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Highland Fling


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If running around on the beach and throwing large objects sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday, Linda Stansberry has a game for you. Three games, actually. And you can wear kilts!

Stones will be thrown, wars will be tugged, and cabers (sort of) will be tossed at the Second Annual Clam Beach Highland Games, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 30.

Stansberry, a Fortuna adventurer into all things Scottish, concocted the event last year around the time of her birthday, and optimistically called it the first annual games. Those games gamboled along the beach, a bagpiper piped, and everything went more smoothly than the other Scottish experiment Stansberry tried around the same time. (Ask her about the exploding haggis.)

This year's games will include a caber toss with a mini-caber, only about 6 feet long, made by Stansberry's father. The stone throw will feature a rock the size of a bread loaf, harvested that day from the loafiest rocks Clam Beach has to offer. Winners of those two competitions will become team captains for the tug of war finale.

No food will be provided, but a big bonfire will be built for roasting anything that seems suitably Scot.

"If anyone decides to bring a haggis, or neeps and tatties they're welcome. Their favorite Robert Burns poem would also be appreciated," Stansberry said.  

For the uninitiated, haggis is a kind of squishy sausage -- oatmeal and organ meat stuffed in a sheep's stomach. Neeps and tatties are turnips cooked with potatoes. Robert Burns? Do you really need to ask? Never mind, you'll probably like the games anyway.

Seth Stone, who attended last year in a kilt custom-tailored from an old plaid skirt, recommends going kilted if all possible.

"It's kind of relaxing, actually," said Stone, who solved the problem of proper kilt undergarments by omitting them entirely. "The breeze is nice. It makes you appreciate a cool summer breeze in a whole new way."

It will be more fun than an exploding haggis.



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