The Hemisphere: Marathon Mania

The old rocking chair, long a symbol of comfort and repose in every habitant farmhouse, was transformed into a device of frenzy and fatigue in Quebec last week. A wave of rocking-chair contests called bercethons (from the French bercer—to rock) swept the province. Quebec was suffering a virulent recurrence of the marathon mania of the '305, with rockerthons, pianothbns, poolothons and countless other forms of zany endurance tests under way in almost every village and town.

The marathons' comeback was apparently touched off a year ago when a Montreal TV station staged a charity...

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