Monday, January 19, 2009

Results are in for the 2008 Rutabaga Curl

Our good friend Commissioner Steve gives us the following update on our favorite sporting competition:
"The 2008 International Rutabaga Curling World Championship was held in the usual Ithaca, NY Farmers' Market venue. It was perhaps our coldest Curl on record which kept the crowd size down and had many athletes reconsidering the wisdom of heading out to hurl vegetables in extreme cold. It was however one of the most exciting Curl's in our history. This was the first field with fewer than 100 athletes in many years; just over 60 curlers braved the weather.

"A separate Turnip Toss was held for athletes 8 years and younger. Many young people are attracted to our sport but are unable to handle the demands of the heftier rutabaga...a Turnip Toss offers a smaller more delicate projectile, the throw distance is significantly shorter than the 79 foot Rutabaga Curl distance; pitching distance is a function of contestants' age. Five year old Zeke Lawrence took home the coveted Gold Medal, Phoenix Uticone took Silver while Henry Toori took third place.

"In the Rutabaga Curl itself there were many no shows as teams that had trained all year were noticeably absent due to the severe weather. This created a wide open, unpredictable field. Tom Mansell, a 25 year old Cornell graduate student took home the Gold. His first curled rutabaga took a bad hop off a wooden beam and split perfectly in 2 pieces. After much discussion by referees and the Commissioner it was decided that Tom's initial rutabaga was faulty ( hollow) and a replacement rutabaga was allowed along with a new shot at the target. Tom's rutabaga both in his heat and in the final round were consistently closest to the target. Tom modestly proclaimed that "anyone could have done this" ...but we know otherwise. Ray Schlather of Ithaca took the Silver medal; his medal was significant in that he is the first athlete ever to medal more than once as he won the bronze the year before. David Kingsbury, a potter who is a vendor at the Ithaca Farmers' Market, took the bronze medal marking the first market vendor to medal in many years."

--Commissioner Steve for the Rutabaga Curl
Thanks, Steve. Obie MacAroon III and all the rest of us at ARSI extend our heartiest congratulations to you and the other participants for another successful curling event, despite the arduous circumstances.

PHOTO: A pile of ARSI rutabagas, genetically engineered to be suitable for curling and ready to roll (Wikimedia)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Message from Obie MacAroon III

Obie MacAroon III, in a text message from his winter quarters near Iquitos, Peru, writes:
"Greetings once again from Iquitos!

"This picture, taken with my satellite phone, shows the large crowd that gathered in traditional dress to celebrate my return to Iquitos after a foray into the Andes in search of the legendary and elusive tropical rutabaga (Brassical napobrassica tropicales). Despite its length (2 hours, 53 minutes), my speech was well-received by the gracious crowd.

"While our botanists discovered what appeared to be rutabaga spores at high altitude (16,200 feet) on Cerro de Pasco, the search to date has been inconclusive. We will, of course, persevere.

"A Peaceful and Happy New Year to rutabagans everywhere!"

Obie MacAroon III
ARSI President for Life
Next month President MacAroon and his expedition will move south to Bolivia's Machacamarca plateau, where local farmers are reported to be cultivating a variant of the tropical rutabaga.