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Gadfrey Daniel! Someone wants the Calgary Stampede to stop tormenting animals. Surely we’re not going to stop a few people having a bit of fun by binding up a bull’s balls then jumping on him and hauling him to the ground, tying him up then taking a bow? I suppose it must also be the case that cowboys – cowgirls? Cowpersons? – must practice so bulls might, after time, actually enjoy having their testicles under wraps. I do wonder, however, whether any cowboy would do the same. Let someone push their testes into the pit of his stomach, push him into a ring to be jumped upon by daring cowpeople with ropes. When I think of this myself it somehow reminds me of days at St. George’s and receiving a cricket ball in the crotch, rolling around on the pitch with the master standing over me saying “up now, Mair, it’s only what your father did before you”.

Now circuses have caught the attention of animal lovers. For God’s sake, what on earth is wrong with capturing a lion or tiger or two, keeping them safe from the perils of the wild in a small cage, jumping into that cage and putting the whip to them? Those elephants surely become deliriously happy in the neat little paddocks in which they live. Interestingly, circuses only use Asian elephants because African ones can’t be trained – perhaps there’s a lesson there.

The next thing these wimps will want to do is ban boxing on the silly basis that the object is for one person to concuss thus do brain damage to his foe. So what if superb fighters like Mohammed Ali wind up with their brains scrambled – isn’t this the “manly art of self defence”? And, of course, we must remember “ultimate fighting” where no organ is out of bounds.

We’re becoming sissies and it started when we banned dueling. In some “civilized” countries if a man graduated from University without a dueling scar he was considered a pantywaist unfit for decent company.

The rule at St. George’s, one of my alma mammies,(now this is back awhile) that if two kids h+ad a grievance they were to go into the ring and beat upon one another until one hollered “uncle”. (see how old fashioned I am?) Surely it’s only a matter of degree and not much of that to say that dueling is more dangerous than fighting with the fists.

We must never forget that many boxers see the bright lights and smell the roses usually confined to the rich. Once upon a time there was a black shoeshine boy in Augusta, Georgia named Beau Jack who seemed like a good boxing prospect; indeed so much so, that some wealthy Georgians including golfing great Bobby Jones, financed him all the way to the lightweight championship. Those who know these things say that Jack was one of the greatest boxers of all time. When he retired he was broke. 37, no training, an ex champion and bust. Soon he was back shining shoes.

One of his backers was asked how he could possibly have alllowed such a thing to a man who made them so much money and he replied “we got him a new shoe box, didn’t we?”

Isn’t it sad that society has reached the point where sacred traditions like tormenting bulls and tigers, and frazzling an opponent’s brains are being called into question? I mean, if a society doesn’t have traditions, how can it possibly survive?

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