Saturday, May 3, 2008

Garage Ball

My friends and I have come up with some awesome games over the years, particularly in college.

Hammer Quarters was a classic. Two guys each have a quarter, put it no the ground, and slam hammers into the floor in an attempt to get their quarter to touch the other guy's quarter first. Great stuff. Don't think those guys got their deposit back.

Sinker was another good one. When Schwalbach and I lived together in Oshkosh, we had a long, narrow apartment, and liked playing golf. The game we came up with challenged people to use a pitching wedge and knock a Wiffle golf ball from the edge of the kitchen through a narrow crack in the far bathroom, and get it to land in the sink. Not just hit the sink and bounce out, but land and stop there. We played for months and only had 5-7 sinkers apiece.

Garage Ball might be better. Garage Ball got its start roughly two years ago, at my friend Jim's 30th birthday party. Burch had gotten Jim a mini soccer ball as a gag gift, but instead of throwing it in a closet, we decided to put it to use with a game. The game is simple:

-Throw and catch the ball with one hand.

-Use two hands and you're out.

-Drop the ball and you're out.

-Throw an uncatchable ball and you're out.

-Last one left wins.

-Winner decides the rules. This is the fun part.

Last Saturday after Crazylegs, we played Garage Ball for about four hours. Rules included: Toohey and then Schwalbach playing a round with an orange sand pail on his head; Jim and Molle slow dancing while playing; Andy sitting on my lap, and Toohey sitting on Jim's lap; Jim (who was wearing an awesome AJGA light jacket) and me sitting backwards; shooting a mini basketball at a mini hoop for a chance at redemption; playing a round in the dark; Andy playing a round on a tricycle; and Andy playing a round in a red Radio Flyer kids wagon.

Last year after Crazylegs, when we had a fluke nice day in April in Sun Prairie, Schwalbach, Jim, Andy and I played a variation of Garage Ball called Yard Ball. Rules from that afternoon included me sitting out a round in a children's playhouse and playing a round sans shirt ... much to the befuddlement of our hosts' neighbors.

The more I write this, the more it's dawning on me that maybe Garage Ball is one of those things where you had to be there to experience just how fun it is. But it's something our small band of idiots looks forward to every spring.

So I ask you, Badger fans: what are your games?

Maybe one of these days we'll compile enough of them and have a weekend-long Badgercentric Olympics.