Friday, January 19, 2018

How’s this for a headline

How’s this for a headline:

You might soon be able to throw axes while drinking a beer in Somerville

I don’t drink beer. And I don’t spend a lot of time in Somerville, a neighboring city that borders on Boston and Cambridge. I’m too old, for one thing. And patently unhip. Somerville, once a blue collar town has, because of its proximity to Boston and its relative affordability, become something of the Brooklyn of Boston. Plus, while I have owned an axe – purchased 40+ years ago when I was a camper, and still around here somewhere: it’s handy to pound things in with – I have never been particularly interested in throwing an axe. 

But if I were to take up beer drinking (beyond the occasional Guinness, which – I know, I know – isn’t exactly beer). And if I were to decide that someone my age wouldn’t be stopped at the border (or the Davis Square T stop) if I decided to head over there. And if I wake up one morning with the hankering to hurl an axe, well, I now know that:

Urban Axes a competitive indoor ax-throwing business that opened its first location in Philadelphia in 2016, plans to open a location in Somerville’s Union Square this summer. (Source: Boston Globe)

I don’t know how keen I am on the idea of people being armed and hammered. Sure, you could lose an eye if you got between a dart thrower and a dart board, but an axe could really do some serious damage.

Oh, this isn’t as bad as the gun ranges that serve alcohol.

But it still raises the same question: what could possibly go wrong?

Of course, it’s not like anyone can just stride in and start lobbing axes around. Those hoping to participate are first trained by one of the company’s “axepert” before they can start pitching axes across a room, Osgood said: “You can’t just come in and toss axes by yourself.”

That’s good.

Interestingly, Urban Axes is also positioning themselves as a place to have a corporate outing.

I’ve been on plenty of corporate outings. Bowling. And pool playing. Softball and/or volleyball in the park. Learn-to-paint-like-Van-Gogh. Jail break. (Both learn-to-paint and jail break were surprisingly fun. Unfortunately, my jail break team was composed of three people with the same overthinking analytical types. We could hear the team in the cell next to us throwing anything against the wall, acting – we assured each other – completely irrationally. We would think it all through, and then act. Well, our approach worked. Eventually. But the crew who were pin-balling around, yelling at each other, trying everything, made it out a couple of seconds before we did. There was certainly a good corporate lesson to be learned: each group would have done a better job if we’d been a bit more diverse in terms of thinking and doing types.)

But I don’t know if I’d want to go to a corporate outing featuring axe throwing.

Frankly, my wish at corporate outings – and, blessedly, I don’t spend a lot of time at them these days – is that the “fun” would be something that I was good at. Like Trivial Pursuit. Or Boggle. But axe throwing?

But Urban Axes’ Courtney Osgood has her rebuttal:

“Oh my God, it’s crazy,” Osgood said with a laugh, adding that the bar has hosted companies like Google, Facebook, Bank of America, and even members of the Philadelphia Eagles organization at other locations. “It’s such a great experience. . . . Would you rather do that or have cocktails and just stand around?”

I’m down with “its’ crazy.” But I’m pretty sure that I’d rather stand around having a cocktail with a colleague than have an axe whiz by my head.

But that’s just me. Non-beer drinking. Pathetically unhip. And someone with zero desire to throw my bad shoulder further out of whack by trying to hurl an axe.