Skip to main content


One can never have enough posts about bocce. It's a breezy, outdoorsy sport, and can get you in the good graces of not a few Italian octogenarians. Which is another thing you can never have enough of. For some reason people from the Old World seem to hold the secrets to all things 'authentic'. Large, all-encompassing ideas like 'masculinity', and 'what it means to be a man', perhaps 'the proper way to fold your formal slacks'.

This generation -- and by this generation, I mean the swath of people who speak sarcasm as a first language, sincerity as a distant third, and tend to speak most of their time in permanent air quotes-- longs for things that are genuine and authentic. Maybe that's why the men of this generation love the Godfather so much. There is a code, there's honour, there's brutal killing in the name of family loyalty. What guy doesnt' want that?

And so maybe that's why my work was drawn to bocce. A way to get in touch with the Old World. Even if the Old World wasn't exactly my Old World, you take authenticity where you can get it.

Our team, which consisted of four people (two which play any one match), all assuredly not Old World, all assuredly speaking almost exclusively in air quotes, had climbed to near the top of the tournament. Through guile and a few lucky arbitrary bounces from exposed roots, we had made it to the semis.

Now, I wasn't playing, no, I was in charge of organizing it, which is another story for another time. There were many emails exchanged. Not a small amount of trash talking. This was bad karma. As Lady Justice would have it, the people who I so unjustly made fun of were near pro level. I think they practiced. I wouldn't be surprised if the older gent had a small endorsement deal with a seer sucker pants company. Maybe a small print ad in Competitive Bocce Quarterly.

But hell, the boys we fielded were strapping lads. Known to play a game or three of hockey. A sport singularly known for allowing fighting and only getting really upset at the violence when people go paralyzed. Players of such a sport could surely give any mere bocce player a run for their money? Not so much.

To make matters more.. uhm.. compliant to our winning, when it was our teams turn to set up the target, we would HURL the target UPHILL as far as we possible could. One of the opponents, it appeared, was not overly gifted in the upper body strength department.

Even this shady tactic didn't work.

The Cup for the bocce tournament was not meant to be ours. I think we might have bro-- ok, I might have broken some unspoken rules about trash talking opponents I don't even know over email. What can I say? I was egged. Or I was bored. Either one. And then the team that we fielded held less than stellar ethical concerns over an intramural work bocce tournament. I guess playing a game where hitting is expected tends to dull finer sensibilities.

In the end, I think the gods of the Old World taught this little worker-bee something authentic about sportsmanship.

When do we get to whack people?


Monkfish said…
Like all good supporters, I truely believed our name was on that cup, maybe next year.

At least Mike got shot of 3 kids in the deal.
Monkfish said…
Although, he does still owe them 1 oxen....whatever that is.
Niteowl said…
Yeah, Mike is big on the whole bartering system, even when a situation doesn't warrant it.

Why only last week he bartered a three slightly used paper cups for permission to go to the bathroom.

I told him no deal.
Monkfish said…
Oh, that was him. I wondered where the smell was coming from.

Popular posts from this blog

Insults From A Senile Victorian Gentleman

You SIR, have the hygeine of an overly ripe avocado and the speaking habits of a vaguely deranged chess set. I find your manner to be unctuous and possibly libelous, and whatever standard you set for orthodontal care, it's not one I care for. Your choice in news programs is semi-literate at best and I do believe your favourite news anchor writes erotic literature for university mascots. While I'm not one to point out so obvious a failing, there has been rumour that the brunches you host every other Sunday are made with too much lard and cilantro. If you get my meaning. There is something to be said about your choice of motor-car fuel, but it is not urbane and if I were to repeat it, mothers would cover their children's ears and perhaps not a few longshoremen within earshot would blush. How you maintain that rather obscene crease in your trousers and your socks is beyond me, perhaps its also during this time that you cultivate a skin regime that I'm sure requires the dea

Learn A New Thing...

Man, you really do learn a new thing everyday. There have been a few shocking realizations I've had over the past month or so: -bizaare is spelled bizarre (how bizaare) -scythe is pronounced "sithe", not the phonetic way. Which is the way I've been pronouncing it in my head for my whole life. My entire youth spent reading Advanced Thresher Sci-Fi and Buckwheat Fantasy novels, for naught! -George Eliot was a woman, real name Mary Ann Evans. -Terry Gilliam is American. -Robocop is a Criterion Film. I shit you not . -Uhm, oh damn, just after I post this, I find that, this movie is a Criterion film as well . Maybe I don't know what being a Criterion film really entails.. Alright all (three) readers of my blog, post and lemme know some earth shattering facts you've learned recently.

Europe : London Maritime Museum - March 15th

I've never, well I suppose most people don't either, thought of myself as a flat. Despite the fact I rarely go anywhere. Despite the fact that, given my shut in lifestyle I have about as much street smarts as, well, a middle aged programmer who rarely goes out.  But I am a flat, entirely. First step is admitting I have a problem.  On our way to the bus station, and at NO time did I sense any of this, or even have a sense of anyone being very close to me, both the zippers in my bag were opened, and my rather nice down jacket was nicked. Shameful, I know. But, I suppose, bravo on the thiefs, I didn't feel a thing. And well, I suppose we are going to Italy, so, less to pack? It was a certain jet of anger, I suppose, and befuddlement. But I also was so very thankful I had not lost my wallet and/or phone, both which would require hours and hours of hassle and phone calls to set me to rights.  It might be my stoic optimism is a source of my lack of street smarts. But I'm also