We have no idea if panda bears can successfully resurface the ice, but they do share some common traits with the Zamboni.
Both are held in captivity by man. Both have been corrupted by corporate branding. Both are endearing societal icons; much-adored by young and old. But, most of all, both can become vicious agents of maiming if mistreated by an untrained teenager.
And like the poor soul who tangled with Gu-Gu panda at the Beijing Zoo, a 12-year-old boy was severely injured on Monday when he attempted to operate a Zamboni at the Flemingdon Arena in Ontario. To the tune of having his index, middle and ring fingers sliced off. From the Toronto Star:
Officers say that the boy often loiters around the arena and happened to sneak around to the back of the building where he found the Zamboni with the key in it. Once he was seated and he turned the Zamboni on, he reached around to the auger, the drill bit, and his fingers got caught. He is in Sick Kids Hospital in stable condition.
Man, that's rough. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for the kid, and for the prevention of this sort of thing happening again at any local ice rink.
Thanks to Puck Daddy reader Rumpelstilzchen for the tip, who added: "You've been guilty of romanticizing the Zamboni. That 12 year old is an avid Puck Daddy reader. Do the math." Ouch. Well, "ouch" within the obvious context of "ouch" in this post.