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read the fine print!

read the fine print!

or don't. we didn't. it was really tiny, and without the camera flash/light (are you buying that excuse?) hard to read. these are the rules for hammerschlagen, the perfect game for imbibers. simply hammer a nail into a piece of wood using the pointy end of a hammer. now this might seem like a "what-could-possibly-go-wrong?" scenario, but it was actually fun and no one was hurt...not even egos!

here are the steps sans fine print:

  • find other players. the likelihood is you'll play against people who have imbibed more than you, but don't hesitate to take on those that mock the girl who thinks she's going to play.
  • give money to hammerschlagen operator. add an extra dollar in the middle for "the kitty". if you make a side bet, don't tell me about it!
  • observe hammerschlagen operator start a nail for each player and hear him say, "one hit per turn," [pause for laughter from others] and explain that you have to keep your hand behind the red tape on the hammer handle, taking one swing per turn. oh, and, "girls can use two hands." if you're me, the lone girl in our round, wonder how the heck anyone could accurately swing a hammer using two hands... and take the offered hammer with one. ignore the drunken chuckling from the other imbibers competitors.
  • everyone gets a one-hit turn trying to hammer that nail in with the pointy end of the 1lb hammer. should we take a moment to think about that? drunk people, trying to sink a nail with the pointed end of a hammerhead heavier than the average desk jockey uses. this game can be over in one swing or take as long as advanced multi-player risk.
  • everyone swings. in our round, no one sinks it. the game is probably fairly tough sober, but the sipping while playing is somehow amusing.
  • just as the girl in the group is about to take another turn, don't notice a bystander pulling kurt aside. later kurt will acknowledge said bystander wanted to ask, "she's going to win this game, isn't she?" kurt didn't get a chance to answer, i sunk it.
  • if you're the winner, grin at the other competitors and declare hammerschlagen a good game.
  • shake hands and slap backs, maybe even toast each other if there's any brew left.
  • winner, choose a prize: a drinking glove (i'm not making that up), some mardi-gras type beads, or other pennies-on-the-dollar plastic. but hey, they're spoils so i don't blame anyone for picking one out! or just tell the operator you'd just like a free beer. nab "the kitty" of ones up and keep them with the newly-won beer ticket.
  • grin like crazy at your friend.

    that's it! now you too can play hammerschlagen!