My yearly trip to MSG makes me happy. A Mallomars thought. And the 5-year-old who will steal my job

It’s Christmas week, which means I’m home in NY, complaining about the damn cold weather, and most importantly, getting to experience one of my true pleasures of life: Taking in a New York Rangers game at my favorite arena in the world, Madison Square Garden.
I used to go to Rangers games all the time; well, not all the time, but a few times a year. But living in God’s Waiting Room, my best chance is usually Christmas week.
Monday night presented more problems than usual for my father and I in trying to get from Long Island to the game, because maybe you heard about it, but there was sort of a big snowstorm. Which meant the never shut down Long Island Rail Road was shut down all day, and we had to drive into the city. Which is rarely fun, but on slightly treacherous roads, even more not fun.
Still, this is my one Rangers game a year, and if the roads were at all passable, we were going, dammit. Roads were actually not that bad, truly. And there was like NO traffic, since not many people were crazy enough to be out driving.
Live hockey excites me like few other things; I’ve said this before but you really can’t say you hate hockey until you’ve seen an NHL game live; it will turn you into a fan, nearly guaranteed.
Monday, my beloved Blueshirts kicked the holy hell out of the Islanders, 7-2. It broke a personal 3-game “me attending a Rangers game” losing streak, was nice.
Some other musings from a very fun night:
–Ah, the class of hockey fans. The stranger behind me, as we were discussing the general suckiness of the Islanders, said “well what do you expect, their owner (Charles Wang) is a chink.”
Nice to know that word is still around in 2010.
— Had to love this: They announced early in the game that since all of us fans braved the weather to make it to the Garden, concessions were 20 percent off, merchandise at the team stores was 40 percent off.
So because I love a good sale, I wandered to the team store nearest our seats after the 2nd period. And it was closed.
Maybe they heard about the 40 percent off thing and decided not to open.
–Another fun utterance from my section, from a different guy sitting behind me: “I want to see blood on the ice! It’s not a Rangers-Islanders game until someone’s head is bleeding!” This guy was also reading Proust between periods.
OK, I made that last part up.
— Let me tell you who are the least germ-phobic people on Earth: Strangers rooting for the same team at a sporting event. I high-fived like seven strangers after each goal, not at all wondering where their hands had been recently. You’re at a game, you high-five strangers. It’s just what you do.

**So when I was a kid I remember that it was a really special occasion when my parents bought us Mallomars. Because they were really expensive (I know I’m going italics-crazy in this post, not sure why), and they were not good for you, and well, you just knew it was a treat to get them. And I loved them, savored each one.
Had Mallomars for the first time in at least 20 years this week. My reaction? Eh. Sorta tasty, but way too marshmallowy and not sweet enough. I hate it when foods from childhood don’t live up to their billing when you’re a grown-up. My man Joe Poz calls these “pixie foods.” I can’t remember why.

**You know, it’s bad enough for us journalists these days that we don’t need 5-year-olds coming in and stealing our jobs, once they’re done finger-painting and taking naps on mats.
But here’s Joey the Junior Reporter, doing a bang-up job in a hockey locker room.

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