- Photograph by Michael Mendelson
STRAIGHT MAN: Wavy Gravy shall judge the 'Hippie Toss.'
Had your fill of golf, softball, 10Ks and bike racing? Indeed, we're almost a decade into the 21st century, and even the most extreme sports are beginning to feel a little mossy. So how about some new sporting challenges aimed at taking advantage of the quirks, characteristics and attributes unique to our own North Bay? After all, true Bohos are, by definition, a superior, innovative and daredevil lot. So here's a short compendium of sports designed specifically for these North Bay environs.
Abaleavealone Diving Simple rules, no risk of death.
Egg White Skid Ever run like hell, sliding as far as could be on solid ice or down a retro '60s Slip 'N Slide? The Egg White Skid simply substitutes Chickaluma organic grain-fed, free-range, cage-free egg whites for ice or running water.
Find-the-Republican Kinda like hide-and-seek, with a twist. Bleeding heart, investigative and search-and-rescue teams compete, racing throughout the North Bay attempting to locate a living, breathing Republican. Once one is found, lucky team members must convince said person to admit to his or her party affiliation. First team to return to the starting point with a signed affidavit attesting to Republican Party membership wins tickets to Cincinnati's Creation Museum and a security-guided tour of Diebold Corporate headquarters in Canton, Ohio. Find-the-Republican is an exhaustively challenging game that can be played year-round, the exception being those three weeks each midsummer when thousands of Grand Old Partiers invade the Russian River, making this game just too damn easy.
Hoeup-Down Contestants hoe 100-yard rows of Burbank potatoes, all while clogging to live Cloverdale fiddlers. First to complete his row is spared the embarrassment of accepting any prize.
SebastaBall Also known as biodynamic baseball. Gravenstein apples sub for hardballs. Each team fields a pitcher, a catcher and as many batters as it so chooses. Runs are scored each time a batter makes contact, thus eliminating both fielding and base running. Following nine innings of play, all resultant debris gets scooped up and pressed into post game refreshments.
Sewering A noncompetitive sport for spelunkers lacking nearby natural cave options.
Trust Fund Triathlon An especially popular Marin County event. First, select lucky spermers pit Beemers, Jags and Ferraris in the Daimler Demolition Derby. Next, contestants navigate their chauffeurs to a favored jeweler, rare collectables dealer, preciously nuanced boutique or ponzi broker in order to purchase what judges determine to be the single most egregious waste of $1 million. The triathlon's final leg has entrants cutting rugs and sipping 1979 Krug Clos du Mesnil at a black-tie marathon affair at Belvedere's San Francisco Yacht Club. The grand prize winner is assigned an actual purpose in life, along with the handy pamphlet "101 Pithy Responses to the Question: What's That You Do for a Living?"
Way-Far-Out Hippie Toss Friends gather around a stout psychedelic blanket on any North Coast beach. Volunteer hippie reclines in the center of a blanket. Following a group meditation and sacramental ingestations, friends "om" loudly, laugh, chortle and pitch the volunteer stoner up toward the heavens. Everyone wins at this game, as officiated by Peter Coyote and judged by Wavy Gravy.
A few other up-and-coming neo-Bohemian sports include fog chasing, surfball, vegetable sprinting, E-walking, tug-of-class-war, tourist trapping, salmon spotting and the unusual and oft forgotten sport of quake surfing.
And finally, no list of neo-Bohemian sporting opportunities would be complete without giving a nod to our region's signature competitive event, SoNaMa's Annual Oyster Slog, in which challengers slog through an Olympic-sized pool brimful of shucked Drake's Bay oysters. First contestant to reach the far end gets to shower first.