To celebrate this week’s World Men’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, I’m spotlighting Throwing Stones, first in the the Glasgow Lads on Ice series! It’s currently on sale for only $2.99/£1.99/€2.99, but the discount ends Sunday. It’s also available in paperback, if you like that sort of thing (I do).
It was obvious how Team Riley had earned the nickname “Team Smiley.” The four men had an enviable looseness about them, with nearly every interaction ending in laughter.– Throwing Stones, Chapter 1
In curling, chemistry is key. In sports like football (soccer) where you field a larger team, or like hockey/American football/basketball where players are popping in and out of play every few minutes, you can afford to have a few teammates who don’t get along. Not so in curling, where the same four people are equally crucial to each throw. Any tension between curlers can lead to disaster.
David is one half of Team Riley’s “front end” (the ones who generally do most of the sweeping). Like most front-end players, he’s got immense strength and stamina. Built like a brick shithouse, as they say.
He’s also got an uncanny ability to remember every shot taken by both teams throughout a game, allowing him to track the ever-changing ice conditions with precision. So he’s usually the one skip Luca Riley turns to when deciding where to place the broom (i.e., where the next curler will aim his throw).
Of the four members of Team Riley, David is the most blunt, the least sentimental. He has few qualms about taking advantage of his good-natured best friend, Ross Buchanan. Which probably makes him the most Glasgow-y Glasgow Lad of them all.
The passenger door opened, and David jumped in beside Luca. “Fuck’s sake, put on the heating.”
“Good morning to you, too.” Luca turned on the engine, then fumbled with the climate controls. “Thought you were bringing coffee.”
“I delegated to Ross. Seniority and all.”
“He’s the second and you’re the lead. Technically he has seniority.”
“Aye, but I know how much you hate hierarchies.”– Throwing Stones, Chapter 5
Stay tuned tomorrow for a closer look at the soft, squishy heart of Team Riley: Ross Buchanan!