OK Kids, Pack Up The Mini Van. We're Going To Need Spam, Tomatoes, Oranges - And A Wife  

Fallic40 54M
3214 posts
1/16/2006 2:12 pm
OK Kids, Pack Up The Mini Van. We're Going To Need Spam, Tomatoes, Oranges - And A Wife

So it is already time to think about a vacation for this year. I usually do the boring and the mundane: Xtapa perhaps, for some fishing; Las Vegas, Vancouver, B.C. for soccer tournaments. Granted, these are not exactly Butlin’s at Great Yarmouth. (Remember your Tommy, “it’s Uncle Ernie’s ‘Oliday Camp”.)

But checking around, I found a list of vacations that are a little different and off beat. So gather up the matching luggage, pack the Pepto, the insect repellant, colour safe bleach, bandaids and let’s go travel the world.

JANUARY: Australia Day at Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane is celebrated with ... World Championship Cockroach Racing. Every January 26, for 21 years, crowds have gathered for the creepy-crawly fun. All that hissing and spitting would be like going on vacation with my ex’s entire family.

FEBRUARY: Italians are known for their passion – but this is weird. The town of Ivrea in Torino stages its Battle Of The Oranges every February – this year from the 25th to 28th. Three days of orange pelting see piazzas turned into battlegrounds contested by nine teams and more than 3,000 people. It all ends with a bonfire in the main square – by then running with juice. Just remember that oranges leave bruises.

MARCH: The original and best Bushtucker Trials. More than 20,000 flood the town of Hokitika, New Zealand, on March 11, for the harmless-sounding Wildfoods Festival. But when you see contestants scoff crickets, slugs, sheep eyes and bull’s penis sausages, you will choke. Now you see why we need the Pepto. Eat that, I dare you, I double dog dare you. Strike that, calling it a double dog dare might just be too close to the truth.

APRIL: Spamarama comes to the city of Austin, Texas, on April 2 – celebrating the war-time tinned pork treat. Thousands flock there for a cookout, Spam Olympics, live music and dancing. There’s even the crowning of a Spam Queen at the annual ball that ends the festivities – and there are lots of free tastings all day. We need to detach some Texan members to this to report back to us. The highlight of this will obviously be the spam statue of the Rose Bowl and National Championship trophy.

MAY: A cheese-rolling contest has taken place on Spring Bank Holiday at Coopers Hill, Glos, for hundreds of years. This year it’s on May 29. Participants chase down a hill after a 7lb Double Gloucester cheese. This produces the same bloody carnage as the Running of the Bulls ‒ but with cheese. Expect to buy lots of Wallace and Grommet souvenirs at this one.

JUNE: As World Cup fever grips the nation, steer clear of host country Germany and check out the spectacle of Costumed Football in Florence, Italy. It has been played around June 24 for the past 500 years – in medieval costume. It’s a mix of football and rugby, with a dash of boxing for good measure. I have seen the team the Italians are sending to the regular World Cup ‒ they would be far better off staying in Florence.

JULY: It doesn’t get weirder than the Wife-Carrying Championships in Sonkajarvi, Finland, every July. Husbands travel from all over the world to carry their wives over a 253- meter course of grass, sand and even a metre-deep water obstacle. It takes place on July 1 this year – and the winner wins his wife’s weight in beer. He then drinks the beer and it runs out of the giant hernia he now has.

AUGUST: The big daddy of all food festivals, the annual La Tomatina bash in Bunol, Spain, sees more than 10,000 folk pelt each other with more than 40 tons of tomatoes. On the last Wednesday in August – the 30th this year – tourists and residents turn the town red in a crazy tradition that dates back to 1945. Of course, in the NE of the US this same festival is called a Philadelphia Eagles home game.

SEPTEMBER: More than 10,000 mutt-mad fans gather every September in Washington DC for the annual Canine Frisbee Disc World Finals as pooches compete to catch the most flying frisbees. The winner gets a year’s supply of dog food. It is followed in October by the International Pooper Scooper Championships.

OCTOBER: The last time you played this game, you were probably in the playground. But the annual Rock Paper Scissors World Championships every October in Kool Haus, Toronto, Canada, is worth a cool £5,600 to the winner. Amazingly, this has been an official sporting game since 1842. It will probably be shown on ESPN 2 this year so you can save the money and TIVO what should be a riveting spectacle.

