PART IX: SPORTS & GABGAMES
Texans and armadillos are keen on sports
GAB'S ABS OF STEEL: The Bard's new workout video, in which she peddles her gabercise machines such as the Gabdominizer, Destroyer of Nations, and the Gab Roller Plus.
HELLENE-CALEDONIAN GABGAMES: The traditional games of Clan MacGab, held yearly at Grandfather Mountain. Every fourth year the games are opened up to the non- Gabberfluent public and are known as the Olympics. OFFICIAL GABGAMES EVENTS: The Triple Scroll Jump, the Staff Vault, the Iambic Pentameter Relay, Lawn Barding, Bardminton, the Javelin-without-sharp-points Throw, the Marathon Filibuster and Dorian Rhythmic Gymnastics. Equestrian events are strictly forbidden.
LAWN BARDING: An obscure but highly disciplined sport; the rules are listed below.
1) Throw patches of chainmail onto a series of concentric rings drawn on the lawn.
2) Give some sort of performance, with the difficulty of the performance relative to the value of the ring that the patch of mail landed in. (sing, dance, striptease, etc.)
3) If the other participants agree that it is a good performance, you get the points for that throw; otherwise the mail is removed.
DORIAN RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: The rules of this sport were presumed lost until Professor Quest of the Puppet's Playground for Creative Gab Studies was able to provide a translation from the Xena Scrolls.
Professor Quest notes:*** Dorian Rhythmic Gymnastics - a Primer. *** Although many have likened rhythmic gymnastics to silly dancing with ball and stick and ribbon, in fact it is a time honored and delicate art form. Designed to test a warrior's skill with various unusual weapons, and enhance coordination, the addition of a rhythm element allows the movements to flow in a steady and pleasing manner. Though many different rhythms are employed in this art form, it is the Dorian style that we are intent upon discussing here in this text. Most of the other forms involve music as the rhythmic element, but the Dorian style takes the form back to it's more ancient heritage, employing only human voices chanting to drive the routine onwards.
Perhaps the rules could be established thus, by reading the documentation the ancient scribes were so kind as to leave for us, undiscovered until this very moment, of course. Here is the fragment we've translated so far. The rest is fairly badly damaged, and we're not sure how much we'll be able to restore....
Let us look back in time, if you will, and watch a typical example of this amazing art form . . .
In a hushed arena, lit by hundreds of flickering torches, the Chorus begins their chant in unison, the unique Dorian rhythms immediately apparent as they recite the epic poem 'Xenaphilia'. The harsh stress on the first syllable of each line pulses, giving one the feeling that somewhere a huge drum is being beaten. But there is no drum, only the powerful throbbing of voices raised.
On her cue, the gymnast steps from the darkened archway, staff in hand. The crowd gasps as she begins her dance, circling to the left, whirling the staff around in complicated patterns of attack and defense. So that the crowd may more easily see the complexity of the motion, a long trailing streamer has been attached to one end of the staff, and it swirls around as though it has a life of it's own.
On the second stanza, as expected, the dancer takes up the chant, her voice strong and clear as she continues with her staff, demonstrating exceptional vocal control and stamina. There is never a waver in her voice as she thrusts and parries, and then moves into the final, and most difficult pass of her routine . . .