Bog snorkeler does not snog women in the mud


Bog snorkeling — uh-huh-huh-huh.

Some things just bring out the Beavis and Butt-Head in all of us.

Until a few days ago, I could not have told you that bog snorkeling was a sport in which “competitors travel two lengths of a 60-yard water-filled trench that’s cut into a peat bog in the shortest time possible.”

This is what it looks like.

(Does Ben & Jerry’s sponsor competitors?)

I can now, however, define the sport because scandal has rocked the bog-snorkeling universe! Well, perhaps not scandal exactly, but controversy and litigiousness, at least.

Julia Galvin of Ireland is a champion bog snorkeler (uh-huh-huh-huh).

Recently, she was invited to appear in a mud-wrestling sketch on Katherine Lynch’s Wonderwomen, which is described as a “six-part comic ‘Mock-U-Soap’ which follows the aromatic adventures of a quartet of highly unusual, but nigglingly identifiable, Modern Irish Women.”

Galvin declined the invitation. The show then featured a Galvin look-alike who was introduced as a champion bog snorkeler. The look-a-like and “sexually confused small town girl” Liz Hurley mud-wrestled and kissed. The real Galvin was appalled, saying:

The programme referred to a person who was a bog snorkelling champion. They were wrestling and then they were kissing. That’s something I’d never do. I was stuck to my chair.

Galvin is now suing Lynch’s production company. I don’t know anything about Irish law and whether or not she has a case. I am curious about why Galvin is offended: Is it because she was portrayed as a lesbian or as a mud-wrestler? (Or would either alone have been OK, but the combination was too much?)

As a general rule, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the argument that it’s offensive to be called a lesbian. (I’m not sure whether it’s offensive to called a mud-wrestler.) And I can see how, if you’re going for the crude humor for which Wonderwomen is known, you could turn “bog snorkeler” into a lesbian euphemism. (Although this makes me never want to have sex again.)

Galvin also made herself a public figure, which makes her fair game for parody in a way that she would not be as a private citizen. (Well, at least this is how it would work in the United States.) So, she may just need to get over it.

But it may not be that simple. First, they asked her to be on the show and she said no. That does make the portrayal appear more malicious. And Galvin, apparently, has a pretty good sense of humor about herself and her sport. Plus, she stumbled across a depiction of the sport while in the hospital recovering from a serious car accident and declared, “If I ever walk again, I’m going to do that.” So, she seems like a very decent sort and it’s a pretty cheap shot to publicly ridicule her. Ultimately, it will be up to the Ireland courts to make this determination.

What do you think? Did anyone out there see the show? Does anyone out there bog snorkel? How would you resolve this controversy?

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