Sunday, January 13, 2008

How do you get bruises when curling?

Falling on the ice, that's how. And, twice. Yeeeouch. That's enough reason to go out and get a proper pair of curling shoes instead of using my Keen's and a floppy strap-on slider.... Brian and I got curling brooms and cool-looking curling gloves for Christmas from my mom, so we decided to start going down to the curling club on Friday nights to be spares for the mixed league. Last Friday was our first attempt, and we were lucky enough to find a team in need of two people so Brian and I could play together. I, having taken curling lessons when I was eight years old and having spent copious hours watching The Scott Tournament of Hearts on T.V. with my mom, was the logical skip for our team. We started out pretty weak, giving the opposing team four points on the first end, and we - gulp - had the hammer. It was also during that first end that I appeared to have stepped on a banana peel and in classic fashion took my first tumble on the ice. Most of my body weight landed on my left buttocks and when I got up quickly (in an attempt to shake it off and make like it never happened), I saw stars in my eyes. "I'm okay, yup, I'm okay." During the second end, things didn't really get a whole lot better, except I didn't fall on the ice. The other team got another point, when, once again, sadly, we had the hammer. My excuse is that we were just warming up. And indeed we were! because in the next end we scored two! And then another point after that. It was then and there that I insisted we keep score on the board (I think the other team felt bad for us near the beginning and stopped counting). So, by the end of the fourth end, we were down by two points. The fifth end brought us two points. The sixth end brought our opponent one point, and another bail on the ice by yours truly (a woman in the next lane of ice, whose entire team were wearing cheesy housecoats, said that I am now an official member of her 'Team Fall'). I tripped over the black foot-placement things - is that the hack? - on my way to sweeping the opposing team's rock past the latter half of the rings. That fall hurt more than the first. I managed to whack my knee and my elbow, and some stars appeared one more time. Gawd, I felt like such a goober. "Yup, I'm okay, Yup." The seventh end brought us two more points - which meant we were winning by one! It was exciting! "We don't suck!" In the eighth end (the last end in the mixed league rules), our opponent had the hammer, and ended the game with one point making it a tie game. We suggested drawing to the button for a winner, but we then found out that on the major scoring for the season, a tie game means that each team gets one point. I'll take that point, thank you. After the game, we all went up to the seedy pub area upstairs. Why is it that in every single curling rink, there's a seedy little pub upstairs with dark walls, seventies wooden chairs, tables with notches, photos on the wall of silly curling folks dressed up as the opposite sex, and a small bar containing cheap liquor? I dunno why this is, but I love it. Our team for the evening did so well together that we've decided to enter the Valentine's Day bonspeil. Apparently, every year there's a dress up theme, and this year is "Celebrity Dead People". It may be easy to add an ice axe and some hiking boots and a climbing helmet to turn one of us into the recently deceased, Sir Edmund Hillary. In any case, I should really consider wearing a helmet when I curl to prevent brain damage when I fall. Sheesh. Two days later, I still feel like I've been hit by a zamboni...


At 10:23 a.m., January 15, 2008, Anonymous Heather said...

Excellent account of the big game! On your third fall, I winced. And don't I remember those seedy little bars above the curling rinks...Edmonton has those above the tennis courts too.

Curl on!

At 2:33 p.m., January 15, 2008, Anonymous jtick said...

I come from a family of curlers...we take turns wearing Dad's old '70s curling sweater all green and cardigan-y with TICKNOR across the back in big, white, felt letters. Nothing says family pride like the curling sweater :)

I definitely remember the dark little pubs 'upstairs' in curling rinks. I also remember the strata clouds of cigarette smoke that used to lurk at eye-level and you had to wander through it as you looked for your people in the poorly lit room with 'wood' paneling and dusty trophies.

Oh yeah, I've been to the curling rink.

Ask me about painting the curling rink as a community service job working off a traffic ticket when I was's a goodie ;)


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