"wager thousands of crowns on snail races"

     "A few years ago . . . There was a widely spread craze for snail races . . . A fashionable club was actually formed in Vienna where this form of 'sport' was regularly organized, and here the snails entered for races by their owners were carefully fed and tended. Each was marked with a number upon its shell, and a careful record kept of the time taken by winners in crawling up the one meter 'race-course', with a view to their being properly handicapped in subsequent matches. More than one ancestral estate changed hands as a result of bets upon this absurd past time."                 - from Austro-Hungarian Life in Town and Country by Francis H.E. Palmer, 1903