Look at the picture, now look at me. Look away, now look back at the picture. Now look at me.
STOP LOOKING AT ME!
Notice anything about that picture? I mean, other than the fact that it's an obvious fake. It has to be fake, right? I mean, look at the fonts. And that sickly mustard yellow border. And who ever heard of Pink Floyd recording an album by that name?
Well guess what.....it's real. And it's not something I ginned up on roflbot or anything. It's an actual Pink Floyd disc. Granted, it's a bootleg, but it's still real. It was released in 1994 and contains recordings of the band from 1968 to 1970.
And why do I care about an obscure, hard to find Pink Floyd bootleg? Well, look at the title! My Uncle Is Sick Because The Highway Is Green.
Can you not see it? Do you not understand the significance of that? Do you want me to explain it to you? Should I stop asking questions? Do you realize that if I stop asking questions I won't be able to ask who would like to share these Oreo's with me?
Todays oddity is going to be odd because it's only real-ish. Real-ish means it's real, but not actually real. It does not refer to that fluorescent green crap people in Chicago insist on putting on their hot dogs. But to be exact, I'm talking about something that was intended to be fake, but by the power of the public will has become real.
I have referenced it before in my oddities, but I only used it as an obscure reference. But because it's March, and there's some sort of Madness sweeping the nation, I figured I'd put it under the spotlight and give it the attention it deserves. I am, of course, talking about the greatest sport in the world: 43 Man Squamish.
Squamish is played on a 5 sided field called the Flutney. And the game is divided into seven Ogres of 15 minutes each, unless it's raining, then you play eight Ogres.
As the name suggests, there are 43 players on each team:
- One left and one right Inside Grouch
- One left and one right Outside Grouch
- Four Deep Brooders
- Four Shallow Brooders
- Five Wicket Men
- Three Offensive Niblings
- Four Quarter-Frummerts
- Two Half-Frummerts
- One Full-Frummert
- Two Overblats
- Two Underblats
- Nine Back-Up Finks
- Two Leapers
- One Dummy
There are several officials for each game:
- The Probate Judge (dressed like a British judge in robes and a wig)
- A Field Representative (dressed in a kilt)
- A Head Cockswain (dressed in a long overcoat)
- A Baggage Smasher (dressed as a male at the beach, pre World War I)
None of these officials has any authority once game play has started and all disagreements are decided by the spectator who left his cars in the parking lot with the engine running and the lights on.
Squamish is primarily an amateur sport, however, any player can go pro simply by throwing the game. Players also lose their amateur status by accepting subsidies, endorsing products, making a collect phone call or eating garlic.
Each player is equipped the same with gloves, a helmet and flippers. Extra padding is optional. They also carry a Frullip, which is a long hooked stick, much like a shepherd's crook, which they use to prevent the other team from scoring with the Pritz. The Pritz is the ball which is 3 3/4 inches in diameter and is made out of untreated Ibex hide and stuffed with Blue Jay feathers.
Play starts with the team captains meeting at mid field and having the Probate Judge flip the coin. Official rules require the coin to be a brand new Spanish peseta. The visiting teams captain makes the guess, and if he is correct, the game is called off immediately. If he guesses wrong, the home team captain gets to choose if he wants to start out on offense or defense. Play then begins when a player touches the flutney with his frullip and says, "Mi tio esta enfermo, pero la carretera est verde!". (a popular Chilean saying meaning 'My uncle is sick, but the highway is green'.)
The team on offense has five Snivels to try and get the pritz across the oppositions goal line. If you carry the pritz across the line, it's a Woomik and is worth 17 points. Hitting across with the frullip is called a Durmish and is worth 11 points. Only the Niblings and Overblats are allowed to score unless the game is in the seventh ogre. (eighth if it's raining). In the seventh, (or eighth), ogre, the four Quarter-Frummerts can kick or throw the pritz while the nine Finks are allowed to heckle the opposition by doing impressions of Barry Goldwater.
At the end of seven ogres, (eight if it's raining), if there is a tie, the game goes into sudden death overtime unless both left Overblats have been ejected due to fouls. To determine the winner, both teams line up on opposite sides of the flutney and recite dirty limericks until the other team breaks out in laughter.
There are a number of penalties in the game that are present to keep the game from getting out of hand. The minor penalties are: walling the pritz, frullip gouging, icing on the fifth snivel, running with the mob, and raunching. These are all enforced with a ten yard penalty. The major penalties are: sending the dummy home early, interfering with wicket men, rushing the season, bowing to the inevitable and refusing to face facts. These are all enforced by loss of half the flutney unless the yellow caution flag is out.
In neither team can field a full 43 man squad, the game is then played with just two players on each side. The rules are the same except the objective is to lose.
That, my friends, are the basics to 43 Man Squamish.
I know what you're thinking; 'There's no way that's a real game!'. Well, remember how I said it was real-ish? Here's the real-ish part. 43 Man Squamish was originally conceived by the wacky duo of Tom Koch and George Woodbridge for MAD Magazine in 1965. Koch, who wrote the article and invented the game, never intended it to be a playable game. He intended it to be a satire of collegiate sports. But little did he know his target audience.
By the time the next issue had come out, people around the country had formed their own teams. Not only in America, but also in Canada. And where possible, they actually attempted to play the game. And to this day, 50 years later, there are still Squamish teams being formed. And there are at least two summer camps where the game is a regular activity.
And that's what makes this a contender for an oddity. Someone came up with as absurd a game as they could, and people try to play it. I'm sure that if I don't mention it, someone will tell me about how people play Quidditch too. Well, Quidditch isn't real because you have to fly to play. Besides, MAD beat you to it. Since their first parody of Harry Potter, the sport they played was not called Quidditch. It was called Squamish. So there.
Stay tuned for tomorrow when I'll be back with more words formatted into semi-coherent thoughts that might actually make sense and have a minimum of spelling errors.