This is the seventh in our summer series in which we are drawing hockey cards at random from a box and then writing about them.
Being the dedicated, always-thinking bloggers that we are, it should come as no surprise that we are always working on new ideas for IPB — even in our sleep. Pookie announced just before the big PBS reveal this evening that last night she dreamt a brilliant post. And her idea? That we would figure out ways that today’s player would have been able to improve on “On Thin Ice”, the MacGyver episode we so
excruciatingly lovingly diarized this weekend.
So it was with no small tension that we reached into the PBS Box, breath held, sending prayers to the Hockey Card Gods that they present us with a worthy subject. Of the umpteen cards in the box, surely there are only a few featuring players who would be up to the challenge of bettering MacGyver. We must be doing something right, Gentle Reader, because we were rewarded mightily. Behold!
So how could Getzi have made that episode better? Lots of ways:
1. In the first panning shot of the crowd during G1 of the championship series, Boomer’s suspicions of nefarious gambling activity will be confirmed, as sitting next to Derek Kirby’s dad is Ryan Getzlaf, replete with kick-ass mullet and ’80s mustache. And sure enough, Getzi is betting against the Raiders. And with his job as the cook in the Kerrisdale Arena Commissary, he’s got unlimited access to the Raiders players. It looks like he’s going to make thousands when Kirby “knocks enough heads” to lose the championship, but MacGyver’s last-minute appearance behind the bench ruins his plan, and instead of coming out the big winner, Getzi loses his shirt. (See what we did there?) After exchanging meaningful looks with Kirby and Kirby’s dad in the moments after the championship win, Mac strides buoyantly to the parking lot behind the arena. As he’s climbing into his Jeep, he sees a pair of gangsters beating Getzi up with lengths of chain and two-by-fours. Screaming, “Hey! Knock it off!” at the top of his lungs, Mac vanquishes the gangsters with a few well-placed kicks of his sneakers and a timely flash directly in their eyes with the Jeep’s high beams. Getzi tearfully explains why he’s in trouble with those shady characters, and Mac tries to make things right with a carefrontation. But when Mac thinks he’s making headway with Getzi, the young man shouts, “What do you know about my life?” and runs off into the night. Furious at having his get-rich plot foiled by Mac’s superior coaching skills and deft touch at fixing broken souls, a confused and out-of-control Getzi decides the only way to escape his crippling gambling debts now is to kill Mac. His devilish plot involves locking Mac in the Commissary kitchen with some spoiled bacon; he figures he’ll come back in a few weeks to find Mac dead from meat-borne illness. Instead, Mac escapes this nefarious scheme by combining two simple cleaning supplies into an explosive mix and using the chemical reaction to shoot the spring from a flashlight up a piece of pipe and through the lock of the door. He then runs after Getzi and fells him in one laughably bad fight. And they all live happily ever after, except for Getzi, who goes to debtor’s prison.
2. We’ve noticed a curious theme of MacGyver’s writers tending towards Asian mysticism; surely this hockey episode could use a little of that. Working as the team’s equipment trainer, Getzi is convinced that he’s found the perfect cover for his role as middle-man in a LA-based plot to smuggle Chinese antiques. Turk Donner lets drop in one of the many hospital/police-interrogation room scenes that his mystically-Asian wife’s priceless collection of Chinese antiques were stolen from the display in the arena’s lobby before the big game. She’s despodant but the police are too busy watching the hockey to investigate. Mac has his hands full with Kirby and the team, but he can’t help but notice the jade dragon sculpture in the laundry basket, poorly hidden under some towels. Using just some talcum powder and hockey tape, Mac scientifically determines that Getzi must be the culprit (and in the process, tampers with a police scene). He attempts a carefrontation, but Getzi makes a bolt for the bowels of the Kerrisdale Arena. Mac doggedly follows, stopping only to grab a pipe, two bottles of cleaning supplies, and a flashlight spring, all while narrating that sometimes a dragon can be caught with a little know-how, some quick thinking, and some enlightment. On that word, Mac jauntily tosses the flashlight in the air and catches it again with an especially earnest determined look. The underbelly of the arena is a dark maze of arena seats, an extra goal, and, because it’s MacGyver, tons of packing crates. Mac sets a trap for Getzi by balancing the length of pipe on the spring at one end of the maze; mixing the two bottles of highly explosive cleaning supplies, he throws the impromptu smoke bomb at the other end of the maze. A dazed and nearly blinded Getzi rages through the maze, only to trigger the pipe-trap, which shoots up, knocking the goal net over, trapping the thrashing Getzi beneath it. “I’ve scored a lot of goals in my life,” narrates Mac, “but this was the most satisfying.” Cut to the priceless antiques being returned to Mrs. Donner, following Kirby’s big championship game.
3. Instead of opening at the hockey game, the opening segment would show Getzi meeting in the shadowy back alley of the Kerrisdale Arena with a curiously mustachioed, nicely-dressed businessman who threatens, “If you don’t find a place to hide this toxic waste, I’ll waste you!” Could this be the bad guy? It’s so hard to tell on this show. At any rate, Getzi promises he’ll take care of it. The “action” then turns to the hockey game. The be-headsetted play-by-play announcer gives us the score update going into the first intermission when we see the Zamboni circling the rink, the ice turning a suspiciously shocking shade of pink. The camera cuts (we’re not sure they could afford panning shots on this show) to the Zamboni driver. It’s… It’s… Getzi! The next cut brings us to Kirby’s fight with Henderson, the one that results in Henderson’s gaping head wound. At the hospital, the lady doctor informs Mac that there were some strange toxic particles that appeared in Henderson’s wound. She hands him a petri dish containing the samples and says gravely, “He could end up disabled as a result of this.” Mac peers at the petri dish and immediately connects the contents to the ice. “I was pretty sure I’d seen this shade of pink recently,” he narrates as he absently taps the highly volatile compound around in his hands, “and I was fairly certain it wasn’t on a hockey jersey.” He races, white high-tops a-flashin’, back to the Kerrisdale Arena where a not-at-all-suspicious toxic waste truck is backed up to the arena door, and Getzi is not-at-all-suspiciously pumping the waste loudly into the back of the Zamboni. Mac looks around where he’s hiding behind a shipping container plunked down conveniently in the arena parking lot and finds a pipe, two bottles of cleaning solution, and a flashlight. While Getzi pumps the toxic waste at a snail’s pace, Mac carefully uses the flashlight spring to rig a timing device to slowly pour one solution into the other, via the pipe. He then picks the improvised time-bomb up and tosses it perfectly next to the Zamboni, which erupts into an incongruous fireball. Getzi, shirt severely singed, is carted off by the police (where he’ll promptly do what every MacGyver henchman does — snitching on his boss) while Kirby congratulates Mac on his perfect set-up shot. They all laugh happily every after and… freeze frame and cue theme.