Few things make me feel closer to someone than if they recognize my grandmother's old crokinole board propped up against my livingroom wall and ask to play a round. If they know that it got started in the 1860s in rural Ontario, they pretty much attain Cool Club status for life. In case you haven't yet had the pleasure of giving it a try, it's a pretty simple game of shooting small discs across a circular board, at once aiming to get as many pieces as close to the middle as possible and knocking the opposing player's pieces off to the sides.
Apparently it has elements of shuffleboard and curling, neither of which I've tried yet; my next mission is to get awesome at these two gnarly-sounding Canadian activities. As a third-generation Canadian they should just come naturally to me, right? Anyway, here's a wee motion picture of some of our action-packed evening:
And then, of course, there's this dude:
That online-encyclopedia-of-the-people calls crokinole an "action board game." Hell, yes. Last night I almost got my eye taken out by one of those little wooden airborne terrors. It's when you start to lose really bad and the other team has 90 points and you only have 5 that it gets hard to control the velocity of your shots and things get dangerous.
As you can see, my board is a bright, cheerful, if somewhat plain, yellow one. There are some fantastic –and pricey– boards out there, though; the Bayfield Bird's Eye Maple going for $725.00 on www.crokinole.com, for example.
Weird fact of the day: you can use boric acid (a.k.a. Borax, widely used in fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals –or if you're unlucky, in food preparation as a firming agent, meat rub, preservative, or tenderizer.) to make your shots speedier We didn't use any. I'm pretty sure any extra speed would have been ill-advised at our skill level.