The Christmas when we invented ‘Poolocce’

Pronounced Pool-AH-chee

Billiard balls
Billiard balls (Pixlr)

This one Christmas my now-brother-in-law Colin and I cooked up a game on our in-laws pool table and named it “Poolocce.”

As in, bocce ball and billiards combined. And it was exactly what it sounds like.

See, the day began with the “Wearing of the Robes,” which is also exactly what it sounds like; my brothers-in-law, father-in-law and me all sitting outside, lakeside, sipping beverages and puffing on cigars. In old man pajamas. And flannel robes.

This in turn led to Colin and I playing bocce on the frozen lake ice. Trust me, if you want to hear something that sounds spooky and unworldly at the same time, throw a bocce ball on lake ice. It sounds like a sad whale trying to sing “All By Myself” but only getting out the first note.

Playing this inevitably led to nightfall (at 5 p.m. of course) and the next step: How do you play bocce inside your in-laws’ nice house without wrecking the place?

Enter Poolocce. Pronounced Pool-AH-chee. Try it -- it’s just fun to say!

By 8 p.m. we had the rules down. And a slogan. “It’s the craze that’s sweeping the nation! Poolocce!!” We were convinced we had just come up with the Frisbee, or Nerf, or Cornhole.

The goal was to get a stripe (me) or a solid (Colin) as close to the cue ball as possible, just like bocce. But I want to say there were penalties and/or bonus points awarded if the pockets came into play and you knocked your opponent off the table. Or maybe I’m imagining that? Sounds good now though.

This holiday season, if you have a pool table or your family does, try Poolocce. It’s way more fun than it has any right to be. And you can beverage while playing.

“Remember, friends -- it’s the game that’s sweeping the nation! Poolocce!

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