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The Pulse: Smooth Operator
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Born in 1949. Weighs in at four tons. Top speed of 9 mph. No, it's not a Red Wings defenseman. It's the Zamboni!
What we now know:
1) The Zamboni didn't spring fully loaded from the fertile brain of SoCal rink operator Frank Zamboni. The first one was more of a suped-up tractor.
2) Zamboni nearly called his ice-resurfacing wonder the Paramount (imagine if the name hadn't already been taken).
3) Skating legend Sonja Henie bought two of the first three.
4) Each machine takes up to eight months to assemble by hand, but 4a) it takes only eight seconds to e-mail a Zamboni postcard!
Li'l Jerry Burrell longed to be a Zamboni driver and, yes, now that dream has come true. Not only did he "drive the big machine" at an Ontario rink, he's also got a Zam fan site with links to songs, pics of models (not what you think) and the story of Frank Zamboni's cousin, Nono.
Don't miss the heartrending (not really) story of Brett's younger bro (not really) Mark Hull, who risked it all (not really) to enter a contest to take the Big Z around the Shark Tank in San Jose. He even got to drive it (not really -- they only let him ride on it).
For less than $10 ($126.43 Canadian, more or less), you can bag a Zambeanie, a Zamboni Xing sign or a fridge magnet. (Okay, not a fridge magnet -- they were discontinued). We have our eye on the mousepad with pictures of old warhorses from Original Six rinks.
Sure, it's all fun and games until someone gets hockey lung. Leave it to the killjoys at Harvard to blame the Zam for unleashing dangerous nitrogen dioxide (no, not nitrous oxide, but that's bad for you too, laughing boy).
Just let those Harvard geeks try and ruin this house party, hosted by these rambunctious Connecticut indie rockers. (Yeah, we thought they'd play arena rock, too.) We're into "Hextall," "Hockey Monkey," "Shot ... Score!" and the power ballad "Wendel."
Sing along with the Gear Daddies:
Now ever since I was young it's been my dream
That I might drive a Zamboni machine
I'd get the ice just as slick as could be
And all the kids would look up to me
I want to Drive the Zamboni...hey
I want to Drive the Zamboni...Yes I do!

-- from "The Zamboni Song" on the CD Daddies Live Bait

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