Several years ago I played ice hockey. I was very bad at it. Nonetheless, at some point during an especially fast and furious match — we called it an "industrial" match — somewhere in Western Ontario, the blade of my hockey stick slashed the face of an opponent. The slash drew blood. My opponent, who was probably twice my size, was livid. He dropped his gloves, code-speak for being ready to fight. I came really close to being beaten to within an inch of my life. Somewhat tragically, sometimes an ice hockey match in rural Canada is incomplete without a fight. It was an accident, I told the referee. Your stick, he said, is an extension of your arm. You have to be in control of it at all times. I was sent off the ice and left the arena by the back door. What is the point in all of this, other than misguided icecapades? Well, in a highly competitive, fast-paced ice hockey match, where everyone has some basic form of protection, there are rules and regulations. In a hockey game, the stic...

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