2012 North American Wife Carrying Championship: Oh yeah, it’s real.

An open letter to the Race Committee

The winners, Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen of Finland.  Courtesy Robert F. Bukaty and the Bangor Daily News

Dear Sirs,

As a participant in this year’s contest, I’ve got a bone or two to pick with you. If you will consult your records, you’ll see that me and the missus once again finished dead last as has been the case for the past five years, except for the unforgettable 2008 race in which we bested that pair from Lewiston. You’ll recall that in that contest Mr. Norman French was ultimately disqualified for doping after it was discovered that he’d been taking Viagra for six days straight in the run-up to the race.  Any man that’s been in that state for nigh on to a week — without relief — would surely have an unnatural amount of energy to burn, and so although we were disappointed to again bring up the rear, so to speak, we understood the committee’s decision and accepted it without complaint.

Besting the log.
Courtesy Robert F. Bukaty and the Bangor Daily News.

As you no doubt know, my wife, being locally sourced, is substantially larger than most of the other wives, which brings me to my first point. I think there should be size divisions along the lines of boxing or wrestling. That little boney woman from Finland who won was no bigger than half a minute, barely even a flyweight. I could’ve carried her in my pocket and she’d have jangled like a handful of pennies, ferchrissakes. It’s just not right that I’m competing with twice that load (anyway) on my back. I’d estimate that my better half dresses out somewhere north of 200 pounds, making her a heavyweight, and while she’s still a fine figure of a woman, carrying her is no day at the beach. The log jump is particularly difficult, as it imperils the husband’s more delicate parts. If memory serves, the now disgraced Mr. French, bounced over that obstacle like he’d jumped on a trampoline. Apparently from the navel down he was number than a pounded thumb, but of course Mrs. French was probably no more than a middleweight anyway.

Hardly enough to keep most Mainers going for a week!
Courtesy Robert F. Bukaty and the Bangor Daily News.

I have my suspicions that this weight blindness has something to do with the winner receiving his wife’s weight in beer. Let’s just say that if my wife and I had won, you’d have needed a semi and a log skidder to get our winnings home. I’m not making any accusations, mind you, but I think the folks at Shock Top could be persuaded to be a bit more forthcoming with their prizes.

Since I’ve put pen to paper, I’d also like to call your attention to the issue of carrying style. As this is the NORTH AMERICAN championship, it should, I believe, require participants to carry American style, that is, either the standard fireman’s carry or the piggy back. This Estonian carry, with the wife upside down on the husband’s back, is just not right. In the event you are unfamiliar with its origins, I’d like to remind you that historically it was used to steal women from villages in some God-forsaken part of Europe that’s probably as cold as Maine, but doesn’t even have central heat or free and fair elections. My son-in-law, who’s some kind of smart-ass big brain from out-of-state, told me that and I believe him. He’s a professor at the community college, so I guess he’d know. And anyway, he showed me a map of where this Estonia is and I’d like to point out that it is suspiciously close to Finland, the country of origin of this year’s winners, whose names I can’t hardly pronounce let alone spell. Seems to me something’s fishy about that, and it ain’t pickled herring you smell. In any case, I believe the evidence speaks for itself, so I’ll say no more.

In closing, gentlemen, I’d like to just say that I and many like-minded Mainers look forward to the annual wife carrying contest even if it is dominated by sneaky Europeans and their underfed spouses. I know I am not the only one who would like to see the rules changed to make the contest fairer for indigenous participants with weight classes and a standard carry style. Failing that, perhaps you’d consider adding a cow tipping feature at the end. Just to level the pasture, you know.


Vinal Largay
Cherryfield, Maine

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on October 13, 2012, in Satire, The Slattern Speaks and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. By the way, this was hilarious. And…I was so proud that I knew what a log skidder was. I owe it all to you.

  2. Now you just watch what you say about my hubby, Mr. French. It wasn’t the Viagra that got him, it was herniated disc he suffered lifting me up in the preliminary race. Poor man can’t help it if he’s Jack Sprat. But I agree with ya about than Estonian hold. It’s cheatin’, I tell ya. I bet they’re swingers. Probably learned that hold in one of their weird key parties. It ain’t natural.

    • You know, Mrs. French, I’d like to make fun of your situation, but pity for the difficult circumstances in which you found yourself in the days — some say weeks — after the doping “incident” gives me pause.

  3. Your Maine vernacular is hilariously accurate. Those finnish women must be on pain meds. Bouncing around with your husband’s shoulder digging into your uterus can’t feel good.

  4. Someone WOULD come up with a race like this! And I agree, there should be weight classes or at least some kind of handicaps in place based on the weight of the wife-load. Personally I think it could be one of the more fun races to partcipate in, as a girl. No running, just hang on tight. And piggy back, please!

    • I think you might change your mind along about the time your head bounces off a log or your ponytail gets dragged through the mud along with your face. No, I think we’re better off handling our own locomotion.

  5. That was too funny! By the way, I actually know people who engage in cow-tipping from time to time. Personally, I think it’s disrespectful to the cow. And dangerous. It could land on an utter.

    • Although I grew up in Maine, I have never touched, let alone tipped, a cow. I have heard, however, that it’s very popular among rowdier members of the rural set. Mystifying, but true.

  6. Reblogged this on The Serenity Game and commented:
    This is too funny not to pass on 🙂

  7. L-O-V-E this letter format. Far too many KA-SNORTS to name.

    Should you *whistling* happen upon a post that uses the same format, choose the explanation that is least likely to piss you off direct unrestrained mayhem to an innocent, snoozing cow.

    1) I already had a “letter” post in draft stages when I read this,
    2) Imitation is the sincerest form of compliment, or
    3) Martha told me not to do it, which means I had to.

    Toddling off now to steal your idea finish a blog post that may or may not be in letter format.

    • Eh, beg, borrow or steal whatever you want. Just the fact that anyone would read anything I scribble, let alone find it worth thinking about is far more than I expect. BTW, I’ve done this before (lest you think I’m particularly original or creative).

  8. Vinal Largay, eh? Hilarious!

  9. I know the race is a payback for all the wives that carried their husbands. The letter is pure Downeast. Cow tipping never, cow riding once. They don’t buck worth a damn. Watching PBS and who shows her mug? Martha, pimping her show and luring more unsupecting women into the oppression that is crafting.

    • I don’t know, Tom. I can’t see where riding upside down with your nose pressed against your husband’s sweaty backside while your head is dragged through the mud, submerged or bounced off a log amounts to much in the way of payback. I guess that it’s the husband who does the heavy lifting of course, so you may have a point.

      • Okay, his technique sucks. I think it’s a fifty fifty split on tecnique. It’s on her to straighten him out. It’s his job to know better than to use that carry.

  10. wsw, I think you need to get back to N Y…Cow tipping??????????

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