For the record, I don’t manipulate games. When I posted earlier, I was mainly kidding and one part fearful. On one hand it would be just for a kid riding the euphoria of a birthday, to have that extra element needed to defeat a reigning champion like me. “Intangibles!”

On the other hand, I’m still finding out things I do and don’t do so well, and to what extent. I figured I might be in the game fine to start, but we’ve often battled to the point when the air turns off because of time, and neither player having seven goals yet. And that was before he was 8! I questioned my current level of endurance, and changed my game plan accordingly. (I also failed to have quarters ready*… But that’s okay, because it seemed to put me in the company of the attendees who received goodie bags at the end.)

Okay, so I was all about concentrating on defense and not wasting energy. (I usually go all-out with slamming and ricochets… And receive like-wise, along with a few flying pucks.)

The birthday fellow had some great shots-on-goals, but I was right there to stop them. (Now I’ve never been able to do the splits, but had this been a game on an ice rink, people would’ve been holding up acrobatic score cards in appreciation of what it took to deflect the shots. Fierce!)

What transpired, though, is something that left me with little pride beyond the realization my hand-eye coordination is still admirable on a flat, waist-level surface. My most worthy opponent happened to knock the puck in his own goal not once, not twice, but what I think was three or four times!

* I didn’t really expect him to play today, with his party and all.