Friday, January 8, 2010

Booty: Game On

When I was little, probably before middle school, I remember my Dad (peaceful sailing, Jack) telling me about a game his father had described to him. It was something like Hang Man, from what I could tell, and was played with dice. Dice, as my father pointed out, were always a sailors' favorite. "Easy to carry and bad for the soul."

A little research later in life led me to believe that the game my grandfather knew about was probably an old mariner's diversion that was known, by the 18th century, as "Shut the Box". The beauty of the game was that all the pieces with the exception of the dice were contained in a wooden - or in the case of very ritzy sets, ivory - box. Dice could be stowed in the box when play was done and even while playing there was no worry about losing parts of the game in rough seas. Beats chess or checkers.

Imagine my surprise when I found this very game at the National Geographic store online while shopping for my daughter's Birthday (1/24 - the day after mine). As you can see, it is a nice replica of the old game complete with a weathered looking wooden box and dice. There is more information about specifics of the game at the website and, at $28, it looks to me like a good investment. One wonders if a girl of 13 would appreciate a game her great-grandfather might have played. I'm betting she will.
Fair winds today, Brethren. See you tomorrow for Sailor Mouth Saturday.


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Cool game... and always nice to reminisce about our late, dearly departed dads... May they rest in peace. So, I guess I shouldn't get this for you? That's okay, I have something better in mind for your birthday... I think you know what it is. No, not that... Well, okay, yes, that too.

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Timmy! You know, I only vaguely remembered that long ago conversation with ol' Jack Fletchall and then when I came across this puppy at NatGeo it all came back to me. I'm so pleased to see that the darn thing is out there.

Dan Oldenkamp said...

I love pirate games and never knew that Shut the Box was a traditional game. Thanks for the write-up. I'm going to add it to my pirate game section on my pirate blog.

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Dan and thankee for joining up with the Brethren. Love your blog; will definately be referencing it here and Triple P. Stop in with a comment when ever you've time.