Gloucestershire, England - England has once again out done herself. Show casing to the world her greatest contribution to it since afternoon teatime, Thomas's English Muffins and Shakespeare: The rolling of a 7-pound wheel of cheese down a very seep hillside, nearly a vertical incline, and pursuing it with a careless regard for life or limb, tumbling head over heels, arms and legs flailing helplessly about. Making a pack of lemmings, set upon their own destruction, appear more dignified.
"It's a matter of tradition," said a local from a stretcher inside a first aid tent setup especially for the event. "My father did it. My father's father did and his father's father did it. No wait. Oh, yeah, that year the women had to stand in for the men and the before that the children did it. It nearly was the ended of us all that year."
Originally, intended to rid the town of excess village idiots -- aspiring politicians. In recent years, the event has had the opposite effect growing with international appeal, attracting participants from around the world.
At times, particularly economically hash ones, a number of Japanese businessmen have been known to join in wearing colorful white and red headbands. Screaming out, 'Bonsai!' before throwing themselves down the hill. Oddly enough, the most enthusiastic of the bunch, often not waiting for a wheel of cheese to be thrown out first before throwing themselves down the hill.
From Australia, Rugby players, many whom have stood at the edge of the top of the hill only to back out at the last minute exclaiming, "That's suicide mate; oh, what the hell!" Just before proceeding to toss each other over the edge, just the same.
From Denmark depressed intoxicated youth, all suddenly, sobering up and finding God as they stare down into the abyss.
Of course, there are always the Americans. In fact, many American's enjoyed watching locals throwing themselves down the hillside so much so, fighting Nazis, during WWII, chewing gum and chasing women (drinking and smoking goes without saying), paled in comparison.
Recently, militant Muslim men have even been spotted in attendance at the event, which has police concerned that they are witnessing some kind of new advanced terrorist training in preparation for some dastardly operation. Fortunately, they are quickly arrested once they reach the bottom of the hill and rapidly confess that they only joined the fundamentalist movement for the girls, obviously disoriented from the ordeal.
"It may not be as macho as being chased by bulls down the cobble stone streets of Pamplona, Spain," said quite possibly an intoxicated local, but still lending the best sobering thought to us all. "But then again, Hemmingway never heard about Gloucestershire, England."