Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day Five: Andy Goes Curling

Yes, my friends back home will not believe me.  I went curling and did not fall or break anything.  In fact, I don't even think I have any bruises.  I know Molly is going to require proof, so I have photos, however unattractive they are.  

The dear folks at the Elmwood Curling Club (who are about to celebrate their centennial) invited me out for a curling lesson.  They outfitted me in gear: shoes (with a gripper and slider), a broom and even my very own Curling jacket to take home with me!  Can you believe this hospitality?  I simply can't.

I showed up when the kids were having their lessons.  This made feel more comfortable because if I was going to fall on my butt, I don't mind a bunch of kids laughing at me.  In fact, I told everyone that if I did, they would be required to laugh.  I got to speak to the guy who maintains the ice (a very complicated and skilled trade).  And then I hesitantly made it out onto the ice.

The President of the Curling Club, Karen was the sweetest host.  She and her husband were very patient with my akwardness on the ice.  Surprisingly, with the special shoes, the ice was not very slippery.  Though getting up after "throwing a stone" was probably not my most graceful moment in life.  Still, I was amongst good company and they did not seem to mind my "gracesslessness" on the ice.  Yeah, I just made that word up.  I threw some stones and then learned how to sweep.  Sweeping was fun and a lot more suited to me.  

Tournament of Hearts

I asked what "throwing hack way" was, which of course is a reference from the song "Tournament of Hearts".  For those not familiar with curling - the hack way is the black rubbery thing you put your foot in before you push off to throw the stone down the lane.  In the photo at the top, my right foot is in the "hack way."  If you throw hack way, you are throwing the stone so that it hits the rubbery foot rest on the other end of the lane.  There.  I tried to describe it.  I am sure I did a horrible job, but you can't say I did not try!   Describing it.... and more importantly curling.
This stone weighs 40+ lbs.

Oh yes, and then we drank Eggnog with spiced rum.  I don't they they will let you leave the curling club without having at least one "beverage".  Even if it is only 2 in the afternoon.  Aren't those the rules?

On the way back to the hotel, Karen took me to a few other spots that show up in Weakerthans "literature"  but I will post about those gems later.

I thank the Elmwood Curling Club and especially the Karen for welcoming me into her club and trusting me enough to let me on the ice.  Some people in Georgia understand the risk she was taking with that one!

I am gearing up for the last of the 4 shows tonight:  an epic of them playing all 4 albums.  I suspect I am going to have some serious post show blues in the morning.

My First Curling Jacket.


  1. Ok, now I'm jealous. My favorite movie in the world is "Help!" by the Beatles, and there's a scene where they are curling and get assaulted by a bomb laden stone, which George proclaims as a "fiendish thingy". I've always wanted to try it because of that. And that jacket, Andy, will have your hipster meter pegged out in Atlanta! -Scott Lewis

  2. This has nothing to do with curling, but I have to mention it before you leave on the long trip home.

    If you can make it to a bookstore, try find a copy of a photo book, of street photography done over the past 30+ years in that most Winnipeg of Winnipeg neighbourhoods, the North End.

    It's called (wait for it) "The North End" by John Paskievich.

    I have no connection or benefit to this, I just think you'd dig it and it'd be a different angle on the whole trip for you.

  3. I would also add the book "The Imagined City: A Literary History of Winnipeg" a fiction compilation by various Winnipeg authors and poets (JKS contributes "One Great City" to this).

  4. Thanks for the suggestions on the books and "hack weight"

    Scott - you can borrow the jacket from time to time if you need it ;) And maybe there is a curling club somewhere in Atlanta. If so we need to find it. You can curl. I will watch -- and drink scotch ;)

  5. Well, don't do TOO much book shopping until you've opened all the Christmas presents you've already got...

  6. I figured that, Stu! ;) But I figured I could just "window shop."

  7. Love the article, too bad no video!

  8. Video would have been bad dear, very bad! ;)