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#a21 :: Chinese shuttlecocks

March 5, 2008

030508.jpgA spray of feathers, capsule a flip of the toe, an arc in the air.

Anchored, each, in a little sandwich of loose-fitting brass clappers and soled with nubbly rubber, these toys came to us as gifts from Beijing. Kick one, and it clicks, soars up through a parabola, and drops, rubber down.

Practice, wear uniforms, and you could apparently become big worldwide.The rules vaguely resemble volleyball’s.

Here’s a 9-minute shuttlecock match heisted from a Jackie Chan flick, which makes it look almost too precise a sport for reality – plus, the real thing is beefier and built for abuse.

These have a delicate weight, their clappers barely broader than a quarter. Flimsy and poorly joined, the feathers live atop a high shelf in my office, sifting the air for dust.

I fear play would destroy them.

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