The Book’d Out Australia Day Blog hop and giveaway- and the sport of ‘clacker dropping’…

To celebrate Australia Day as part of the Book’d Out Blog Hop, I thought we’d revisit the uniquely Australian sport of Clacker Dropping…

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Twelve years ago I was introduced to the Australian sport of Clacker Dropping. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Depending on which part of the world you come from, the word ‘Clacker’ will have a different meaning. For some, a Clacker is similar to a Castanet, or maybe a type of fishing lure or even a child’s toy that has two balls on opposite ends of a string that hit each other when swung correctly making a cracking sound. In Australia, a clacker is another name for a bum. A bum hole to be exact.

So, you can imagine my horror when friends of my husband (then my fiancé) suggested a game of Clacker Dropping at their backyard New Years Eve party. Mental images of me having to remove my pants in front of these people had me wanting to run out their front door and never return. What kind of people were they ? They’d come across as so conservative and polite – they didn’t even swear or blaspheme – so what the hell was going on?

aust flag

Scared for my privacy, I sat down (protecting my clacker), as they detailed the game, which was as follows:

The objective of the game is to hold a twenty cent coin in between your butt cheeks, by clenching them as hard as possible, and navigate a small obstacle course as guided by your partner. The obstacle course includes stepping and jumping over various raised objects – broom handles, toys, plants, whatever is lying around. It can be played anywhere, but backyards are best, mainly because you don’t want to play this in public.

coin

If you drop your coin at any stage prior to reaching the end of the course you have failed and it is the other team’s turn. If you make it to the end of the course, there is a bowl with a cup inside it. Hover over the bowl and release your cramping, clenched cheeks so that the coin drops. If it drops into the bowl then you will get one point. If it drops into the cup (a higher degree of difficulty) then you receive two points. The couple with the most points at the end of the game wins.

I had two problems with this game. Firstly, I wasn’t about to whip my pants, or especially my undies, off in front of anyone. Added to this was the fact that I had no desire to see anyone else’s bum either. There’s not enough alcohol in the world to induce me to do something like that. Secondly, for those who did want to play, surely it’s unhygienic to use the same twenty cent coin?

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I whispered to Jason, “I’m not playing a game where I have to take my pants off. Can we leave now?”

He laughed and said out loud, “Sarah is concerned. She thinks we all have to take our pants off to play.”

Everyone laughed – hysterically. It wasn’t embarrassing at all.

I sat there, waiting for the laughter to die down, and turned a deep shade of puce. It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption to make, was it? After all, a clacker is a bum hole – not just a bum. How can anyone wedge a coin in between their cheeks if they are wearing jeans? And at no time did anyone clarify that this was a game to be played with all of your clothes on.

Ten minutes later we were playing the game, fully clothed -I went and got my own twenty cent coin from my purse because I was still concerned about the hygiene thing- and was surprised to find that it was actually heaps of fun. After a couple of drinks it’s hilarious to watch people try to make it through the obstacle course and then drop the coin into the cup.

Depending on the  level of your butt strength and ability to focus intently – i.e. those of us who do Yoga or Pilates will have an advantage – these are the kinds of faces you can expect to see during a game.

clacker 1 clacker

So, this Australia Day, give the sport of Clacker Dropping a go. You’ve nothing to lose – except your inhibitions – and will spend the arvo clenching one set of cheeks holding a coin, while cramping the other cheeks with laughter.

Happy Australia Day!

As part of the blog hop I am giving away one e-copy of my novel, Hindsight, which is set in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill.  It’s a chick lit/romantic comedy story with plenty of Australianisms in it! All you have to do to be the running is answer the following question in the comments section:
What is your favourite Australian sport and why?

The format will be in either ITunes or Amazon Kindle only. This competition is open world wide and will be drawn on January 28th, 2014.

To check out the other blogs on the Book’d Out Australia Day Hop, click here.

World’s weirdest sports on Lily Malone’s Bunker-play blog hop and giveaway!

bunkerhop2  fairway to heaven

Today, as part of the Lily Pad Blog Hop,  to celebrate the release of Lily Malone’s  ‘Fairway To Heaven’, I thought we’d explore some sporting activities that are bound to end in years of intense physiotherapy and, perhaps,  a life long aversion to cheese…

5. Extreme Ironing…

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The Extreme Ironing Bureau (yes, they have their own bureau!) defines Extreme Ironing as:  ‘the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.’

Competitors from around the world press their shirts in a variety of extreme locations – underwater, on mountain or cliff tops, climbing walls, during cross country runs…you get the idea.

However, this is a sport with an enormous heart as they raise funds for various charities through their activities – good one guys. Great to see a sense of humour and charity work combined with creases so sharp they could be used to shave with.

4. Bog Snorkelling…

bog racing

If you’ve ever felt the desire to kit up in a snorkel and mask, don a wetsuit and swim through a 55 metre peat bog trench, then this is the sport for you. The world championships, which commenced in 1985,  are held  annually every August Bank Holiday in Wales.

No conventional swimming strokes are allowed, competitors must make it to the end of the course using fins/flippers alone. Another wacky sport that donates the funds raised from their annual World Championships to a different charity each year.

Loving your work guys – but please excuse me if I don’t want to give it a go myself. In Australia ‘bog’ is another word for poo, so I can’t see it taking off here!

3. Outhouse Racing…

outhouse

Okay, this one is actually sponsored by Pepsi and takes place in Mackinaw, USA  each January. Teams build an outhouse on skis and then race through the snow against other teams.  Here are the rules as stated on their website:

Outhouse must be approx. 4′ x 4′ x 6′ on skis
Must have 5 person team, one inside with 4 outside to push or pull
Must have toilet seat
Must have material to wipe with, (Yep, toilet paper!)

Their slogan is: “The best case of the runs you’ll ever have!”

Love it!

2. Unicycle Polo…

unicycle polo

Originating in Portland, USA, the Unicycle Bastard’s  motto is: ‘We are Portland’s premiere all-inclusive unicycling club. Do you like riding a unicycle, hitting people with a stick, and sweating/swearing?”

Their rule book states that each game must contain: frequent and colourful swearing,’ the consumption of ‘one alcoholic beverage prior to every match’ and ‘urination in approved restroom facilities.’

If that isn’t a call to kindred spirits then I don’t know what is.

1. Cheese Rolling…

This is one of the most bizarre and violent sports I’ve ever seen.  A wheel of cheese is rolled down a hill, followed by competitors who literally throw themselves down the hill in pursuit of the cheese in an attempt to beat it to the bottom. One year the cheese went off course and actually injured a spectator.

cheese cheese Gloucestershire "Cheese Rolling and Wake"

What more can I say, other than “Orthopaedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists line up and collect your new clients at the bottom of the hill”…

To celebrate the release of ‘Fairway to Heaven’, I will be giving away one e-copy of my debut novel, Hindsight, as part of the blog hop cache. Just leave a comment to be in the running!  Format will be either Amazon or ITunes only. This giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn on January 15, 2014.

Fairway To Heaven – the blurb…

When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find Golf-Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play. Lucky for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the shore of Western Australia’s Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal. But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago. As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than lazy summer days bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time, trusting Brayden with her heart won’t be enough. Jenn has to learn to trust her body, too.

Buy links for Fairway to Heaven: (I’m reading this now and am loving it. I’ve even stayed up waaaaay past my bedtime to keep reading – which is not something I normally do as sleep is very important to me!)

Amazon

Smashwords

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If you’d like to connect with the lovely and very talented Lily Malone, here are her social media links:

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Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs and the great prizes on offer here.