This is a three-er
October 8, 2009 10:17 PM   Subscribe

Conquerors 2009 “There are many underhanded ways of making your conker harder. The best is to pass it through a pig." World Conker Champion – Charlie Bray. The World Conker Championships are on this weekend. All the action from last year. previously [1] [2] In other news, a cure for bleeding canker has been found, with a welcome side effect, leaf miners don't like having garlic breath.
posted by tellurian (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of those games/sports where everyone has a weapon, but they they don't use them on one another, isn't it.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:27 PM on October 8, 2009

Nice tags.
posted by dersins at 10:33 PM on October 8, 2009

This made a lot more sense when I realized that a conker is what we call a buckeye (i.e. the nut from a horse chestnut tree) in the US.
posted by brenton at 10:45 PM on October 8, 2009

My god I hadn't thought of this game in about fifteen years. My English roommate taught it to me and we would have epic drunken conkers bouts. In our case it was often more of a contact sport, Kid Charlemagne, at least with the smashed-up knuckles. Thanks for the memories.
posted by zoinks at 11:02 PM on October 8, 2009

There are many underhanded ways of making your conker harder.

At first, I thought the post is missing a NSFW tag.
posted by sour cream at 11:05 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

A picturesque corner of Northamptonshire hosts the World Conker Championships on the second Sunday in October every year. Thousands flock to the venue near the ancient market town of Oundle to watch this great spectacle as modern day gladiators fight for glory armed only with a nut and 12” of string.

It's like a Monty Python sketch come to life!

sour cream: "At first, I thought the post is missing a NSFW tag."

Well, these are some hardcore conkers...
posted by Rhaomi at 11:16 PM on October 8, 2009

Great news about the bleeding canker. A couple of years ago I really thought the horse chestnuts were going the same way as the elms.
posted by Phanx at 11:24 PM on October 8, 2009

For those unfamiliar with the game, here is a demonstration of Caravan Conkers from Top Gear.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:30 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Coincidentally, I just collected a big bowl full of what I thought were chestnuts in the yard yesterday, only to discover upon googling that they were actually horse chestnuts and therefore inedible. In the course of reading up about them, I encountered the game of conkers for the first time.

In other words:

Metafilter: GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
posted by The Tensor at 1:56 AM on October 9, 2009

Underhanded or no, if someone is willing to wade through pig shit in search of a harder conker, I'd say they've earned it.
posted by timeo danaos at 2:53 AM on October 9, 2009

Great news about the bleeding canker. A couple of years ago I really thought the horse chestnuts were going the same way as the elms.
Ah! Phanx, You have cut through to the true heart of this post. The village smithy not owing any man.

I asked my partner when I got home this evening about whether they played conkers in Germany. She said that "they made animals and whoever had the most was the winner". Animals? Apparently they stuck toothpicks in the chestnuts and made animal shapes.

Along with the chestnut, the elm and the oak are symbols of Ye Olde Englande and are not to be found along with the seasons in my adopted home, that is girt by sand.
That has an environment minister that used to be in a band.
posted by tellurian at 4:13 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been seeing conkers strewn across the floor in parks this year, as though no kids come and collect them. Whatever happened? I took one home and put in on my sill to remind me of the time of year. But I feel like just picking them all up and finding somebody to play them with. Sadly I'm too self-conscious to buy a gimlet at the height of the conker season.

Also, if this is not a demonstration sport at the 2012 Olympics, I will cry.
posted by Sova at 4:20 AM on October 9, 2009

Stamps! *trashes thread*
posted by Abiezer at 4:27 AM on October 9, 2009

Must say I think the relocation of the Ashton Conker Club to a new out-of-town venue up by New Lodge is a sign of the pernicious influence of the money from all those Asian betting rings on the professional game. Danger is they'll be trying to join a European super league which will quite possibly mean some of the semi-professional Northamptonshire sides going to the wall.
I understand they've sold the old ground to a supermarket and casino complex and that the new stadium will be all seating with no standing allowed and segregation of supporters. Though after the conker hooliganism in the 2008 championships, that might be for the best.
posted by Abiezer at 4:41 AM on October 9, 2009

Wow, thanks for the memories of the three years of my childhood I lived in North Yorkshire. We played conkers all the time. I still remember the endless discussions about the best conkers, how to make them harder, and the best swinging techniques. In some ways, I suppose it was the British version of marbles.
posted by at 4:51 AM on October 9, 2009

"what we call a buckeye in the US."

What you mean "we," Kemosabe?
posted by majick at 7:35 AM on October 9, 2009

According to the internet the "Ohio Buckeye" and the Horse Chestnut are slightly different (Aesculus glabra versus Aesculus hippocastanum). I'm not sure if that's different species or just different varieties? My biological nomenclature is pretty rusty.
posted by nanojath at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2009

Why. Are members of the KISS Army dancing to oompa-music? My brain, it surrenders.
posted by pyrex at 12:35 PM on October 9, 2009

Alma and Spencer Garlow Doll Collection: An American Family — 1630 to 1900. The dolls in the collection were created ca. 1962 by doll maker Helen Bullard (1902-1996) and carved from horse chestnut wood. [adversaria]
posted by tellurian at 3:56 PM on October 14, 2009

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