After being ripped off (nothing unusual) by the ACTION bus driver on the no. 38 service to Woden, I stepped off into Canberra suburban teenage hell: the Woden Plaza and Bus Interchange. Greeting me were a gang of unruly youths smoking beside an overturned shopping trolley. Next up was a fat young girl eating fast food while walking beside her ugly boyfriend. I looked ahead to the bright lights of Hoyts Cinemas, McDonalds, et. al. I heard my name called - the friends who I had gone to meet were there. As they had not eaten dinner, I was required to do the unthinkable. That is, frequent the Woden Plaza Food Court.
Woden under construction in 1968. Doesn't look much better now.
It was packed. Is this the best that people can do for a Friday night meal? There were hideous teenagers posing everywhere. Don't they realise just how gross this place is? It's like Fountaingate Shopping Centre without the amusingness of Kath and Kim to roam about with Kylie and Dannii Bolton throwing a bit of chaos into the mix.
Finally we escaped and were on our way to the Phillip Ice Skating Rink.
It also serves as an outdoor swimming complex in the summer. There were more gangs of teenagers outside. I said "why don't they go inside and skate, rather than standing around on the steps?". My friend served up the pearl of wisdom, "they are waiting for their friends." Indeed. On closer inspection, these teenagers were of the rather inocuous 12 and 13 year old churchyouthgroup species, rather than the evil 15 and 16 year old Iwanttocausetrouble species.
Despite this being called Friday night Video Disco, I was fully prepared for an onslaught of "So Fresh The Hits of Autumn 2005" or something in that style, you know, shit like Usher, 50 Cent, Linkin Park, Nitty, etc. And I was right to be prepared, for that is what was offered. Not a disco beat in sight for the first hour. The closest I got to disco while developing blisters on my left foot was singing along to Sarah Connor's "Bounce", my favourite lyric being "I called your pager and your 2-way boy but no repsonse/start looking and I found you in some other woman's arms". I was the only one who knew the words, surprisingly. It seemed to me that these kids just don't seem to like music any more. Even the crap songs that you think they'd love, you didn't see any young girls screaming "oh i love this song" or anyone (besides me) mouthing along to the lyrics of anything, not even Anthony Callea or Delta's Out of the Blue (which I must admit both sound GREAT at the ice rink).
Finally Michael Gray's "The Weekend" was served up and disco arrived for three or four short songs. A highlight was Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone." What a great track, you can just tell a Swede had a hand in that one.
Now, to the ice. It was choppy and it looked like they were about to smooth it out with their big machine, but then...they didn't. Cue me falling and gtting all wet.
Meanwhile there were the skaters. Every ice rink in Australia has about two of these. Kids who can really skate. There was a slutty looking girl showing off her skills, looking all of 14 years old and attempting to lure every male with her backward skating.
Then there was the ridiculously cute brilliant skater 14 year old dark handsome rosy cheeks bright eyes big muscles Canadian looking little jacket wearing then taking off to black singlet top beautiful boy skater who everyone secretly or not so secretly envied deliriously. Why can't I be him? Or at least be his "friend." Not fair! Bet he doesn't know Bodies Without Organs though. Suck on that.
This Canberra Ice Skater, I discovered through Google, is very keen on Mandy Moore and Dawson's Creek. Good on you mate!
All up, my score? Ice skating keeps you young and in touch with the youth while doing some moderately strenous and embarassing exercise. Seven out of Ten.