The Liarton Lyres old timers hockey guys were all sitting around the Jim Norton’s coffee shop after an early (9:30 am) game and someone mentioned how funny it was that times had changed with regards to our after hockey activities. The activities referred to was the after game beverages and how being retired, or in my case lazy, allowed us to enjoy after game drinks from a coffee bar instead of a pub, most of the time. There are advantages to enjoying a coffee and donut after a game in the morning, most of which will get you through a check-stop, unlike enjoying a few brewskies. We all had drinking stories about our adventurous younger years. While most of the tales were basically the same, there was a noticeable difference in some basic terminology depending on where and when we were born. Take the word “drunk” as for example. It can be used to describe a person or a condition achieved as a result of having “drunk” too much, but if you were from the Maritimes you could be eloquently described as possibly being “three sheets to the wind”. Three sheets to the wind describes an out of control tall ship as a result of three or more loose sheets (ropes) to keep sails taut… much like a drunk would stagger and reel. We have a few Mari-oldtimers on the team and there is no shortage of nautical synonyms for drunk or being drunk. “He had too much bait and could not navigate, so he was tacking all the way to his home harbour from the pub” apparently is a line from an Irish drinking song from the East Coast, according to St. Johns’ Johnny, one of our valued and aging center icemen. Another of our players, Stewey who hails from Manitoba, said that in his youth the term they used for being drunk was, “Having a snoot full” and if you were behaving stupidly you were, “Rum Dumb” or “Clobbered,” all of which are very descriptive…and accurate. We all agreed that there were common terms from all across Canada to describe the condition. Then we decided the most common term was, “Feeling no pain.” Feeling no pain is accurate, while under the influence but believe me when I say that changes the next morning. While deciding that “feeling no pain” was a most common phrase, there were many other universal words to describe some of our past drinking experiences. The Prairie boys on the team agreed that we might not have the descriptive poetry of the Maritimes to describe some of our adventures but that there was always truth in the terms used. Between about eight of us from the flatlands, we have been described in our youth as being intoxicated (a police term?), sloshed, bombed, potted (both ways), crocked, half-crocked, swacked, pickled, shellacked and one of us (Bubba, an old cowboy) had even been called tangle-footed. Tangle footed is how I usually dance regardless of how many drinks I have had…it is why I play in a band instead of dancing and if the truth be known, it is much safer for other dancers. After some reconsideration, tangle-footed does have a descriptive poetic sense to rival some of those Maritime sayings. Our team has a number of guys who have worked in camps up North and they have some rather poetic descriptions of their own. If you were drunk up North you could be, “Full as a tick,” “Hootered” or the epic, “One over the eight” which refers to being one whole point over the .08 limit for impaired driving. Northerners have also been known to get “Wastey pants” and “Arse over $%&” which are self-explanatory, but I needed some clarification about the descriptive phrase, “Getting Uncle Joe’s Cabin.” I was told that was as Northern as a “Sourdough Toe Cocktail” and that it meant drinking and misbehaving like you did when you went to your uncle’s cabin for a weekend…duh, if I had only thought for a moment. You may be thinking to yourself that the Liarton Lyres Old Timers are uncontrollable and dangerous and we are…when we are on the ice, but with an average age of seventy the 20 of us have about two-thousand years of drinking experience, most of which are but distant memories. We talk a good game with exaggeration, embellishment, and for the few of us whose doctors allow us, we still enjoy a brewski or highball but we have learned to do it responsibly, and usually at home. In the coming holiday season, the Liarton Lyres ask that if you drink, please leave the driving to the sober…cheers!