Speaking of Which

One Thing Leads to Another

By Steve Carr

My eight-year-old grandson Ben hopes to be a professional dancer/marketer/pollster and TV game show superstar when he grows up. Frankly, I think his odds are better than average for a dream-come-true scenario. He’s got the moves. Just ask the four thousand hockey fans who cheered him on when he appeared on the Dance Cam at a recent Idaho Falls Spud Kings game.

Speaking of the local hockey team, right after his brush with fame on the arena’s big screen, Ben told me he wasn’t sure about either the name “Spud Kings” or the Tater tot lookalike mascot. So, we brainstormed better names. Ben preferred, “Idaho Ice-a-topes,” a play on atoms, in honor of the Idaho National Laboratory—the country’s top-drawer nuclear research site, based right here in Idaho Falls.

Imagine the logo: an atom on skates suspended just above the ice, streaking at the speed of, well, a nuclear-charged atom. Oh, the T-shirts we could sell. And the mascot? Not a Tater tot, that’s for sure. How about Gammy the Gamma Ray? Now that’s double jeopardy on ice. Just ask our eight-year-old.

Speaking of ice, “What animals live where it’s cold all the time, Grandpa?”

 “Well, I guess there’s caribou.”

“Like Caribou County?”

“Yup. What’s the county seat of Caribou County?” I asked him. (Ben loves geography and capitals, which plays right into his love of quiz shows.)

 “What is Soda Springs?”

I complimented him on phrasing his response in the form of a question.

“You have to remember your phrasing, Grandpa.”

Which logically brought us to soda. Ben loves root beer. He turned to his siblings and asked them to rank all the root beer brands. As he gathered and collated his survey data, he decided that his choices warranted extra weight, somewhere around ninety percent. That’s because he fits the root beer demographic better than his older cola-drinking siblings. He doesn’t miss much, this one.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “There’s no such thing as bad root beer. There’s just better root beer.”

None better than homemade. Ben figured the Ice-a-topes mascot should be selling the official team-brewed beverage from carbon-dioxide-vaporizing dry ice barrels at every arena entrance. After all, “Dry ice is so cool.” (Yes, his pun was intentional.)  

“Think of the tons of money we’d make, Grandpa. Speaking of tons, how much would all that money weigh?”

Admittedly, we missed some of the game—including all the goals—but we covered a lot of ground, and a lot of licorice, hot dogs, ice cream, and root beer.

Before we arrived home after the Ice-a-topes’, er, Spud Kings’ loss, Ben had come up with several questions and answers for his self-produced game show. I agreed that he’d have lots of money for a top-drawer production after selling root beer and Gammy the Gamma Ray merchandise.

“Why do people put the best things in the top drawer, Grandpa?”

I didn’t have an answer. But I do know now that a hockey game is a top-drawer place for refining one’s career goals.

 Isn’t being eight great? Hey, I made a rhyme! Speaking of rhymes…

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Steve Carr

About Steve Carr

Since you asked, Steve Carr is a recovering attorney, who can be reached at [email protected].

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