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Expanding Your Horizons: Dwarf Tossing

By kwsNI in Culture
Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:13:14 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights today upheld a French ban on the sport of dwarf-tossing. Spearheading the appeal against the ban was a vertically-challenged Frenchman, Manuel Wackenheim, who lost his job as a professional dwarf when the ban was imposed. This article is not about that. It is however, a brief introduction to the sport of dwarf-tossing.


What is dwarf-tossing?
Dwarf-tossing is a rapidly spreading sport that can be played in bars and pubs or anywhere that drunken people gather. Although there are no official rules, there is one main point: to compete with other players to see who can throw a dwarf the furthest.

History of the game:
No one knows when the sport of dwarf-tossing started. It was imported into Europe during the 1980s from the United States and Australia. Most likely, this was in an attempt to import American culture to Europe while avoiding hair bands.

Necessary equipment:
There is a small amount of necessary equipment before you can start a game of dwarf-tossing. At the least, you must have the following:

  • One mattress, in good working order without springs sticking out.
  • Protective clothing and equipment. For the safety of the dwarf, a helmet and padded jacket should be supplied. The jacket should be of sufficient quality to withstand the weight of the dwarf when he is picked up by it. Further, the jacket should have handles sewn into the back of it, to allow the dwarf-thrower to have a proper grip. This enhances the safety of both dwarf and thrower.
  • A first-aid kit. Just in case a drunken thrower lands a dwarf into the crowds.
  • One dwarf. Typically he should be willing to participate, although this is left up to the individual rules.
How to play:
There is currently no standard for the rules used in dwarf-throwing. The only accepted principals are that the person who throws the dwarf the furthest wins and that all other rules are to be decided before play commences. Rules may also be made to ensure the safety of all involved if non-standard equipment is to be used. Typical rules are similar to:
  • If a dwarf utters any sound in flight or upon impact, the throw is disqualified. Note that you can use a strike system here, similar to tennis, where 2 consecutive disqualified throws will result in forfeiture of the round.
  • It is strictly forbidden in dwarf-throwing literature and publicity, to refer to dwarfs as 'persons of restricted growth' or 'small people'.
  • If a dwarf is to be thrown into a lake or pond, he must be provided a wetsuit and may not have his hands or legs bound.
Making dwarf-tossing a spectator sport:
Dwarf-tossing is naturally an enjoyable sport to watch. There are a number of ways to enhance the sport, however.
  • Alcohol. Dwarf-tossing is enhanced by an intoxicated crowd. This not only boosts their enjoyment of the sport, but increases the volume level of the cheering. This, in turn, boosts the intensity of the dwarf-throwers.
  • Chanting. Start a chant. This works in the same way as alcohol, although it benefits from alcoholic consumption as well. A sample chant has been included below.
  • Offer cash or alcoholic prizes. 'Nuff said.
A chant for dwarf-tossing:
This dwarf is made for tossing,
and thats just what he'll do,
One of these days this dwarf,
is gonna toss all over you...

Links/For further information:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's entry on dwarf-tossing. A valuable reference.
Bar owner charged over 'Dwarf-throwing' contest

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Poll
Have you tossed a dwarf?
o No, it's barbaric. 23%
o No, but I'd like to. 59%
o Yes, it's a wonderful sport. 2%
o Yes, it sucks, I hurt my back. 5%
o Yes, but it was in a bar-fight, not as a sport. 8%

Votes: 152
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o UN High Commissioner on Human Rights
o upheld a French ban
o The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's entry on dwarf-tossing
o Bar owner charged over 'Dwarf-throwing' contest
o Also by kwsNI


Display: Sort:
Expanding Your Horizons: Dwarf Tossing | 107 comments (74 topical, 33 editorial, 0 hidden)
Gimli, son of Gloin, is going to kick your ass. (4.56 / 16) (#1)
by Mr Incorrigible on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 08:29:07 PM EST

Didn't you see the movie: "Nobody tosses a dwarf!"

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


To paraphrase Dennis Miller (4.54 / 11) (#7)
by GGardner on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 09:08:39 PM EST

"When you think about it, there's really not much difference between women's Olympic Gymnastics and dwarf tossing"

Actually... (5.00 / 7) (#8)
by Mr Incorrigible on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 09:16:56 PM EST

I was thinking that if one tosses one of Willow's cousins around, it's "dwarf tossing". But if you toss around normal-sized people it's called "pro wrestling". Funny, neh?

