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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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Lew Watts
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA


Curling and Viagra

There may be worse places to be marooned than Saskatoon during the week of the Canadian National Curling Championships but, sitting night after night in the bar of Speckleberry’s Brew Pub waiting for a new crankshaft to arrive, doubts were creeping in. We had already endured several evenings staring at sliding granite stones and listening to paint-drying commentary and jargon, but on this night the pub is packed to capacity, the air filled with whoops and shouts, the supporters clothed in their team’s colors, some waving floor brushes at a large TV screen.

family tartan—
the warp and welf
of old scores

At one point, as the camera pans back to show the vastness of a stadium filled with flags and faces, you say simply “you know, they’re not Canadians—they’re all from California” and, after a moment’s pause, you add “it’s the cheap Canadian meds—you only get Viagra if you volunteer to spend your week’s vacation packing the curling championship arena.” I am about to burst out laughing but, at that moment, a hush descends over the pub. It is now the final End of the final game of the final night of the championships. A yellow throw—the last, the Hammer—roars down the ice and knocks a blue stone clear, gliding over the swept rings into the Eye of the House. The bar erupts and on the screen the crowd rises as one . . . except for one old couple who stay in their seats, the woman prim with her hands in her lap and a wry smile my grandma never had.

after the cremation
the ashes
of her diary

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