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A Real Problem

By Jimmy Garoufalis


March 14th


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.


Real’s 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 about Jimmy?”


“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 apologize”


“Oh no.  I’m okay with that.  It’s the Greek part that was wrong.”


“Excuse me?”


“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 something more.


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’ Garoufalis”. 


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.