The Local Ice Rink=The Star Wars Cantina


You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. ~Obi-wan Kenobi, “Star Wars: A New Hope”

"These are not the pucks you're looking for. Move along."

Ever have that strange feeling of deja vu when you not only have a flashback to childhood, but accompanying music in your head? That was me today. I did something I haven’t done in maybe ten years, which is head down to the local rink for some ice time. The loudspeakers were blasting “Jessie’s Girl” (or was it “Don’t Stop Believing?”) but all I heard in my subconscious was the infamous Cantina Band music. (For those of you who are pop-culture impaired, I’m referring to this infamous musical piece in the original Star Wars.)

The rink attracts all types, from the adorably cute tykes to the frankly dodgy old guys and everybody in between. Hell, there’s even a bar where you can step up and buy, if not Jawa Juice, then at least a Coke and a hot dog. Everything in the place is a) really old, like 1987 vintage, b) covered in scratches from thousands of ice skates, c) graffitied, or d) all three. If a Wookiee, a Rodian bounty hunter, and a geriatric guy wearing a Jedi robe and skates walked in, nobody would care. It’s that kind of place, where everybody is basically accepted as he/she is. One of the few places, in fact. And that’s all right by me.

Actually, it's the penalty box

There’s a few kinds of people you see at every rink, ice or roller. I remember, even after all these years away from the game. You have maybe 60 percent who have clearly never been on skates a day in their lives and are clinging to the rails for dear life, tottering along like newborn fawns (these are, if you will, the naive Luke Skywalker types). Then there is that small minority of older people, like me, who know the basic ropes and can navigate freely through the center of the ice (I’d like to think of these as Obi-wan). And of course, that leaves the wild cards. These might include the teenagers at the rink on dates, the wild frat boys trying to one-up one another, the rare kid who’s a natural despite her inexperience, and the crazy-ass types who zip by, undeterred, at 30MPH while everyone else is slipping and sliding. Like the Mos Eisley cantina, there’s something for everyone. I’m not saying anybody gets his or her arm severed in an argument over whose turn it is on the Ms. Pac-Man machine, but that’s the general idea.

I encountered two of these characters this morning, in addition to getting one hell of a good aerobic workout. One was the rink guard; I picked him out easily by his fluid lead changes, not to mention his Day-Glo windbreaker. Turns out he moonlighted as a ref during some of the local NHL games. We chatted for a good ten minutes about how awesome hockey is, the culture and honor of fighting, and the peculiar ethics of getting between two angry 220-pound behemoths while the Zamboni man cruised by resurfacing the ice. Awesome.

"I...am the Zamboni Man"

And then there was my second gem of the day. Little girl, couldn’t have been more than 8, dead ringer for a young hair-bun-less Princess Leia growing up on Alderaan. Unlike some of her peers, this one was a natural. A few laps around the ice and she totally got it. While taking a break, Young Leia came up to me. “You skate really good,” she said.

I smiled, knowing how little kids are. “So do you,” I answered truthfully. She smiled and hopped right back on the ice, grinning.

As it turns out the rink has open ice sessions on the one day I always have off (Friday). I might just make it a habit, if I can dodge the traffic and avoid the Imperial patrols. And if Greedo ever does to show up, well, I’m gonna shoot first (the puck, that is.)

May the Force (and the ice gods) be with you!

If we'd have know Tauntaun Chow was $3.29 on Hoth, we'd have put skates on 'em instead

Got questions? Suggestions for a future post? Send ’em to wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com and they might be included in a future post.

Don’t forget to click “Like” and subscribe so the Force will be with you…always.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on January 28, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Local Ice Rink=The Star Wars Cantina”

  1. Love the Star Wars character reference. 😀 Nicely done.

  2. Thanks, I love almost anything SW-related, except for Episode I. 😛

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