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
No! Not my favorite hobby! (4.30 / 10) (#10)
by BinaryTree on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:07:38 PM EST

I first got to be interested in dwarf tossing when me and my parole officer were chatting and he mentioned the topic. Intrigued, I checked it out, only to learn that he wasn't alone, dozens of people around the world shared his passion for dwarf tossing, and now I feel like one of them!

Garrr! Where is that from? (none / 0) (#65)
by oooga on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:07:53 PM EST

It's probably somewhere obvious, but I recognize it and I want to know.
Taking my toast burnt since 1985
[ Parent ]
It came from.... (none / 0) (#67)
by BinaryTree on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:21:09 PM EST

...this.

[ Parent ]
Oh, hell, can't we just use kids instead? (nt) (4.28 / 7) (#12)
by pyramid termite on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:11:16 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
It sounds like a good idea... (5.00 / 7) (#15)
by Armaphine on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:40:45 PM EST

But unfortunately, those little buggers will bounce like a superball. Not to mention that for as little as they are, they pack an impressive set of lungs. They hit the ground, and it sounds like a dozen air raid sirens going off. Plus, you get the dwarf good and drunk beforehand, and he'll return to you for more tossing. Those kids, however, will speed off like bats outta hell. I'm not even going to get into the whole "getting between a mother and her cubs" thing.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

Ob"Just get the kids drunk" (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by Otto Surly on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:25:28 AM EST

A little gin in the sippy cup never hurt.

But more to the point, I've known plenty of kids who enjoying being thrown around as long as they landed on something soft.



--
I can't wait to see The Two Towers. Man, that Legolas chick is hot.
[ Parent ]
"...enjoyed..." (me not rite so gud wen (5.00 / 2) (#23)
by Otto Surly on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:26:14 AM EST



--
I can't wait to see The Two Towers. Man, that Legolas chick is hot.
[ Parent ]
Already do (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by Rogerborg on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:07:28 AM EST

Oh, hell, can't we just use kids instead?

During slack time at reenactment events, we often play Troll Ball.  Think football (US style), only the helmets tend to be steel and the ball is a small to medium sized child.

The rules are:

  • Be as violent as you like, but rememeber that the next time you see your opponents, they'll probably have swords and axes.
  • Excited shrieks from the ball are fine, but a continuous high pitched squealing means it's broken and it's time to get a new one.
  • The ball can move under its own power, and can be bribed, blackmailed or threatened.
Troll Ball is violent, confused, unfair, corrupt and ultimately pointless, i.e. a fine metaphor for life.

The kids absolutely love it, and queue up to be the ball.  So, can anyone tell me why it should be different for adults?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Now, now... (none / 0) (#43)
by bigbtommy on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:28:01 AM EST

Tut, tut. No more baiting the moral majority...
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
transparent euphemism (4.50 / 14) (#16)
by tebrow on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:09:20 PM EST

"Dwarf-tossing" is the second most thinly veiled reference to masturbation I have chanced to see in this queue. The first is the subject heading "Meta".

Question (4.33 / 3) (#30)
by kholmes on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:42:17 AM EST

"One dwarf.  Typically he should be willing to participate, although this is left up to the individual rules."

What do you mean by "typically"? Don't ethics demand voluntary participation?

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.

You'd better hope he/she is willing (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by salsaman on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 08:32:22 AM EST

Else you could find yourself up in court for assault.

[ Parent ]
i would pay to see that (1.50 / 2) (#40)
by turmeric on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:09:40 AM EST

you have been sentenced to 2 years in jail for following the rules on some stupid website about some 'game' you heard of.

it woudl be even better if everyone who voted +1 on this story was listed as an accessory to the crime.

[ Parent ]

good idea (5.00 / 3) (#59)
by Walken on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 03:07:05 PM EST

Yeah, it would be so much better if we didn't have the freedom to enjoy something funny. Bring in the totalitarian dictators, let's get this show on the road! I better go into hiding before I get arrested for thinking dwarf tossing is funny.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#69)
by kholmes on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:45:24 PM EST

I really don't think anyone is going to arrest you for thinking dwarf tossing is funny.

They'll probably arrest you, however, for dragging a dwarf off the street and throwing him around without his consent.

Far be it for me to look down upon any decent activity you wish to take part in. As for me, I fail to see the humor in any of it.

