[The American Years]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

... it's not what you think

I haven't written for a while. That is clear. Some bloggers are once per day, or every other day. I'm once per quarter right now. Sloping down to once per fiscal year I think.

The why is not as clear. Even to me. I have a lot of summary thoughts about my time in Japan, and I'm ready to spill the (soy) beans on it all, but I'm waiting. Waiting to notice more things about life in America and how Japan differs. And especially waiting on myself to find a way to make it funny. That's the real challenge. I must abide by my motto: If you can't say something funny, don't say anything at all.

So for now, let's focus on life in the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky Metropalagia (GCNKM, not the official name). There are things about every area that make it special. This area has those things too.

First on the list: Cornhole.

You heard me.

It's a game. Stop laughing. It really is. It's a backyard/tailgating game played to pass the time while drinking beer.

Each player gets 4 bean bags (1lb each, filled with corn, not beans, duh!) Players take turns throw ing at a wooden box (30 feet away) that has a hole in it. Your bag lands and stays on the board, you get a point. Your bag goes in the hole, you get 3 points. Scoring is done cancellation style - so only the difference in scores is recorded each round. Very simple. But honestly very fun, if you're into that kind of thing. (Did I mention beer already?)

Once we moved to Northern KY, I had to get myself a cornhole set. Where do you find them? Everywhere. There are signs alongside the road which advertise, you can download plans from the cornhole association and build your own, there are homeschool moms making a few bucks sewing together the bags with your favorite team logo on them.What? I buried the lead in the paragraph above? Yes I did. The American Cornhole Association is the governing body for all things Cornhole. (Well, not all things, but things associated with the actual game, anyway.) And you can buy yourself a tournament-ready cornhole set. And some other lovely gear.

And there are tournaments. All over the place. You can't have a church carnival or an outdoor fundraiser of any kind without a cornhole tournament. Our own church has a standing tournament. It's like bingo for people who can stand up. Street corners have signs advertising tournaments almost every weekend. It's crazy.

And you want to know what's crazy? King of Cornhole. There's a big tournament with some serious bag tossers. It's televised locally. There are commentators. Watch as much of this as you can stand. Then try to imagine yourself as the play by play man for the cornhole tournament. "That's a great bag." "He's really in the cornhole zone." "It all comes down to who really wants to be the King of Cornhole." But all kidding aside, this is a pretty dramatic come-from-behind victory. (Did I really just write that?)

From what I know, Cornhole didn't start here in the GCNKM, but it's big here. Friends from Columbus are probably completely familiar with the game. But they might be more likely to call it Baggo, or Corn bags or something more tasteful. But here in Northern KY, we prefer Cornhole.

Stop laughing.