What?? Oh… That sort of pole dance.

by Instant Noodle

07-1855 Pole Dance

This is probably more my kind of pole dance.

Punch explains,

ONE of the most amusing as well as intellectual of our old English sports and pastimes, is a competition consisting in the pursuit of an animal greased as to the tail, and in the endeavour to catch and hold it by that appendage. Another is the rivalry of climbing, or rather attempting to climb, a pole similarly lubricated, on the top of which is placed a similar animal. That animal is the prize of seansory or prehensile prowess; amusement results chiefly from unsuccessful exertion; the competitors are clowns in general: and the animal is always a pig.

The refined mind will admit that this diversion beats cockfighting by much, if it is not very superior to chess or billiards. To a more robust taste, if not to a stronger intellect, it may appear insufficiently exciting, and capable of improvement in that respect. Something has been done towards filling the room for that improvement: as witness the following, copy of a handbill published at Ryde, in the Isle of Wight [above].

The horizontal arrangement of the greased pole and the pig over the water is a great improvement upon the perpendicular on terra firma. The fun of failure is much enhanced by the consequent ducking; besides which the sport has the interest of danger to the competitors. If one of them, in falling, knocked his head against the pole, he would perhaps be stunned, and then he would not only tumble into the sea, but would never rise out of it.  However; some attendant emissary of the Humane Society might succeed in spoiling this consummation, of the sport; and geese swim; therefore, instead of suspending the pole over the sea another time, it would be advisable to set it over a tank of boiling water. A close plantation of spikes would answer the same purpose at less expense.

On second thoughts, I might just stick to the Spearmint Rhino. But will someone please forward this to Channel 4?

(July 1865)