Vikes, More Vikes!

Peter Griffith

(Brent Schwert)

Collegians work very hard. We toil all day in the classroom and the library, coming up for air for but a few fleeting hours when we wearily make our way to the cafeteria for our daily tasteless sustenance and empty conversation. Then we thanklessly stagger back to the grind, retreating deep into our studies to mine a few more morsels of truth from Mozart, MoliŠre and Mendel. At least until it gets warm outside.
For fear not, parents. We know as well as you did 50 years ago that when spring comes around it’s time to put down our Punnett squares, burst out of the library, and in a fit of glee experience the “outside.” Men, take off your shirts. Women, prepare your blankets on Main Hall Green. The time has again come for . LAWN GAMES!
Yes, it’s that time of year when Frisbees start flying, the Delts resume their everlasting game of soft/wiffleball (which is now in the 511th inning, with Hockey leading Football by a slim margin of 17,245 – 17, 098), and — my personal favorite — the ground thaws enough to put up the croquet set.
Is there any sweeter sound on a warm afternoon than the hollow crack of the croquet mallet hitting the ball? Except for possibly the sweet sweet (and somewhat similar) hiss of the crack of a beer can as your ball goes through the final wicket? I contend there is not.
Croquet is the perfect marriage of golf, dodgeball and Chinese checkers. It combines strategy with precision and makes for an excellent spectator event. There’s no shortage of room for showboatsmanship, which, as we all know, is crucial for any spring activity — the ladies have to be impressed — not to mention alliances Dwight Schrute would be proud of.
And dudes, girls play croquet too. Sure, they may look funny hitting the ball between their legs instead of using perfect Ernie Els form, but it’s a game a couple can enjoy without any of the latent aggression that can come out during one on one hockey or drunken foosball games.
I bought my croquet set for $25 at the Fleet Farm (that place has everything!), and it has undoubtedly brought me more hours of enjoyment than my weight bench, guitar, and Xbox combined. Cheap, easy, and great with beers? I can only think of one thing better, and she’s somewhere in Prague.