Big Rink. Slow Vehicle.
By the way, if you don’t know how the Zamboni Tale started, check it out here first.
You know what’s unfortunate about living in Michigan? It snows. No, actually, it’s not that it snows, because it’s lovely to have a white Christmas (even though we didn’t this year). What is unfortunate, is that it snows, and everyone drives like a bumblefuck.
We got to the game. The line for tickets was horrendous and long. I was never going to make it.
But there’s reasons to have a friend with connections, and Macy proved this twelve times over. She mentioned to her friend working at the arena that I was THE zamboni rider.
The man pulls me to the front of the line to get my tickets. Things are still taking too long. He pulls me out of the line, and next thing I know, he’s leading me through random doors with card scanning entrances and past all sorts of people with earpieces and clipboards.
“Dear Lord,” I think to myself. “This is the secret service of the AHL. I AM IN THE BELLY OF THE HOCKEY BEAST.”
I debate texting Poof to tell her where I am. I debate taking a picture of the underbelly. But the man is rushing, and I don’t want to miss my zamboni ride. I take mental note to tell her about this later.
“You know,” Macy’s friend with the earpiece tells me. “Since you’re so late, they might have found another rider. You might have to give up your ride.”
My heart breaks a little.
“It might be a little kid,” he continues.
“Well,” I say. “If it’s a little kid, I guess I’ll let him have the ride.”
In my head, however, I was thinking I’d stab anyone who tried to steal my zamboni ride. I had sharp things in my purse. I had heels on. I could take anyone down to get on the zamboni.
But we get there, and there’s no other rider. There’s another girl for the other zamboni. But just one. No little child to make cry. Thank God. The other girl and I make nice. I learn she’s riding the Zamboni because it’s her 21st birthday. She asks why I’m riding.
Short answer: it’s on my bucket list. Also, I have a blog.
Another man comes up to me. He’s holding thundersticks. They glow. I’m wondering exactly why they have these, when we’re both twenty something girls.
“This was the closest thing we had to light sabers,” he tells me. I’m ecstatic. I immediately text Poof that they gave me a light saber. Her reply? Of course they did.
“Can I take a picture of you two?” He then asks us. We both nod.
I turn to the other rider. “CAN WE PLEASE BATTLE?!”
We discuss our respective lives waiting to get put on the Zamboni. We make a short video:
Then, they put me on the Zamboni. I’m riding on a zamboni with french fries on it. It makes me wish Ronald McDonald were driving.
The Zamboni has a giant seat belt with seventeen different buckles. I ask the driver if anyone has ever fallen off and gotten sucked up with the slush. He just chuckles at me. And then part of my seatbelt comes unbuckled. I have a fear I’ll be the first one gobbled up by the zamboni. I never should have told them I wanted to steal it.
We pull onto the ice, and I am unsure what to do. I make another video:
Then, I remember all my friends teasing me about practicing my beauty queen wave. So, that’s what I do. I wave with my thunder stick. I take pictures. A girl on skates asks me if I’m taking pictures and I shrug at her. Of course I am. By this point of the ride, this is what I’ve learned: it’s a big rink. And a slow vehicle.
My ride ends. I’m running high on life.. Bucket list item #50-something. CHECK.
The guy asks if I had fun. I nod. I wanted to take a picture with the machine and my driver, but they close it’s little Zamboni door before I can.
“Damn,” I think. “They really thought I was going to steal the Zamboni.”
Excitement over, they walk me back up to the arena, where I regale Macy of the tale, before opening up twatter.