Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Places I've been to

I couldn't resist sharing this.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

eXtreme Croquet - the Sequel

One day, when I was out for a walk, I discovered some ancient and derelict croquet courts in my neighborhood. Decades ago they were a popular place for family outings but have since fallen into a state of total entropy. It seemed a shame to let them go to waste, so I rounded up a bunch of friends one blustery afternoon last fall and we had a croquet tournament. It was so much fun that we’ve decided to make it a regular happening, so last weekend we had our second occasional eXtreme croquet tournament.

The way we play it is no ordinary croquet. The courts are in a terrible state of disrepair, so we incorporated rocks, tree branches and bent wickets into a particularly diabolical court and dubbed it ‘eXtreme Croquet’. My friend and neighbor, Mary, has a special talent for this. The latest game was enhanced greatly by a motley collection of plastic garden flamingos (whose names are now John, Paul, George and Ringo).

By our rules, the winner gets to drink the first beer. Infraction of any rules, including whining, swearing, and drinking out of turn, are punishable by having to wear the Tiara of Shame. The tiara was a disciplinary measure intended to curb overly competitive behavior on the part of the males present. However, it proved not to be enough of an affront to anybody’s masculinity to ensure much compliance and soon there was much whining, swearing, and drinking. We were also joined by a basset hound named Winston, who, although he did drink some beer out of turn, was exempt from wearing the tiara on the grounds that it didn't fit his head and he just shook it off anyway.

For a while it looked like my friend Chris Basten was going to be the one who took the title from defending champion Dale Crawford, but Bill Bernstein, who arrived 45 minutes late, came from last place to finish as the surprise winner.