This is the first I've heard of the sport. When I first read it, I thought he was kidding. Imagine my surprise that people actually do this.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

If the dwarf's not willing, (none / 0) (#80)
by it certainly is on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:59:13 PM EST

it's probably a drunk, angry dwarf. Best avoided.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

'Clever-clever' crap! (3.09 / 11) (#35)
by dmt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 07:28:46 AM EST

This person can obviously write. It's good that they've used their talents for something useful  and written something that disseminates interesting information.  Crap! This is not the case.

Take a person who knows how to write; give them a head full of vacant, dubious ideas and they resorts to 'satire' or 'irony'.  Note the inverted commas, this story isn't irony or satire - it's 'irony' or 'satire'.  It's the sort of rubbish one writes when trying to impress others impressed by things in inverted commas; i.e. pretentious and bourgeois 'clever-clever' people who find frippery 'clever'.

Write about something important.  I'm sure given the size of the net that there is something out there.

Laugh, it's funny. (4.33 / 9) (#44)
by kwsNI on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:35:18 AM EST

First of all, I see no irony or satire in the story, and I'm the author. Quite frankly, I saw the BBC article, found it amusing and was going to submit it as MLP, but I realised that it would probably voted down in that form. So I put 15 minutes of effort into actually writing something that people might laugh about, while at the same time actually adding a few extra bytes of useless trivia to their mental storage.

So stop trying to read more into something than there is. Lighten up. Enjoy life. Otherwise you'll turn into a bitter, whiny little punk ass that bitches everytime something fun comes along because it's not "something important."

kwsNI
We do not talk - we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.
-
[ Parent ]

I guess I'm a whiny little punk ass (2.33 / 3) (#46)
by dmt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:18:49 AM EST

that bitches.   Fine.  Quite a visual description that.

I do however rate your writing; something that I don't do lightly.  I feel it is wasted on a subject as heavily covered and cheap as dwarf tossing.  Cheap because I think that you can get just about any person (as described in my previous post) to snigger at something like dwarf tossing.  It's writing those who are looking for an unoriginal giggle.

So I stand by what I said and add that prior to posting I searched Google because I was sure that I had seen such articles before.  I had; even a cursory google search returns a plethora of useless information and even the occational Shock Wave Flash movie.   So that makes your article superfluous too; given that no one has bitched (or whined!) on this particular subject I think this post is the opposite.

[ Parent ]

And yet again. (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by kwsNI on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:22:38 AM EST

The humor was lost...

kwsNI
We do not talk - we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.
-
[ Parent ]
Laughter (2.33 / 3) (#48)
by dmt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:28:49 AM EST

The humor was lost...

This is where you have misunderstood me.  I don't find dwarf tossing any less funny than the next man; nor do I think of it in some kind of politically correct light.  I've just laughed at it before.  It's like watching repeats of a bad-sitcom.  I suppose the audience will lap it up - but for me dwarf tossing is a cliche and no longer particularly funny.  It raises a wry grin at most.

[ Parent ]

I agree (4.83 / 6) (#54)
by rusty on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:55:02 PM EST

I read this article, and at first, a wry grin rose to my face. I was horrified, but even worse was to come. Moments later, despite my best efforts, I sniggered. Like a dam bursting, this first snigger instantly led to a torrent of unoriginal giggles.

Damn you, kwisNi. Damn you.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Your dwarf tossing exposure is dwarfed by mine. (3.66 / 3) (#56)
by dmt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:18:58 PM EST

I don't know but dwarf tossing is so '96.  Maybe I'm too avante guard or, just maybe, dwarf tossing has become a personal albatross.

If you wish to increase your dwarf tossing exposure to a nitrous oxide buzz of tourettes laughter just type "dwarf tossing" into Google and be amazed by the width, breadth and girth of information.  I believe there is even dwarf porn: dwarf tossing's older brother.

Toddler tossing wouldn't be as funny.

[ Parent ]

Oh my (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by Walken on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 03:04:29 PM EST

God forbid anyone laughs at something that dmt has been exposed to before and is the ultimate expert of it. You're obviously one of those jackasses that wails and moans how "OLD" something is every time it's shown to you, such as a flash movie or picture being passed around on the internet. Grow up.

