A Real Problem
By Jimmy Garoufalis
I showed up extra early for
my game against Freezer 10. And it wasn’t because I had to mentally prepare
for my former teammates. I had been warned many times that my brain should be
used only when absolutely necessary and I had always followed this advice.
I showed up extra early so
I could speak to Real Paquette. I had a problem with Real.
When Sylvain Leonard had
asked me to join Freezer 10 a few weeks earlier I had some concerns. I had been
worried. I had felt uncertain.
I had been hesitant to join
Freezer 10 because of Real Paquette. Why? Because of Real Paquette. Wait I already wrote that.
But why? Real was a journalist. That’s why. For Regent’s
website. I was intimidated by Real. Real
had influence. Real had too much influence.
Real’s specialty was
to write anything he wanted about anyone. Everybody loved Real. Everybody. No exceptions. Whatever Real wrote was considered the truth.
What I loved about Real the
most was his flair for portraying people negatively. I loved seeing CASC members
squirm when Real was tapping his keyboard. Let those people suffer. I didn’t care. Everybody loved Real anyways, right?
But what I did not like about
Real was his willingness to describe me in a negative way. I did
not love that about Real. I felt it was unfair to place me in that position. I had done nothing to deserve it.
recaps always mystified me. While obviously talented, Real’s writing tendencies
verged on the exasperating.
Real didn’t concern
himself with accuracy. Oh no, not at all: he didn’t believe in the concept.
Real didn’t believe
in basic journalistic principles: he would much rather use cheap entertainment tactics to amuse and please the reader without
performing any hard work such as research and questioning.
Real didn’t write paragraphs:
he wrote short sentences.
Real didn’t summarize
conversations: he fabricated quotes to advance his storytelling techniques.
Real used the colon excessively
for no apparent reason: he considered the colon to be a quality unique to himself.
I finally got a hold of Real
Paquette during the warm-ups. I asked him why he had written what he had written.
“What are you talking
“Your inaccurate description
of me. In your recaps of January 17th, February 21st and
February 28th to be precise.”
“Oh you mean when I
called you “Jimmy ‘The Greek God’ Garoufalis.”
“Exactly. It was inaccurate.”
“You’re right. It was absolutely wrong to call you a God. I
“Oh no. I’m okay with that. It’s the Greek part that was
“My parents were born
in Greece. I was born in Montreal. Therefore
I am a Canadian citizen. Your recaps were inaccurate. All three recaps. I’d like an apology.”
“But it’s so
much cooler to say ‘Greek God Garoufalis’. G followed by a G followed by another G. 3 G’s. Just like Triple H in wrestling. I call it illustrative alliteration. I call it an homage.”
“I call it slander.”
“But it was full of
poetry and prose.”
“It was full of something.” I was going to be the bigger man even if it killed me.
Dying then and there only meant my weekend would be ruined. This was about
Real and I reached a compromise. Real agreed to describe me in future as “Jimmy ‘The Canadian Citizen born
of Greek Parents’ Garoufalis”. It was rather simple to negotiate
since both Real and I felt that the new nickname rolled off the tongue just as easily as “The ‘Greek God’
The game itself was inconsequential
to what was truly important: Real learning an important lesson. To never undermine
his endless brilliance by placing continuous limitations on himself. And I also
gave Real the greatest gift of all: the freedom to write anything he wants about me, as long as he is very very careful. Real called it restricted carte blanche, which is what every journalist craves.