The Wedding Slingers are off to a daunting 1-2 start this season at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, in no small part due to the inherent inconsistencies of a thirteen member roster with a combined 0 years of experience among us. This presumably obvious factor (line-up consistency) had somehow eluded me until our third match when my opponent Rick, a retiree member of the Volunteer Landscapers of Prospect Park, soothed my rising frustration with a bit of age old wisdom: practice makes perfect, Kev. It was only then that it dawned on me. See, matches are played in teams of four, so with a thirteen member roster your players aren't getting enough reps on the court to improve their game.
Between turns of elegant, expertly placed biscuits, Rick admitted that in his first season he'd gone a little overboard, ho ho, and even put on a few pounds from all those hours, all those nights and weekends bathed in the soothing glow of an eternal Floridian happy hour, refining the motion of his tang, hopped up on whimsy and bargain beer. Not to say he was "binge drinking," Rick clarified, but that he'd simply spent so many darn hours down there he was bound to put down a few more than necessary! "This place is just a whole lot of fun," he said.
The VLPP destroyed us that night, a valuable lesson in ageism. Retirees are known for their singleminded dedication to things like shuffleboard and bocce ball. It's a simple matter of interest, or maybe more likely, lack of distraction. For all our time spent trolling for inspiration on Pinterest, Rick and his cronies were reading up on defensive biscuit strategy and the pitfalls of a freshly waxed court.
But it hasn't been all bad. Our second match was a smashing success. A two game shut out, which came as an utter shock to everyone involved, up against the dashing young men of Square Design just around the corner from the Green Building on Bond Street. A hearty and handsome bunch of presumably hard drinking wood workers and welders fell like redwoods at the feet of three fine ladies and one drunk accountant (me). Our blogmaster, Quyn, is due credit here, I suppose, for striking the death blow in the second round - an unexpected double whammy play, simultaneously controlling 16 points while knocking the boys' biscuit in the kitchen (shuffleboard slang for the area which bestows a negative ten points) bringing the Wedding Slingers back from certain defeat to close out the match. Oh the sweet taste of victory, how I still revel in your glory...
We've been snowed out these last two weeks, once due to winter storm Juno (officially called off by Royal Palms), and again due to Linus, though this second absence will count against us, as it was more on account of laziness in the brutal face of the elements. You might question our commitment at this point, but it really was a heck of an ice storm, and I (at least) had a freshly sick wife and infant daughter to attend to.
When all is said and done I think the experience will go down as a positive one. For one thing, any time spent at Royal Palms is an absolute pleasure. The place is just perfect and I recommend to anyone who hasn't had the pleasure to drop by sometime. You don't even have to play shuffleboard. Visiting the bathroom alone is a singular experience. I'll leave that up to you to find out. Oh and by the way, Rick said we were the most pleasant and friendly team the Landscapers had played all season, so that's gotta count for something.
Kevin Vlack is one of the Green Building originals. He started out in 2011 and has been an integral part of development in all branches of Gowanus Hospitality since. These days he's the keeper of books and records, and provider of ooo's and aww's with pictures of his newborn girl.