I'll See Your Burlap Sack and Raise You An Egg and a Spoon
Can someone please explain to me how hopping around in a burlap sack became a competitive race? I’ve tried finding the origin of this tomfoolery to no avail, and then I wondered aloud why I would even want to know that information. Someone, somewhere, at some time, had to stick their feet into a sack and start hopping around. I can only then surmise that this individual experienced enough elation to begin hopping around his village — it had to be a village, right? — persuading other human beings to join in the charade.
Will there ever be a greater salesman both past and present? The person in question compelled the correct amount of people to turn this self-made burlap trampoline into a staple among company picnics around the world. And really, are sack races relevant anywhere besides a company picnic or a family reunion? I’ll tell you one thing: If I were driving around town and happened to pass a race track full of people jumping furiously down the line in giant sacks I’d simply lose my shit, right after I pulled over and watched in utter delight.
Perhaps I’m jealous of the guy (or gal) for discovering joy in such a completely ridiculous activity. I understand that I’m making an assumption around the sack hop being purely for amusement, however what on earth could it have been for otherwise? You don’t cram into a bag to get away from a predator, do you? That move is more counterintuitive than a reboot of the movie Swamp Thing.
Side Note: First off, it’s a movie with the words ‘swamp’ and ‘thing’ in the title. Only those two words. Secondly, I always hope that the bandwagon of remade movies becomes too full to accommodate anyone else, and then someone goes and relaunches Swamp Thing. Come on.
Back to the silly notion of escaping a lion, or a bear, or an alligator, or a rabid squirrel; all you’ve done is prepackage yourself for the one who’s chasing you! Imagine trying to chase a frozen pizza down the street as it’s rolling to and fro trying to keep you from devouring its tasty pepperonis. No, friend. I prefer my pizza come wrapped in a cardboard box; so you can’t tell me the sack race originated as a race for survival.
And just when you think some clown bouncing around in a burlap sack is enough to give you the jitters, along comes a crowd of hooligans carrying eggs on spoons. Oh, the dreaded egg and spoon race. Now what exactly is THAT a race towards? I’ll tell you where; to a pine box the winner climbs into to die alone. According to “history”, this particular event dates all the way back to the 1800’s where there better had been an adequate amount of booze to justify carrying on that heaping pile of a shit show.
Again, I challenge you to find this lunacy unfolding anywhere but a company picnic. And if someone were to equipped me with an egg and a spoon I’d simply eat the egg. Raw. Boiled. Don’t much care. Either way, I’m disqualified and I go back to the cooler where the real party’s happening.
Honorable mention goes to the three-legged race, or however many people you’d like to tie together to watch wobble across a field. I’m only volunteering my time as a bystander if the aforementioned pairing has to run over to a guy spinning around a baseball bat, grab him and tie him up to their entanglement of limbs then sway their way on over to a rope where they’ll complete against the group who just so happened to be bounding around in giant bags. Tug of War. On one end of the rope we have the screwballs who just got done racing in sacks, and at the other end of the rope we have the mess of folks with yolk-covered spoons and the spins. By the way, were you ever curious as to when the first “bro” was ever created? Look no further than the game Tug of War. Fictitious scene commence!
Soon-to-be Bro #1: “Hello sir! I couldn’t help but notice that random inexplicably large rope laying there on the ground. I wonder if I might challenge you to grab that other end over there and pull with all your might!”
Soon-to-be Bro #2: “Good fellow, what on earth can you imagine you’ll gain with me pulling on one end and you at the other?”
Soon-to-be Bro #1: “I fancy that upon pulling in opposite directions, one can surmise there will have to come a time in which either you or myself exudes superior strength by moving this kerchief I’m now tying around the middle of the rope further in one direction or the other!”
Soon-to-be Bro #2: “My friend, you have yourself a duel, and upon completion of this delightful little game you’ve invented perhaps we could try a go at something I’ve been thinking about for years now which ironically also has to do with a show of strength.”
Soon-to-be Bro #1: “Pray tell my worthy adversary. Pray….tell….”
Soon-to-be Bro #2: “We will simply rest our elbows on a table and lock hands at a ninety degree angle. On my mark we must utilize our brawniness to force the other man’s hand down to the table!”
Soon-to-be Bro #1: “I say old chap! Do you mean to wrestle arms with me?”
Soon-to-be Bro #2: “Well flip those words on their rears and I think we have our match! We shall call it arm wrestling. Now what about this rope pulling war we are about to embark on?
Soon-to-be Bro #1: “‘Tis a war indeed! A war of tugging! From henceforth it shall be known as a Tug of war!”
And we’re back, thankfully. How could the first two bro’s have been born any other way? Tug of War and arm wrestling: a match made in heaven.
Well there you have it. We went from racing sacks to tugging ropes. I’d say that’s a pretty good day here at the Flannel Axe.
Let’s all work together to get on through this shortened week of work!