Sat beside a man with no teeth on the bus home today, who was fairly blatantly drinking from a can of Laker Ice. He had a rat on his knee. I had instinctively smiled and said, "Oh, so sweet" before I noticed that most people around him were some variation of annoyed/disgusted. It was really obviously a trained, loved, tame rat - truly very sweet - brown and white.
We chatted a bit about the rat, 5-months old and named Ruby. Then American cities (and their rat populations) and then somehow about hockey. Then had a really enjoyable conversation about The Leafs for the rest of the 20-minute ride home.
Despite the final score, he didn't think that they had played that badly during the game I saw in Boston and we both expressed frustration that the first penalty had been from too many players on the ice. We had different opinions on the new Las Vegas team, but acknowledged how well they are doing. It was one of the best hockey conversations I have had in a long time. He got off the bus a few stops before mine, with the rat tucked up behind his neck (she was snuggled there most of the ride actually).
I hope The Leafs make it to the second round of playoffs so I can keep talking hockey with strangers!