[ Parent ]
Heh (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by rusty on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:29:19 PM EST

Yeah, dwarf tossing is as old as the hills. I just wanted to use all of dmt's types of scorned laughter in one post. But now I have to account for "a nitrous oxide buzz of tourettes laughter" which I think I'm just going to leave alone.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Comic book guy (none / 0) (#87)
by dmt on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:57:23 AM EST

"a nitrous oxide buzz of tourettes laughter"  was where people were supposed to realise that I do in fact have a sense of humor.  Instead I'm dwarved by the size of my thread and proverbial word midges dance around my head.  

What I suggest as a solution is a new tag.  The CBG tag, based upon the spoutings of the Comic Book Guy fron The Simpsons.

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 0) (#86)
by dmt on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:51:06 AM EST

If you wish to increase your dwarf tossing exposure to a nitrous oxide buzz of tourettes laughter just type "dwarf tossing" into Google and be amazed by the width, breadth and girth of information.  I believe there is even dwarf porn: dwarf tossing's older brother.

This comment was a concillatory joke.  Re-read it in the comic book guy's voice.  It's funnier it really is.

The question is not whether I should grow up - rather do dwarfs grow up?  Or in the case of dwarves is it a figure of speech?

[ Parent ]

Call me ignorant, but... (5.00 / 2) (#78)
by hershmire on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 08:07:30 PM EST

I've never heard of dwarf tossing. It's true. I live under a bar room cultural rock, because of my age. I never knew such a thing existed and would have never of thought to search for such a thing in Google.

Luckily, I saw this article on Kuro5hin, and now I am informed. I'm sorry dmt if this is a little dated for you, but I appreciate the author's submission of said story, as it added a little levity to my otherwise uneventful Saturday. Remeber, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
Maybe you're correct (none / 0) (#85)
by dmt on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:47:34 AM EST

(by the way  the last post was an attempt at humor)  Yes. I'm glad you have discovered dwarf tossing! Spread out your exposure though, you don't want to become dwarfed by the size of it all.  Although been dwarfed by the size of dwarf tossing can be a humbling experience; which can dwarf the ego and make us all (Me included!) better people.

[ Parent ]
Dude. (4.25 / 4) (#51)
by Work on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:43:01 PM EST

Lighten up. K5 is more fun when its not about something 'important', or whatever bullshit that is.

I for one, am going to go find me a dwarf.

[ Parent ]

Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by aonifer on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:03:52 PM EST

1-888-PET-MEDS.

[ Parent ]
Stories by dmt = 0 (1.00 / 1) (#92)
by nanobug on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:45:19 AM EST

I don't see you submitting anything but pretentious shit like this. lighten up.

[ Parent ]
I'm been told I'm pretentious by someone ... (2.00 / 2) (#95)
by dmt on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:00:42 AM EST

called nanobug.  Heh.

[ Parent ]
Heh. (4.00 / 5) (#42)
by kaemaril on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:11:11 AM EST

Trust the French to outlaw something so enjoyable! Why, I beat they've even outlawed spanking the monkey...

Wait, did I just say that aloud? Crud! ;)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


No (4.62 / 8) (#53)
by rusty on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:49:41 PM EST

Not yet. But PETA is still trying to get it into court, despite having had the concept of "euphemism" explained to them repeatedly.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
It's a *euphemism*!? (5.00 / 2) (#71)
by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:42:33 PM EST

Oh crap! No wonder it never felt as good as everyone said it was supposed to!

*Runs out back to release caged, beaten monkey*

[ Parent ]
Good. (2.00 / 5) (#45)
by Hired Goons on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:06:20 AM EST

Dwarf tossing SHOULD be outlawed. Go France!
You calling that feature a bug? THWAK

A story that illustrates the point nicely. (4.66 / 6) (#52)
by Apuleius on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:47:44 PM EST

Many years ago, the late great Mike Royko (one of American journalism's elder sages) wrote a story about a dwarf bowling event in a Chicago bowling alley, denouncing the event as undignified. He promptly received responses from the dwarves involved, telling him that the event gave them a better than usual chance to enjoy the feminine charms of the lady regulars at the bar and alley, and that he should mind his own damn business. That in turn, sums up what French government and United Nations bureaucrats ought to be doing. Not that they ever will..


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
how far? (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by Platy on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:01:28 PM EST

Does anyone know how far those dwarfs are thrown? Just an average, I really can't imagine anything :)
Thanks!
--
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.
Oh. (4.14 / 7) (#57)
by tkatchev on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 02:19:15 PM EST

G**k humour.

