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Pétaouchnock

Sports

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Whilst the origins of traditional Pétaouchnockien sports and games are primitive and deeply rooted in the agricultural past of the country,    even nowadays they continue to have widespread popularity.

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Pan-throwing: This sport dates back to the red period of Pétaouchnock (the periods in Pétaouchnockien history are defined by colours). At this time invaders from the other side of nowhere attempted to gain control of the country. The men were so busy drinking themselves into a stupor with beetroot juice that the women decided to take matters into their own hands: grabbing hold of their cooking pots – not because they were in the kitchen but because these were the heaviest thing in the house – they threw them at the enemy who immediately fled.

Since this time pot-throwing has been very popular and as well as a source of celebration and merry-making  it has also become a sport officially reserved for women and  is a recognized sport in the Pétaouchnockien Olympics.  As the story goes these pots were full of pasta with Peshkator Freschlige and so, to this day, this delicacy is  always served during official competitions – the popularity of which is popularity is only exceeded by that of the beetroot festival.

The Ice-Cube Relay Race: This very ancient team sport clearly goes back to an era when it was necessary to transport  Peshkator Freshlige (see Cookery Chapter) as fast as possible from the  frozen lakes to pétaouchnockien plates. This was achieved by passing the congelna  Peshkator from hand to hand by a long chain of men stretching across the country. Nowadays the sport is enhanced by the symbolic inclusion of a pea in the ice-cube which has replaced the frozen fish.

It is a complete sport in the respect that it is physically demanding and at the same time morally comforting. Indeed it is recommended by doctors  and psychoanalysts who specialize. However swallowing the ice-cube at the end of the race is a source of deep controversy: even amongst the same doctors who believe that gastric illnesses can be cured by ingesting the ice-cube which in itself can be a potential cause for hallucinations.

Innovative Dance: Yes – indeed! In Petaouchnock dance is considered as a sport because it requires a multi-disciplined training. It involves a dance-caller who stands on a platform and directs  the session and with background music  suggests images. The dancer, or dancers, then have to interpret and  reflect what that image suggests to them.

For example, if the caller shouts out “butterfly”, the dancer  dances like a butterfly, if she calls out avalanche the dancer has to imitate an avalanche, the same goes for “waterfall”  or “leopard leaping”, “ a rose losing its petals” and so on. The possibilities are infinite and needless to say the sessions differ enormously depending on the personalities of the dancers and, of course, the caller.

The Refle-log is the only combat sport in Petaouchnock and this is practised under hypnosis. After having imbibed a serious dose of shugo de rogishce beet concentre (undiluted freshly brewed beetroot juice) the beet-logger (the name given to the player) faces a mirror and fights with his reflection - in ancient times the protagonist faced a glacier at the moment when the sun hit the ice. If the mirror shatters then he is declared the winner and if he is shattered, he is the loser.

Schnarte-log (night-time fighting) is a variation practised under the full moon  and the fighters face their shadow. However because of the risks and dangers this entails it is reserved for professionals who have had psychological training.  Participating in schnarte-log is one of the principle fantasies of the Pétaouchnockien psyche and as such has been the subject of numerous works which explore the beauty and danger of this fight.

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