The ice man cometh, AKA the 5 stages of Zamboni grief, illustrated poorly by The Nut.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Zamboni at my ice rink. Or any ice rink, really.


On the one hand, public skating sessions always leave the ice horribly chewed up within minutes, as people who have no idea what they’re doing scratch and scrape their blades along torturously while hotshot hockey kids duck around them at Mach speeds and deliberately mark up every last pristine inch they can find by practicing sudden stops and irritating passers-by with showers of snow.

On the other hand, I instinctively consider anything that makes me get off the ice to be my natural enemy. Even if I was literally thirty seconds away from leaving on my own, how DARE you suggest I go sit down?!

You know how when people experience the loss of a loved one, they go through the five stages of grief?

That’s me every time that Zamboni bullies me off the ice.

Stage I: Denial (Maybe They Won’t Notice Me Over Here)

*casual whistling, because that always works in cartoons*

Thought process: “Maybe if I stay over in the corner and act nonchalant, they’ll forget all about me and won’t kick me off.”

Result: Despite convincing self of mad invisibility skillz, have not convinced anyone else. Proceed to Stage II.

Stage II: Anger (I Have Knives On My Feet And I Will Cut A Bitch)


Thought process: “Fuck.”

Result: Hm…swearing does not appear to help. Curious. Perhaps a second attempt. Nope, still not helping. Fuck. Proceed to Stage III.

Stage III: Bargaining (Just Five More Minutes, Mr. Zamboni Man)

Don’t try this at home, kids.

Thought process: “What if I just, y’know, go ask the Zamboni man if it would be possible for him to hold off for a bit? Hell, when was the last time someone went and actually thanked him for what he does? Oh my god, we’re horrible people. Of course he doesn’t want to do me any favors when I’ve been so ignorant of his feelings! I need go to fix this right now.”

Result: Chicken out because initiating conversations with strangers is scary. Proceed to Stage IV.

Stage IV: Depression (Everything Is Terrible And I Will Never Get To Skate Again)

Not pictured: ocean of tears.

Thought process: *whimper*

Result: Whimpering. Proceed to Stage V.

Stage V: Acceptance (I Forgive You, Zamboni Man)

Oh, right, that’s why I put up with this.

Thought process: “…okay so maybe the ice did need some serious help after all.”

Result: Accept Zamboni’s place in universe. Feel renewed sense of excitement about imminent moment of stepping out on glassy surface. Call off hit ordered on Zamboni Man’s family.

(…But keep hitman on retainer for next time, just in case.)

14 thoughts on “The ice man cometh, AKA the 5 stages of Zamboni grief, illustrated poorly by The Nut.

  1. I didn’t know bargaining was in the five stages of grief. Wow ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice stickfigures too, they express themselves very well. I like the skate detail.

    Also. I’m one of those annoying people who has no idea what they’re doing on ice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your cartoon drawings! Your stick figures are so much better than MY stick figures. Iโ€™ll tell my boss it is your fault that I have to spend the rest of the day practicing my drawing of stick figures. Iโ€™m sure sheโ€™ll understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When open skate is so limited in time around hockey and such, those Zamboni minutes really are crucial.

    And every time I see a Zamboni, I think of Carla’s husband on “Cheers”. Poor Eddie LeBec.

    Liked by 1 person

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