Laugh.

Or else.

:(

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights... (3.83 / 6) (#60)
by Arker on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 03:11:36 PM EST

...should be stripped to the waist, tied to a post, and publically whipped by the people he put out of a job here. Then maybe afterwards he can educate himself and find out what a human right is... these people disgust me.



Please. (none / 0) (#108)
by vectro on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:23:11 PM EST

There's no reason to dehumanize the UNHCHR. I'm quite confidant that he or she views this rule as being in the best interest of everyone involved. There's no reason or evidence to indicate malice, and public violence is certainly not warranted.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
What an absurd thing..... (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by Niha on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:08:21 PM EST

OK, you did it.The most absurd thing I read today. :?

if i'd been around, this wouldn't've happend (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by nex on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:04:54 PM EST

> The only accepted principals are that...

am i the only one who thinks "wow, that hurts in the eyes"?
hey, sorry, just asking...

You know what else hurts the eyes? (none / 0) (#70)
by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:24:29 PM EST

A fork.

HTH

[ Parent ]
yup (none / 0) (#77)
by nex on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 07:42:38 PM EST

so what?

[ Parent ]
Ah-ha (none / 0) (#83)
by carbon on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 01:01:16 AM EST

You obviously missed the reference to Sam & Max Hit The Road, the funniest game ever. I mean, how can it not be funny : they're the Freelance Police!

Sam: I think I've got something in my eye.
Max: Try digging it out with a fork! That always works for me.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
you obviously missed school too often (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by nex on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:17:43 AM EST

of course i missed it, because it's not there. a fork in an eye is a meme with a strong associativity to hurting eyes. there's no reason to link every occurrence of this image to sam & max. this would be like interpreting every mention of a positron emitter as a reference to star trek, because in one eposide they did funny things with one.

[ Parent ]
Ah-ha (none / 0) (#90)
by carbon on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 10:32:57 PM EST

You're obviously just in denial! Sam and Max rule this puny planet! You humans will pay! PAY!

Sheesh, man, it was just a joke, albiet not a very witty one.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
i knew that! ha! ha! *blush* (none / 0) (#93)
by nex on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:07:44 AM EST

but, my comment was also funny! pout

[ Parent ]
You know... (3.63 / 11) (#66)
by Syntax on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:11:56 PM EST

You know with all the horrible things that go on this world, I am sure glad there is an organization like the UN to solve this problem...

UN todo list...
<1> Smite the US.
<2> Stop dwawf tossing.
<3> Smite the US.
...
...
...
<453> Get any real work done.

obligatory... (none / 0) (#106)
by lpret on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:06:20 PM EST

UN todo list...
<1> Smite the US.
<2> Stop dwawf tossing.
<3> Smite the US.
...
...
...
<453> Get any real work done.

<454> ???
<455> Profit!!!

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
[ Parent ]

A similar game played on the RHIT campus (4.00 / 4) (#72)
by pin0cchio on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:50:21 PM EST

A similar game is played on the Rose-Hulman campus. We have a student who apparently likes to dress up in a costume that makes him appear not to have any legs. When in his get-up, he walks like this. Anyway, at gatherings such as a fraternity rush event or the homecoming bonfire, he may show up and challenge people to knock him over in a game he calls "Weeble Wobble". He is actually quite good at maneuvering with his hands and bottom. He gives a prize to the first person to succeed. Very few people can do it, and most of them are on the school's American football team.


lj65
I Have Just Pissed Myself (3.00 / 2) (#79)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:18:36 PM EST

But only after snorting Crystal LightTM out my nose.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Sure, this is funny (3.00 / 6) (#81)
by Aluminium on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:23:50 PM EST

I cannot understand this. Even I let out a smug snigger as I read this article; you can't help but laugh at this. But I have to say that I side with the UN on this. It is indeed necessary to put in place such laws in order to "protect human dignity".

It is easy to laugh at the homeless man sleeping in his own shit at the street corner and stand for hours in front of him, amused by the flies congregating around the man. It's easy to laugh at someone being tossed about and laughed at for a little money. But do you think he enjoys it? When the dwarf goes home does he enjoy a cold brew and pat himself on the back for a job well done, or does he hate himself for what he did? Do you think he proudly displays his profession; does he have a business card proclaiming his services as a "professional dwarf"?

