“Surely these people do not own this land, and have not cleared any croquet-related activity with the city.”


“Dear PoPville,

I thought I had dodged a bullet when I saw three individuals on ATVs ride past me on my way home just now. But as I got closer to home, things took another turn. On Warder Street, I encountered the scene captured in this photo. Talk about sketch! As if Park Morton doesn’t have enough problems — now this.

Perhaps your readers know of something that can be done? Surely these people do not own this land, and have not cleared any croquet-related activity with the city. Yet there they were, using it with abandon. It’s so unnerving to be going about one’s business in an urban setting and then be confronted with a group of people wielding wooden clubs. When I looked at them for what must have been a second too long they made some sort of joke among themselves and just laughed.

You would have maybe hoped that this element would be too distracted by the Nationals to be on a street corner, menacing passersby with mallets and the threat of an errant ball. But no. I risked taking a photo but obviously I didn’t want to get very close. But I just had to let innocent people in the area know to beware. The last thing I want is to turn on the news tonight and see a report about Park View’s wicket problem.

Knowing that you care deeply about safety issues in the community, I wanted to let you know. Please keep this note anonymous, as I would be worried about possible retribution (I live on a street nearby).”

Ed. Note: Hilarious. Though I’m not sure if the woman hit by an ATV resulting in a broken pelvic bone, broken tailbone and a left broken leg, and other injuries would agree.

45 Comment

  • Won’t somebody think of the children?!

  • Rolls eyes.

  • GiantSquid

    Kickball and bocce were gateway games. Now croquet? This town is going to Hell in a handbasket! How DARE they be outside, socializing, without the use of drugs or alcohol? This is non-merriment zone.

    • What’s next, pool?! Which reminds me, “Music Man” is on WETA Saturday.

      Well, either you’re closing your eyes
      To a situation you do now wish to acknowledge
      Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
      By the presence of a pool table in your community.
      Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
      I say, trouble right here in River City.
      Why sure I’m a billiard player,
      Certainly mighty proud I say
      I’m always mighty proud to say it.
      I consider that the hours I spend
      With a cue in my hand are golden.
      Help you cultivate horse sense
      And a cool head and a keen eye.
      Never take and try to give
      An iron-clad leave to yourself
      From a three-reail billiard shot?
      But just as I say,
      It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
      In a balkline game,
      I say that any boob kin take
      And shove a ball in a pocket.
      And they call that sloth.
      The first big step on the road
      To the depths of deg-ra-Day–
      I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
      Then beer from a bottle.
      An’ the next thing ya know,
      Your son is playin’ for money
      In a pinch-back suit.
      And list’nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
      Hearin’ him tell about horse-race gamblin’.
      Not a wholesome trottin’ race, no!
      But a race where they set down right on the horse!
      Like to see some stuck-up jockey’boy
      Sittin’ on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
      Well, I should say.
      Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
      Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
      Pockets that mark the diff’rence
      Between a gentlemen and a bum,
      With a capital “B,”
      And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool!
      And all week long your River City
      Youth’ll be frittern away,
      I say your young men’ll be frittern!
      Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
      Get the ball in the pocket,
      Never mind gittin’ Dandelions pulled
      Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
      Never mind pumpin’ any water
      ‘Til your parents are caught with the Cistern empty
      On a Saturday night and that’s trouble,
      Oh, yes we got lots and lots a’ trouble.
      I’m thinkin’ of the kids in the knickerbockers,
      Shirt-tail young ones, peekin’ in the pool
      Hall window after school, look, folks!
      Right here in River City.
      Trouble with a capital “T”
      And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool!
      Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
      I’m gonna be perfectly frank.
      Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
      On while they’re loafin’ around that Hall?
      They’re tryin’ out Bevo, tryin’ out cubebs,
      Tryin’ out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Feends!
      And braggin’ all about
      How they’re gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
      One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
      Headin’ for the dance at the Arm’ry!
      Libertine men and Scarlet women!
      And Rag-time, shameless music
      That’ll grab your son and your daughter
      With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
      Friends, the idle brain is the devil’s playground!

