As a young kid growing up in Minnesota, the Zamboni man is always something of a legend at the neighborhood ice rinks. Then you graduate college and some of your buddies are still working (or go back to working) at the ice rink driving the Zamboni, often while under the influence of mood altering substances of varying legality. They all tell the same story: Driving the Zamboni is awesome the first hundred times, then it just becomes work.
What I’m saying is, don’t meet your heroes, kids.
Hopefully that’s all just an isolated experience, and it should do nothing to taint the legacy of Frank Zamboni, Jr., the inventor of the whimsical machine that bears his name.
He’s the honoree of today’s playable Google Doodle, wherein you don what I can only assume is the insulated rink jacket shared by all the rink attendants and is never to be worn home. The jacket perpetually smells like the inside of the warming house, which perpetually smells like sweat, puck rubber and stick tape.
You then climb aboard the Zamboni and, using your keyboard’s arrow keys, heroically resurface the sections of the ice made stubbly by the hockey stops and pirouettes of countless tiny skaters.
As you progress level by level, you’ll be tasked with resurfacing higher-profile rinks with more and more skate marks. Beware of banana peels! They will cause you to spin out (in real life, a Zamboni could glide over a banana peel with the greatest of ease). Make sure to pick up the gasoline cans you see dropped on the ice, too, or your machine will run out of gas (in real life, a Zamboni can clear an entire sheet of ice without needing to be refueled).
Once you’ve had your fill, you can read about Frank Zamboni by – you guessed it – Googling him. And lest you doubt the majesty of the Minnesota Zamboni driver, the Gear Daddies (from Austin, Minnesota – also home to Spam, the food version) sum up the magic in the following Zamboni-themed song that was played over just about every rink’s PA system just about every time the Zamboni man saddled up.