2016 Scoring (Avoiding a Shitstorm of Historic Proportions?)

We all have our own reasons for returning to Chez Nous each year. To enjoy nature and time with family. To reconnect with the ghosts of the past. To recharge and plan our goals for the future. Whatever our priorities, bookkeeping and administrivia aren’t often aren’t high on the list.

That said, I had a chance to return to the Archivces of the Golden Mallet after they lay fallow for several years. The scribblings and scores of games played had accumulated in the pages, but, remained uncrystalized into wins or losses for those Schroedinger’s-Cats-Among-Us who have waited with bated breath for names to appear in golden letters on the immortal scoreboard.

“There were some irregularities”, is something that nobody (on either side of an audit!) likes to hear. That may have been the case this year.

Specifically, this archivist was initially working under the assumption that a player needed only three games to win the GM, but as the rules clearly state, this is only true for players over the age of seventy-five. Therefore, the 2013 assertion that KJB won the Golden Mallet is under review and will be calculated accordingly (since he fulfills “Rule #5″, aka “the Geezer Rule”).

In addition, the absent scoring pages for the 2015 season were found (in a lowly stack of papers and bills no less! among sheets of non-acid-free paper!) by this archivist only after the scoring had been completed.

Therefore, the 2013 and 2015 seasons (in which no winners were declared) are under review and the record will be corrected either this fall (AD 2016) or at the start of the 2017 season.

Pursuant to this entry, please see the email exchange below.


From DJB, 5:35 European Standard Time 8/1/2016

Well, twelfth street /can/ be a bit sketchy! I certainly will review the record if I’m able to make it up this fall…otherwise next summer.

There were some surprising results when I went through and finally did “the maths” for the past half decade or so. I was working under the assumption that one needed to have played five games to be contention. So we saw some terrible defeats, like [RXP] in ’14 (or was it ’15?), but he just didn’t have enough games. Do leave explanatory post it notes on any years in question and I’ll ask [PBS] to repaint in the summer of ’17. Also I located the score page for ’15 only after we’d painted the sign so I do know that year had to be updated.

From TCB, 11:45 Eastern Daylight Time 7/31/2016

I know nothing of this as the “grand tradition” has lost its luster over the years.

And neither of us lives on 12th street: that thinly veiled threat is off by two streets to the south of Dan.

From KJB, 5:10 Eastern Daylight Time 7/31/2016

” ’15 No Award”??!!! I truly admire, yet am sickened by, the extremes to which you seem willing take the traditions of Golden Mallet behavior.

I am an old man, in the twilight of my years, and I suppose you think I am not capable of a suitably painful retaliation. Be wary of those darkened doorways on 12th street![sic] Brooklyn can be a dangerous place…

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Mallet Matters

In an earlier post KJB mentioned that he was having new Mallets made to commemorate his purported 2013 win. Though that win has yet to be officially sanctioned, the celebratory offspring have become real. A series of emails to the FotGM followed this happy event and are quoted below.

Feb 25, 2014
Dear Friends of the Golden Mallet –

After considerable research into the available trove of historical and contemporary materials concerning croquet mallet construction, Master Malletmaker KG and I agree it is now appropriate to seek input from both responsible and irresponsible members of the Golden Mallet community.

Not surprisingly, it appears that there are no standards, either traditional or institutional, for mallet construction. This no doubt reflects the continuity of the character of croquet play and players over generations. Therefore, KG and I request your comments with regard to the following:

1) The Mallet Head – Wood? Metal? Plastic? Hybrid? Wood – Exotic/tropical/extinct? Maple? Oak? Hickory? Emuhrr? Metal – Iron? Steel? Aluminum? Titanium? Kryptonite? Plastic – including carbon fiber? Cross section – Circle? Square? Hexagon? Length – 8”? 8.5”? 9”? 9.5”? 10”?

2) The Mallet Shaft -Same options/questions as mallet head except. Length – 36”? 34”? 38”?
Such comments as you may have must be submitted on or before 5pm UTC, February 28, 2014. We (K and I) wish the new mallets to be available for the 2014 Season of Play. Joint, ghost-written or posthumous comments will not be considered.
You can be assured that all comments will be given the consideration they deserve, with due bias according to source.

Respectfully Yours,

P.S. I have copied in something called an “Andrew S.” Because it was introduced into this string of emails by one of you. I am familiar with that specie, I am not familiar with the “Andrew” sub specie. Is it sentient?

Of course, there are some standards regarding mallet construction, but that’s another issue.  Months later, this follow-up email surfaced:

April 17, 2014

Friends of the Golden Mallet –

After the wintertime defilement and theft of an Original Mallet [from the vault of the Golden Mallet] in order to permit “study” of the severed mallet head, and following weeks of consultation, investigation, research and measurement, Master Malletmaker KG has finally emerged from his mysterious workshop in the now darkened cellar of his little house on the Illinois prairie, mallets in hand!

And they are beautiful!

