To celebrate Loblaws opening in the former Maple Leaf Gardens this week, Hockey Night in Canada will be presenting a supermarket-themed edition of Coach's Corner with Don Cherry.
CUE INTRO MUSIC FROM COACH'S CORNER.
A montage of still images shows Don Cherry buying a raw octopus at a seafood counter; Don grasping a can of Pedigree for Blue; Don scowling at a jar of Russian-style mustard; a vintage Don inspecting a bin of Golden Delicious apples with a young Bobby Orr.
CUT TO THE COACH'S CORNER SET.
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean stand behind a desk. Cherry wears a bright red blazer imprinted with shopping carts, apples, roasted chickens and loaves of bread. His tie, which is yellow, is shaped like a banana. MacLean sports a blue CBC blazer.
Don Cherry [shouting] Now here's the thing I don't understand. When you go to the barber shop, does the barber hand you a pair of scissors and say 'Go ahead, I'll be in the back, eating doughnuts'?
Ron MacLean: You're talking about the self-checkout line –
Don Cherry [shouting] Answer the question! Or how 'bout this: When you hail a taxi, does the driver pull over, hand you the keys and say, 'You drive'?
Ron MacLean: The theory behind the self-checkout line –
Don Cherry [grumpily] I don't care about the theory…
Ron MacLean [continuing] …the theory is, why wait in line for a cashier when you can do it yourself? It saves time and money.
Don Cherry: It saves who time and money? Not me, boy.
Ron MacLean: So putting that aside for a moment, you've got what may be the most historic building in hockey and it's been reinvented by one of the country's biggest supermarket chains. What do you think?
Don Cherry [composed] I think it's disrespectful.
Ron MacLean: Why is that?
Don Cherry [shouting again] Are you tellin' me the arena that saw some of the greatest players in the history of this sport – Punch Imlach, Bill Barilko, Dave Keon, you name it – should have this fancy raw-fish stand sushi bar or whatever you call it?
Ron MacLean: But people are saying – some are even tweeting about it – that if Punch Imlach were here today, he'd be eating sushi.
Don Cherry [shouting] Ree-diculous. Ree-diculous. And another thing. If they don't do something to police these express checkout lines…
Ron MacLean: Have we got tape? [MacLean nods to someone off camera.]Have a look at this:
SECURITY-CAMERA FOOTAGE SHOWS A SHOPPER PICKING UP ITEMS OUT OF A SHOPPING CART AND PLACING THEM ON A COUNTER BENEATH A SIGN THAT SAYS "EXPRESS LANE 1-14 ITEMS."
Don Cherry [composed] Just have a look at this. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen [getting angrier]seventeen, eighteen. Eighteen items. The limit is twelve.
Ron MacLean: It's fourteen.
Don Cherry: Whatever.
Ron MacLean: But everyone knows this is happening all the time and no one is doing anything about it.
Don Cherry [shouting] That's what I just said!
Ron MacLean: There's talk about a rule change. That it should be baskets only in the express line – no shopping carts.
Don Cherry: So some little rat can stuff his basket fulla junk and butt in front of my cart, which only has seven items?
Ron MacLean: Do supermarkets need a Brendan Shanahan-type figure, a former shopper who sees it from both sides who can then determine what kind of disciplinary action is required?
Don Cherry: I'm sayin' it's about respect. If you tried something like that back in the day, boy, someone would let you have it. And I mean have it!
Ron MacLean: If there were more fighting at supermarkets, in other words, it would get rid of the cheap stuff.
Don Cherry [composed] Listen, for all you kids at home, unless those jerks have something to fear, they're going to keep on doing what they're doing.
Ron MacLean [smirking] Until then, it's the self-checkout for you. Don Cherry in the Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.
FADE TO BLACK
Special to the Globe and Mail