April 28, 2004


Twenty years from now, when Balloon Hockey is a major Olympic sport, Sheila O'Malley will be able to say: "I was there when it all began."

Someone had a birthday party at work, and there are balloons floating about on the floor. One wandered into our area. 4 of us work back here, 2 of us are women, and 2 are men. Everyone is very cool, I like them all.

The female co-worker and I started batting the balloon back and forth, as though we were at a volleyball game. It was all rather desultory, the two of us bored, talking to each other about other things, as we batted it back and forth.

Then the two guys got involved, and within literally THREE SECONDS, an entire game, with a complicated rule system emerged. A point-system blossomed forth, and disqualifications were discussed - all of this seemed to happen immediatley, like flowers opening up on speeded-up film. The game just MANIFESTED.

The finest office sport in which I participated was called Run Away From Gary, which involved a former heavyweight boxer, his unpredictable temper, and frantic attempts to avoid beatings.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 28, 2004 02:08 PM

Ah, memories. I fondly remember gently batting back and forth some sort of object in the corridors of the physics department in the wee small hours, when I was in grad school. We loved making the kind of unholy racket you could never make during the day. We called it Relativistic Hall Pong. I forget what we used for paddles.

There were also experiments with primitive explosives on weekends, but on that subject I am sworn to secrecy by terrible oaths.

I never thought I'd say this, but I miss grad school.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at April 28, 2004 at 02:54 PM

I once worked for the agency which handled a famous brand of paper towels, where we found, in rigorous product testing, that a pack of these towels, tightly bound at each end with adequate masking tape, made a perfect office football; each lasting at least a week before unravelling, while failing to damage office fixtures, fittings and personnel even when kicked at maximum force. These paper towel balls had a degree of bounce and could be stab- or drop-kicked accurately, while the middle bulge produced by the masking taped ends resulted in true torpedo spin.

Enjoyed two entire winters of kicking those babies around the office. Even had a fixture going, Creative v Production, Media v Account Service, etc.

Half the fun of office games is inventing rules to suit, i.e. no game when the client is in the boardroom. Or maybe no game in the boardroom when the client is in the boardroom.

But people inevitably ignore office game rules. We lost the account and I never played Towelball again.

Posted by: ilibcc at April 28, 2004 at 03:48 PM

I'm all for balloon hockey in the Olympics. Nude balloon hockey would be even better. It would fit in nicely with recent changes to weightlifting and gymnastics.

Posted by: pezza at April 28, 2004 at 07:20 PM

Damn it. Links didn't work try these ones for
href="http://flash.trojangames.co.uk/tgames/movies/movie2.html'">weightlifting and gymnastics.

Posted by: pezza7 at April 28, 2004 at 07:35 PM

I give up

Posted by: pezza at April 28, 2004 at 07:36 PM

During my college years, I had a part time job to help pay expenses. I worked during the evenings when the normal day staff had left.

The floor I worked on had huge, long corridors that were waxed every evening. After the wax guy left, we'd have office chair races up and down the corridors. Could get up a good amount of speed on the waxed floors. Turning the corners, without upsetting your chair, was very difficult.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at April 28, 2004 at 08:14 PM

my first year in college i lived in the basement of the dorm, so we'd pile up the many beer cans we...collected and go bowling (using a real 16lb bowling ball, of course).

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at April 28, 2004 at 10:23 PM

When in the Navy on aircraft carrier Melbourne, we would play touch football with a roll of toilet paper wrapped up with masking tape. No big deal when it went over the side, as it did often. Lots of fun as I recall.

Posted by: Fred at April 28, 2004 at 10:43 PM

Your "Run Away From Gary" must be the Aussie version of our "Duck, Duck, Someone Get the First Aid Kit" created by a supervisor with a temper, not a very good aim and several desk accessories including staplers and hole punchers.

Posted by: JohnO at April 28, 2004 at 11:13 PM

Run away from Gary!!! Laughing out loud.

Thanks for the link, Tim.

Posted by: red at April 29, 2004 at 01:24 AM

Balloon Hockey. The champions are awarded the coveted Michael Moore Trophy.

Posted by: BC at April 29, 2004 at 01:29 AM

Used to work in a computer store, and our favorite was the Mouse Toss. We'd take dead or returned mice, stand in the parking lot by the exit door, and try to get the mouse into the dumpster, 50 yards away.

There's a skill to it... and heavier mice, like Logitech's older ones, fly MUCH nicer than newer ones.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 29, 2004 at 02:45 AM

did you keep the cords still attached to them, hammer-like?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at April 29, 2004 at 03:19 AM

My favorite sport is Torment The Boss Any Way Possible Without Getting Caught.

By the way... doesn't anybody work?

Posted by: Rebecca at April 29, 2004 at 03:37 AM

From the Viz Profanisaurus:

FUKT 'Failed Under Kinetic Testing' - used to describe a package that has come off worse for wear after being used in a game of post-office football.

When I was at Uni, I stayed for a few years at a place where the favourite sport was throwing up and getting their technicolour yawns rated via a series of tests (colour, texture, dispersion, and taste. Yes, taste.).

Posted by: TimT at April 29, 2004 at 03:01 PM