The Flaming Disasters take to the ice.

Last week was my curling team's fantastic debut. That's "fantastic" in the literal sense, by the way, since losses that huge can't possibly be achieved without the aid of imps and pixies spitting honeydew on our rocks as they wheezed and whizzed down the ice. The opposing team was very good about the whole affair, though. In fact, they were polite enough not to keep score after the first end -- a great kindness which is usually rewarded with a kingship in the fables.

(Stop the presses! I just realised that "fable" is probably the origin of the word "fabulous"! Another victory for linguistics -- but also a crushing defeat, since that actually justifies "blogalicious" as a real word.)

I'll say it again: we are an awful team. We'd actually improve if we just started throwing stones at random. Actually, I take that back, for it isn't true. The reason I know this is because one of our curlers decided to start throwing stones at random while I was still deciding what shot to call, and that didn't work, either. However, no one fell down, and everyone had a great time. A moral victory for the scorecard, if nothing else.

Our second game of the season was this morning, and I was ready for it: I'd checked three curling books out of the library, and although two of them really didn't offer much besides an examination of 18th century Scottish poems about curling, it was still more research than I'd done last week.

We played a jolly group of seniors, they weren't quite as lenient as last week's opponent. To say they blew us out of the water in the last two ends wouldn't be quite right: Far more accurately, they blew us out of the water, and then hit us again before we landed, and again, and again, resulting in a mid-air combo KO. It's not often that curling reminds me of Street Fighter II, but when it does -- it hurts.

But that was just the last two ends. Maybe it was because they were still warming up, but for most of the game, we actually held our own. Guards were placed where necessary. Draw shots cozied up right into the house. Takeouts were landed with a satisfying crack. Not always, but often enough that we began to dream of better games after this one.

And once, just once, your humble skip had the hammer, and managed to curl it right around the guards. That beautiful stone gently bumped out the opponent's rock and came to rest snugly on the button, turning a 3-point loss into a 1-point gain. Not only did the other team offer a polite round of applause, so did the neighbouring rink.

It was truly... blogalicious.

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.