Ryan and the Technicolor Wardrobe
Short Stories and Essays

Woody Allen coined the famous phrase “If you want to make God laugh, show him your plans.”  Sometimes, we curse the heavens regardless if we believe if someone lives up there or not.  If you do believe in the man upstairs, I advise you not to shake your fist in anger at him or he will smite you readily with his right hand.  On one fateful day, I looked up at the sky and said “Let this Match.com subscription bring me at least one meaningful relationship, or I’m going to order NHL Center Ice (approx retail price: $171.80), wear my Zack Parise Minnesota Wild jersey every day after I get home from work, and let myself go until the hockey season is over.”  By letting myself go, I mean: parking myself on the couch, eating a steady diet of liquid nacho cheese, and drinking a lot of beer.  Now, I didn’t hear God’s voice that day, but if I did, I assume our conversation would’ve gone something like this:

“God, did you hear me?”



“Ryan, have you heard of the phrase ‘Don’t bargain with the devil?'”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Don’t bargain with God either.”

My Match.com subscription proved to be fruitless, which despite my best efforts, was not a total surprise.  I wasn’t even asking to find “the one”, but one relationship that would justify me paying for a few months of dating roulette.   I spent a lot of money and drove a lot of miles to no avail.  There were more train wreck dates than not, and my subscription ended with me nursing my damaged ego.

Then there was the NHL lockout.  The NHL lockout prevented me from being able to watch any hockey, let alone any local games.  While I won’t be melodramatic and say that I was miserable, I felt like I’d been given a raw deal.  Instead of getting option ‘A’ or option ‘B’, I got option ‘C’, “none of the above.”  I was without a girl or an escape.  Either God needed to buy himself some time, or he was trying to teach me a lesson.  Seeing how he is an omnipotent being, I’ll stick with the latter.

I’ve always had a bit of skepticism whether God was ever listening or not.  I know that he’s not Santa Claus, but I’ve never seen many of my prayers answered, especially during Finals Week  in college.  Now, I can say, with much confidence, that he’s listening, and if you want to challenge him, he’s going to show off a pretty wicked sense of humor while bringing you down a peg.  I learned the hard way, and now all I want, is for hockey to come back.


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