Ocean City Today

Is it dogs or hammers?

The Public Eye
By Stewart Dobson | Feb 15, 2018



printed 02/16/2018


With so much excitement going on right now, it’s difficult to know what to addres. So, I ask you, which is more important to our collective futures, the Olympic sport of curling or the Westminster Dog Show?

Clearly, both employ words and terms for which there is no definition, save those known within their respective communities.

“Switzerland has the hammer,” for instance. Although I heard the term “hammer” repeatedly during the curling competitions, my immediate questions were how long has it had this hammer, what does it intend to do with it, and isn’t Switzerland a neutral country?

It stands to reason that if Switzerland has the hammer, other countries will want it and there will no end to the spread of these devices. Whole nations will hammer in the morning, hammer in the evening and hammer all over the land.

That, I submit, is a scary proposition.

Because curling is similar to shuffleboard on ice with rocks, I did wonder why it’s popularity never spread to the center of the shuffleboard universe in Florida. I quickly realized, however, that the knee socks and wingtips set realized they’d be on ice soon enough and therefore wanted no part of it.

This is not to say that curling is the only Olympic sport with its own peculiar language. I’m still wrestling with ice skating’s “triple Salchow,” which I’ve tried ordering few times just to get a reaction.

“I’ll have a triple Salchow on the rocks, please. No? Then give me double lutz straight up.”

I’m actually allowed back into some of these places, proving that a sense of humor, or a high level of tolerance, is important to any bar’s success.

Meanwhile, here’s the true definition of a Salchow: “A figure skating jump with a takeoff from a back inside edge of one foot. The rotation in the air is made in the direction of the curve of the take-off edge. The landing is made on the back outside edge of the foot opposite the one used for take-off.”

If you understand that completely, you’re either a skater or a bartender who has read up on it just to get back at me.

“OK, you got me on that, so make mine a double-axel, with an olive.”

If you’re wondering how I’m going to transition between winter sports and the Westminster Dog Show, that fact is the first time I heard the word “Salchow” many years ago, I assumed it was something made by Purina.

“Did you hear that, Pop? Peggy Fleming did a trick named after dog food.

“Heh, heh, you little idiot …” is about all I can remember of that embarrassing episode.

That brings me to the dog show, which I’m obliged to watch as we continue to aspire to own a dog that does exactly what we tell it to do.

Besides, I continue to be amazed at the formal names of the competitors.

The real name of this year’s winner, Flynn, which is something called a bichon frise (the origins of first word hark back to exactly what you think it does) is GCHP CH Belle Creek's All I Care About Is Love.”

Sure, I see how they could get “Flynn” from that.

This circumstance has led me to reconsider the full and formal title of my dog, Crazy Eddie, since, at the age of 8, he deserves to be taken more seriously.

Not that I’ve been influenced by current television offerings and other entertainment, but I think the following will suit him well: NCAA Patsy Cline’s Crazy Hammer Triple Salchowhound.

I could get Eddie out of that.

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