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)
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)
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)
Thought process: *whimper*
Result: Whimpering. Proceed to Stage V.
Stage V: Acceptance (I Forgive You, Zamboni Man)
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.)