The Crotchety Scotch

They're nae bad, lad

"If it's not Scottish," exclaims the belligerent proprietor of All Things Scottish, "it's crap!" The organizers of the St. Louis Scottish Games and Festival may not share the xenophobia of Mike Myers' caustic Scotsman, but their love for the land of William Wallace is every bit as strong. They'll bring a wee slice of the Caledonian highlands to Forest Park this week, beginning 5 p.m. Friday with a torchlight ceremony and ceilidh (say "kay-lee") dance.

Saturday, things really get barmy, as heavy men in kilts throw heavy objects -- no, not at the hated English, just for sport. 22-pound stones? 56-pound weights? They're just getting warmed up. Real highland he-men prefer to toss the caber, a felled tree that weighs between 100 and 180 pounds and can be up to 22 feet long. It's not a sport we'd recommend for your grandmother -- or for J.D. Drew.

But it's not all grunting and heaving: The clans will assemble for the Parade of Tartans, and an exhibition of British cars will show the descendants of Edward I that there are no hard feelings. There'll be loads of pipers and drummers, beloved Scottish beasts from collies to Clydesdales, and the requisite food and merch. Rumors -- unconfirmed at press time -- say that even Nessie might make an appearance ($10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday, $20 for a two-day pass, family discounts available, kids younger than five free, 314-821-1286, www.stlouis-scottishgames.com). -- Jason Toon

Great Scotts and some just ok ones compete at the St. Louis Scottish Games and Festival
Mark Poutenis
Great Scotts and some just ok ones compete at the St. Louis Scottish Games and Festival

Stretch, You Will
The words of Yoga

SAT 10/11

When we heard that West End Wellness and Yoga (4253 Laclede Avenue, 314-531-5073) would be hosting an anniversary party with an "African dance ritual," electronic music and lighting effects, we squeezed into leotard and legwarmers and stopped eating bran (some of us make noises when we bend, if you catch the drift). Summoning the forces of Ashanti, Anansi and Tony Amonte, we're skipping to the Central West End for Spirit Dance 4 from 6 p.m.-midnight, a free celebration that also includes a Kundalini yoga class, a vegetarian-potluck dinner and a chance to be at one with the inner Slimnast. The gathering is also supposed to reference the full moon, which has been known to attract oceans, lovers and New Agers of all auras. -- Byron Kerman

 
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