Man foaming at the mouth with anger that his annual Vancouver Spitting Contest has been cancelled due to pandemic
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
COVID-19 has taken everything from dance clubs to late night alcohol binges from the public, and now another cherished tradition has found itself under the wrecking ball of the coronavirus. Ed Lankley’s Vancouver Spitting Contest. I spoke to Lankley about the shine that has been lost from his now cancelled tournament—much like the shine that will now not glisten off the dozens of shoes he purchased for the shoe-shine competition.
“It sucks, or blows, or… You know what, it makes me spitting mad!” said Lankley. The competition involved various activities including spitball (involves forming the biggest ball of gum in ten minutes), spit dueling, and bucket filling. When asked why Lankley thinks that this kind of event is okay during COVID, or really any time, Lankley defended his tournament: “Of course there are some challenges, but it’s totally safe. We spit in buckets! The only issue we would have is with the relay, but we can cancel just that event if we need to, without cancelling the whole thing.” I ask Lankley and yes, the relay means exactly what you think. Lankley is concerned that without this year’s tournament, the entire league of spitting may very well shut down. He is worried that kids in the sports farm system will now be forced out onto the street. “They’ll be spitting in dumpsters, alleys—or worse, swallowing it.” He said, trying to hold back the tears.
While Lankley is depressed from the loss of his contest, Mary Wilford, his ex-wife and proprietor of the Vancouver Kissing Contest was overjoyed. In speaking to her, she was thrilled that her ex-husband and nemesis’ contest was shut down. “That contest was the stupidest thing I had ever heard,” she said. “I begged him for years to switch to a kissing contest, but he kept saying it was ‘gross.’” As Wilford jumped up and down in glee, a note came to her from her assistant. It was a message from the Vancouver Health Authority, who regrettably informed Wilford that her kissing contest would also be cancelled. Gone were events like the kissing bandit (a freestyle kissing contest), the tongue twister, and the Spider-Man (one person is upside down and is kissing the other who is right side up). “This pandemic is taking everything our city holds dear,” said Wilford. Wilford claims that without her competition people will just be kissing at home or in movie theatres. “I don’t want to start over again,” she said. “When we first started, we had people coming here with condoms and sex toys. They thought this was some sort of sex event. I had to shoo them away.”
In these challenging times, warring against others is not a sight to see. I hope that these two combatants can reconcile their differences and come together for the benefit of their respective businesses and contests. Now is not the time to be at odds, but to see if they can come together, and swap spit for the greater good. God, I hate that I just typed that.