Rachel Homan shoots a stone during the Princess Auto Elite 10 semifinals on Sept. 29, 2018, in Chatham-Kent, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Homan: Mrs. White, in the arena, with the ping pong paddle

October 26, 2018, 3:40 PM

(Names have been changed to Clue characters to protect the innocent)

We have been fortunate to travel and explore Canada throughout our years on tour and see so many beautiful cities and towns. We have had so many memories on the road and sometimes we get to visit the same cities multiple times.

As we returned to the scene of the crime Monday, we all had a laugh as we passed the “Welcome to Truro” sign. Truro is a beautiful, sleepy town where nothing happens too quickly1. It has many beautiful views, trails and hikes that we explored during our week there. If we lived here we would hike Victoria Park every day.

We were here for curling of course so off to the rink we went and it was beautiful too! Little did we know the hospital across the street would prove useful in the days to come.

The competition all week was tough. The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling always attract the top teams in the world. We went 4-0 in the round robin, which ranked us first going into the quarterfinals2.

The men played their quarters first and so we watched their game on TV at the hotel when, let’s call him, Colonel Mustard, had his infamous slip. Nothing like this had ever happened before in curling, we were shocked and worried for him. Having the hospital located beside the arena was perfect and we hoped Colonel Mustard was OK! On tour, we travel together and see each other on and off the ice all the time, and as friends, we were truly concerned for him.

We went out to play our quarters and then on to the semis back to back. We played well enough to win that game and make the final.
We got up the next day for the final and played in the afternoon (I think). We had some time to kill, I remember that much, and we had heard about a ping pong table in the basement by the pool. We got some paddles from the front desk and headed down.

Mr. Green’s team (total coincidence that green is also the colour of Saskatchewan) was by the pool drinking some beer as they had lost out either in the semi or final3, and we headed to have some fun and not think too much about the final4.

Only one brave soul decided to take me on at ping pong, I’m pretty sure I’m as good at ping pong as I am curling (just ask Ben Hebert5). My challenger, Mrs. White, spent most of the time picking the ball up off the ground on her side, finding it challenging to make contact between the ball and paddle. This led to the major problem.

We were listening to music, chatting and “ponging it up”6, and had about 35 minutes until we had to leave for our game. Mrs. White went to go get the ball again from behind the couch, she bent down to get the ball and hit her head. When she stood up I looked at her and she looked pale and my stomach sank as blood poured down her face. To note, there was a piece of metal that stuck out from the back of the couch. This said piece of metal attacked Mrs. White’s forehead. We all ran to her and realized we needed a First Aid Kit so I ran to the front desk (meanwhile Mr. Green’s team continued to enjoy their cold beverages by the pool).

By the time I got back it was decided we needed to go to the hospital. The cut was deep enough that the bleeding wasn’t going to stop, not even with a pool towel (which probably meant she needed stitches). In the back of my head, I knew there was no way she would get admitted and have stitches in time for the game.

So Mrs. Peacock, our trusty driver, dropped Mrs. White and Miss Scarlett off at the hospital to see what the wait time was. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peacock and I went to Lawtons Drug store around the corner to pick up all the Band-Aids and glue that we could find.

Returning to the hospital, not to our surprise, Mrs. White was in line behind more pressing matters/emergencies. The nurse said to her that she needed stitches but this meant she would miss the game. The other option was that we glue Mrs. White’s head ourselves and see how it goes.

Mrs. White said she wanted to play (this also meant she could not go back for stitches after my surgical hands glued her head back together). Mrs. White entrusted her face with me and off we went to the arena.

Now, this may be TMI7, however, there was a lot of bleeding and deep cut that we needed layers of glue to hold it together8. One spot, in particular, I could see why the nurse said she needed stitches. However, it was nothing that over-the-counter glue and steri-strips couldn’t fix. We needed the layers of glue to dry and hold before applying the Band-Aids. We only wanted the cameras to see a Nelly look-a-like and not a Freddy Krueger. This meant Mrs. White had to skip practice and let her face dry.

The three of us went off to practice and the questions started immediately about why Mrs. White wasn’t with us. The managers that run all of our Slams are incredible people; They are there for us no matter what.

We explained what had happened and asked them to keep it a private matter until we decided what was going to happen. Of course, they got some questions and as women they knew the exact answer to make all men run in the opposite direction. They kept the matter private and only heard about their hilarious answers after the fact.

Mrs. White’s thoughts were I don’t want to have to talk about it now, I just want to focus on my performance and to get through this game. She wasn’t even sure if she could sweep at this point. The four of us wanted to play and perform our best for each other9.

Mrs. White went out with no practice, we gave her our best guess for weight and she made two perfect shots. No practice, no problem. She didn’t want to let the team down and of course, we would have understood if she wanted to sit this game out but she didn’t.

At the end of the fourth end, she turned to me and asked if it was leaking through the Band-Aid. I said, “Umm we should probably go fix that.” The blood was starting to seep through. We did a quick change, threw on some more glue to hold the wound together, steri-strips and a sweet tan Band-Aid so no one would notice10.

She played unreal the whole game leaking from her forehead and we went on to win our first Grand Slam title as a foursome11. Miss Scarlett was over the moon with her first win and the story behind it makes it memorable for us all.

Needless to say, the three of us had some drinks. Mrs. White was sticking to waters as she was walking a fine line between celebrating and her head hemorrhaging for the third time in one day. She was a trooper12 and went to celebrate with us in downtown Halifax. A great time was had by all and we were all in bed by 9 p.m.13

We headed off to the airport the next day. Those of you familiar with Halifax weather conditions, the unforeseen weather and delayed planes made it difficult for us all to get home as planned.

Nothing that week went as planned but we rolled with the punches and have lasting hilarious memories to share14. For those Sherlock Holmes out there I’m sure by now you can piece together the real names.

I hope you enjoyed our last blog post this week, the Friday Special Edition, brought to you by yours truly, Rachel Homan.

homan team

Did you decipher the clues and figure out who Mrs. White is? Maybe this picture will help. (Photo: Anil Mungal)


Footnotes


1. This is the first sentence of all unsolved cases I’ve ever read or watched. We should have known better.

2. All stats I had to look up for the following reasons: 1. I barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, 2. The looming event that is the topic of this story is burned in my brain, overshadowed the curling details.

3. I couldn’t find the answer in my research.

4. Miss Scarlett had never won a Slam before so she was feeling some nerves.

5. His name has not been changed as he is not innocent (see the Sheet Show for examples). However, if I were to change his name, let’s call him Professor Plum.

6. I doubt that this is a real term, but I like it and think it should be a coined phrase.

7. TMI = too much information.

8. New definition of blood sisters.

9. My other thought was I hope I don’t scar her forehead for life. Her doctor a week later said I did a great job, phew.

10. Large tan Band-Aids do not blend in and are clearly visible, see photo for example.

11. Not all heroes wear capes.

12. Let it be known her dog is also named Trooper.

13. By 9 p.m. we all know I really mean when the bar closed.

14. Hilarious after the fact and knowing that everyone is OK now and as beautiful as ever!

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