The Origin of One Tie All Tie

Ship, Captain, and Crew is a game played with five dice. The object of the game is to roll a six (the “ship”), a five (“captain”), and a four (“crew”) with three dice, and get the highest score with the other two dice (“the ship’s cargo”). It is possible to play this game for money, either by anteing or by playing for a set value per point.

One Tie All Tie is a circumstance in this game, in which the high score is matched and the game effectively resets.

There was an enduring and steady roar of weathered friends, between the ages of thirty five and forty five years that played this game with regularity on Thursday evenings, in the garage connected to my house. This combined with the piercing, oaky smell of a moderately priced cigar and spilled domestic beer was the perfect lullaby for me at age 8. The smell of rain and thunderstorms paled in comparison to the cheerful heckling, questionable jokes and care-free debates that took place between my dad and his friends.

One specific laugh had more character than anything I had ever heard, it was booming and seemed to shake the siding on the house, I remember hoping one of my friends would have such a memorable laugh. Lying there, in the final moments of consciousness I learned a variety of unsavory words (a coveted knowledge at that age), that bosses can be real assholes and that if you’re lucky…even when you become what I considered old at the time, one unwavering aspect of your life, at any age, will be those times with your friends.

When the rare circumstance One Tie All Tie was achieved, there seemed an unmistakable and deep jubilation, a shared happiness, an intermission to reality in which all was forgotten. The uncertainty of a job, the looming hangover. These moments seemed to transcend the game itself, the inflection of the roar shifted, it was very noticeable.  I was too young to understand exactly what this meant at the time, that feeling, maybe I still don’t understand. The blog however, is devoted to those nights, and attempts to create a new joyous distraction. An escape.