on Thursday, February 18, 2010

A dreadful ailment is affecting Malaysian Grey Squirrels. The characteristic symptoms are blood-shot and droopy eyes and a tendency to drift into a comatose state in the middle of the day. After much research, medical experts conclude that the epidemic will be over by the beginning of March. But will the squirrels be able to survive till then?

And what causes the blood-shot eyes and comatose state during the daytime? Television. Or rather the television coverage of the Olympic Winter Games from Vancouver which unfortunately screens at the twilight zone hours of 1 am - 4 am in Kuala Lumpur. After several days of keeping such vampire friendly hours, my eyes are sore to the light of the sun, my skin has a ghastly parlor and my brain goes into REM sleep at work .

Just the other day, I struggled to stay awake with a gallon or two of dark hot coffee while trying to watch this particularly interesting winter sport with an exciting match between Team Canada and Norway. I desperately needed to sleep but the game had interesting changes in fortune that kept me glued to the TV set. I invested an hour and a half of my slumber time to watch the match and would you believe it...........the local station cut the coverage just 10 minutes before the close of the match. How frustrating!

Now what was this interesting sport that caught my attention? Well, here is where this post really starts. Are you familiar with that delightful rhyme that goes; "Stick and stones will break my bones......."? Well, this sport has sticks and has stones.

The stones are made of granite, weigh about 20 kg and have handles. The sticks are actually broomsticks. You also need a long stretch of ice with frozen droplets of water on the surface which are called pebbles. There is also a painted house with no walls and hog lines.

Briefly, there are four in a team and they take turns to throw the rocks at the house which is down the far end of the ice. One guy throws the rock, one guy tells him where to throw the rock and the other two use the brooms to sweep the ice so that nothing gets in the way of the rocks. The guy who throws the rock must also make sure he throws the rock before he crosses the hog line or else I think the hogs get angry.

Oh yes, this has also been called chess on ice cause it is obviously very intellectual. The Scots claim to have invented this game in the 16th century but the Lone Grey Squirrel doubts this. I think guys in kilts would not have a lot of fun on ice. Also we all know that Scots toss cabers and not rocks.

I am more inclined to believe that during the 17th century, a bunch of Americans from Salem set off to throw stones at some local witches but a peace-loving witch enchanted them and they ended up playing a game with their stones and the witches' brooms.

There! I have done my best to educate you on the special sport of curling but if you are still not satisfied, you might want to get the truth from wikipedia. Or you could watch this video.


Lorac said...

Oh my gosh LGS! You stayed up and watched curling? What did you use to keep your eyes open at that time of the morning? Silly squirrel! I am glad you are enjoying the Olympics though!

Gledwood said...

The squirrels down my local park sit in the tree branches, watching the Olympics on their laptops..!

mago said...

You are right. In my humble opinion its the only winter sport worth to be watched. And no, it's not always the Scots who invented all and everything - bigmouths by nature. It is played in The Netherlands and in Northern Europe well before them Scots learned to crawl on ice, ha!


Sorry to hear about the epidemic of the grey squirrels,
Yesterday on You Tube I saw a squirrel water surfing......honest.
It was fun to watch.
Thanks for sharing a wonderful blog.


geewits said...

We love curling! I don't know why we haven't seen any yet. We'll look for it this weekend.

the walking man said...

Of the many benefits found in living less than a mile away from the Canadian border is we got to grow up watching their television station which regularly broadcast curling. Funny thing is though I would never stay up that far past my sleep time to watch it...silly squirrel.

squirrelmama said...

LGS, until the Olympics enlightened me a few years ago, I was convinced that Curling was a competitive sport among hairdressers.
Glad I am now among the savvy set where that is concerned.
However, don't you squirrels have VCRs or that gizmo called TiVo (hard-drive recording) in Malaysia? Must a hard-working squirrel always watch this in realtime?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I confess to being a silly squirrel. I can't help it but I am attracted by the light of the Olympic torch.

Dem be very savvy squirrels.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Do you watch curling too? Maybe you could research it's history and tell us about it. It would be interesting to find a document from centuries ago describing the sport.

Squirrels water surfing? Well, all part of our plan for world conquest.....but you did not hear it from me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

They should give a name to us beer-loving, fans of Joss Whedon and the Fifth Element who also love curling. I mean, what are the odds.

Guilty on being a silly squirrel. Hangs head down in shame and goes to sleep.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

A competitive sport for hairdressers? Isn't that called "streaking"? No wait, that's something different.

Unfortunately, I would need a TiVo type machine to record the TV coverage which this financially and technologically challenged squirrel does not have.

Jo said...

CURLING...!!! Yay, Calvin...! Curling is a hoot.

secret agent woman said...

Somehow, the Olympics bug never bit me.

You should see this for a little pick-me-up:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think maybe the rock throwing sport was invented by the wives of guys who stayed up all night watching athletic competitions on television. The first objects thrown in this manner were probably prehistoric television sets, preferably the kind that sat in bulky cabinets. The brooms were kept handy to clean up smaller knickknacks that suffered collateral damage in the general melee.

The Mindful Merchant said...

I grew up curling – and still enjoy the sport. I can understand why people poke fun at it. Here in Ontario at the end of a game the winning team shakes hands then sits down with their opponents and buys them a drink. I have heard that does not happen in other parts of the country, but that is a bonus part to the game.

blackcrag said...

I've been thinking of taking up curling. That or luge/skeleton. I'm having a hard time deciding.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Absolutely. I just love throwing rocks into houses! :)

Secret agent woman,
Cute little robber, isn't he?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Interesting theory.Now I have to keep wide awake to look out for such said flying objects.

Mindful Merchant,
It is fun poking fun at sports but I usually poke fun of the ones that I actually like cause they seem so unique. Hey, kicking balls around is so common. Throwing rocks? Now that's special.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Curling - the speed of molasses. Luge/skeleton - the speed of a jet plane. Quite a difference in choices there, buddy.

Cedar said...

1. TIVO would be your be your best friend.

2. Curling, drunk Scots. Who could not love a people whose men wear skirts proudly and who gave the world curling.

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