The six mallet set has heads crafted from laminated oak using a technologically advanced glue, and the solid maple handles are attached with the same glue enhanced by classic wedge-and-kerf joinery.  I should warn you that while three of these mallet[s] meet the standard measurements, three others have heads of modestly different lengths.  The differences are intended to  provide opportunity for improved play and NOT intended to incite arguments over who gets to use which mallet!!  This mallet set is destined to serve generations of Golden Mallet play.

The two rectangular mallets, modeled after those popular in club croquet, were made by Mr. G. for me.  I look forward to comparing these mallets to our traditional ones.

It is my understanding that HG and KG will deliver the new mallets to the Field of Play when they go to Bellaire in July.
I hope you will be inspired to thank KG for his inspired work!



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KJB’s Victory Claim: GM 2013

[Editor’s note: what follows is a lightly edited thread of electronic mail dispatches exchanged in the wake of KJB’s claimed 2013 victory which surfaced on 1/28/2014]

Ladies and Gentlemen and all Friends of the Golden Mallet:

Pursuant to the rules, the 2013 Golden Mallet season closed on November 1, 2013. It is with great pleasure and pride that I am able to report that sufficient points in Official Games have been accumulated that a winner can be named:

The 2013 Winner of the Golden Mallet is


That’s right! ME! One of the Founding Generation of Golden Mallet Play has won the Golden Mallet for the first time in his life!! All of you: don’t you feel good about that?

To commemorate this historic event I have today commissioned Mr. KG, a noted malletmaker in Illinois, to craft a new set of croquet mallets for use exclusively on the Golden Mallet Field of Play. Many of you will recall that Mr. G crafted the current set of mallets decades ago and we should feel honored that he has accepted this project.

This document conforms to G.M. Rule Submission of Names to the Rolls of Golden Mallet to the Archivist, and the Archivist is hereby instructed to comply with the Rule by entering my name into the Rolls. (See http://goldenmallet.org/)

Respectfully submitted,



[Response from KAG]

Congratulations KJB! Excited to hear about the new mallets, too!

I’d also like to tell everyone that KG [aforementioned Illinois-based malletmaker and long-time friend of the GM] made a new set of drink holders for the course out of some really cool lumber. Then, when I was up there in October, I saw that someone else had done the same. So, I’ll bring them up this summer and we’ll have many around for years to come, or we can hang a few elsewhere.

Congrats again on the GM, Hucka. And thanks for the lovely thought of new mallets from you and KG. Can’t wait to see them!


[Response from TCB]

Congratulations KJB,

I’d say, “Well deserved”, but having not seen the scoring sheet, I’m not exactly sure who your minimum of five victories were against. Meaning, were your adversaries on the field worthy enough to make this mallet as “golden” as it could be? It’s the difference between my Golden Mallet victories (four of them, which an independent auditor has verified as “Solid 24K Gold”, the highest purity golden alloy in the U.S.), and a substandard 9K gold “plating”. Now, I am NOT saying that your victory was of this lower purity/standard, I’m just asking you to look inward.


-TCB (proxy for the departed Golden Mallet GPGMCEO, TDB)

[Editor’s note, TCB includes a sincere offer of congratulations to KJB, which has been redacted due to its overly sappy nature]


[Response from DJB]

Greetings All,

Like TCB, I eagerly look forward to reviewing the record and then officially conferring the 2013 Golden Mallet to its rightful holder this summer. KJB, here’s hoping that this will be an asterisk-free, first-time (!) win for you! As the Archivist and GM & Dir PO for PGM, I can assure you that you all will be the first to know.

Regarding new mallets: Thank you, KG, for undertaking this effort. Every time I enter the Field of Play I marvel at your mallets’ heft and craftsmanship. Thank you KJB for the commission. Huzzah!

I like KAGD’s suggestion of scattering the current set of well-worn mallets to the four corners. Personally, I would really enjoy rolling up to intramural matches in Brooklyn and opening a felt-lined case to reveal an authentic, GM-sanctioned KG Original Design Mallet™ (circa 1990) as my opponents tremble and gape.

Congrats* to you, KJB. Good news all around!

DJB, General Manager and Director for Player Operations, Archivist of the Golden Mallet

* Pending official review


[Ruminations from RXP]

Dear Loved Ones,

It was ‘round midnight when I saw KJB’s self-congratulatory email alerting us that he’d won this year’s Golden Mallet. Stunned as I was, I somehow managed to fall asleep only to wake up this morning to frigid temperatures, snow on the ground and my worst fear confirmed: hell hath frozen over.

It’s not that I am not thrilled for KJB but this is astonishing news for even the most cockeyed optimist among us:

See Hanging Chads, Bush v Gore – Was anyone one else involved in the final tabulation of official GM match results for 2013 season?

See Grandma Beeby and Danny Almonte rules - I recall there being doubts about the eligibility of certain wet-behind-the-ears croquet match participants during the 2013 campaign. But not being an expert on the rules and articles of GM, I will leave it to others to determine whether there were any improprieties that might challenge the legitimacy of these “GM” matches and, therefore, the validity of this year’s winner.

