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Family Dinner and the Brutality of Croquet

I don’t really have anything to blog about today, so I’m just going to let my fingers take control and we’ll see what comes of it.

Yesterday was our family dinner. We have those once a month since my wife has a lot of relatives here. We had it at a park since there was going to be nearly 50 people there. The way it goes for these park meet-ups is each family brings their own main course and then we split sides and desserts. Most people brought sandwiches or other pre-made meals.

That seemed far too easy for us.

We showed up with a portable propane grill and brautworsts. My wife’s uncles all laughed at us and then inevitably complimented our foresight and, well, delicious eats. Sure we had to commander an entire table just for the grill, but it was either that or cook on the ground where one of the little kids (my own included) could potentially burn themselves. So that was all well and good, and the meal was quite lovely.

Then came the main event: croquet.

Croquet 300x225 Family Dinner and the Brutality of Croquet

I never thought croquet to be an inherently cutthroat game until I started playing with my wife’s family. Her uncles are brutal. No mercy. If they knock your ball, they’ll send it flying into the depths of whatever field or park we’re playing at with their custom, indestructible mallets (that we have in fact been able to break). This game was no exception. Except there was one mild adjustment to the play area.

This park had very fast grass.

That may not make much sense to a non-croqueter, so let me explain. Tall grass will slow the balls down. Short grass will speed it up. The grass at this park was  so short it was grass in name only. That meant that every time they whacked a ball, it went sailing far and away.

I won’t bore you with the details, but let me just say the game took about an hour to finish, and it took me probably most of that to get through the first wicket! Every time I got close I’d get blasted away. Still, I nearly did finish before I was destroyed by the poison ball.

I used to laugh at people who played croquet; now I’m one of them (only I’m not wearing what looks to be a cricket outfit). Our games are anything but a pleasant stroll in the park.

Which just goes to show what kind of things you might enjoy if you just give it a try. Of course, it helps to play with people who are in it to win it, bringing the competition up a level (or two or three…).

So before you laugh anything to scorn, it might be best to give it a shot first. This goes not just for croquet, but for branching out of your reading genre. I used to only read science fiction. Nothing else. Then I stumbled upon fantasy. That’s where I park most of the time at this point. However, I have enjoyed a good western, thriller and horror, and many non-fictions.

It took some convincing on my end, but I’ve been able to enjoy a lot more than I would have had I not took a stab at something I didn’t think I would ever enjoy. So next time you pick up a book or start to write something, why not branch out and try something new?

Unless you already do, in which case I commend you.

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