There is a traditional sport in Ireland, called "Cliff Shoving". It involves a small local rodent called a rarie (which is similar to a lemming) being pushed off a cliff. The aim of the game is to see who can get the poor animal to go over the edge with the least amount of effort.
Of course, these days people aren't so keen on blood sports, and the animal rights people wouldn't like it either, so it's changed from a cliff into a small shallow pit that the rodents are pushed into. This in turn has made it much easier to get the animals to jump, to the point where, with a properly trained rarie, it takes barely a touch to get it into the pit.
The sport is based only in Ireland, but they do get the occasional overseas competitor. Recently, they had a fellow come all the way from Australia to take part. During a break, he mentioned that he'd had a eighteen hour journey to get there.
"But I guess I always knew it would be a long flight," he said. "After all, it's a long way to tip a rarie."
Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley
Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007