Once upon a time I owned a table named Taft. He got that name on account of his resemblance to America’s fattest president. Twelve feet long! Four feet wide! With matching chairs and two removable leaves and a lovely little GM-drawer at either end. He might have also been responsible for forming the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Point is, Taft was a big fat gaming table, and I loved him dearly. So much so that it was an oddly poignant moment giving the big lug to a new home. We’d moved you see. And our charming little bungalow could not accommodate such a magnificent specimen.

“Maybe we could put him out back?”

Laurel explained patiently, “He’s an inside table, Colin. You know that. Taft wouldn’t like living out in the yard. Plus he’s getting a little….”

“A little what?”

“Well, he isn’t as young as he used to be. Taft is getting grumpy in his old age. Remember when he attacked a guest?”

“That was one splinter! It didn’t even draw blood!”

But the argument was settled. Our living situation was what it was, and Taft had to go. That didn’t mean I had to like it though.

When the first message came back from Craigslist, I asked a million questions. “Will you have enough room for such a large breed of table? What about exercise? He’s used to getting played with at least once a week. And you understand he’s a little….”

“A little what?” said the confused contractor with the large great room and the frequent dinner parties.

I didn’t want to say it. It would be like admitting Laurel was right. But I wanted to keep my table, so I blurted, “He’s got a lot of dings from dice.”

There came a silence from the other end of the phone.

“From what now?”

“Metal dice. Twenty-sided ones. You know, like for playing Dungeons & Dragons?”

More silence. Then: “Not a problem. I plan to use a table runner.”

Salt in the wounds! If I’d only thought to use some sort of protective covering myself, then we might not have to have this conversation! We could just do the sensible thing and knock down a few walls. Add an addition. Maybe build a heated gaming shed out back big enough to keep Taft out of the rain.

But no. was the one being unreasonable. Deep down I knew that. Which is why, a few nights later, I found myself helping the contractor to bundle my old buddy into the back of a pickup truck. I ran one hand along his varnish, just the way Taft always liked it.

“It’s OK buddy,” I whispered. “You’ve got a new home now. I just know you’re going to love it.”

My buyer was polite enough not to interrupt the tender moment. He did look a little confused by the tears though. And I’m pretty sure he sped up when I ran out in the street to wave wildly and shout goodbye.

All I’m saying is, protect your tables. Metal dice may be cool, but a happy and healthy gaming table is even cooler.

So what do you say, guys? Do any of you other denizens of Handbook-World have a decent boy-and-his-table story? Are there any beloved play-surfaces out there? Or am I the only one who grows attached to inanimate objects? Whether it’s a well used card table or a (sadly discontinued) Sultan, tell us all about your favorite gaming furniture down in the comments!


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