I Wanna Drive the Zamboni

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Hockey, as I mentioned before, is pretty big here in Canada. Most kids learn to skate at a very young age and many of them skate on a club hockey team at some point. We have about 5 or 6 rinks just in Oakville itself, and they are fairly upmarket affairs - the one we visited the other night had two rinks, good lighting, nice seating, a restaurant and bar and a skate shop, was well maintained and people actually go there to skate. By contrast, the rinks I've been to back home in Australia are a bit sleazy and dodgy and teenagers mainly go there to hangout with their mates, meet girls, or get in fights. The skating is just a front so that mum and dad think you're out on a Saturday night doing something social.

We were invited to the local rink on Tuesday night to watch one of Alex's mates, Jon, skate in a club level game. It was great to watch a hockey game up close like that, and even better that Jon's team went on to win, taking them to a five game winning streak. Good onya Jon! After the game we went up to the bar area for drinks and chicken wings. That's a very Canadian thing to do by the way, and no sporting event should be without beer and wings afterwards.

Anyway, we got to see the Zamboni doing its thing. In case you don't know, a Zamboni is a vehicle that drives around the ice between games and resurfaces the rink to get rid of all the scratches and gouges that the skates put in it during a game. It basically spreads a film of water over the ice which refreezes into a nice pristine surface for the next game.

Apparently, according to Cathy, being a Zamboni driver is a highly sought-after job. At first I thought she was just kidding, but a quick internet search turns up a series of articles and stories, each slightly more bizarre than the previous one, and they do indeed support Cathy's notion that everyone wants to be a Zamboni driver. Check out this one about the dream job of driving a Zamboni, or this one about the Zamboni driver who has groupies, or take a look at the website for a Canadian band called The Zambonis, who released a song called "I Wanna Drive the Zamboni", from their album called "100% Hockey". Seriously, I'm not making this up!

Of course Donna likes to hang with the in-crowd, so she started to wave at the Zamboni driver as he did his rounds between games. He waved back, she waved back, and next thing you know she's getting her photo taken with him. Maybe Cathy's right... maybe everyone really does want to be a Zamboni driver!

Next time though, we want a ride, eh?

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