This is the last post before the weekend. I’m heading to the cottage for a couple of days. I don’t blog at the cottage. I throw horseshoes, abiding by the cottage rules:
Rule 1: You must be able to throw the regulation distance.
Rule 2: You must always have a beverage in your non-throwing hand. The beverage must be chuggable.
Rule 3: If you throw without a beverage in your hand, that’s an infraction and you must chug your beverage.
i) The other players will determine if the remaining liquid in your bottle is an acceptable volume for chugging.
ii) If the volume is not sufficient, that’s an infraction and you must open a new bottle and chug. Getting caught carrying an empty bottle is an infraction.
iii) Warning another player that they are about to commit an infraction is itself an infraction (for example: A player is swinging their throwing arm and there is no beverage in their other hand. The significant other of the person throwing warns them they are about to be in violation of Rule 2). This is a very offensive infraction and the player throwing and the significant other are both subject to Rule 3.
You might think this post is about horseshoes, but it is really about inclusiveness and change.
The men who originally started the camping horseshoe game (which is now the cottage horseshoe game) like these rules. They look forward to the game just the way it is.
Some newcomers think the above rules are juvenile and uninclusive.
The Blue Jays game went to thirteen innings the other day. The announcer said the league was thinking of a rule change to have games end in a tie after twelve innings. As a baseball purist, I don’t like that idea any more than when they changed the intentional walk rule.
And I don’t like people proposing rule changes to my horseshoe game.
If you read this blog you may remember that I hate winter and love summer. I hate cellphones and I love nature. You may empathize with the pain I feel when I read the news. You may understand the stress I feel that is caused by society.
That’s what’s great about the cottage. I turn the cellphone off and go to a place where there is no news and no hum of electronics. Without Netflix and Facebook and texting and sexting and Costco and Keurig, we are okay. Because above the peace and quiet of nature, we have the din and horseplay of horseshoes.
And when we play, the boys can be boys. In this world of #MeToo and toxic masculinity and mansplaining, our horseshoe game is under attack. What the women who want to encroach on our game don’t realize, is that this game is our medicine. This outdoor game of taunting and infractions is our antidepressant that combats the ridiculous world of Donald Trump and plastic filled oceans.
So why can’t we change the rules in the name of inclusiveness? Because the game is already perfect.
So, no women allowed? Of course not. A woman can play if she wants, but she has to throw from the same line as the men. With a beer in her hand.
Can a transperson play? Absolutely, as long as they can act like “one of the guys”. I’m not talking about sexuality. I’m talking about egging on the other players on to drink irresponsibly. That means trying to catch them in infractions whenever possible.
Can an amputee play? That’s a tough one because we are pretty firm on the “beverage in one hand” rule, but if a person is physically unable to hold a beer while throwing, I’m sure we could work something out.
“But aren’t you a little old to be chugging beers?”
Of course I am. These games take a lot out of me. Sometimes I can barely stand up by the end of the day. Sometimes I think of filling a beer bottle with water when I go inside to take a piss, just so I can get through the next game.
I never do it, though. That would be an infraction of the highest order. Besides, at the cottage, I usually pee outside.