I’ve been watching the winter Olympics and I’m starting to get into curling. Curling is kind of a cross between shuffleboard, pool and chess. A big granite stone is slid across the ice toward a target by someone who looks like they were bowling and their back went out. Two people walk beside the stone sweeping with brooms sometimes and sometimes just walking while the other two team members scream at them. For the life of me it sounds like one person is screaming to sweep and the other is screaming to stop. Both sweepers seem confused and alternate between sweeping like crazy and not sweeping at all. No one seems to know what to do.
When I first saw it I thought it was some kind of Minnesota bowling. I figured a few guys in Bemidji were sitting out on the lake ice drinking beer. “Hey Ole, hand me that concrete block,” one of them said and curling was born. I could imagine leagues with people smoking cigarettes and maybe even there was a beer round. After a while somebody’s drunken Uncle Eddie would be sliding down the ice on his belly. On special nights they’d slide beavers or moose with handles strapped to their backs down the ice. There might even be boys and girls curling leagues where they slid boys and girls down the ice.
I was wrong. Curling has been around for hundreds of years, and it was invented in Scotland, which seems strange. I can’t imagine guys in kilts squatted down and sliding along dragging things that close to the ice. I still haven’t figured out the thing with the brooms. I know sweeping is supposed to make the stones go farther and help it curl or not curl—maybe they’re sweeping up cigarette butts. It’s one of those things that you like and don’t know why like Brussels’ sprouts, Cornuts and Tom Arnold.
Just on a side note, my book, County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald, is available on Amazon for 99 cents. It’ll be available for that price for a week. Also I had a reviewer write that the ending to the book had her in tears. So I guess if you’re looking for a thriller about a former SEAL who goes looking for his mother’s murderer that will bring tears to your eyes, this would be the book. It would make a great Valentine’s present.