See 50 shades of grey – As well, the history and nature of GM is to reward the bad guy or, at the least, the player of questionable moral character. “It’s not cheating if no one sees it!” So, we are standing on shifting ground when we talk about deceit and bad behavior when it comes to GM. However, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart might have concluded, I don’t know how you would define fraud in this case but I know it when I see it.

See HGH – Anthony Bosch and A-Rod gave the world the protocol for doing PEDs and not getting caught, so asking Ken for a urine sample is pointless.

See black magic at Lake Bellaire – Like Tituba, from The Crucible, it’s been rumored that KJB was seen dancing naked while waving his arms around the camp fire late at night.

See Watergate Hearings – If there has been any attempt to deceive and cook the books, can we assume that KJB acted alone? What about SB? What did SB know and when did she know it?

My friends this is all very confusing and I don’t know what to think but I find comfort, as I often do, in the words of Dicky Fox from Jerry Maguire fame: “Hey, I don’t have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”

[Editor’s note, RXP included a sincere offer of congratulations to KJB, which has been redacted due to its overly sappy nature]. I look forward to testing out the new mallets in the coming years.


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Mallet Memories: Dr. Pye is in Ohio…

There was a sign hanging near the start/finish of the F.O.P. back in my childhood.  It read “Dr. Pye is in Ohio and his mother is much worse”.

On it was depicted the foot of a player smashing his own bare appendage with a mallet while trying to send another player’s ball. I never really understood what it meant.

Who was Dr. Pye.  What happened during his trip to Ohio?  Whose foot is that?  Dr. Pye’s? His mother’s?  Why is she much worse?  Much worse than what?  (Does anyone out there know the answers to any of these questions?).

I’ve tried to recreate a facsimile of it below.

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F.O.P. is Open: 2013

At the end of a week of more-than-90-degree days at Chez Nous, the daytime temperature has finally dropped into the 70s, which is a perfectly reasonable temperature at which one can play croquet.  The field of play is officially open.

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F.O.P. Is Open: 2011

Golden Mallet winners DJB and MGL opened the field of play this afternoon with a thorough raking.  The course hasn’t looked better in years!

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Don LeM’s Great Accomplishment

6/14/98 on this day I (DBLeM) accomplished a major (I say modestly) triumph by successfully thwarting the game leader (MRLeM) who was about to go through wickets 13+14 by hitting RHB, utilizing 2 strokes to hit TRB alongside wickets 13+14. By placing my ball the requisite mallet head’s length I was able to place my ball in a manner such that it was touching MRLeM’s ball. Then, in order to “hit” MRLeM, I gracefully “golf shot” her ball towards the lake. From the new position of MRLeM’s ball, I was able to send her down the concrete walk [Grandma’s Folly] to the beach and on my second shot returned to the central field of play. This brilliant play had the effect of immediately equalizing the game and enable another participant to triumph. Though I did not win the game and notwithstanding the preceding protest, I proudly assert that my play was in the very highest tradition of GM and exceptional in its concept and execution.

[In TDB’s Hand]
In re: Protest of Martha LeM of this date. D.B.LeM had hit M. LeM and was about to hit her toward the lake when TDB realized that in so doing he very probably would have done permanent damage to wicket #15 “the last wicket”. In desperation to save this hallowed relic otherwise known as the “victory arch” he allowed the wicket to be removed during D LeM’s shot. M LeM in her blood thirsty quest for victory at any price protested. Our duty to the ages requires us to hold her protest for naught. So ordered.

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Marty LeM Gets Shafted

6/14/98 M LeM was sent into the lake by removal of the last two wickets — so game is protested and in the spirit of the Golden Mallet it is deemed a game of no record! I was shafted. See note of 1977 page 2.

— M LeM


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TRB Returns to the F.O.P.

6/11/98 – Returning to the field of play after an eight year hiatus, TRB turned in a lackluster score of 12. Interestingly, it is the same score he had when he last played on June 4, 1990.  But it was more than double the score of his father RHB.



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Don and Marty Return to the F.O.P.

On June 9 Don & Marty LeMessurier returned to the Field of Play after an absence of 14 years.  D. LeM. turned in his usual lackluster performance (12), but Martha played with flashes of brilliance and repeated her only 1982 appearance, which was a 25.  Martha also achieved another kudo of sorts by being the 2nd to hit TDB (see titles & honoraria at page 62-63 supra) into the lake.  This is the second time in GM play that a player has been hit in the lake–and both times it has been TDB!! and by a Colfax Auxiliary member!!  Martha’s changes of becoming the next Worthy Grand Matron have just declined considerably! [In the hand of TDB] (I can not improve on this bullshit! Even though it is true and I offered to put [TDB’s] clothes in the dryer!) — M LeMessurier

[Addendum in TDB’s hand…]
It is noted that M LeM. did not authenticate her win of 6/9/98 within 24 hours of the win and it is accordingly held for naught. GMR3.17.G(iii).



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