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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #61: Shuffleboard

Discard the image in your mind of old people in bright plaid and high socks on the deck of a cruise ship or propped up by their playing stick in some Floridian retirement warehouse. This is not that shuffleboard, and it is a different thing altogether (though, I have to admit, there's a strong chance that players of both are equally sloshed when doing so). This shuffleboard is a bar game, like pool or darts, a pastime to occupy those for whom just sitting and drinking appears unseemly or just dull. This shuffleboard is a social game, a game of braggadocio and bets, of shame and triumph.

Yes, it's sliding slick metal pucks down a sandy wooden table against someone doing the same thing. Yes, it's basically curling meets horseshoes meets...well, shuffleboard. Yes, it's awesome. We used to play the one in the downstairs Jimmy LaPanza Lounge at the Portsmouth Brewery not infrequently in our dissolute youth, my brother and me and our wives. Lots of fun memories, even if some of them are fuzzy. Like I said, this is a game best played while marinating in your poison of choice. So much fun, in fact, that there's a smaller version of it in our basement at home. Now, if we had a bar down there, we'd really be in business.

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