Cornhole Navy Pier!

[Editor’s note: the pedantic author impressed us just enough with his earnestness that we offer it as nothing more than further evidence of the decline of our species. If you are offended, then you are taking it way too seriously. It is parody…including a parody of worthy reading.]

As I was driving to church this morning I saw an electronic billboard advertisement on the Kennedy inviting me to, uhm, a cornhole at Navy Pier next weekend. The advertisement suggested there’d be a gathering of similarly enthusiastic people in the Festival Hall who wanted to cornhole with me for fun and prizes. Prizes!? How can we be invited to perform such behavior so publicly and offered prizes for doing it so well? Sounds like a really sick joke to me. But the monstrous advert on the Kennedy sounds so earnest, so I Googled it.

Thankfully, my first impression was not correct. Apparently the Urban Dictionary and lexiconic memories from my youth are not the only definitions for cornhole. The word is also an alternate name for the game that I know as bags, which is a bean-bag tossing game that is quite popular at alcohol-fueled barbecues, particularly in the midwest. At the Navy Pier event there’s even a children’s competition, which had it been posted on the electronic billboard probably would’ve caused me to start a chain of accidents.

I admit that I may have a juvenile sense of humor, but honestly I never knew that the innocent game of bags went by the alter ego of cornhole. And I’m confident that the first impression of many people – and fellow drivers on the Kennedy – is probably the vulgar interpretation. Are the Navy Pier marketing folks so young as to be unaware of the broadly used slang word? Or are they just typically snickering youngsters who are sharing their juvenile joy to the detriment of their bosses and Navy Pier. I mean, it’s highly unlikely that none among them was aware of the problematic idiomatic wordplay. Surely someone was motivated to suggest, after spraying his lunch milk through his nose, that the tournament might more appropriately be advertised as a Bags Tournament.

Yeah, yeah, the name of each hole on a bags board is a cornhole, just as other holes are so called. And yeah, undigested corn may be one of the bag-filling ingredients used over the game’s history. And yeah, the sport has adopted a tournament name adopting the legacy word in its call to action. Equally surely I would’ve rather been first impressed by a Bags Tournament at Navy Pier than thinking WTF!?

I feel as though I should show up on the 22nd to check out the first people to arrive. I’d hope I’d be the only one who misapprehended, because if that isn’t the case then Navy Pier’s Festival Hall could look more like the Studio 54 men’s bathroom on Valentine’s Day.