Turf & Rec

Features Profiles
Mountains, rednecks and curling


March 10, 2014
By Ian Robinson

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I have this friend who lives in the great state of Georgia.

Not the one next to Russia where Josef Stalin came from.

That’s in the Caucasus mountains.

Which doesn’t look that funny but trust me, it’s the funniest name for a mountain range ever.

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You gotta say it out loud, though.

I’ve never been there, but I wonder if the mountains are of a certain shape that inspired the name.

Actually, in the interests of accuracy, the word doesn’t mean what it sounds like or what I want it to mean.

The smart people who study where words come from say it means “mountain” in some ancient language you’ve never heard of.

Which is still kind of the funniest name for mountain range, kind of like calling your dog, “Dog.”

And, while we’re learning dumb stuff nobody really needs to know, the word “Georgia” — the one next to Russia — actually means “Land of Wolves,” which is pretty cool.

Wouldn’t you love to be in at a party and some girl says, “Where are you from?” and you could just look them in the eye and say, “I am from the Land of Wolves.”

Geez. Even if you got a big old gut and a bald spot and smell a little funny, you’re gonna get some kind of action.

When people ask me where I’m from, I have to say, “I live in the land of the Evil Earth Destroying Oil People.”

Or, as we like to call it in these here parts: Alberta.

When I go back east and tell people I live in Alberta, they act surprised when I don’t eat with my hands and understand how to work a flush toilet and that trees don’t turn black and die just when I walk down the street.

Used to be when you told people you lived in Alberta, the picture that formed in their head was cowboys and ranching and such.
Not as good as coming from “The Land of Wolves” but still.

Not bad.

Now you tell people you live in Alberta and they picture an oil-covered troll forcing Mother Nature to perform some sort of forbidden sex act.

You decide what sort.

You’ve got to do some of the heavy lifting here. You got to bring your own brand of perversion to the table.

It can’t all be on me.

Anyway, I grew up with Cheryl in high school and somehow she wound up living in Georgia in the United States.

I’m not sure why. In high school, she was one of those girls who came across as about 10 years older than she really was.

Sophisticated.

Of course, given that we’re from Timmins, sophistication probably doesn’t have the same meaning it has in Paris, France, but you know what I mean. Frankly, I figured Cheryl as the kind of girl who’d wind up living in Paris, France … not Georgia.

Georgia is kind of where America raises its free-range rednecks.

There are other places where rednecks occur naturally, but Georgia is the mother ship.

It is, after all, the setting for a certain television program that was narrated by Waylon Jennings, featured a 1969 Dodge Charger, moonshiners, and the round, circular buttocks of a young lady named Catherine Bach in a memorable non-speaking role. Her buttocks, I mean. Catherine Bach had plenty of lines, but the buttocks deserved top billing, if you ask me. You don’t know what I’m talking about, you go ahead and Google this: Catherine Bach Daisy Dukes.

You’re welcome.

Oh yeah, the main characters were Bo and Luke Duke.

Instead of using guns, the Duke boys would often use bows and arrows … and the arrows were often tipped with dynamite.

It was called The Dukes of Hazzard and for people of a certain generation — i.e. people who watched TV between 1979 and 1985 — it forever cemented their opinion of Georgia as Hillbilly Heaven.

It is also a locale where snow makes an appearance about as often as good sense seems to strike a politician.

I mean, there’s a reason Calgary wound up with their hockey team.

Anyway, my poor buddy Cheryl is living in Georgia, glued to the television and watching the winter Olympics.

Surrounded by U.S. Southerners.

And trying to explain curling.

“What the hell is that noise?”

“It's curling.”

“Curling? I thought you was watching a porno. Why's that woman yelling, 'Hurry! Hurry hard?' so darned loud then?”

“So the two sweepers can make the rock go faster.”

“So, lemme get this here straight, hon. Where you hail from, housework is a sport?”

“No!”

“So why they got brooms?”

“So they can sweep in front of the rock.”

“So the rock goes in that bulls-eye?”

“That's called the house.”

“So they’re sweeping the house with brooms.”

“Exactly!”

“Sounds a lot like housework to me.”

“Get out. Just get out.”

“Geez, you Canadian folk are awful sensitive.”

Apparently about then she started wishing she lived in the other Georgia.