Late night

As the zamboni rolled onto the ice, we pushed open the rink door and made our way over to the benches. We stopped in the 'away' team's area and started to deposit our sticks and water bottles.

"Guys, we're the home team tonight!" Our captain had arrived and was now waving us to the next bench over.

We all turned to stare at him for a moment. "But....that one's further...." someone protested.

Can you tell it was a late game? It was.

Apart from the fact that everyone looks dazedly confused when the puck is first dropped, the other problem with late games is that the outside temperature is prone to plummet. As Saturday night swung to Sunday morning, the heavy rain that had been dousing the city all day morphed into horizontal snow. I left the rink to find one half of my car covered with a dusting of white icing powder and the other half buried under 2 inches. It was kinda awesome. And difficult to shift.

After about half an hour of dedicatedly fighting against nature's desire to preserve my car in ice while the fans warmed the windscreen, I was able to trundle away out onto the road.

Hamilton city is divided into two halves by what is locally known as 'the mountain'. This is a wholly inaccurate description for what is actually an escarpment, the same one that runs south-east of Hamilton to form the cliff from which Niagara Falls plunges. The ice rink is located on the raised escarpment while my apartment sits in the downtown city area below. This meant I was looking at a steep and snowy decent to get home.

I rolled unenthusiastically along the road, trying to follow the path carved by the few other vehicles up and about at this hour.Ā  I could mentally see myself turned upside down in a ditch, my car wheels turning like its upturned bug namesake. Sadness!

Then, I spotted a snowplough. Sneakily, I went twice round the roundabout and slid in behind it to follow it down to the city. It was a bit like tailing an ambulance to avoid red light except .... much .... slower.

I ditched my new best friend at the bottom of the hill and scooted off for home. When I arrived, my driveway was already thick with snow. Should I risk trying to pull into it? Images of angry old ladies lecturing me on the location of my broken-down car filled my mind. I scuttled off to park in the street. That woman seemed just the type to be out at 2 am.