As word spreads of a secret destination for today's get together between the NHL and the NHLPA, we're kind of struck as to how these negotiation sessions are starting to resemble the plot line of that classic old Billy Joel standard, Scenes from an Italian restaurant.
And while we understand that it's Bill and Steve today, we're hopeful that perhaps today's get together is somehow like two old friends brokering a reconciliation for their struggling friends...
So for dramatic licence, Insert Donny and Gary for Brenda and Eddie, and well you can all kind of follow along if you wish...
For those that wish to sing along, open this link in a seperate window and warm up your vocal chords...
The preamble to the negotiations perhaps?
A bottle of white, a bottle of red,
Perhaps a bottle of rosé instead.
We'll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place
You and I - face to face
A bottle of red, a bottle of white
It all depends upon your appetite
I'll meet you any time you want
In our Italian Restaurant.
Gary and Donny, Catching up on the months that went by...
Things are okay with me these days
I got a good job, I got a good office
I got a new wife, got a new life And the family is fine
Oh we lost touch long ago
You lost weight
I did not know
You could ever look so nice after so much time.
Do you remember those days hanging out at the village green?
Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans
Oh you drop a dime in the box play a song about New Orleans
Cold beer, hot lights, my sweet romantic teenage nights
And a little background about our two star crossed negotiators..
And the king and the queen of the prom
Riding around with the car top down and the radio on
Nobody looked any finer
Or was more of a hit at the Parkway Diner
We never knew we could want more than that out of life
When they decided the marriage would be at the end of July
Everyone said they were crazy
Oh, but there we were wavin'
Looked good for a while there, but Oh, oh, oh! But there's trouble on the way...
Well they got an apartment with deep pile carpets
And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that they bought with the bread
They had saved for a couple of years
but they started to fight when the money got tight
And they just didn't count on the tears.
Well, they lived for a while in a very nice style
But it's always the same in the end
They got a divorce as a matter of course
And they parted the closest of friends
Then the king and the queen went back to the green
But you could never go back there again
From the high to the low to the end of the show
For the rest of their lives
They couldn't go back to the greasers
The best they could do was pick up their pieces
We always knew they would both find a way to get by
Oh and that's all I heard about
Can't tell you more 'cause I've told you already
And here we are wavin'
Yeah, it leaves us all where we are right now, waiting to hear if those two crazy kids can patch it up and live happily ever after...
Or at least until the next contract, whenever it come about, expires..
A bottle of red, a bottle of white,
Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight I'll meet you anytime you want
In our Italian Restaurant.
We'll see how it all turns out this weekend, will the secret get together bring them closer together, or...
Is the next Billy Joel song on the NHL/NHLPA jukebox this one?
Time will tell.
(Words and lyrics from Billy Joel, Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, Album: The Stranger)