My aunt and uncle rented the curling rink in their town so that our family could spend the afternoon curling. This was a brilliant move, because you don't have to be an athlete to curl, and there was but one sporty type among us.

On the way to the rink, the Palinode and I were waylaid by a family of settlers. I fear their little girl had some sort of genetic disorder.

cut-out settlers 2

The non-curlers and the heat savvy sat in the gallery. The seats were old, leather theatre chairs with flip-up seats and brass metal studs around their backs. An old, battered pin that was hammered flat from constant wear sat on the arm of the chair nearest the door. It was from a curling tournament in Cityville in 1982.

curling rink gallery

They all threw granite rocks down the freshly pebbled ice and hollered HURRY! and HARD! and HURRY HARD!. Some of us were caught giggling about that.

curling rink 4

The rocks looked like this from a top-down view, unless they were yellow ones from the other team:

curling rink 7

There was but one lone heater suspended from the ceiling at the far end of the ice, and it didn't want to be touched. My nose was drippy.

curling rink 8

Photographs taken inside that narrow curling lane took on crazy-angled effects, but I may have actually been standing at an angle myself. The green two-by-fours that acted as flooring were less than sturdy, and I was in the middle of suppressing a strong inclination toward jambing a slider up someone's poop shute. At first I thought I was losing my shit, but then I recognized it for what it was: the spirit of Christmas.

curling rink 10

Things were only crooked for a while, though, and then my moodiness gave way to good fellow feeling. Oh, who am I kidding. I was going out of my mind with anxiety, but that's why it's good to be the photographer. I took a step back, watched it all like television, and managed to catch the Palinode in the midst of some hot curling action.

curling rink 12

It was a very Canadian family Christmas. And no one ever did take a slider up the wahzoo, because that side of my family is primarily lovable. So, in the end, a good time was had overall.

Does anyone know what that bullseye thing is called?

curling rink 13

Silence Is A Protest