Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The latest news on Diane’s bonspiel (a word meaning tournament or “get really drunk at the curling rink”)

Yesterday was the first day of the long awaited bonspiel. Diane’s team arrived early and helped fill in on other teams that were short players. I arrived for the 4:00 game to be followed by the Curling Banquet (read: buffet line). I watched from the viewing gallery upstairs and let me tell you it was packed! I barely could find a space at the end of the viewing area to watch the game. When Diane said it was a 2 hour game, I thought ‘no way can that last 2 hours’. Two hours later, I almost missed the last shot trying to download a new ring tone for my cell phone.

I read up on the game before I went to watch by perusing the sports section of “How to be a Canadian” by Will & Ian Ferguson. I could not tell who had won the game because the numbers on the board are not really the score; they are a measurement of who is ahead at each end (what?). I would have asked one of the other onlookers but I felt very conspicuous drinking my 5-bucks (Canadian term for Starbucks, why drink one when Tim Horton’s is only 2 bucks?) chai latte while the others were heartily enjoying the Okanagan Pale Ale.

I must say I have not seen Diane smile so much in a very long time. She really loves this sport. And she is getting very good at it.

The buzz around the banquet hall was about the team of little boys called The Crazy Eights (sponsored by an area novelty store). They had shut out every adult team in the bonspiel. The game they had just won, 16 to 0, was called early because the kids were so far ahead the adults would never catch up.

Then they news came.

Diane’s team would play the Crazy Eights in the finals on Sunday. Strategy started being tossed around at the table. How to prepare? Doctor the little tyke’s cokes with some rum? See how well they can play with a hangover? At least convince them if they win they have to buy the adults their drinks?

It is Sunday and I just received word that Diane’s team has beaten the Crazy Eights, 12 to 6. The kids were very upset as they have been playing for 3 years and have not lost to adults very often. Diane’s team has been playing for 3 months. The one player on the ‘Eights with the Faux Hawk died burgundy threatened to quit saying he could not take this anymore. Poor kids. Their Dad’s approached Diane’s team afterwards and said it was really good for the kids to have to taste defeat and deal with it.

Moral of the story? Diane’s team will not be playing in the novice league next year, they have been bumped up to regular league play.

My overall view on curling is as follows. It is a gentlemanly and lady-like sport (except for the burping when drinking the beer). The only time you yell is at your own teammates and it is to cheer them on. I will go and watch again next year if they make it to the finals.