Every Canadian Boy’s Dream

By Grant Bentley

Hey man, how’s it goin’?

A little intro before I answer your question.

My name is Scotty, Scotty Carstairs. I live in a little village called Stanford. Stanford is, like, fifty miles southwest of nowhere and a typical rural Alberta village. One thing you would notice here, is that every village, no matter how small it is, will have a hockey arena. There may be no grocery store, no café, no post office, and no service station, but there’ll be a hockey arena. Stanford is no different. There are only about forty people living in town, six of them under the age of seventy, but we have a hockey arena.

There are, like, thirty kids in my high school. Most of them are farm kids. And yeah, you wanna see hard, tight, muscular bodies man, just check out a few of these farm kids. Take my word for it, throwing hay bales and shovelling shit is better exercise than any gym workout. Hell, you might even want to check out some of the guys too. Not that I would…like…you know…do that.

So you want to know what every normal Canadian boy dreams of, eh? Well besides…. Yeah, okay.

I could probably sum it up in one word, hockey, but that wouldn’t explain the anticipation of the season or the thrill of putting on your skates for the first time. It’s like a whole experience, you know, not just a game. So I’m gonna explain it as it happens for me here in Stanford.

Yeah, okay…. So this is my story.

Once upon a time, in a small rural village in the middle of nowhere, there lived a boy. His name was Scotty.

Okay, okay, sorry…seriously, then…

So, like, every fall, besides watching the leaves on the trees change colour and fall off, I spend the first two weeks of October waiting for the guys to get the ice ready in the arena. Hockey season can’t start soon enough for most of us. This is the time when the guys go through last year’s hockey equipment to make sure everything still fits. It’s also the time every parent prays that it does, cause new hockey equipment is, like, big bucks.

Whoa, hey man, that reminds me. I know you’ve never opened a hockey bag that had been closed up all summer in the garage. But, I gotta tell you, you’d only do it once. It’s like no other smell on earth, man. I can’t describe it, cause there’s like nothing to compare it to, you know? I mean, you could kill cockroaches with that smell, man.


But it’s, like, such a vivid memory, man. I mean, it’s right there, you know? You can’t forget it, but it can’t be described. It’s like…

Yeah, yeah, okay.

So where was I? Oh, yeah, waiting for ice. So, while we’re waiting, most guys are wondering who their coach will be this year, wondering if they’ll survive the cut and make the team, and wondering how their season will go if they do. I mean, every guy wants to make the team and be an all-star and every guy wants to be on a team that makes the play-offs and wins a provincial championship. Like that’s not obvious.

So anyhow, moving ahead, it’s now the fifteenth of October. The last layer of ice is down. Thirty kids are standing in the bleachers, staring at the perfectly smooth ice and admiring the perfect lines and the perfect village logo at centre ice.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. So we’re easily entertained. You wanna hear the rest of this or not?

Okay, good. So, like every year, the first evening is going to be a free skate. That means no hockey sticks or pucks. It’s all about getting the ‘feel of the ice’ again. That, and there’s gonna be little kids and old people on the ice.

Some mothers get real ticked off if you plant a hockey puck in their kids ear at a seventy miles an hour. Go figure.

So, anyway, the first half hour is teens only. They say it’s to give us a chance to burn off some energy. I really think it’s just cause the old people need a half hour to get their skates done up.

Yeah, so anyway, we’re ready and waiting for permission to hit the ice. My anticipation is palpable. (Cool word, huh? Palpable—I like that. Palpable.)

Okay, okay, sorry. But it’s cool—palpable.

Yeah, yeah, okay, so now, this is the good part. Just concentrate, feel it with me.

The thrill is like no other as I step onto the ice. I feel the exhilaration as I glide across its pristine surface. I start at the north end of the rink and pick up speed—faster, faster, faster. I’m flying along the ice now. No player can keep up with me. I sweep around the south end of the rink and start back. I do five laps at full speed.

On the fifth lap, as I approach the north end, I mentally prepare myself. Am I ready? Hell yeah, just focus…focus.

I lift off the ice into the air, rotating two and a half turns before my skate again contacts the ice and I glide backwards in a graceful curve, completing the jump.

YES! I did it! My first time on the ice this year and I just executed a perfect double Axel! How awesome is that?

I mean, seriously, man, first time on the ice—perfect double Axel. Can it get any better than that? My excitement is palpable. Hehe.

This is going to be my year, I know it. When March comes around, not only will I be at provincials, but I’m going to win. I feel kinda like, in that song, you know,

I am strong.

I am invincible.

I am …

No, wait a minute, not that song. Jeez.

Seriously though, next March, I am going to be the 2009 provincial gold medallist in senior boy’s singles figure skating.

Whoa, did I say figure skating? I did, didn’t I. Damn.

Hey, thanks, man. Not everyone sees it that way.

I mean, I get a lot crap from the other guys and I know my Dad really wishes I played hockey.

But, then…when I look in the mirror, I like who I see, and I remind myself that I love what I do and I do what I love.

So, mine is not the normal dream of the normal Canadian boy. I know that.

And, because I know that, there are times when I just have to laugh and say to myself,

“Oh, what the Hell! Who wants to be normal anyway?”