Saturday, July 17, 2004

Shuffling Off To Obscurity

"Good morning Shufflers"

The first year Amy and I went to Lakeside we heard that greeting almost every morning. They were having a big-time shuffleboard tournament that year. We were staying only a few houses away, and a little old lady would turn on a microphone at 9 a.m. each day of the would squeal and then she would say, "Good morning Shufflers."

It was one of the things that immediately made me feel out of place.

Various thoughts ran through my head....most along the lines of:

"Shuffleboard? This is our vacation? Shuffleboard?"
"Did we retire and no one told us?"
"Did we die and no one told us?"
"Is this the 1950's?"
"Where are Wally and the Beav?"

Gradually I came not only to enjoy playing shuffleboard while on vacation, but to admit that I played it when I came back home.

It's a fun game. Some people are very good, but most folks have their good days and bad days. You only sweat if the sun is beating down on you and even really bad players can get lucky and win.

So, in all honesty, it's a sport that is perfect for me.

Anyway, this afternoon Amy and I stopped by Blockbuster video. We didn't take a lot of time selecting movies, since we don't see many movies everything is new, and I got in line behind one person. One person renting games, trading in games, asking about release dates of games, talking about how much they love games, disputing an overcharge on their bill...suffice it to say...she was one person...but she had a bundle of Blockbuster issues.

So I'm standing there and behind me is a young boy with his dad and they're bonding over video games (been there...if it works for you go for it). The boy was excitedly talking about Madden NFL 2005 and interrupted the lone clerk coping with the lady of many issues to ask if Madden 2005 was available. He found out it was...for purchase: 50 bucks. This sparked a renewed fervor. The boy started asking his dad if he had enough credit to get the game if he traded in some other games and if he used a coupon he had with him. I smiled and said to the dad, "Economics 101 in the video age...I guess ya gotta love it."

The father smiled back and agreed. We exchanged a few more pleasantries. I mentioned a few games and asked if they'd played them- I use to play a lot more video games when companies would send them to me for "review", but I don't so much anymore - in other words the companies stopped sending them.

Suddenly the boy, who was talking about 50 miles a minute up to this point stops speaking entirely and stares at me.

I must admit my first thought was, "Oh man he's spotted a booger and he's going to say something about it", but he surprised me by saying, "Shuffleboard? What's shuffleboard?"

It's then I realized I had on my recently purchased t-shirt from Lakeside

I smiled and explained that shuffleboard is a game you play outside which doesn't require any type of machine or even electricity.

That's when the kid gave me a blank stare and said rather flatly, "The lady in front of you is done."

Heard enough... please shuffle off now.

"Goodbye Shufflers"

photo credit: Michael DeLong