Friday, June 15, 2007


The Olympic bandwagon for 2012 gathers pace. The UK already has a new “edgy” logo, which nobody in the whole country yet owns up to liking, and which to me looks like the result of a Highland Terrier swallowing a large Swastika sign.

We can also see the spectre of additional “sports” appearing on the horizon, all vying for a 21st Century piece of the action. Skateboarding seems to be the latest one, for reasons that currently escape me. In my glorious ignorance, I would have thought this activity was limited to youths wearing their caps with the peak at 90º covering their left ears in the inner suburbs of a few western cities. I have no idea if it has yet caught on in, say, Morocco or Nigeria or the Rest of the World. Perhaps that’s the cunning plan for the UK to win something in 2012 – get a sport included where you’re the only country who is any good at it, or even knows of its existence. Curling? Scotland, anyone? Or, as Jeremy Hardy calls it – Housekeeping on Ice.

I was throwing out some old newspapers the other day, which set me thinking about all this. There was an article on the sport we’ve all missed here - Cow Tipping. Now I seem to have spent my Three score and a tiny bit years on this earth completely unaware even of the existence of this sport. The clue is in the name – the sport centres on how many people it needs to push a cow over, and somehow or other the League of Cruel Sports, and our Governmental Protectors have not yet seen fit to bring the cruelty of it to the public’s attention, and, presumably as a follow up to the Hunting Ban, push for legislation to ban it. It is therefore burgeoning, presumably more in the rural parts of the realm. Very odd.

The Times carried a very erudite article exposing the subject, showing by means of lots of Cos theta and Tan alpha hieroglyphics how much force pushing a cow over required. The maths seemed to indicate it needed around 3 people, but a flurry of letters in the newspaper threw doubt on the accuracy of the calculation, citing the possibility of a large Centre of Gravity variation dependent upon whether the cow’s udders were full or empty. Some cow-lover from Hawaii then wrote in to confirm that indeed it did need 3 people – “One person on one side of the cow, and two on the other. The lone person pushes very hard on his side, and waiting for the balancing response from the startled animal, the other two then push very hard on the other side to overbalance her.”

Note they don’t do it to a Bull. Apparently this approach “works like a charm”.

The last word on the subject came from a guy from Cambridge University, who apparently has calculated that a person of 12st 10lb would need to Drop kick the cow at around 12mph to get it on its side.

Perhaps the key comment in one of the letters is the claim that, in order to undertake this activity to maximum effect, “Sobriety is a hindrance” – 4 words which tell all, and which should suit the UK’s entrants perfectly if the attempts to promote it as an Olympic Sport are successful. At least, if it does creep in, we could also have a replacement logo, showing a Cow Rampant, with the 5 Olympic Rings tastefully entwined around and attached to its Nose.

It can’t be worse than Kaiser McTavish, the Nazi Highland Terrier.


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