"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I am dangerous with power tools

After my recent post about America's fastest up-and-coming sport of Cornhole, it occurred to me that a game set might make a fun holiday gift for the in-laws, who love family sports and have lots of yard space for play. However, a complete set runs about $200 from one of the many suppliers on the 'net, including hefty delivery costs due to the size and weight of the boards. Therefore, I've decided to build my own targets and buy just the bags ready-made, as I do have some rudimentary carpentry abilities but both myself and Mrs. Toast are seriously challenged when it comes to sewing. Sorry, that's just how we roll, people.

But I got started on the project this evening, and let me share with you a photo of the first stage of construction which involved cutting the 6" holes in each of the two 2' x 4' targets:

Since I don't own a circle-cutting saw, I had to draw the hole using a compass and then attempt to cut around the mark using a garden-variety jig saw as you see above. Now, if you've ever tried to do this, you know that cutting a perfectly round hole using this technique is next to impossible, and although I got it pretty darn close, it was still just a skosh lopsided. However, I am rehearsing a little speech for when we present the gift on Christmas morning which goes something like this:

"On close inspection you will notice what at first may appear to be minor imperfections in the construction of this item, such as holes that are, while generally 'circular' in shape, not quite exactly, in the purely mathematical use of the word, 'round'. I would ask you to consider these not as flaws, per se, but as one-of-a-kind personal touches by the craftsman which make each piece an individual and unique work of art."


However, we do have one minor dilemma in that the recipient of this gift is a fine, upstanding, highly conservative Christian family with two young children. Therefore, to not offend their delicate sensibilities and permanently warp the minds of the young 'uns, the name "Cornhole" must become The Word Never To Be Spoken. We will refer to it as "Corn Toss", "Baggo" or something equally innocuous; hopefully I won't accidentally let it slip out at some point in my enthusiasm for the game. Of course, there is no doubt in my mind that eventually they will learn the true nature of their holiday gift, perhaps when Dad is describing it to a co-worker who then blurts out, "Oh yeah, you mean they gave you a Cornhole set. Cool!", or whatever. It's only a matter of time, really, and if the children become sullen, drop out of Sunday School, start smoking crack and turn to a life of crime as a result of hearing the Forbidden Word, let me publicly say that it won't be our fault.

No matter what it's called though, I think they'll appreciate that it's not so much the object itself as it is the time, effort, and affection that I'm putting into building this by hand for them, especially because they know that the physical activity required for me to do so is slightly difficult due to my lung condition. But as the old saying goes, it really is the thought that counts.

Even more exciting, I hereby invite you, dear reader, to follow along with me over the next few weeks as I document here on the blog the various stages of construction complete with photos. Yes, observe this labor of love as it unfolds before your very eyes! Watch and marvel as mere plywood, nails, paint and polycrilic are magically transformed into a thing of wonder and delight! A thing of beauty to behold! A thing called Cornho...

I mean ... Toss. Corn Toss.

OK, this may be tougher than I thought.


  • At 11/18/2007 09:42:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    I'm very excited to see your progress with your project. What a great idea for a gift! Good luck!

  • At 11/19/2007 09:48:00 PM, Blogger Sphincter said…


    Ok. I just had to get that out of my system. I'll not say it again.
    Can't wait to see the progress.


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