He doesn't! The man who went in front of the UN to appeal his country's ban on "dwarf-tossing" didn't go there to protect the freedom to practice an enjoyable hobby. He went there to protect his job! The man has fallen this low; he has no other option in front of him but to go and serve as a dummy for the drunken "big men".

It is too easy to laugh, because most of us have never experienced what he is going through. Think about this, though -- the man needs this to live! He isn't doing this so kwsNI can write up a humorous summary and all of us can have a big wank-fest and laugh at the little dwarf. Society has discrinated against him so horribly, for so long, that if he doesn't publicly humiliate himself and leave himself as vulnerable as possible for someone's gloating enjoyment, he will die in poverty.

Great (5.00 / 6) (#82)
by Tatarigami on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:08:33 PM EST

It is indeed necessary to put in place such laws in order to "protect human dignity".
[snip]
Society has discrinated against him so horribly, for so long, that if he doesn't publicly humiliate himself and leave himself as vulnerable as possible for someone's gloating enjoyment, he will die in poverty.


And I bet he appreciates your having made the decision on his behalf: that his dignity is more important than his ability to make a living.

You seem to be saying that A) the dwarf in question has no other way to earn an income and B) it's great that France and the UN have taken his sole method away from him. Can I just point out that, no matter how good your intentions are, this just makes his situation worse? And that it shows a tremendous amount of disrespect for the 'victims' to over-ride their protests and make that decision for them? What will they do if Manuel Wackenheim continues to hire himself out as a tossing dwarf -- arrest him? Fine him? Lock him up?

All in the name of preserving his dignity, no less...

[ Parent ]
Dignity (4.83 / 6) (#89)
by DarkZero on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:25:36 AM EST

But I have to say that I side with the UN on this. It is indeed necessary to put in place such laws in order to "protect human dignity".

Where is the dignity in having your decisions made for you by an international organization, restricting your own judgement and the decisions that you could make based on your own life and your own preferences? I see no dignity there.

It is easy to laugh at the homeless man sleeping in his own shit at the street corner and stand for hours in front of him, amused by the flies congregating around the man. It's easy to laugh at someone being tossed about and laughed at for a little money.

These two are completely different. The homeless man hasn't chosen to be homeless, but the dwarf has chosen to be tossed, in spite of the fact that he could easily get a job as a typist, a cashier, or an entrepreneur. (I make these assumptions based on the fact that he is physically strong enough to not be damaged by being tossed while wearing a protective suit, which is something that most of the seriously disabled dwarves would not be capable of.)

The job may sound ridiculous, but it should be his right to freely choose which job he takes, just like it's the right of any factory worker, porn star, or retail sales clerk to freely choose their job or move on to another.

[ Parent ]

Get your arse out of your seat (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by lpret on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 10:01:31 PM EST

and go play some rugby. Ever played the sport? That's as close to getting tossed around by people twice your height as you're going to get -- and afterwards we do go sit at the pub and regardless if we won we drink away the night and pat ourselves on the back. If dwarf-tossing was available around here, I'd be buying that dwarf his beer.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
[ Parent ]

I'm only 5' 6" (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by kreyg on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:37:18 AM EST

Am I still free to permit people to toss me around?

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. - Douglas Adams
Title reminds me of a funny DnD story (none / 0) (#91)
by Hobbes2100 on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:59:09 PM EST

This may be a bit off-topic, but it's funny, it's about dwarves, and well, anyway ...

This is out of an old Dragon magazine article on "different takes on well-known magical weapons" (it's also a paraphrase from about 15 years ago so my apologies).

"Dwarven thrower, +3": This magical warhammer is a variation of the well known throwing hammer loved by dwarves everywhere. However, instead of allowing itself to be thrown, when an attempt is made to throw it at a target by a dwarven wielder, said wielder will be thrown at the target with a +3 bonus to hit and to damage. Wielder may wish to procure a helmet of padding before use.

Regards,
Mark
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal

Dwarves and... porn? (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by Azundris on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:03:34 AM EST

I'm not sure pornography should be banned, but I am a bit suprised that the production of that is filed under "consenting adults" while throwing consenting dwarves is filed under "barbarism".  I don't think either decision bugs me as much as the lack of consistency/pattern...


