Archive | July, 2011

Thai-Style Petanque…

29 Jul

Hello Chicago Petanque Club!

Glad to see the weather continues to be so petanque-friendly this summer in Chicago! Same thing here in Thailand. Although it’s the rainy season, we’re only getting some sprinkles in the morning, so daily petanque action rages on!

I’m in a small seaside University town where there are six lighted terrains on the University campus. Mature Teak trees line the south and west sides of the terrains providing ample shade. The University and High School petanque teams play here as well as the general public. This is where I first began playing petanque and it’s interesting to go back after several years away.

The level of play here is incredible. Not only have people here been playing since they were young, but they have been schooled in petanque as well. The shooting is unbelievable. Ninety-some percent accuracy. And, although not usually a perfect carreau, the thrown boule only ends up about 18 inches from where it landed. Changes the strategy of the game completely.

Basically, each team points a boule within 2 feet of the cochonet and then the fireworks begin. The next ten balls are all shots. The shots don’t end up far from where they hit the ball out so these act doubly as “points”. It’s useless to simply point because your ball will be shot away and theirs will remain within scoring range. You must do a combination of hitting their ball out and taking the point in one fell swoop, or else they’ll end up with five or six of their balls around the cochonet and yours will all be on the sidelines. Another neat thing is that flint is a local rock around here and is mixed with the gravel on the terrain. When steely boules come crashing down on
the terrain, literally sparks fly!

A dozen or more people show up to play every day after five these days. Three times as many during the winter months. Delicious Singh beers are only about a buck here and taste great in this hot weather. People are friendly and happy to play with foreigners (meaning non Thais). Seafood dinner and beer for five comes out to about $25-$30! Short term rentals of a new, air conditioned, cable TV, internet ready apartment with a refrigerator is about $240 a MONTH. And, it’s such a privilege (and an education!) to play “pick up” petanque at this level of play. If you can’t afford a petanqe vacation in the South of France, maybe your next vacation ought to be in Thailand!!!

                                                                        PRATHET THAI CHAIYO!!!

Wheaton but not beaten…

17 Jul

Ten players came out to showcase over 600 years of combined human experience on the terrains in Wheaton’s Memorial Park last Saturday!

Steve points. Henry takes poison tipped blow dart to the jugular from hidden Cubs loathing ninja…

The “Terror of Togo” strikes again…

HAVE A BLAST AND BLAST A BOULE WITH THE CHICAGO PETANQUE CLUB EVERY SATURDAY DURING THE SEASON!!! Stay tuned to our website for dates and locations…

Storm the Bastille!!!

10 Jul

Festive Mayhem erupts at the Chicago Petanque Club’s Bastille Day BBQ! Eighteen players came out to enjoy a lovely Saturday afternoon for seven hours of petanque, food and fun!

The result of Mike’s toss hits him like a left hook across the jaw! Meanwhile Stella points in the adjacent terrain…

Loic, always in form, points…

CPC members chow down! Did you know? According to the data I received; the girth of our club member’s midsections, if laid out in a straight line, would exceed 15 meters! At 45 tons, this would equal the dimensions of a large Sperm whale! Perhaps we should grill a giant squid next time?

Entering the final round by default, then coming back from behind to score a basket, The Baron Von Fritzen and the Kaiser of Petanque are crowned champions of the day’s loosely organized “tournament” of sorts…

 DON’T GET LEFT IN THE DUST! COME OUT AND PLAY PETANQUE!

 

Bastille Day BBQ this Saturday at McGuane Park!!!

6 Jul

The only thing more skewered than my knowledge of FPUSA playoff brackets is the *succulent beef kabob I plan to make at our annual Bastille Day BBQ this Saturday! Come by to toss some boules, down some suds and gnaw on layer after layer of flame-broiled beef and Italian sausage interspaced with roasted chunks of pineapple, onions, tomatoes and fiery jalapeno peppers! Bring a side dish to share…baked beans, cole slaw, corn, potato salad, watermelon, Christmas fruitcake, it’s up to you! We’ll get started around 11 AM under the cool shade of the Locust trees in McGuane ParkPlease respond to this ad if you plan to attend. Be sure to include your height, weight and the girth of your midsection so we can upload the data into our grocer’s computerized flow chart and calculate the ideal amount of food to buy without wonton waste. See you there!

*Succulent. Adj. 2. botany. Having thick,fleshy leaves or stems that conserve moisture. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Here’s a photo of last year’s succulent beef kabob…succulent isn’t it?

Petanque Picnic Sat. July 9 McGuane

4 Jul

The BIG Chicago Petanque Club Bastille Day celebration is this Saturday, June 9th, starting at 11 a.m at McGuane Park. (See website for location).

Ian, the club’s official top gourmet chef, will fire up the grill and present another delicious main course that will certainly please the most discerning palate.

To complete the feast, everyone should bring a side dish to share. Salads, vegetables, pasta, whatever culinary dish you can imagine.

Please RSVP and let us know what you will be bringing so that we have a nice variety on the menu.
We will eat and petanque till we drop.

Hot an’ Happy Fourth of July!

2 Jul

Nine petanquers came out to brave the heat and celebrate Independence Day, Canada Day and Ziggy’s triumph at the National tournament by playing petanque, eating cake, drinking a full measure of grog and indulging in general merry making on Saturday…

We took the artistic liberty of rendering a low-key, artsy-fartsy, pseudo-sophisticated version of Ol’ Glory to adorn our cake…

Dan points at the tiny green “piglet” hiding behind the steely boule…from my perspective…

“A cloud of dust and hearty hi-ho Silver!!!” Abderrahim, “The Rockin’ Moroccan” dents a shiny new boule…

Heat-weary players rest under the cooling shade or our resident Maple tree…

Although Ziggy wears gold around his neck, he still bears the Chicago Petanque Club’s crest over his heart…