Saturday, August 27, 2005

We shall come rejoicing.

Katrina's coming our way... KTG just called to see if we needed help evacuating. But we're not leaving our home. It's been here a long, long time. Hopefully the 150 year old wood and stone will last through another big storm. And probably a flood as well. That's what happens when you live 6 feet below sea level.

We joked even though staying is indeed a dangerous endeavor. Almost as dangerous as some of our escapades. And definitely not as much fun as some others. The following is one of the most memorable. Mostly 'cause I can't remember a lot of the others. I think that I have blanked them out.


It was quite a few years ago. Back when I still had fun. Back before I became a responsible adult and parent. Back when I frequently imbided in many forbidden fruits....

KTG and I attended our first Celtic Festival on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Let me apologize explain by saying that yes, as usual, we were under the influence of various chemicals. And this is reason enough for people to learn to "JUST SAY NO."

Having a thing for men in kilts I, of course, was drawn like a magnet to the playing fields for the Highland Games. I absolutely had to oogle get a glimpse of big, muscular, man-thighs. MMMMMMM. Nothing like a man in a skirt. Except for a man out of one.

But I digress.

We strolled down to watch the caber toss, the hammer throw, some other stone tossing / rock throwing events, as if I really paid attention to what they were doing. Hey, there were men in kilts. And that chemical influence imbalance thing. I've only got a one, or two - at best, track mind.

Finally, they began a game which we thought we heard them call "Sheep tossing."

"SHEEP TOSSING?" we skeptically asked each other. "O-kaaaaay."

Well, they do eat haggis and other innards. Maybe they have good reasons to toss sheep. Whatever floats the Scottish boats. Never once did we question our hearing nor the validity of what we had just heard.

So we continued to observe. We watched them take pitchforks. We watched them stab the pitchforks into hay-stuffed burlap bags. And we watched the contestants, using the pitchforks, attempt to throw the sacks over something like a goal post.

"Of course. The sacks are supposed to be the sheep," we reasoned. "They would not be allowed to stab real live sheep with a pitchfork just for a contest. It would be too messy. And PETA would be here protesting."

But in the spirit of the games, by golly, we were willing to pretend the bags were sheep. So every time they stabbed one. We baaaa-d. You know, the noise a sheep makes. Baaaa. Baaaa. Baaaa. We baaaa-d. Loudly. Cause, well, the sacks were supposed to be sheep. Getting stabbed. Weren't they?

Have I mentioned how chemicals affect your brain? Never drink and attempt to think.

As we continued to watch, and baaa, really loudly by this time, we began to wonder aloud. "Well, what would actually be the point of stabbing live sheep with a pitchfork and throwing them over a bar? This is weird even for Scots? Even for fun? What IS the historical significance of this game anyway?"

(I know, big complicated thoughts for small inebriated minds. )

"Perhaps the sheep were already dead," we concluded. "Perhaps there was some great flood and they had to dispose of the sheep carcasses and this is how the game developed. How sad. Those poor dead sheep."

This made us baaa soulfully. Mournfully. For, you know, the poor dead sheep. Being stabbed with pitchforks and all. Have I mentioned how loud we were? and how, uhm, loud?

Well, I can only assume that our neighbors watching the game alongside of us were either fed up with our baaa-ing and were anxious to shut us up. Or felt sorry for us, wallowing in our ignorance, and wanted to enlighten us. And still shut our asses up.

"You know," some kind soul walked over to tell us, "it's not sheep tossing. It's SHEAF tossing. Like in the song 'Bringing in the Sheaves'."


Alas my story abruptly ends here. Neither KTG nor I can recall the events immediately following this revelation except that we both belted out the chorus to the song. Loudly, of course. And left to get another drink.

"We shall come rejoicing. Bringing in the sheaves."


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