Most players were very focused on their games and may not have noticed that our third guest for the weekend, Dave Barry (far left) came by on Sunday with his lovely wife and daughter.
He had announced the Open on his blog the week before:
ATTENTION SPORTS FANS
If somebody told you that you had a chance to play in a major international petanque tournament, I'm sure your immediate reaction would be: "A what?"
That was certainly my reaction the first time I was invited to a petanque tournament. It was on Miami Beach back in 2003, and I wound up writing a column about it, as well as making a new friend, Philippe Boets, a mildly deranged Belgian man who wants petanque to become a huge sport in America. This is never, ever going to happen, but it sure is fun to watch Philippe try. It's also fun to attend a petanque tournament, in which it is not always easy to tell who is playing, and who is spectating, and who is just lying on the ground. The sport, which was invented by the French, involves tossing little balls around, in between a lot of eating and drinking.
I bring this up because Philippe is bringing the Open International Petanque Tournament back to Miami Beach this weekend. Naturally, since this is an international tournament, participation is strictly limited to pretty much anybody who shows up and pays the registraton fee. I myself plan to have a team there on Sunday. We're training hard; several key players have already had indigestion. So if you're looking for something different and fun to do in South Florida this weekend, why not go bowling?
No, seriously, come on out to the Open. You might catch Petanque Fever!
Then you will need shots.
He brought his friend Andre (far right) who joined the Michigan boys while Dave reinforced a hastily assembled Miami team consisting of two Belgians. We kicked serious butt against a.o. Jeff, Joe and Ken who filled in between their own games. There's no doubt, Dave is a natural, not only as a pointer, but also in the "trash talking" department which - as we all know - is a required ingredient of petanque when you're playing for fun. "Compliments" were flying back & forth. He also reminded me to stop saying Mitchigan. "They're ain't no T in Michigan".
Of course, Dave carried his CrapCam, a hi-tech marvel with a resolution of almost 10 pixels, to document his victory over the Michigan team for the Monday morning update:
I went over to Miami Beach yesterday and competed in the big petanque tournament. It was physically very demanding -- sometimes after tossing the little ball (or boule) you have to walk as far as 20 feet (5.95847 liters) with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat or drink. But it was a good character-building experience, as well as an opportunity to hang around in a masculine fashion with other manly male petanque players, who can be seen in this exclusive CrapCam photo holding their boules.
His latest book "Dave Barry's Money Secrets" is due out in January, a must for anyone who wants to become happy while penniless. With lots of pictures of Suze Orman.
The weekend after the Open he performed timeless, excellent rock & roll hits at the Miami Book Fair together with his writer-musician-friends, a.o. Amy Tan, Scott Turow, Ridley Pearson, Greg Iles & Kathi Goldmark, aka the Rock Bottom Remainders.