Interpretations:Figure Eight

From This Might Be A Wiki

This song, though about numbers and skating, could actually be interpreted as being about a closeted homosexual who wishes that he weren't gay. In the first verse, he talks about turning himself around, and that if he could do that and "go straight," he can reach his eventual goal, heterosexuality, here with the metaphor of performing a figure 8 properly. He constantly reminds himself of this in the chorus, by telling himself to "go left" and "go right" to dodge the obstacles that will stop him from being able to "go straight." In verse two, he says that if it weren't for the Zamboni, he would never leave the ice. The ice is a metaphor for the gay lifestyle he desires, and the Zamboni is what is keeping him from indulging in it, probably his religious beliefs, as it refers to "a sign that means forever," and in most religions, God is viewed as living eternally. I doubt the Johns wrote it with that intention, but it's a possible interpretation.