Experiencing something out of one's personal definition of 'the ordinary' can be beneficial. I watched a hockey match today, quite unexpectedly. Not a professional one. Just a few 12 year olds having a practice on a freezing Sunday morning. The main thing that struck me about the event was that if someone had written down, word for word, everything that was said and done, and then rewritten it all as prose or a script, I'm sure their work would've been criticised for being cliched and contrived.

All the stereotypical Sunday morning kiddie sports match trappings were in evidence. The coach yelling, "Guys! Guys! Communication!" Or, "Who's on the goalie? Who's on the goalie?" The players' nicknames: Hacker, Irish Leprechaun, D-Boy. The 40+ year old dads with bald patch heads and track suit bottoms waving their arms and shouting each time the ball misses the goal: "Whose side are you playing on, son?!!?" The designer-shade wearing mums with their flasks of coffee and their conversations that manage to touch on every topic except the match before their eyes: "It was really lovely, but I didn't get one, 'cause they didn't do it in red." (Although it should be said that they all seem to possess a freakish mum-like ability to know exactly when to pause their conversations to throw out a quick, "Oh, well DONE darling!" or perhaps, "Ooh, unlucky, never mind," to some lanky, grinning thing on the pitch.) The older chaps who grumble when the match is delayed because the pitch is frozen solid: "That wouldn't have bothered us in my day." The younger brother sitting on the side-lines clearly dreaming of the day when he'll be old enough to get involved. And so on...

It just made me wonder why it is that we so actively try to avoid cliches in any form of art. Perhaps one reason is that coming face to face with something unusual jolts us into discerning the true nature of everything that is normal and ordinary.

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