Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thus Endeth the Summer

Summer, at least for me, has never been determined by the date of seasons beginning and ending. It's based solely on the first and last day of school. It was this way when I was a kid, and is this way now that I have them.

So today was the last day of Summer. And what better way to wrap it up, on a HOT day, then to go ice skating?

I have never ice skated in my life. Or roller skated. Or skied. As a kid, I wasn't coordinated enough. As an adult, my freakishly large feet give me a convenient excuse not to. No place carries my size in a rental. I bowl in my sneakers, because no bowling alley seems to carry sizes above 14.

So we went ice skating. My kids are good at it from going to various birthday parties at the ice rink. Mrs. Grumpy grew up in cold country, and so knows how to do it. I just sit on the sidelines. I have no interest in going, but use my humungous feet as an excuse.

So today, when Mrs. Grumpy asked me if I'd go, I said no. I can't, after all, because they don't carry my size. But to make her feel better I went over to the counter and asked the guy what his biggest size was. And he said my size.

I was trapped.

I consoled myself by watching my kids go around, and thought "how hard can this be?" So I laced on the skates. Took one step on the ice. And went down on my ass.

While my kids were laughing, I hobbled back onto land and got a training walker from the counter. And took that out on the ice. Now I know what my patients feel like. Even pushing this thing around I still went down several times. Fortunately, I was saved by them clearing the ice for the Zamboni. So I took the opportunity to return the skates.

What is it that fascinates people about the Zamboni? Is this an American thing, or do other countries have it, too? It's been satirized in "Peanuts". At skating parties here the birthday kid gets to ride on it. The whole crowd today cleared the ice, watched it raptly, and cheered when it was done. At basketball, football, and baseball they do all kinds of stuff to keep people in their seats during a break in play. Half-dressed cheerleaders. Marching bands. Half-court shot contests. Cartoon hot dog races. Mascots. And people still get up and go to the snack bar. BUT NOT AT HOCKEY! The crowd stays in their seats to watch the Zamboni drive around in circles and cheer!

By this time the twins had wandered over to another rink, where they had a giant pile of snow. I went over to see what they were up to. As I learned, being the only adult in this area made me the mutual snowball target of about 40 kids. I fought valiantly, but went down in flames. While I was lying in the ice the little bastards came over and put snow down the back of my shirt.

The ice capades ended with them playing YMCA. I'm old enough to remember that song first coming out. I never would have believed that more than 30 years later it would be even more popular than ever. Kids who aren't old enough to walk know how to dance to it.

The only injury I suffered all day was when I twisted my ankle getting out of the minivan at home. It's killing me.

And so the Summer ends.


Mike the Pharmacist said...

This sounds very similar to my first time ice skating... right on my ass w/in the first 10 seconds. And they were OUT of training walkers at the counter, seems like a local group home was using them all.

The thing is, I've been skiing about 25 years or so - you'd think that one winter sport would translate SOMEWHAT into the other.

Anonymous said...

The Zamboni is like the national vehicle here in Canada. The president rides through the streets on one after elections :P

ABC said...

this leaves me wondering... what size shoe DO you wear?

Call me Bob said...

I'm sorry to hear about your ankle, Dr. Grumpy. I hope it gets better soon.

TiredRPh said...

they have training walkers now????!!!!! I haven't been on skates in 20 years. I had to tie them so tight to hold my ankles straight that I lost all feeling in my feet!

Theresa said... just sounds so cool. I've never heard of an ice walker. I would have loved to see you out on the ice with that.

Chris said...

You should really see a doctor about that.

Or you could call and ask if he has your prescription . . . but don't leave your name or type of medication.

Becky the Techie said...

I think the fascination with the Zamboni is the amount of effort we as a nation in general put into *avoiding* driving on ice (said as a resident of the Snow Belt). Salt, gravel, sand, potassium whatever it is spray, snow plows, snow tires, chains, emergency roadside assistance at the push of a button... But the Zamboni driver, he fears *NO* ice! He is the Chuck Norris of winter weather driving!

Fiz said...

Sorry about the fall and the ankle, Dr G. I have had two ice skating parties for kids. DON'T DO IT! I can't skate (looong story) and at the first party a girl sprained her ankle and the other hurt her wrist. The first girl was headstrong - she'd been told to slow down lots of times by the rink attendants. The second girl has brittle asthma and she really seemed to be in a lot of pain. There were two of us looking after the lot of them - and I kept thinking, I ought to take her to A+E for an X-ray, but my husband couldn't manage 20+ kids alone. So I rang her mum who answered that she was sure her daughter was fine and if it still hurt later in the week, she'd take her. the first girl's parents were as unpleasant as hell about it, yet it was self- inflicted!( No, I didn't tell them that!)

Anonymous said...

the ads under your comments section are increasingly salacious. I'm at the hospital right now, and I'd appreciate it if people didn't think I was browsing Adult Friend Finder or anything like that.


Winter sports? in COLD weather? It's bad enough slipping on ice when you're trying to navigate the sidewalk and the steps, but as a sport? I must be an island girl, it doesn't sound like fun. But kudos to you for being a good sport for your kids, even if you almost ended up in traction. PS external fixators are not fun. We break easier and heal more slowly at our age....

Kipper said...

Charles Schultz had a special love for the Zamboni. Check it out:

selzach said...

No more ice skating attmepts for me. The Peanut and I went to a skate party for one of his friends and I ended up at the ER with a concussion and needing stitches.

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