Take it outside, Pal

Barrooms and beanbags don't mix.

By Charles P. Pierce
November 28, 2010

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Dear Brian Shaw: Since you’re the cofounder of Social Boston Sports and a professed supporter of beanbag toss games in bars, I thought you’d be interested in this (partial) list of things I have seen thrown in a bar: a pitcher; the person holding the pitcher; a cat; the person holding the cat; the person who threw the cat and the person who threw the person holding the cat; all pool balls numbered 1 to 9; a bowl of beer nuts; a bowl of cheese cubes; a bowling shoe; three medical students; two sailors; and a small sign reminding everyone that the police will be notified in case of any disturbance. OK, I made a couple of those up, but frankly, I’m still not sanguine about the notion that beanbag tossing is going to be the next big thing in saloon entertainment, as you seem to be. I am not wild about encouraging people to throw things in bars. (Once, years ago, in a crowded joint, I accidentally sat down on the place’s mechanical bull – don’t ask – and some prankster dropped quarters into the thing and I became, briefly, one of the things I have seen thrown in a bar.) The darts precedent is irrelevant to beanbags because, in my considerable experience, the likelihood of a thing’s being tossed in anger is directly related to its perceived safety, except, possibly, cats. In situations involving human beings and bars, the most innocuous things usually make the most dangerous projectiles, and I include the patrons in this.

Charles P. Pierce /

  • November 28, 2010 cover
  • Nov. 28 Magazine