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The Roarin' Game

Here is a quick peek inside of The Stones of Ailsa Craig:

The Fife Herald reported on curling in Kirkaldy in 1855:

The 'roaring game,' as it has been called has been, during the past week, the absorbing subject of interest in this quarter . . . [A] variety of matches, of less or more interest and importance, have been played. The chief of these matches was between the bachelors and the married men; and we regret to state that the bachelors gained the day – the result being, married men 21 shots, bachelors, 53.

I was unable to deduce exactly why the reporter was rooting for the married men over the bachelors, but he clearly had his preference. Later, upon reading John Kerr's 1890 book, History of Curling: Scotland's Ain Game, I learned the answer. Kerr wrote:

[N]early all of our curling clubs . . . have an annual match, The Married v. The Unmarried, the purpose of which is the same as that of our young patronesses, viz., to exterminate the race of bachelors and send them over to 'the great majority.' In this match, the married are generally successful, and the poor bachelors who chance to escape with their lives very soon put the chain of Hymen round their necks in despair, and commit the 'happy despatch.'

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