In a country where we can’t stand any living creature that doesn’t produce milk, wool, or have feathers, it’s no surprise that sports like ferret-legging haven’t hit the mainstream. Ferrets are weasely, seedy, little rodents that most closely resemble stoats, rats, or half the male population of The Bank on a Friday night. Known also as “put ‘em down” or “ferret down trousers”, contestants put live ferrets down their pants, with the winner being the last person to release them.
Ferret-legging is rumoured to have been established when only the relatively wealthy in England were allowed to keep animals used for hunting, forcing poachers to conceal their illicit ferrets down their daks.
Modern ferret-legging, gaining a popularity resurgence in the ‘70s, is an endurance sport that can loosely be compared to planking or static free diving, in the sense that participants must endure a certain amount of discomfort for as long as they can. Competitors tie their pants at the ankles before slipping two ferrets inside and securely fastening their belts to stop the little buggers from escaping. Each athlete must then stand in front of the judges for as long as they bloody can.
The risk of injury, already rife, is increased tenfold as the rules state that no athlete may wear underwear, to allow the ferrets free access from one leg to another AND the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that cannot have been filed or otherwise blunted. The winner is the person who lasts the longest; the final score is not subject to how much of your bits and bobs are left intact. The sport is said to involve very little natural skill or fitness component to be trained—simply an ability to have your pecker mangled and not give two fucks.
Though the rules state that no individual or ferret may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol – which to be fair, would make the ordeal more bearable – it’s a past time that scarfies, given the chance, might pioneer in flat initiations down south should there be any readily available black market ferrets.
Former world champion Reg Mellor (who managed five hours, 26 minutes) is credited with instituting the practice of wearing white trousers in ferret-legging matches, to better flaunt the dick blood from the wounds caused by the animals. Competitors can attempt in a similar fashion to an over-the-pants handy, to extricate the ferrets, but as the animals can sustain a firm hold for extended periods, their removal can only be described as problematic and unfavourable to the human reproductive system.