During a work event on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina I was slapped with a degree of ignorance that shook me to my core. I was working a silent auction for a charity. I had time to view the items before the guests arrived. I may my way to the final table and screamed, in both horror and excitement, at what I saw before me.
There it was…a beautiful Carolina Hurricanes puck signed by my favorite player, Jeff Skinner. I was horrified as they had his number as #3 on the bidder sheet. #3! For Pete’s sake, he wrote #53 on the puck. I know it wasn’t a typo because the error was found elsewhere.
My shriek brought about some attention from the volunteers. One person came to look at the puck and asked, “Who is Jeff Skinner?” As if the Canes logo didn’t give it away.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor and smoothed my angry eyebrows, I was able to speak, “Who is Jeff Skinner? Who is Jeff Skinner?” I fired in a speed that would mock NASCAR, “Jeff Skinner is history in the making, the new Michael Jordan of North Carolina, soon to be named NHL’s Rookie of the Year, the youngest player to participate in the All-Star games, the 19 year old that scored 31 goals and 32 assists in his first professional year!” Deep breath. “Not to watch girthy biceps, dimples, and a smile that melts hearts!”
When I was confronted with nothing but confused glares, I explained he played hockey for the Carolina Hurricanes. A particular response brought my blood pressure to soaring heights, “Oh, well no one will probably bid on it if you want it.”
At this point my fingernails cut half moon crescents into my palms. The reality of that statement was the punch in the gut, because at the end of the night only one person made a bid. Of course, I easily outbid the person with a $90 payment for a good cause.
Yes, I was thrilled to drive back to Raleigh with my Skinner puck resting in my lap, but I wish it had not come at an ignorant cost. I just may make player cards to educate folks and pass them out at the mall, grocery store, movie theatre, bars, gas station, laundry mat, restaurant, strip clubs, china buffets…you get the idea.
Next year, I’ll be proud to be outbided by another hockey fan.