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John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
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is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 03.31.03
Fool's Hollow, Quebec

JOHN MAHONEY

Come, celebrate Spring! Toss a dwarf or two...

FITCH BAY, QC | The Community Committee to Celebrate the Coming of Spring invites everyone to attend this year's Annual Tossing of the Dwarves.

The festivities open at 8:30 a.m. on April 1 at the downtown park with a free baked beans, boudin, fried poisson d'avril, and beer breakfast (soda pop for children).

Free goat cart rides start at 10 a.m. At the same time, youngsters can also angle for Finless Browns in the village brook. Fishers under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The highlight of the day is the hilarious Tossing of the Dwarves, which traditionally has taken place on both sides of manure-filled ditch. However, due to concerted pressure from outside agitators, this year a line will be drawn in a sandbox and the participating dwarves will be tossed across the line.

Pressure on another issue -- the right of female dwarves to be active partners in the festivities -- was successfully brought to bear in the early '80s. Since then, the Little Woman has gotten her fair share of tossing.

This age-old custom of dwarf-tossing, it is said, originated in France, which is known for the abundance of little people. The French, of course, have a word for it but, sadly, that word is now Non!. They banned the chucking about of little people in 1995, and the UN backed them up. "Not dignified," the international body ruled.

Descendants of these Euro-dwarves can be found to this day in Quebec, in the ranks of the Parti Québécois.

It is not yet know whether Bernard Landry, the Head PQ Dwarf, will take part in this year's Toss. Premier Landry was officially invited by the Committee after many residents indicated they would like to give him a final toss in the next election -- it's slated for April 14 -- but he has not yet accepted.

It's been rumored that several Abenaki dwarves -- the fabled mekumwasucks may make a star appearance, and a contingent of Little People from Vermont's Northeast Kingdom legislative caucus are scheduled to take part in the annual tossing.

All contestants must wear padded helmets, and knee and elbow pads. Their little blue and white jerseys, oversewn with yellow lilies of the valley, have two sturdy handles affixed to the back of the jerseys, below the left shoulder and above the waist on the right side. The handles are designed to provide higher and longer tosses.

Grasping of beards or genitals is strictly prohibited.

"It's a fun day," says organizer Dufus MacDuff. "It really is thrilling to see the dwarves in their tight little blue and white jerkins being tossed back and forth. Personally, I preferred the old ditch toss, but you have to stay abreast of the times, they say.

"Tell everyone we want them to come and, if they know any shorties, bring them along."

For more information, e-mail annualdwarftoss.com

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