NOVEMBER: Combining running a marathon with a holiday is not new – but the Vertical Marathon on the third Saturday in November at Swissotel The Stanford in Singapore sees competitors dash up 73 flights of stairs – 1,336 steps. Incredibly, the record time is just under seven minutes. It was probably invented by a foreign investment banker running from the Singapore police.

DECEMBER: Canberra, Australia, hosts the Santa Claus pub crawl on the last Friday before Christmas. Searing tropical heat fails to dissuade more than 500 tourists and locals from donning the traditional garb – then getting festively drunk. What could be more fun than being accosted by drunk Santas with puke in their beards?

I think for me, it would be the costumed football in Florence as that is one of my favourite cities in the world anyway. But then, a trip up to Finland to watch the Wife-Carrying Championships could be fit in to that holiday as well.

papyrina 52F
21133 posts
1/16/2006 2:22 pm

loves Florence i've been 4 times and can never get enough of it

I'm a

i'm here to stay

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/16/2006 2:33 pm

Hi papy, it is an incredible city. My second favourite city in Europe is Prague. Myabe you will have to make a trip to Florence in June and tell us how much fun this event it.

FeistySyn 53F

1/16/2006 5:23 pm

I am assuming the "wife" part was *very* much tongue-in-cheek... or maybe that's exactly the kinds of vacation that were appropriate with her?

Sorry... am laughing so much here... thinking of my ex, who took my daughter to the annual Pet Race in Somewhere, Nebraska last fall on vacation with the new wife.... my daughter was 7 at the time and was sooooo very excited that she won a prize... because they had travelled from out of state, they did not have any pets with them, so they went to the creek and caught a frog (for my daughter) and a toad (for her step-sister). They then proceeded to enter their new pets in the big race... and my daughter won Smallest Pet... she was so incredibly proud, it was the cutest story ever hearing all the crazy pets that were entered... But I have to say, my absolute favorite part was hearing that the extremely large toad that her 5 yr. old step sister had captured, escaped in the new wife's SUV and was never to be found again... my imagination runs away with me, but hey... I am easily amused!


Apparently the depth of depravity here is bottomless... don't you feel right at home?

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/16/2006 8:39 pm

sil, but is it fun to attend? I have done things like the Garlic Festival in Gilroy CA - garlic ice cream, yummy, yummy (I think).

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/16/2006 8:41 pm

FeistySyn, the wife part was incredibly tongue in cheek. But I would need one to enter the wife carrying competition. I also find myself wondering if a dead toad in an SUV smells as bad as a dead squirrel in a wall.

The Annual Pet Race does sound like fun. I checked with Jingles the computer literate cat and he just stuck up a middle claw at me.

_Safira 54F
11260 posts
1/16/2006 8:50 pm

But where would you DUMP her, Fallic??? *wicked grin*

Okay ... I confess to being at TWO of these events, and I'm sure that you can guess which two ... C'mon, Mate ~ You're a smart man! *much luhrrrvage*

This is my blog - Comes With Warning Labels. There are many like it, but this one is mine.


Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/16/2006 10:12 pm

saf, I figure that you have gone to the dogs (so to speak). And as much as I hate to say it, you have been to Spamarama, you have, haven't you?

Spam spam spam spam
Spam spam spam spam
Spam, wonderful spam.

And as for dumping the wife, well.........rules are kind of lax in the scandinavian countries.

frangipanigal 46F
10406 posts
1/17/2006 4:02 pm

Now that itinerary has two stops in Australia but neither is in Sydney..shame on you!!

FYI - We have a local Santa Pub Crawl (otherwise know as the Fat Man in Reds Fridge to Fridge). Started out on bikes but got a little dangerous.

Can guarentee you'd love it!!


Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/17/2006 6:20 pm

frangi, drunk and in charge of a bicycle could be an interesting deal to get nicked for. I have never been to Australia: it is one of the few places I haven't been to. But once the girls are done with high school, I'm coming.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/17/2006 6:22 pm

sil, I am thinking that we need to use either compressed air or compressed water for our little fruit cake howitzer.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
1/19/2006 6:16 pm

sil, trust me sweetheart, my mum's fruitcake is harder than a cannonball and has a much longer half life. She even adds tons of whiskey to it so we can have a flamingfruit cake. Please, everyone sing along, "and the rocket's red glare..........."

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