Loco Viewpoint

Cupcake’s Secret Pleasure

Cupcake went to bed early last Saturday, even by her standards. She’d set her alarm to rouse herself (and me, of course) to watch her secret pleasure. No, it wasn’t naughty videos she yearned for, it was curling. Canada’s National Women’s Team was playing Switzerland for the World Title in Sapporo, Japan, which explains the cruel game time. For the non-curling minded, myself among them, our collective yawn could suck the air out of the world’s largest curling venue (Saskatchewan after freezing rain).

I’m no curling groupie like Cupcake but I did enjoy it when I played. The first time was in a family bonspiel when I was a young teen. I did really well, although I couldn’t get out of bed for two days since all my muscles had somehow turned into pain-flavoured Jello. Sweeping hard enough to heat ice ahead of the rock is physically demanding; the burn you feel in your thighs is so hot, you could start barbecue briquettes. I imagine folks who sweep in the upper echelons of the sport could cracks walnuts with their thighs. I’m sure this may deter potential mates due to all the walnut shells in their pants.

“Tell me again why you’re getting up at this ungodly hour to watch curling,” I grumbled testily.

“I’m getting up to support our country and root for Team Canada like good Canadians should,” she said as if it was a test of patriotic fervor, and I was failing miserably, to her obvious disgust.

“Are you nuts?” I asked incredulously, despite knowing the answer for years. “I don’t even wake up to watch the Olympics or International hockey.”

“I know,” she acknowledged screwing up her face like she’d just bitten a pickled mouse. “I’m sure Jennifer forgives you.”

“Jennifer?” I took the bait though would have preferred going back to sleep. I get enough of people yelling, “Hurry hard!” all day at work.

“Jennifer Jones, of course,” she spat. “She is the skip of the Canadian Women’s Team.”

“She doesn’t allow men on her team? She sounds like a sexist,” I joked.

Cupcake went ballistic. Apparently curling is something one never jokes about. I don’t know why. For generations, even curlers didn’t take their sport all that seriously. Every sheet of ice was originally built with beer holders and ashtrays up and down the rink for the really serious curlers to use in-between rock sweeping.

I will admit curling has been around a long time, but, then again, so has The Plague but I don’t wake up in the wee hours to watch it. According to Wikipedia, they have recently recovered an ancient curling rock in Scotland, inscribed with the year ‘1511’, (I suppose it might have been inscribed just after three in the afternoon.) This means they likely have been playing the game since at least the 1400’s. Mind you, they have uncovered evidence of a soccer-like game being played in China over 2000 years ago and I don’t care much about soccer, either.

I should assure everyone unlike Jennifer, I’m no sexist; at least not regarding curling. I wouldn’t get up in the middle of the night to watch men curl, either. In fact, I wouldn’t get up in the afternoon to watch it. I’m not one for watching. I loved playing slow-pitch baseball until my hip fell off but I never enjoyed being a spectator when my playing days ended.

Some sports are worse than others to watch; bowling, for instance. Here’s my impression of bowling announcer banter.

“What do you think he’ll do this time, Bob?”

“I figure he’ll probably try and knock those pins down, Dave.”

“What about defense. What can the other team do to prevent it?”

“Offer the other team another beer.”

I will say, in support of curling it’s somewhat better than bowling. I can understand Cupcake’s attraction to it, other than the annoying screaming. It sounds too much like Cupcake and I renovating.

I’m insulted by the shouted demands of the skip. When I curled and the skip yelled, “Harder!” I felt he was unfairly criticizing my strenuous sweeping. I figured if he’d thrown it with more muscle, I wouldn’t have to sweep it at all.

I’m sure ‘Jennifer’ was disappointed her rink lost but I’d bet Cupcake was more despondent.

“Just wait til next year, Hon,” I consoled her when she broke the news.

“Forget next year,” Cupcake perked up. “Next week it’s the men’s championships! Oh, John Morris! How I’ve waited for you!”

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