Sylvester, and the mental health implications of driving a Zamboni.

As you doubtless know, I consider it my responsibility to be a guardian of my friends health. It’s just the giving nature of the person that I am. I can’t really help it, but as some have commented I am something of a carer, some have even used the word ‘healer’.

I suppose that when one is gifted in this particular direction it is unfair on others to ignore this talent. Which brings me to my concerns recently for Sylvester. I expect you’re aware that he drives the Zamboni at the local ice rink on occasion. I should also point out that here in Montreal Hockey is something of a religion. To be a driver of the Zamboni is to be a high priest in the church.

However, in this particular church there appears to be something of a schism. Maurice, another Zamboni driver, has been going wild on the ice in a manner that irritates Sylvester and things have reach boiling point. While the details of the matter are beyond me, it appears Maurice has been ‘freestyling’ on the ice.

“He’s a loose cannon,” said Sylvester as he sat grumpily in my kitchen the other day.

“You use a cannon in the ice rink,” I asked. “Grooming the ice has taken an unusual turn since I last skated.”

“No,” snapped Sylvester. “He does all these passes that are irregular, and he’s freestyling!”


“Yes. Making it all up as he goes along. It’s disrespectful.”

“What on earth do you mean,” I asked.

“He should have regular passes in the proper sequence. That’s how we get the ice just right.  It’s like a blank canvas.”

“You mean, ‘white’?” I said.

“Or a blank manuscript, or musical score. It has to be just right.” Sylvester was gazing into the distance vacantly. Rather like he’d seen something on the horizon, just beyond Marjorie’s laburnum bush. Or like he’d had a lobotomy.

“I’d never really thought of Zamboni driving as a creative art,” I said.

“I know you’re mocking me.”

In my role as a healer, I sometimes find it important to take a position of authority.

“Sylvester, of course I’m mocking you. It’s why I have you around. Can I make you another cup of tea?”

“Each time a team goes out on that perfect ice they create a symphony on the blank manuscript of the ice. It’s written as the game unfolds, culminating in the crescendo of a winning goal, or the clarion of victory in one victorious final closing movement. End every time it’s different. Every time it’s new, and original. Every time, in it’s way, it’s a masterpiece.”

I glanced at Marjorie’s laburnum bush and frowned.

“Sylvester,” I said softly. “I think you’ve maybe been spending too much time alone with that Zamboni. It’s a known fact. It can affect you. Like snow blindness. But in your head.”

When I talked to my personal trainer, Sebastian – who studied homeopathy, which makes him practically a doctor – he was inclined to suggest that Sylvester start a rigorous regime of enamas. He suggests that for most things, though, so I’m not sure if I should place much store in the idea.

Have a lovely week.


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