I f you're looking for tasty tidbits, you might travel to Ecuador, where whole, roasted guinea pig is considered a delicacy. You might try Taiwan, where boiled cobra makes a savory soup. How about the Himalayas? There, in certain cafes, you can actually order "rack of yak."
What's that? You're not hungry anymore?
Well, then at least chew on this . . .
* OK, so the CIF decided against penalizing the players who took part in an all-expenses-paid, all-star basketball extravaganza Sept. 10-12 at Nike headquarters in Oregon, even though CIF rules prohibit athletes from participating in all-star competition from Sept. 1 to the end of hoops season.
That's great for the players, but let's not forget one little detail: The CIF has been wooing Nike to be its corporate sponsor. Think the cash-strapped CIF wants to risk making Nike look bad at this point? I don't think so.
* Not many fathers run around the sidelines with signs on their backs, but Richard Geiss, father of Capistrano Valley running back Dan Geiss, wore a large sign Friday night that displayed the message: I AM ALIVE.
A recent article in a local newspaper mistakenly characterized Richard as deceased.
* Question: Which high school sport, from 1979 to 1991, was found to cause the most injuries per season? (Answer below).
* Newport Harbor senior Jason Marsh--varsity water polo player, part-time lifeguard and "A" student--is a national-class canoeist. He finished sixth last summer in the singles division at the U.S. junior nationals.
* Comment of the week comes from Mission Viejo football Coach Marty Spalding, who said: "I don't involve myself with the mascot issue."
Smart man, that Spalding.
* A Swedish study found that boys who play ice hockey were less responsible and less considerate than other students, possibly because they are taught to win at all costs. Keep that in mind, all you Mighty Ducks-to-be.
* Water polo player Chuck Wierdsma of Capistrano Valley was asked by the school newspaper last spring for a comment that might sum up the year.
"Breathe relevance, drink intolerance," he said.
Sounds as if Wierdsma spends a lot of time in the deep end.
* Esperanza assistant coach Bill Pendleton, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of strength conditioning, is not overly impressed with Aztec safety Jason Murrietta.
"He's got the worst body on the team," Pendleton says. "He's an 18-year-old in a 40-year-old's body. You'd never know he plays football."
Don't take it too hard, Jason. After his critique of your physique, Pendleton praised your heart, smarts and mental toughness to no end.
* Estancia basketball players, prepare yourself for some serious fumes this winter. Assistant coach Joe Seager just got a job as a boat repairman and he simply can't get the smell of resin out of his hair.
* It's bad enough that Loren Shumer had to step down as Canyon's head football coach because of two raging ulcers, but that's not the worst of it. Because of the ulcers, Shumer, a wine connoisseur, can no longer drink in the dreamy pleasures of a fine Cabernet, a soft Merlot or a luscious Bordeaux.
"Yeah," Shumer says. "That's the real downer. It's really weird to eat steak with Coke."
* So what will become of Shumer's prized wine collection? Might he auction it off for charity? Might he have the Canyon Booster Club over for a tasting? Don't count on it. All 67 bottles are aging nicely in his wine rack.
"He won't even let me dust them," his wife, Jo, says. Loren says, "they look older that way."
* Tom Meiss is such a positive thinker, he makes the "Little Engine That Could" look like a pessimistic pile of junk. That's good considering the recent misfortunes of his Foothill football team.
The Knights are 0-3. Their 14-3 loss to Newport Harbor Thursday was made worse by the fact that running back Ethan Taub broke his right tibia early in the first quarter. He is expected to be out at least four weeks.
Taub said he had just caught a screen pass when he suddenly felt his leg giving out from under him. "I heard this crack and I thought, 'Oh no,' " Taub said. "I'm like, 'Just shake it off, just shake it off,' but I couldn't."
It's OK, Ethan. Not even the Little Engine could overcome that.
* Answer time. According to a national survey, the top injury-causing sport among high school athletes from 1979 to 1991 was . . . girls' cross-country.
Don't look so disappointed, football players. The survey ranked your sport No. 2.
* Let's face it. It's going to take more than speed, strength and guts for a team to beat top-ranked Los Alamitos.
Personally, I'd suggest screaming "Ohmigod! A deer mouse!" every play.