In light of the Olympics and for the benefit of some of my new Canadian friends, I’ve dug up this old post from back when I first moved to Canada in the late 90’s. Hopefully it’s relatively amusing….
I mentioned earlier that this installment would contain a discussion of curling. Well, it would except that I still haven’t figured it out. I can tell you a few things about it though, and they are as follows.
1. This sport makes little or no sense to the untrained observer.
2. In light of point #1, I will still try to make some sense.
3. The game is played by two teams on ice, who slide rocks and attempt to get them inside a designated area to score points. Imagine shuffleboard on ice. Sort of.
4. You must yell a lot to play this game. The four players on each team are always yelling at each other. Words such as ‘heavy’, ‘hard’, ‘hurry’, ‘good’, ‘whoa’, and ‘clean’ in addition to others are thrown about a lot. At first, I found myself aroused hearing these words shouted at me, as I was watching womens curling at the time. I thought I must have stumbled onto some combination wintersports/adult channel and was hoping that up next would be the lesbian naked pairs figure skating. Then I realized, quite to my dismay, that they were using these words with regards to the game. What each word means in relation to the game is still somewhat a mystery to me. I still enjoyed the yelling though, does that make me naughty?
5. A game consists of what I have determined to be 8 or 10 ‘ends’ or periods, which makes no sense either. If you play one ‘end’, how can you play 7 more? Isn’t the ‘end’ the END?
6. There is ALWAYS curling on tv in Canada.
7. Curling on TV is habit forming. It sucks you in. There is no action, no fast movement, no snappy music, but it’s like falling asleep to the air conditionerit sort of hypnotizes you. It sends messages to your brain that say “Come. Sit. Watch me for hours. Try to solve the riddle that is curling. Do or do not, there is no try. I am the walrus.”
8. I, and you, are not smart enough to play this game. The announcers discuss strategy and positioning in terms that would make MacArthur drool. I assumed they were just banging rocks around, but OH NO, every bump has a purpose, every play a whole hidden agenda. You cannot be privvy to this information unless you are a player, and to be a player, you have to be a master of motion, dynamics, physics and chemistry. At first glance it looks like a bunch of goofballs throwing rocks around on the ice and yelling like idiots, but don’t be fooled, it is the majesty and the mystery that is curling.
Now, if there is anyone out there that is a curler (is that even the right term?), don’t take offense to my little dissertation. I am only one of the lowly ones, the ‘unknowers’ that don’t partake in your sport. I play hockey. Which in your opinion may be just guys skating around beating each other with sticks, but to me it’s so much more. To me it’s guys beating each other with sticks, but also swearing a lot and drinking too much beer afterwards. That’s what takes it to the next level.
For all of you back in the States, my friends that are reading this and are unfamiliar with curling, let me just sum up by saying this:
You’ll know as soon as I do.
Until then, stay tuned as I will continue to report on the strange customs of your neighbour to the north. (Such as spelling neighboor with a ‘u’.)