Tiring of our culinary options, Dr. M and I shuttled to a nearby hotel, where we enjoyed a fine lunch.
Until the check came.
That place was more expensive that our place.
And our place was ridiculous.
Awaiting the return shuttle to our hotel – “complimentary” to make up for twelve-fifty “Smoothies” – we were approached by a hyper-chatty “Car Jockey” from the place where we’d consumed our hideously overpriced lunch, eager to fill the time for a tip.
“What’s ‘Original Six’?” he asked, reading the crown of the cap on my head.
“The original six teams in the National Hockey League,” I explained.
“Oh, the Maple Leafs!” he crowed with Polynesian excitement, mixed with tropical incongruity.
“They’re one if them”, I coolly acknowledged.
I then removed my cap, showing him the included six original team “logos.” Which he began confidently to reel off.”
“The Red Wings, the Black Hawks, the Bruins…”
He then started to falter.
I then correctly filled in the blanks.
“The Canadiens and the Rangers.”
Quickly recovering his composure, the man deftly got my haole (non-Hawaiian) goat.
“What team won the most championships?”
“Montreal”, I droopily replied.
Adding redundantly, “We hate those guys.”
Earning a vindicating chuckle for himself while sending “Toronto Earl” into a failure-filled funk.
From which I quickly recovered.
“Just like Maui hates Oahu.” (Rivaling islands I knew were not pals.)
The Maui resident instantly caved.
“Oh yeah. We hate that place. We get what we need there, and we’re gone!”
Then I realized this phenomenon was less than unusual.
Everywhere you look, you find vying geographical entities:
Toronto – Montreal.
Maui – Oahu.
San Francisco – L.A.
New Orleans – Baton Rouge.
Bismarck – Fargo
Sao Paolo and Rio.
Moscow and St.Petersburg
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Melbourne and Sydney.
Venus and Jupiter.
To name just eleven.
And I am sure there are more. (You may be pondering an adversarial pairing right as we speak.)
Throughout the world – and arguably beyond – it’s
“We’re great, and you suck!”
A benign intense animosity.
The only difference was,
Ours was on skates.