Earlier this month, Brian Dennehy started a new job as chief marketing officer of Nordstrom Inc. JWN +0.37% 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.”
Given that a bunch of old dudes playing tag can't really be filed under “socially acceptable behavior,” they've changed the rules a bit. But the premise remains the same.
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.
Which, naturally, has resulted in a few pretty interesting stories:
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.”
As tag month approaches, it seems that everyone is prepared to step up their game.
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.
Great stuff. My friends have a pretty heated marriage pool going (we've all predicted the year and order in which each of us will get married), but this is way better/does not need to be concealed from loved ones in any way.
[Awesome Pic via Shuttershock]