Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's Finals time!

Has it come to this? The last curling entry till October is here. I know, try to contain your excitement.

Last night was the final night of Saturday Night Social Curling. The losers of last week's games played a shortened relegation game at 7, and the winners (us included) played for the finals of each division in an 8 end 'winner takes all, loser goes home with jacksquat' bout (note that in SNSC, we normally only play about 6 ends), so this was to be a test of endurance. A test of endurance to be followed by potluck, booze, and a prize table.

The game started off well, with a win of the coin toss. It went downhill, but quick. My first shot went straight through the house, but that wasn't even the worst part of it. My delivery, which has been getting much better, closely resembled a bellyflop. I slid out of the hack, and promptly bounced chest-first into the ice, ramming my knee nicely, and splaying my limbs out like I was trying to make snowangels. This may be the time to mention that my good friend Stormy once said of me "She puts the 'ass' in classy."

After that fantastic start, you had to know that only good stuff would happen. Just not to us. We let our opponents steal 4 points that end. Four. Freaking. Points. Stolen. I hang my head in shame at the memory of it. Other reasons to hang my head in shame? The temper tantrum I had when after yet another terrible shot, I threw my stabilizer and it made such a noise that everyone on our sheet turned around to see what was the matter. Yeah, I'm 30. I just don't act like it.

And the top-notch play continued. One of my teammates was supposed to be sweeping, but wasn't paying attention, then all of a sudden realized that he needed to get on it, and in his haste, he dropped his broom, tripped over it and fell sprawling to the ice.

It didn't look like it was going to be our night. Despite the presence of our lucky peppermint patties, we weren't getting anywhere. Drastic measures were called for. So we came up with the 'tequila end'. The premise was simple. Every second end, one of our friends would go to the bar and get a couple of shots of tequila and some lemon (which, I must say, makes tequila tasty as all get out. I'm beginning to think I could get used to this drink). She'd bring them to the hall by the ice, and we'd run out, down the tequila, suck on the lemon, and then run back in. Fun, tasty, and needless to say, it loosened us up considerably.

After the tequila ends started, we started making better shots, and the comeback was on. Even shots that didn't work out exactly as intended were going our way. (Warning: overly technical curling talk follows) I was supposed to throw a takeout shot, but I was off line, and my rock raised our guard into the intended takeout victim, and took it out. Things were starting to roll in our favour. Our opponents started to miss shots they'd been making all game, and one even decided to copy my fantastic delivery from the start of the game. I did it better, just so you know.

More importantly, after the tequila ends started, we started to have fun out there. We decided that if we couldn't blow people away with our awesome curling abilities, we could at least entertain them. So, in between shots, we started dancing. Just a little at first, but then, getting giddy about the upcoming tequila end, we started dancing to the song 'Tequila'. Synchronized dancing, complete with an a cappella version of the song no less. After each dance, we'd bow for the audience.

Nearly three hours after we started, we left the ice, having lost the game 8-6. I'd like to point out that I was offered more than 20$ to take a dive in the last end, but I didn't take it. We lost fair and square. We entered the clubhouse to resounding applause. Everyone had thoroughly enjoyed our little dance routines, and the views of us downing tequila shots in the hall in between rocks. We may not have won the game, but I like to think we won people's hearts.

Oh, who am I kidding? That's loser talk and I know it.

All that was left (seeing as the food from the potluck had been long gone) was the prize table. I wasn't looking forward to going away empty handed, but there were too many prizes, so they started drawing names out of a hat for the leftovers. Have I mentioned I don't like losing? Just checking. I needed to come away with something, so I started needling my friend to look for my name and pull it out, so that I'd at least come away with something, and while I'm not saying it worked, I did get called to go up to the prize table. Eventually. Thanks for helping me out Scott. Eventually.

So even though I didn't win, I didn't go away empty handed. I walked away from the night with a bruise on my knee the size of Texas and a bucket of mix to make blue margaritas. And that's better than winning. Really.

Tequila eased the pain in the knee, plus the pain of losing. But boy am I going to miss all this. What am I going to do with my Saturday nights now? And what about my knee? It does now have seven months to heal, but I'm wondering if that might be too long. I mean, all that time without being bashed on ice? I'll be out of practice come the fall.

So, if you see someone on a Saturday night, bashing their knee into some ice, don't worry. It's just me, training for next season.

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