The Winter Olympics are always set in such lovely places that I watch them just for the setting. I don’t wish to be there among the bazillion people crowded into the area, although believe me, I’d rather be dropped there than in the Summer Olympic games with the bazillion sweaty armpits. I’m fine here on the sofa.
Dearly Beloved keeps the newspapers opened to the television schedule for events and practices thumb calisthenics to “remote” us through the various venues with ease. Our system has been that he can decide because I don’t care what we watch. Until this year.
I got hooked on curling.
When oldest grandson was a baby and Boo had taken the mommy pledge of not using the TV as a babysitter, she had him on her bed one morning and was trying to comfort him as he screamed his displeasure at the ills of society. She turned on the TV, looking for something to help her sanity, and happened to scroll by the Teletubbies. The kid stopped in mid scream and never blinked for the next 20 minutes. Completely mesmerized.
Curling affected me that way. Not the competition or even the game itself… it was the graceful gliding.
Remember that I lived in Wisconsin, where curling is big. I never saw it, never wanted to, and for that matter, I made fun of it. A sport played with a rock and brooms on ice in a barn? Puh-lease!
Friday I looked up to see what DB was watching and saw a player gliding on an ice court. He wasn’t wearing skates. In fact, his shoes looked like bowling shoes.
Another player sank to one knee and in a graceful pendulum motion, released a painted smudge pot and sent it skimming atop the ice to the circles painted at the other end of the court. Floating. . . gliding. . . curling gently. . . ahhhhhhh. I muted the sound and simply watched. Lovely.
A couple of guys holding brooms frantically started sweeping. Mood killer! Let’s just let it glide.
Never mind the rules of the game; tell me about the magic shoes and the pretty rock! What kind of soles allow that movement? DB watched with a look of amused disbelief as I began to read about the game. (A look doesn’t amuse ME, incidentally.)
My friend Wickie Pedia had the answers:
The shoes have Teflon on the bottom. Cool! There is a cover to snap on when they’re not gliding on the sheet, which is what the court is called. Mystery #1 solved. The rock that looked like a smudge pot? Granite… but not just any granite. The best stones are made from a special granite found on a small island in Scotland and cost up to $1,500 each. There are TEN of those highly polished stones per team.
I sat through match after match, waiting for the gliding parts. DB, who is not a curling connoisseur, commented that it looked like a sport my friends and I might enjoy playing.
WHAT? Are you nuts?
This is a game where somebody throws a rock toward a “house,” which is what they call that circle. Some of the lines are called “hog lines” and the team members carry brooms. Does that sound like some place I’d like to be? I can do that right here.
Cleaning standards are high. Last night one man pointed out a hair on the ice and his teammates rushed to remove it. THAT sounds even more fun, standing around the on the ol’ ice hog line, looking for hairs. On our floors, if it’s smaller than a chunk, I’m not going to notice it. Even then, I’ll wait for awhile in case the dog will eat it.
Still, there are other parts of the game that have possibilities. That very expensive granite?
Cut mine into countertops, please.