Hole-shoveling enthusiasts dig deep to compete for the golden shovel in a contest held in Japan. Tara Cleary reports.
REPORTER: It's the competition that puts paid to the adage: when you're in a hole, stop digging. Two hundred and seventy-one teams in Japan's Chiba Prefecture dug deep to see who could create the biggest pit in 30 minutes. The prize is around $1,000 U.S. dollars and a golden shovel - which is worth almost as much. But it's not about the rewards says event organizer, Taku Suzuki.
TAKU SUZUKI, EVENT ORGANIZER: "Once you're an adult, I don't think there is anywhere else in the world where you can competetively dig a hole, so we thought that people would enjoy this event."
REPORTER: The winning team was from Toyota city and prizes were also given for best costumes. So for these contestants, digging yourself into a hole may not be all bad.
According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary a shovel is "a tool consisting of a wide, square metal or plastic blade, usually with slightly raised sides, fixed to a handle, for moving loose material such as sand, coal, or snow". Here's a picture of one.
1. If you say something is the pits (informal), you mean that it is extremely bad or the worst of its kind. • When you're alone, Christmas is the pits. There's a play on words because a pit is a deep hole in the ground.
2. If you put paid to something, you finish or destroy it. • A knee injury has put paid to her chances of getting into the final. According the The Phrase Finder, the expression probably derives from the practice of book-keepers of writing or stamping "Paid" on bills when the paperwork for a sale was completed.
3. The adage when you're in a hole, stop digging means that when you are in a difficult situation, you should not make it any worse by continuing to do whatever put you in that situation in the first place.
4. If you dig yourself into a hole, you get yourself into a difficult situation. • The government has really dug itself into a hole with its economic policies.