Yeah. (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by kwsNI on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:21:33 PM EST

And what about dwarf porn? Dwarf tossing is right out, but midget porn is still acceptable.

kwsNI
Damn you, kwisNi. Damn you. --rusty
[ Parent ]
If I can't toss a dwarf . . . (5.00 / 3) (#97)
by Tzaquiel on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:31:46 PM EST

Situations like these are interesting in that, during their discussion, they tend to bring out a person's true colors - and some very interesting definitions of 'freedom'. There's no doubt that the dwarf gave his consent for his subsequent tossing, so what the issue here ? Is he, as a dwarf, somehow *less capable* of making decisions than you or I ? (And is it "against human dignity" for someone to throw me, at 5'6", around if I give them permission ?) The nature of "Protecting Human Dignity" here is hardly ambiguous : it's an attempt to legislate morality, and I'm sure I'm not the only one here who finds that notion repugnant.

I would never in a thousand years attach the label of 'libertarian' to myself, but I do still believe in true freedom, unperverted by the legal shackles of what someone else considers 'dignified'. Is tossing a dwarf degrading ? Probably. Immoral ? Maybe. Should it be outlawed ? Absolutely not.

Personally, I would love to hear some well-reasoned arguments stating how this dwarf was doing anyone harm.

( And by the way, good artcle. :') )

Tz
"Ouch ! What do you do ?"

Funny (none / 0) (#103)
by fluxrad on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 05:13:04 AM EST

You don't say.

I like smoking weed. I'm a consenting adult. I do it in the privacy of my own home. And yet, I risk jail time if i get caught doing it.

Other people like to have sex. Some women charge for this service but willingly consent to the act. If they give it away, it's ok. If they charge for it, they get ticketed or jailed.

These laws have been brought to you by the letters F-U-B-A-R.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
To what extent? (none / 0) (#104)
by lpret on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:56:39 PM EST

do you want to take this? I mean, you could take this to strippers (They want the money) you could take it to great lengths, as could a lot of protective things. If I'm not mistaken, the article said that the consent of the dwarf is optional -- so it could be that random dwarfs are being dragged by a drunken mob into some pub and being abused. Just a thought...

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
[ Parent ]

Strippers and other things. (none / 0) (#107)
by vectro on Sat Oct 19, 2002 at 05:16:24 PM EST

I read the optionality of consent of the dwarf to be a joke. Of course such a trespass of the dwarf's personal property should be illegal, and already would constitute battery - there's no new law required.

As for strippers, I think you are right to place them in the same class as dwarves, along with perhaps prostitution, gambling, and freak shows. That is to say, all of these things should be legal, because any ban on them is merely an attempt to legislate morality. And I argue that morality is subjective, and not the appropriate realm of government.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Reality check. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by morceguinho on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:35:49 PM EST

I just read the text and found it amusing, but some people are reacting very seriously to this and that got me thinking: is this article real?? I read it as being a joke.

Yes to both. (none / 0) (#99)
by kwsNI on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:43:55 PM EST

The article was meant to be humorous. However, dwarf-tossing is a real event (that's illegal in Florida, New York and France). Still, there are many bars and places that have contests for it elsewhere. It's played with a consenting dwarf (that is usually paid for his "services") that wears a helmet and padded suit with handles on the back. He is then tossed at an air mattress or other padded surface for distance. Google for more information.

kwsNI
Damn you, kwisNi. Damn you. --rusty
[ Parent ]
GOD DAMNIT! (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by Marasmus on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 09:50:34 PM EST

WHY must I live in Florida!?

Although i'd have a hell of a time throwing a dwarf 10 feet, I think this is absolutely the best idea for a sport that could possibly be conceived by a bunch of drunkards (including one dwarf) while swillin' away at their favorite hometown pub. I think i'm gonna have to start an underground ring of Dwarf Throwing competitions here in Florida!

[ Parent ]
Sheesh. (none / 0) (#100)
by Perianwyr on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 04:08:39 AM EST

Remember that the freaks were the ones complaining the loudest when the freakshows shut down.

Question (none / 0) (#101)
by Tachys on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 01:56:48 PM EST

Could this "UN High Commissioner on Human Rights" actually reverse the ban on dwarf tossing?

Any game that gets banned by the Austrailian govt can't be all bad... - Armaphine

Expanding Your Horizons: Dwarf Tossing | 107 comments (74 topical, 33 editorial, 0 hidden)
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