Food & Drink

If You Play Jenga in a Bar You’re a Jerk

There are plenty of ways to be a jerk in a bar, but there’s one particularly insidious, allegedly good-natured game that brings out the worst in idiotic behavior. I’m talking, of course, about bar Jenga, that caustic pastime that loudly torments bargoers and bartenders in watering holes across the nation. If you play Jenga in a bar, you’re an a**hole. Here’s why you should stop.

Jenga Causes Fights

The slow burn of Jenga unsettles even the friendliest of rapports, putting everyone on edge just when they should be relaxing. Unlike a contest well won, after which winners and losers on both sides of the table come together, there’s only one loser in Jenga, and it’s usually the same loser every time. (It’s Paul. It’s always Paul.)

Blocks Inevitably Go Everywhere

A game of Jenga has never ended neatly. And your humble bartender probably isn’t a huge fan of hunting around under your bar stool for those loose pieces, so stacking those blocks high in front of him probably won’t earn you a lot of brownie points—or quickly poured drinks.

You Can’t Say No to a Game

When the tower’s finally built and everyone at the table looks your way, you can’t simply pass and attempt to carry on a conversation. The night is now about Jenga and, as you are in its presence, you must submit.

Write-in Rules Are the Worst

It’s common practice to write on the sides of a bar’s set of Jenga blocks, adding new rules to an otherwise simplistic game. More often than not, these rules are stupid, crass or both. “Kiss Phil”? “Bipolar”? Come on. Creepy scrawled pickup lines and crudely written messages from strangers should be relegated to bathroom stalls only.

It’s Loud

Many bar games inspire raucous cheering and trash talking, but the thunderclap of Jenga blocks vibrates through the bar like a sonic boom, stopping all conversation and unsettling even the steeliest of nerves. The abrasive knell of a toppling Jenga tower is a universal downer.

It’s Unhygienic

You know that faint whiff of urine you sometimes get as you pass through the bar? That’s probably coming from the floor. This is fine for the bottoms of shoes, but when Jenga blocks topple to the ground, they return to the table with a nice coating of bar floor funk, which is now all over your hands—and bar snacks.