Human Skittles revisited : Mangelwurzel Skittles and Conger Cuddling
Strange Games number 69 (Headstand Human Skittles) reminds me of one of the greatest Strange Games of all time: Mangelwurzel Skittles.
Mangelwurzel Skittles is an ancient UK Westcountry game that has that magic combination of simplicity and stupidity. A mangel-wurzel (a large whitish-yellow root vegetable from the beetroot family) has a rope tied to it and this is then attached to the ceiling of the room. 'Skittles' are created by players standing on narrow 6 inch-high wooden blocks. Players are best arranged in a traditional diamond formation with location decided upon by drawing straws. The mangel-thrower then launches the mangelwurzel into the skittles. The game continues until a victorious skittle remains on his perch.
A more recent version of Mangelwurzel Skittles has appeared in Dorset in the last 30 years. Conger Cuddling is the same except, instead of a root vegetable, a dead conger eel is used. Ideally the eel should be about 5 feet in length. Animal Rights activists have recently threatened a national campaign to stop this marvellous game.
Guardian article on Conger Cuddling 2006
strange games no:72..category: outdoor games
Strange Games the Videos: Human Skittles