Flattland - "Foreign Correspondence"

Somebody call the United Nations! As he prepares to make a move to the Lone Star State, Trav Flatt's arsenal of foreign reporters uncover more information about strange sports around the world.

I don’t even know where to start. Truth be told, I probably shouldn’t start because I’m absurdly busy in the process of wrapping things up at work prior to relocation. If all goes as planned, loyal readers (Most of whom are apparently in England) will be hearing from me next from the new base of operations which is… Even FURTHER from Seattle. Ha ha!

My guess is that Editor Doug has appraised my Standard Reader Interests, and decided to move me further away from his house in the event that they decided to show up at mine (Editor’s Note: Ha ha!). In any event, more detail will be painstakingly provided as soon as I have it, considering how trying it can be at times to meet the word count.

Now. Due to our extensive and highly objective coverage of popular British sports, we have (apparently) recruited an emergency backup Foreign Correspondent. We now, by way of demographic sampling, estimate that the Foreign Readership outnumbers the Regional. This is in flagrant spite of the fact that this writer, if he found himself in an actual foreign country, would only be able to discern enough from handy language textbooks to ask something along the lines of, “Where may I buy a fish for my cousin?” It is very fortunate that to date, our Foreign Correspondents do not make use of actual foreign languages.

At this point I have to pause and wonder how frequently moronic tourists find themselves surprised to discover that they speak “English” in “England”. I say this with the firsthand knowledge that tourists regularly think they need a passport to visit New Mexico, and hearsay that they need to convert their dollars into Hawaiian Money.

Foreign Correspondent “Simon” was compelled to come to the defense of Britain after a recent article regarding the fascinating sport of ‘Cheese Rolling’. Simon asserts that Gloucestershire is something of an anachronistic county, and that its residents have an inordinate amount of entertainment-free leisure time on their hands. He is diligent enough to point out that which most of us probably suspected. A large component of the Cheese Rolling competition involves the use of, “a rough cider known as ‘Scrumpy’, which generally is 8% ABV or higher.”

One must commend Gloucestershire residents. Where normally people would be content to get drunk and fall down a steep hill, these people get drunk and fall down a steep hill with a purpose!

The diverse Simon also drew our attention to Finland, which hosts the annual World Wife-Carrying Championships. Yes. Research into this entertaining sport provided us with the image of a man in a Wife-Carrying Sprint. He was using, apparently, the Upper Finland Grip in which the wife is draped over the back with her head near the husband’s buttular region while he held onto her legs. The curious aspect of this image is that the captured portion of the competition was being run through waist-deep water, and the wife’s head was pretty much submerged, leaving a wake. She’s probably going to invest in a bog snorkel next season.

Meanwhile, Foreign Correspondent Dave has been diligently doing research for the Worldwide Establishment for Investigating Ridiculous Diversions (W.E.I.R.D.) In order to keep from spending TOO much time discussing England from Albuquerque to Seattle denizens, I will convey the primary research points:

*The Official Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling was cancelled in 2003 because the compulsory Emergency Paramedic Team was busy tending earthquake victims and was thus unavailable.

*Health and Safety Officials have produced a more weenie version of Shin Kicking in which the participants are required to stuff hay down their trousers. This writer will not speculate that this is a ploy to lure sheep.

*A variant of Ferret Racing is “Ferret Roulette”, and there are possible marketing opportunities in Las Vegas.

*The name of the Guinness Book of World Records Fastest Ferret (Yes. This is confirmed.) is “Warhol”.

*Dave is enchanted by Jennifer Garner.

Back to a more personal note, I have been a resident of New Mexico for no fewer than twenty-five years. It has been, quite literally, a lifetime as far as I can recollect. Before I know it, I will likely be standing at the state border, drawing in one final breath of blowing dirt while Circe the Cat is leaving her own final local deposit after likely prolific barfing in the car.

I will reflect upon this era of New Mexican Memories, pondering the ups and downs, the trials and triumphs, the joys and the pains. Turning to face the NEW Horizon and the possibilities ahead, I feel compelled to express my profound sentiment regarding all that this place has given me. Perhaps it will be best conveyed via the following Universal Symbolic Theme:


Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, and Jennifer Garner photos (so I can see what Dave’s going on about) to trav@spinn.net.

Trav Flatt

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