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.