Are you looking for something exciting to do? Are you tired of being cooped up inside all day watching TV, or doing other menial things? I was once looking for things to do, myself. Then I found outdoor games, the cheap form of entertainment that keeps on giving. Buy a tennis racket and some tennis balls, and you can go play as often as you want for free. Many tennis courts are open to the public for free. You can get some golf clubs and practice putting in the park. There are many other games too, like bocce ball, kubb, horseshoes, quoits, petanque and more. Recently I have started playing croquet more often. You can play it anywhere at anytime. Just find an open space or field and you can play. A couple weeks ago I played on some grass field between the freeway and a university where I live. I went with some friends. I already had the croquet set, so it was a fun, pleasant, and free activity for all of us. I and one other person had played before, although he had not played for about twenty years. One of the others had played once, because I recently taught her how, and the other one had not really heard of the game, so I had to teach or re-teach them all the rules. We played two games, because the first one everyone had to learn or relearn how to play it. We just played the regular version of the game, where the first person to hit the final stick wins, rather than playing competition croquet with opposing teams, or poison croquet where the first person to the stick has to kill the other players' balls with their poison ball. We all started on the same side of the course and went around together. It thought it would be an easy win, both games, for me, because the others had not played at all or had not played for a long time. I underestimated their beginner's luck, however, and how bad of a player I am myself. Sometimes the ball just does not roll your way. Anyway, they all got lucky, and I took third place the first game and second place the second game. They all took every shot they could at me too.
I almost had them all beat on the second game. I was far ahead and hitting the ball toward the third to last wicket. I hit the ball, but overshot and missed the wicket. They gained on me as I tried to hit my ball in the reverse direction to take another shot toward the wicket. If I remember right, I had my ball set up to hit it forward through the wicket again, when one of the them hit me and roqueted my ball out the way, making me have to take another turn to line up again. That was the killer hit for me. I nearly came in third going for the final wickets, but luckily the person in front of me at the time messed up on their last shot too, so it gave me another opportunity. In the end I was able to pull through into second. I did not feel too bad though. I was kind of glad to give the girl an opportunity to win. I will have other chances to play against them all though since I have my own croquet set. I can work on my game without them knowing and come back and kick some butt next time. No more messing around. I am sick of losing at my own game and I am not going to let it happen anymore. Even if I do though, at least I can spend some good quality time outdoors doing fun, but cheap activities with friends and family. Peter Jay is a Vice President with Yard Game Central and a manager and web administrator with PlayCroquet.com. For more information about croquet sets, visit PlayCroquet.com.
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