Worse than Lime bikes? 5 places in Charlotte where cornhole just doesn’t belong

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Carowinds hosts the American Cornhole Tournament 11-1-2013

Anyone who went to college in the 2000s can tell you about the sudden rise of cornhole from being a frat house novelty to ultimately becoming standard décor at basically any public gathering people attend today. The appeal of the game is pretty simple, and in Charlotte it’s only natural for people to look for things to do that can give them an excuse to get out in the sun.

With that being said…I’ve had just about enough of this game.

Everywhere you look in Charlotte today there are cornhole boards sitting there; just waiting to pull in a new group of passersbys and ruin someone else’s day at the same time. Littered across streets, parking lots, patios and just about anywhere else you can imagine, cornhole boards rival the Lime bike shares as not only an eyesore but a public nuisance.

They should never be found at these five places in particular:

Lunch patios

A few Saturdays back the girlfriend decided to see what all the fuss is about with poke and dragged me along to sample raw fish while eating outside in the sweltering heat. At this point I had the misfortune of being on the front patio at noon at HI Tide Poke & Raw Bar while nursing a hangover from the breweries the evening before.

Good food and some ice-cold peach green tea were just beginning to help when out-of-the-blue a group of “Brunchers” crossed my peripheral. Decked out in sundresses and Croakies, they had clearly managed to chase away their hangovers by this point through the tried and true “hair-of-the-dog” method and like moths to the flame, they spotted two cornhole boards leaned up against the building and dragged them out to the parking lot beside the tables.

Within moments the crowd that had gathered for lunch was subjected to an incessant “THWACK” as the bags hit the boards and more often than not slid off and under the tables where people ate. Ever the hero, I did absolutely nothing as the game continued on for 15 more minutes. The Brunchers eventually grew bored and wandered off to the next place where people may have been enjoying their lunch, perhaps a Showmars or a Qdoba, eager to bring that delightful experience to the ears of other victims.

Where dinner is served

While I understand that there’s a blurry line between lunch and brunch and that some people can mistake one environment for being appropriate for cornhole as opposed to another, I will never understand those individuals who go out for a nice dinner and decide it’s a great time to “toss some bags”.

I don’t go to Heist to play cornhole, I go because I like innovative food and drinks and that’s plenty to keep my attention already. I don’t go to Lebowski’s because I want to make room for a couple on a first date to awkwardly avoid small talk by throwing bags, I go because I like a plate of wings and a Labatt after a long day. I don’t go to Applebee’s to watch an uncle try to awkwardly connect with his nephew by suggesting that they try, “that corncob game”, I go because I want to hit rock bottom with frozen ribs and dollar margaritas in peace and quiet.

Parking lots

You know what makes parking in Charlotte, an increasingly congested and space-challenged city, even more fun? Maneuvering around a crowd of buzzed cornhole enthusiasts hurling projectile beanbags in the air while taking up jusssst enough space to prevent you from squeezing through the exit without ruining their day by making them move the boards. I don’t even bother going to Montford or South End any longer because I know that the likelihood of me running over a cornhole enthusiast’s foot while trying to park is increasing by the day. Go play in the grass at a brewery. Or just stop playing.

Street festivals

Speed Street is just around the corner and you know what that means: Crowds of high schoolers causing mass hysteria, food truck lines that wrap around Center City, frat brothers aggressively bucking at each other in between slugs of Bud Light tallboys, and somewhere along the way there is bound to be a handful of vendors who decided putting out cornhole boards in front of their tents will convince people to sign up for a new credit card or to enroll in a time-share. I plan on avoiding eye contact with each and every one of those vendors because of this pathetic attempt to be “fun”, as a result. Please don’t add cornhole to this chaos.

Sober gatherings

While exploring megachurches with my girlfriend last month, I noticed that several mentioned how they enjoyed fellowship and socializing at different events throughout the year. More than one of these churches I considered explained how people could play cornhole at these events. The only thing less fun than throwing a bean bag at a wooden board (or worse yet, simply listening to other people do so), may be the idea of having to do that while sober. WWJD? He’d ban cornhole.

I get it. Cornhole is an easy icebreaker and it’s something to do when we run out of things to say or conversations to catch up on. At the same time, however, cornhole is a rather cheap imitation of having a good time. Does anyone ever actually finish the game all the way to 21? Has anyone ever left a restaurant or bar and said that the best part of their experience was playing cornhole?

I think not. And I think that it’s time we start drawing the line on where cornhole is acceptable before I find myself getting smacked by beanbags while grabbing some groceries at the Teeter or trying to board a flight.

Photo: Jeff Sochko/Rock Hill Herald

5 COMMENTS

  1. You were doing so well until you got to the “Sober Gatherings”! Sorry, but not everyone needs to drink to have a good time. I’ve played cornhole, with and without a beer in my hand, and both times were just as fun. You should give it a try. 🙂

  2. Haha, yes indeed. The ubiquitous game of corn hole… good god. But whatever happened to the humble hacky circle??

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