Every so often you chance upon a description of an activity so stupid, so pointless, so evidently inspired by utter lunacy that you just know it must be completely true. The following two games are each played in a particular pub in England, where they frequently attract crowds of bemused onlookers.

Conger Cuddling

A form of bowling where the pins are human beings. A varying number of participants stand on upturned flower pots approximately 3 to 10 feet away from a dangling length of rope. Tied to the end of the rope should be a 5 foot conger eel, and the aim is to knock the humans off their perches by swinging the eel at them. Each player has a pre-arranged number of attempts and points are scored according to the number of people knocked off their pots. Once everyone has swung the teams change places. Occasionally a suitable conger eel can't be found: in these circumstances it's permissible to use a suitable alternative fish of a similar size.

Marrow Dangling

This is really a variation on the above sport, which is why I have entrusted them both to a single node. You can see this exciting all-action event take place at The Greyhound pub in Wargrave, Berkshire, should you ever be in the area. Again the human participants stand on upturned plant pots, but in an admirable display of safety consciousness they are allowed to protect their heads by wearing plastic buckets over them. The cutting of eye holes in the buckets is not only permitted but actively encouraged. Additionally, worried about upsetting the RSPCA and other animal charities, the players are knocked off using a large marrow attached to a rope. The main aim is to score points by knocking the buckets off of the heads, although if the human beneath the bucket also gets knocked off his flower pot a bonus can be claimed.

You really couldn't make this stuff up, could you? Source: the Collins Gem book of English Pub Games, publishing date unknown. Although the descriptions are accurate much of the wording is unique to me, so I think that E2 is safe from marrow-dangling inspired lawsuits. I hope.

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