I Warned You Not to Touch That

Oh Canada

by on Feb.25, 2010, under Other

I’ve never had a problem with Canadians.  As a group, I find them nicer than many other nationalities I’ve run into.  Of course, there is the language barrier and I’m not sure television has made its way across the border, but they make up for it with their great cars.  I mean their beer.  I feel a certain kinship to our North American neighbors yet, I’m at a loss when it comes to one of their beloved pastimes, curling.  My cat, Zippie, and I recently watched the spectacle as it aired on the Olympics. 

In Canada, curling and hockey are viewed with the same passion many in the United States view baseball and football.  The problem with watching curling at the Olympics is the rules are a carefully guarded secret that NBC has contractually agreed not to disclose.  I love watching the sport.  It’s like trying to figure out cricket.  The playing pieces or “stones,” bear a striking resemblance to the kind of egg I’d expect to emanate from a granite dinosaur.  They slide and guide them down a small iced surface that looks like a cross between a shuffleboard court and hockey rink.

The main idea of the contest is to look cool as you launch the rock and then gaze at it lovingly while yelling HARD.  To look even cooler, it helps to scream REALLY HARD. Sometimes they do this by calling from the other end.  I think. They could throw a nine, which is their normal, or possibly make an intern drop.  It sickens me to encounter a rock that’s open by half to three quarters.  I wanted to see if the dropped intern would make a recovery or fall to her takeout weight.

The best part of the whole show is the sweepers and scrapers.  I’m sure that’s the wrong term for them but they are the action portion of this adventure.  Skittering down the ice looking at the stone they alternately lope along or scrape for all their worth. They have to keep an eye on their opponent’s stones and gingerly step around them.  Then, as if to counteract the play the offense just made, the other team jumps in at the end to do some sweeping and scraping of their own.  If they just joined forces, they’d have the ice cleared in no time.

The Canadian’s watching the event seemed wildly enthusiastic about it.  My cat, who knows a little about curling himself, took it all in and was unimpressed.     

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