Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Game of Washers

This is a little...okay, a lot...late but when I was on vacation in Taos, NM a couple of years ago I entered a Wal-Mart looking for one thing and happened upon these little gems.

This is what we poor people call the game of washers. Before they became a product at Wal-Mart, Target, and wherever else, these washers were randomly found at hardware or plumbing stores or maybe just by dumb luck.

My dad created a "course" in the backyard of our house out of the bottom of a dual burner gas grill and some washers that were like 2-3 cms thick, about 2-3" in diameter with a center hole about a 1/2" in diameter. I don't know where my dad found these washers because you can't find them anywhere nowadays. They cannot be found exactly like I remember nor can they be found similar in size and weight. They are either too thin or too light and typically none in 3" diameter. They at least can't be found at your local Lowe's, Home Depot or Ace Hardware stores.

Anyway, this is a really fun pasttime for the family. It's similar to horeshoes in scoring and play (tossing something on to something else). When I was in junior high school, the coaches made the game out of an empty can goods can. Again, the washers weren't the same in size and weight as the ones my dad had but the ones they had served the purpose. It was fun playing a game that these adults were new to that I was used to playing my entire life.

When I saw this package in the Wal-Mart, I had to buy it. Even if I didn't have a 'course' set up to play it on it was worth already having the washers because the holes are easy to construct out of just about anything. It wasn't until months later when I got back to Dallas that I saw these again at Target. However, this time they were part of a set and it wasn't exactly the same game I grew up playing. There are tons of variations but none will replace the game of old. Some of the variations are similar in set up to the old game.

There's just nothing like sliding or bouncing a washer from about 10 inches in front of the hole into the hole. Or having a washer toilet bowl the hole to either make it close or inside the hole. Some of the variations now are set up to where you have make a hole-in-one to get a point or points. That's not the fun part of it. The fun part is being able to knock the opponents washer away from the hole if it's closer than your washer OR making a sinker. The sinker isn't the end all be all.

Anyway, that's my brief walk down memory lane that only took me two years to type about. I'm glad to see it the washers game coming (or came) back. I guess we should thank tailgating and it's appreciation of any game that can be made into a drinking game.

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