      Trouble, oh we got trouble,
      Right here in River City!
      With a capital “T”
      That rhymes with “P”
      And that stands for Pool,
      That stands for pool.
      We’ve surely got trouble!
      Right here in River City,
      Right here!
      Gotta figger out a way
      To keep the young ones moral after school!
      Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

      Mothers of River City!
      Heed the warning before it’s too late!
      Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
      The moment your son leaves the house,
      Does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee?
      Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
      A dime novel hidden in the corn crib?
      Is he starting to memorize jokes from Capt.
      Billy’s Whiz Bang?
      Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
      Words like ‘swell?”
      And ‘so’s your old man?”
      Well, if so my friends,
      Ya got trouble,
      Right here in River city!
      With a capital “T”
      And that rhymes with “P”
      And that stands for Pool.
      We’ve surely got trouble!
      Right here in River City!
      Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
      Oh, we’ve got trouble.
      We’re in terrible, terrible trouble.
      That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil’s tool!
      Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
      With a “T”! Gotta rhyme it with “P”!
      And that stands for Pool!!

    • Without the use of drugs or alcohol? Are you sure?

  • What about runners body slamming pedestrians (on their birthdays nonetheless)?

    At a glance, my eyes caught the letters ATV and seeing the pictures of people with bats, I thought that a vigilante group had been formed. Now that would be very bad news.

  • Most people are racisss.

    Your satire shows this and is amazing.

    It’s like, BOOM! Nailed all yall and your preconceptions!

    Keep up the FANTASTIC work!

  • gotryit

    I blame society.

  • I guess this is lost on me. The ATV issue isn’t comparable (obviously), so the humor just kind of falls flat.

  • skj84

    So this person isn’t for real right? This is satire right?

    • I think the person is trying to marginalize the outrage over the people who ride ATVs on public streets and cause traffic accidents by equating them, somehow, to people using public space to play a non-contact yard game.

      • Right. Not only is it not funny, but it actually backfires (no pun intended) by highlighting how out of control insane the ATV riders are.

      • Probably more satirizing the posts about people hanging out in parks.

  • Yep, not hilarious. ATV riders are a serious menace to residents (as evidenced by the serious crash described in PoP’s note). This is a poor attempt at satire.

  • I don’t get it.

  • Is this an article from The Onion?

  • This is a joke. It must be a joke. please tell me it’s a joke.

  • I didn’t take it as a satire of the ATV issue, but of all the hand-wringing letters to PoPville that ask if what someone saw is legal.

  • Mike

    LOLing at the attempted humor tag.

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    “I don’t get it.”

  • Did you call 911 or 311?

  • Dude, I’m totally with you. I saw these two kids flying a kite across the street from my house in the public park and they surely didn’t have a permit to be there or a license to operate an aerial machine. This is terrible, and please watch out – on a nice day in be happening in YOUR neighborhood!

  • Man, is this the flimsiest, most jejune attempt at satire I’ve seen in a while.

  • Love it.

    We can poke fun at things even when they’re serious, can’t we?

  • Wow, white people on THAT corner playing croquet! Gentrification is happening so fast that the time space continuum is ripping apart.

  • I have seen real competitive croquet matches in New Zealand, and they are SERIOUS! Laugh all you like, but it is a vicious, cutthroat game. If looks could kill, there would be lots of old people in crispy white clothes lying dead all over the manicured lawns.

  • This is the kind of writing you get when people who are not funny try to be funny. Please leave the humor to the professionals.

  • OP here. I certainly meant no disrespect to the injured person. The ATV sighting really did come moments before I saw the croquet players. I was on a bicycle, so from one one instant to the next I went through the slightly-concerned-to-slightly-bemused transition that often happens around here. Not at all trying to minimize someone’s suffering.

  • I’m sorry, but this post is just stupid. Would very much like the time I spent reading it back.

  • Post fail.

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