January 21, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 61  

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Dwarf tossing comes to London, PETA declines comment

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Dwarf tossing — a medieval Viking tradition proven more prolific, and current, than other Viking favourites such as raping, killing and pillaging — has finally come to London.

Tripod, a 4’8” dwarf weighing about 50 pounds, is coming to a local bar tonight to be tossed to and fro by the establishment’s eager patrons, said Jeffrey Baines, co-owner of Club VIP, the bar where the event will be held, adding there will be prizes for the best and farthest toss.

The intrepid little person will be put into a harness with protective equipment and thrown into eight air mattresses to cushion the force of the toss, he explained.

“We haven’t had any problems from city hall yet,” Baines noted, indicating there was controversy brought up by party-poopers in Windsor over Tripod’s act during the summer. He added the state of Florida and a number of countries have banned the practice of dwarf tossing, probably out of spite.

London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco could not be reached for comment.

Baines said many bars are facing problems with attracting customers, especially if they do not have patios for smokers. “With the smoking bylaw, we need to be creative with our customers,” he said. “We’ve got to do whatever we can to stay in business.”

“It’s just a form of entertainment. [Tripod] makes a lot of money doing this, it’s just like boxing — [and] this is what people want,” Baines said, attributing the success and wide appeal of the sport of dwarf tossing to Howard Stern in 1987. “But I guess it all goes back to Medieval times.”

Baines pointed out that Tripod enjoys his craft, which provides him with a supplementary income along with his full-time job.

The Gazette decided to contact People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for comment, but a spokesperson, who refused to give her name, declined. “It has to involve animals in order for us to make a statement,” she said.

“No. I don’t think it’s fair; it’s cruel because it is another human being and we’re treating them like toys,” said second-year biology student Samar Haroun.

“I love tossing dwarves! But only of their own will,” noted masters of chemical engineering student Jeff Wood.

“I’m tall, so it’s okay,” said fourth-year chemical engineering student Alex Hansen.



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