Best Sports Bargain - 2009
Look, the great credit-crash/oh-shit-everybody-lost-their-job crisis might be ebbing a bit, but one thing remains the same: Tickets to sporting events are expensive, and buying them is a lot more like commodities trading than it is a kick-back afternoon with the fellas. So, you can watch the game from the couch, or you can entertain yourself with the cheapest game in town. Nope, not washers — that requires a box (which is wood + tools + time). Nails. The cost of this game is a box of nails and a hammer. Or, shoot, just nails you've already got. Oh, and a tree stump (because this will ruin a table). The object is to hammer in everyone else's nail before your nail — or yourself — gets hammered. Each player gets a nail and hammers it into the stump just enough so it will stand. One at a time, players attempt to hit other nails into the stump. Here's the catch: With each turn you only get one, two or three whacks with the hammer, depending on your agility. You're entitled to one hit automatically — no lining anything up, just whack a nail. If you flip the hammer in front of you and catch it with the same hand, you get two whacks. If you flip the hammer behind your back and catch it in front of you without injuring yourself or others, you've earned three whacks. We know how awesome this sounds, and just think — you haven't even played yet. Don't worry about the game sounding too simple. After all, football is just running a ball from one end of a field to another, and look at how much of a jurisprudential regulatory nightmare that's become — and that's just on the field. Think about this: To make it an even greater bargain, you tell your friends they have to bring their own nails. But wait, you think, someone's going to bring a finish nail and someone else will bring a four-inch construction nail! Shouldn't someone make some rules? Now you're getting it. Now you're entertained. Grab a drink, loosen up that shoulder and whack away.