Peace, Love, and Coffee

A diary of the wonderful and wacky goings on at Coffee to the People, an independent coffeehouse located at 1206 Masonic Avenue in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Mousetrap (The game)

The other night Bob and I were watching Stella, a hilarious new show on Comedy Central, when we got an idea for the coffeeshop. In this episode "the guys" decide they need a new place to hang out, so they find a local coffeehouse and set up camp--literally. In the worst possible free-loader way, they drink instant coffee brought in thermoses from home, sleep on the couches, make "cinnamon milk" from complementary condiments, take baths in the restroom, etc. Having encountered all of these things in one form or another at our shop, we thought the show was hysterical. The part of the show that inspired us, however, was a scene in which the guys play the game Mousetrap.

Our original vision for the coffeeshop had always included games--chess, checkers, backgammon, dominoes--with tables large enough to make game playing possible. But it wasn't until we saw this episode of Stella that we really started to think about all of the game possibilities out there. The next weekend we went to toy stores in our area and started buying games by the cart-load--Boggle, Yahtzee, Parcheesi, Sorry, Chinese Checkers, Settlers of Catan, Mousetrap, and more.

So far, all of the games are a hit. Go into our store any evening and you will find at least one group of people relaxing in our "living room" (that's what we call the area with the couches and arm chairs and coffee tables) with a friendly game of one kind or another. What's surprised me is how rarely we see people playing chess (the classic cafe game) compared to how often we see people playing Mousetrap. Adults and children alike have been known to squeal with delight when they see Mousetrap sitting on our shelves. There's just something about that game that captures people's imaginations.

As it turns out, though, Mousetrap is a much better game in theory than it is in reality. As far as I know, no one has actually finished a game because it's so darn complicated. Still, they seem to appreciate that it's there, even if they can't actually play it.

If anybody has a recommendation for other games we should carry, let me know.


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