One game of Tag for 23 years; still going

sdfsdfsd

The WSJ reports

Earlier this month, Brian Dennehy started a new job as chief marketing officer of Nordstrom Inc.  In his first week, he pulled aside a colleague to ask a question: How hard it is for a nonemployee to enter the building?

Mr. Dennehy doesn’t have a particular interest in corporate security. He just doesn’t want to be “It.”

Mr. Dennehy and nine of his friends have spent the past 23 years locked in a game of “Tag.”  

It started in high school when they spent their morning break darting around the campus of Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Wash. Then they moved on—to college, careers, families and new cities. But because of a reunion, a contract and someone’s unusual idea to stay in touch, tag keeps pulling them closer. Much closer.

What an awesome idea.

The game they play is fundamentally the same as the schoolyard version: One player is “It” until he tags someone else. But men in their 40s can’t easily chase each other around the playground, at least not without making people nervous, so this tag has a twist. There are no geographic restrictions and the game is live for the entire month of February. The last guy tagged stays “It” for the year.

That means players get tagged at work and in bed. They form alliances and fly around the country. Wives are enlisted as spies and assistants are ordered to bar players from the office.

“You’re like a deer or elk in hunting season,” says Joe Tombari, a high-school teacher in Spokane, who sometimes locks the door of his classroom during off-periods and checks under his car before he gets near it.

One February day in the mid-1990s, Mr. Tombari and his wife, then living in California, got a knock on the door from a friend. “Hey, Joe, you’ve got to check this out. You wouldn’t believe what I just bought,” he said, as he led the two out to his car.

What they didn’t know was Sean Raftis, who was “It,” had flown in from Seattle and was folded in the trunk of the Honda Accord. When the trunk was opened he leapt out and tagged Mr. Tombari, whose wife was so startled she fell backward off the curb and tore a ligament in her knee.

“I still feel bad about it,” says Father Raftis, who is now a priest in Montana. “But I got Joe.”

That’s all that counts, surely?

It’s all formalised in a contract too.

asdadads

The participants say tag has helped preserve friendships that otherwise may have fizzled. Usually, though, the prospect of 11 months of ridicule overrides brotherhood.

Mr. Schultheis once refused to help a colleague change his tire, fearing the guy had been recruited to help get him tagged. He sometimes goes to Hawaii in February, partly to lessen the chances of getting tagged.

Every February, Mr. Schultheis’s office manager provides security detail as well as administrative functions.

Mr. Tombari once tried to talk his way past her. “She knew it was tag time,” he says. “I wasn’t allowed in. Nobody got in to see him.”

Mr. Konesky, a tech-company manager, is now “It” again and has had 11 months to stew. With February approaching, he has been batting around a few plans of attack. He says he likes to go after people who haven’t been “It” for a while. That includes Father Raftis, who has been harder to reach since he moved to Montana but who, as several players pointed out, is a sitting duck on Sundays.

“Once I step foot outside the rectory, all bets are off,” the priest says. “I have to be a little more careful.”

Awesome.

 

via The Wall Street Journal

 


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