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.