21 May 2015

Unruly - Basketball Night in Canada Chapter 1 - Commentary

A new episode* has started!  Please read "Miracle on the Courts" first before continuing.

For those just joining, welcome!  Everyone else, welcome back!  Basketball Night in Canada has started.  It was started during NaNoWriMo 2014 and was completed during Camp NaNo in April.  It's a longer stint, too, but hopefully still interesting.

The episode starts with Laura having a crisis, Caitlin and Autumn being jealous of their new roommate and unusual news for Skye.  Laura's crisis comes from personal experience, though she's getting far less sympathy than I did.  Mr. Baker, the English teacher, has an effect on the girls, though not all.  Laura seems to be immune.  Caitlin?  Not so much.

The poor junior taking the schedule to the basketball team has foreseen Skye's questions and has, in a bored tone, answered them.  The unasked questions:  "Is it for real?" and "Are you sure?"  The FAQ is a nice touch and has such answers as, "No, it's not April," and, "Just read the damn schedule."  It even saw Autumn's question coming.

I keep mentioning this, but Simcoe Secondary School doesn't exist.  The name appears throughout southern Ontario, thanks to John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.  Simcoe established the legislature in York, now known as Toronto**, thus ensuring that his name would be on streets and schools throughout the region.  Is there a Simcoe Secondary in Ontario?  Yep.  One in St. Catharines and a Simcoe Composite School in Simcoe.  None in Oshawa.

Caitlin takes the news in her normal way; she starts looking at how it can be used for her own ends.  It's something she can't control.  Caitlin always has a plot or a scheme.  It's like breathing for her.  She is keeping her promise; Skye should have worded her request better.  Laura is getting a great lesson about phrasing requests here.

I had to work out the schools' team names and mascots for this.  For the Academy, that was done before I started.  Their teams are called the Phoenix, after the mythical bird that gets reborn from its own dying flames.  Meant to be symbolic, really, reflecting the students being reformed from their previous paths of destruction, such as Laura's drug making and Caitlin's school board takeover.  For Simcoe, the obvious came up, the Loyalists, named after the United Empire Loyalists, the guys who remained loyal to the British crown despite the revolt in the colonies to the south.  Being named after a Lieutenant-Governor helped with that decision.

I got to engage in Canada's second favourite sport, making fun of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Not everyone enjoys it.  There are people in Toronto who, like Laura, believe the city has a professional hockey team.  However, when a team is mathematically eliminated on the Ides of March and hasn't won the Stanley Cup for four decades, people can argue that there isn't one.  There have been rumours - fantasy dreams, really - that the NHL will add two Canadian teams, in Halifax and in Toronto.  I, for one, will be happy to see Toronto finally get a professional hockey team.

Laura's neighbours are fun to have appear.  Vamsi is a fence, a fixer, the second guy in "I know a guy who knows a guy, no names."  She has contacts throughout the 905 and 416 area codes, covering the Greater Toronto Area***.  Flora's the mad scientist from The New Girl, the one using recycled squirrel brains as a gyro for her laser-equipped robots.  Flora's twin sister is Fawna, who has gone the goth route in her fashion choices.  No one bothers to tell them apart despite them not looking alike anymore.  Finally, we have Cassie, the butt of almost as many jokes as the Maple Leafs.  I probably should feel guilty for presenting Cassie has the brainless blonde.  I do have plans for her that make up for that.  Cassie does get back at her classmates; notice that she never calls anyone by their proper name.  Even Laura gets the treatment, getting dubbed "Lorelei" instead.

Vamsi is doing well in history.  Her quote is based on one attributed to Henry II, "Will no one rid me of this turbulant priest?"  Henry was upset about Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was resisting the king's attempts to exert more control over the Roman Catholic Church in England.  Several knights decided to answer that question with, "Me!" and murdered the Archbishop, which didn't endear the king to the Pope, Alexander III.  Cassie is luckier; Flora and Fawna are too busy to pay attention to what Vamsi is saying and Laura isn't that desperate to get into the Maple Leafs' locker room.

Tomorrow, the next chapter of  Unruly: Basketball Night in Canada episode, Chapter 2, "A Nice, Friendly Game".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, hiatus week for Lost in Translation.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the history of adaptations continues with the top movies of the 1950s.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

* I need to figure out what to call the individual stories under the Unruly arc.  Episode fits better for now.
** As opposed to the current York, which is now part of Toronto, too.
*** As it's called, despite not having a decent hockey team.

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