9.13 This Guy Looks Like Trouble
The next few blogs will be transcripts of the latest season of Storytime with Paul Dore. Storytime is a short adrenaline shot of a podcast straight to the mind, heart or sometimes the funny bone, wherever that is located. For this season, each episode is a live recording from the monthly event Stories We Don't Tell. With the release of season three of the podcast, I'll be posting the transcripts here on the blog.
Three recent experiences that have made me question the world and my place in it. And as with every experience, there are winners and there are losers.
For the past two months, I have been trying to eat better. Don't worry, I'm not going to be that person, the one who just because he is learning towards maybe potentially perhaps becoming vegetarian that he has to tell you and everyone he knows about it.
I'm also exercising more, but I'm not looking to get huge or anything like that. I'm more focused on things like agility, long distance running, flexibility, cardio - skills that might be needed in the wake of the recent political turmoil in the United States. Since it's winter and since I spent a fair amount of my life in arenas, I started skating at various outdoor rinks in city parks.
On this particular day, I decided to take a quick drive to Dufferin Grove Park, which has two ice rinks side-by-side. One dedicated to public skating and the other to hockey. When I arrived at the park, the public skating rink was packed full of kids from the neighbouring school. The hockey rink, on the other hand, had only two people on it, and they were barely moving, mostly chatting and every once in a while slowly skating down the ice passing a puck.
I put on my figure skates and walked over to the hockey rink. I asked both people on the ice if they would mind if I joined them, since the public side was so busy. They said of course, and with big welcoming smiles I might add. And so, the three of us - two hockey players and a figure skater - harmoniously and collectively worked together to stay out of each other's way, while accomplishing our individual fitness goals.
Almost finished with my skate, two employees from the park - a man and a woman - approached the hockey rink and yelled at me to come over. She was very mad and did most of the talking, while the man stood behind her with his arms crossed, repeating and highlighting certain aspects of her statements. It’s like they took one look at me from their office window and thought, This guy looks like trouble.
"You can't be on this ice," she yelled at me. "Can't be on this ice," he said in a low voice, arms crossed, nodding or shaking his head. "This ice is for hockey players only," she continued. "Only hockey players," he repeated. "I asked the other two people out here," I said. "They were okay with it." This just made her even more incensed, "You have to leave now!" He said, "Right now." I tried to reason with her, "Okay, let me get this straight. You want me to get off this rink that has two other people on it and go over there that has about 20 kids on it even though we in this community centre have worked quite community-like, sharing this near empty ice rink."
Now, technically they were right. However, I sensed a fear behind her angry exterior. I figured that they had to keep people like me off the hockey rink. She was scared that there might be scores of figure skaters hiding in the bushes, waiting to take over the hockey rink, waiting for one of their own to sneak on the hockey side. When the time was right, the lone figure skater, she or he, would give the appropriate signal of a split jump or perhaps a very sassy move, and from the bushes would emerge an army of figure skaters, with our ice picks and weird skates and sequins and take over the hockey rink. And the world as we know it would be changed forever.
I was snapped from this image with more yelling from her, "You have to leave right now!" So, I left, but the joke is on her. The president of the United States of America believes climate change is a hoax created by China to make US manufacturing non-competitive. Climate change is very real and the precious ice that makes up her hockey rink will be melting a little earlier every year. So, I win. We all lose, but I win.