Dad Points on Ice

There are certain things a man does for no other reason than to win the approval of women. This can include gifts, certainly. But it can be as simple as lawn-mowing, or putting the seat down, or getting one’s fucking feet off the table. Little else, though, has quite the innocent payoff of pleasing adolescent […]

There are certain things a man does for no other reason than to win the approval of women.

This can include gifts, certainly. But it can be as simple as lawn-mowing, or putting the seat down, or getting one’s fucking feet off the table.

Little else, though, has quite the innocent payoff of pleasing adolescent girls.

Hence, I accompanied my nine year old daughter Ruby to “Disney’s High School Musical on Ice” at what was once called the Oakland Coliseum (though it now seems to be named after some over-monied high-tech database giant).

It was a bit odd being in that building again. It’s been a while. I’ve lost count of how many concerts I saw there through the seventies and eighties. They seem to have re-modeled the place heavily, or the drugs I was on back in those days did worse to my memory than I was aware.

But that night, it wasn’t stoner boys in down coats and waffle-stomper boots, sporting Yes and Genesis and Pink Floyd t-shirts. Tonight, the smell of shampoo and lip-glass and adolescent excitement was in the air.

There’s a sound – unlike any other sound, anywhere. This is what Beatlemania must have sounded like in person. This is the sound five thousand adolescent girls screaming as one, at the top of every tiny set of lungs, when an skater dressed and made up and wigged to vaguely resmble Zac Efron takes of his shirt and does a bit of fancy footwork across the ice.

I have to admit, such excitement is infectious.

Now, if you have adolescent girls at home, or know someone who does, you are all too aware of the whole High School Musical phenomenon. I won’t bother to describe, or try to explain, why this low-budget Disney Channel made-for-television movie has become such a massive hit. What I’ll say, though, is that it’s cute, silly, has pretty good songs, and likable stars (and as we know from the gossip pages, Vanessa Anne Hudgens is pretty tasty indeed in her birthday suit.)

But one has to be at least a bit afraid at the idea of – well, anything on ice that isn’t either olympic, or a comestible.

Ok, maybe it was just the screaming girls. Maybe it was the fantastic seats I had (I could reach the ice from my seats, which means I was close enough to see the skaters sweat, and see the expressions on their faces when they would occasionally drop character). Or maybe it’s that I genuinely love figure skating. But I admit it – I liked it. It was, possibly, the most soulless piece of live performance I’ve ever seen, and yet I enjoyed it.

Yeah, I’m blaming the little girls. It’s hard to be jaded and cynical when you’re sitting behind a ten year old who looks like she’s seeing god every time a favorite character skates by

Ruby was absolutely paralyzed with excitement. I thought she was unhappy halfway through the first act, and then realized, she was utterly overwhelmed into a fugue state. She wasn’t even able to applaud at first. I’m not entirely sure she was even breathing. When we got home, she had a sobbing breakdown, a combination of exaustion (WAY past her bedtime) and thrill over-load.

I can’t say I want to go back and see HSMonI again right away. But I also don’t at all mind the time and money. Well, well worth it. And damn, are those good Dad Points.

Saturday, Ruby goes with me to her first hockey game; thus, she gets to see what ice should look like, ie, with blood on it.

Update: I just read a review of this show by SFGate’s Peter Hartlaub. He captures it perfectly.

0 thoughts on “Dad Points on Ice”

  1. Okay, that’s a wee bit spooky. I just posted about taking our teenage son to a rock concert then I surfed over here and read this. (This is tons better than what I knocked out, though.)

    Our daughter is 18 now so we completely missed the HSM blitz, thankfully. I took her to an Avril Lavigne concert a few years back, though, so I can somewhat relate. For sheer noise level though, I’ll happily take the loudest and most intense metal show (hell, even fingernails on chalkboards… the real *black* chalkboards, not those stupid green things) over the ear-splitting shrieks of little girls.

    You’re a brave man.

  2. I think it takes an enormous amount of talent I don’t have to do the ice-show thing, as far as the skating goes, I mean. That’s why I don’t see it as a jaded cynical thing. Great seats, mondo Dad points, overload on the thrill meter, YOU had a good time…
    YAY!

  3. Hey Karl –

    This is Heather, Elaine’s friend. Don’t know if you remember me. Anyway, she forward me your URL as I, too, attended HSMonI last Friday and my ears were still ringing on Saturday when I spoke to her about it. OMG, were you there on Girl Scout night? I also reminisced about my days of contact high at Day on the Green’s. Sadly, only one other parent from my group was from the Bay Area so no one else knew what I was talking about. 🙁 I grudgingly admit, other than the volume, I had a pretty good time. My girls (ages 9 and 11) know both of those movies backward and forward (so do I, by default). The songs are catchy. The skating was clever. I can think of worse ways to spend an evening.

    If it makes you feel any better, one of my strongest memories from childhood is going to the Ice Capades with my Dad. Unlike my spoiled brats, we didn’t attend “special events” often. Going to the Ice Capades was a big treat, plus we rode BART. My Dad died last year. When I was riding the BART to the coliseum, I totally had flashbacks to Frick and Frack, and staying up WAY past my bedtime – and generally just being happy with my Dad. You’re daughter may not realize your sacrifice now, but years later when she endures her own Disney onslaught, she’ll remember this fondly. Trust me.

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