For two glorious summers in the early 70s, every time I had a barbeque for friends, we got into the habit of setting up nine wickets and two stakes in my backyard and we played a wicked game of croquet. I say wicked, because that’s the only word I can think of to describe the mayhem. The USCA (United States Croquet Assoc.) would’ve never approved.
The truth is, I had the perfect yard to set up a croquet course. It was long, about 100 feet and about 50 feet wide–perfect for croquet, except for one small detail. Running completely across the width of the yard, was a rolling hill. I’m not too good with measurements, but I’d say it was a foot and a half high.
Trying to get a ball successfully up or down that hill while at the same time trying to aim your ball through a wicket was, as I mentioned, wicked. That first Saturday, when husbands and boyfriends, who were inside playing cards, heard the raucous commotion coming from the backyard and realized at once that the ladies weren’t playing an ordinary game of croquet, they issued the challenge–guys against gals. Once that happened, as you can imagine, the game became even crazier.
Oh, to relive those sunny afternoons when icy beers flowed, and the burgers and hot dogs tasted so, so good.