Inside the Greenwood Skate Center Saturday, children circled the hardwood under disco balls to the tune of Hokey Pokey and Criss Cross.
Dozens of 12-year-olds flirted as they sat around the rink. A boy sporting a baggy white shirt rode a tiny, plastic pony that moved back and forth for a quarter.
But outside the building, John Garrett grunted as he heaved Todd Fellers’ 123-pound frame off the ground by his harness straps.
Fellers, a Bowling Green resident standing at 4 feet 9 inches, was the subject of a dwarf toss. Literally, he was the object of a long-distance throwing competition in the first-ever Redneck Olympics.
It was hillbilly heaven.
“I’ll try anything once,” Fellers said. “I like to see people smile.”
And it was all for a little girl in need. Ken Merideth, general manager of the skating rink, organized the games to help raise money for three-year-old Presley Nash. Nash has a potentially terminal illness and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Garrett swung Fellers onto a soft, cushy mattress. His body landed in the “wimp” category.
On top of the mattress was a tarp, spray painted with different categories of dwarf tossing proficiencies. Fellers landed in the shortest distance area, the “wimp” zone. None of the hurlers were able to launch Fellers into the “wus, almost, redneck or big boy” zones.
The theme for the olympics was “Politically Incorrect, but Positively Motivated.”
But they did more than toss a dwarf.
Children and adults nearly gagged on dirty water as they bobbed for French fries – some that had been spit out by prior participants.
Uncooked, thawed French fries sat at the bottom of the old bathing bucket filled with water. Children shoved their heads in the bucket full of community backwash and potato particles to win vouchers for cooked French fries.
“I accidentally swallowed a couple of fries, and it made me queasy,” said Cassie Hays of Bowling Green.
Others spat watermelon seeds as far as the wind would carry them or jumped in the belly flop contest and mud wrestling pit.
Katie Mason yelled toward her younger sister, Jessica Mason from the opposite end of the mud pit.
“Your little red neck is gonna turn brown,” she said.
Katie headed toward her sister with outstretched arms, knocking Jessica’s tiny body to the ground. After a few tumbles, Jessica began to cry.
Katie lacked sympathy. She dumped a pile of mud on Jessica’s already dirty head.
“She’s so easy to beat,” Katie said.
After her win, Katie stayed with the redneck theme of the day. She shoved watermelon slices into her mouth as juice dripped down the sides of her cheeks and watermelon mush covered her chin, leaving a red tinge.
Later Saturday night, some of the rednecks returned – freshly washed to skate, flirt and ride the quarter-pony, even if they were too big.
Merideth cleared the floor to pass out “Redneck Awards” – homemade plaques made from tree stumps with redneck cartoons pasted on them.
As the music came back on, the Mason sisters, apparently reconciled and glided off together.
Reach Amber Sigman at [email protected]