Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I rink therefore I am

At least that's how many Canadian (not those from Vancouver, maybe some Northern States, probably Finnish) fathers feel.

What better way to demonstrate your devotion to your kids and their nascent NHL career than by building a rink for those first halting steps (and subsequent falls)? Also, what better way to get out of the house to avoid that busy post-dinner homework period?

Come to think of it, what other sport allows a parent to actually build the 'playing field' for their kids athletic aspirations? You ever see a Dad in India leveling out a cricket pitch by the rhododendrons? Or one in the US putting down chalk lines for a baseball diamond amongst the tomatoes?

In years past I built a rink in our backyard. I spent many a peaceful hour pacing slowly across the ice in rubberized boots, pulling a hose behind me, watching the water spread across the ice and slowly congeal into a smooth 'flood'. There is a certain satisfaction derived from such slow, almost mindless, repetitive operations working towards a distant and uncertain goal (e.g. the standards development process).

Unfortunately, due to the suburban sprawl of recreational equipment in our yard, there is no longer sufficient room for a reasonably sized ice surface. To satisfy my urge for nocturnal outdoor watering, I've taken to peeing on the neighbour's garbage cans. When challenged, I just say "It's for the kids".

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