
She's also had "O Canada".

What I love the most in this post is the fact your wife doesn't mind this going off every morning- unless she gets up earlier?

Eddie said...

You can also hear the Hockey Night theme song at this website:

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you but that da-da-da-da-da song written by Dolores Claman was not the original HNIC theme song.

It was commissioned in 1968 as a replacement for the Esso Happy Motoring song after Imperial Oil ceased being HNIC's primary sponsor.

Those old enough to remember Foster and Bill Hewitt, Murray Westgate and Stanley Cup champion Leafs consider the Claman song to be the "new" HNIC theme.