Witness Protection is Always Funny

Necessary backstory: Every Monday in Nashua is a board-game Meet Up. This is how I met most of my friends when I moved to New England. I showed up thinking it would be three nerds playing Ticket to Ride and it turned out to be twenty awesome people (many of them nerds--like me) playing Ticket to Ride and a slew of other games.1

Among this group of players is Hal. Four and a half years later, I can say that I know Hal's name and what he does for a living. This was not true for the first two years. Though he showed up every week and we frequently sat at the same table together, the only thing I knew about him was that his name was Hal. It took me over a year to find out he came from Pepperell, MA, but we still didn't know his last name or what he did for a living.

This closely guarded information with a group of people one associates with every week can mean only one thing. Hal is in witness protection!2 This became a long-standing joke that Hal had some kind of secret information about the mob that took him from some life elsewhere and deposited him in northern New England where he played board games and didn't tell anyone anything about himself. Because if he did...HE MIGHT DIE!!!

This leads to last night's discussion. My wife and my friend Britt were discussing another person who we had known for awhile but knew almost nothing about despite efforts to the contrary. What does this mean? She's in witness protection as well!

Odd, don't you think, that two people in witness protection would be so close to one another. You'd think they'd want to space those people out so the mob doesn't stumble on all the people it wants to kill at the same time. They must be close by for a reason. What reason would witnesses have to hang out together. It's summer. It must be time for the witness protection softball league!

Just imagine, you go to the local baseball diamond for your own night of sports and fun and you play a team that spends as much time looking at the stands as they do their opposition. What's stranger is that all their jerseys have the name Smith on the back.


1 When we say board games, we're not talking about Monopoly or something. You may have heard of Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride and those are old stalwarts. New board games are published so frequently that it is easy to say that someone can show up with a new game every week. A few members (also including me) have designed games of their own. Thurn and Taxis, Gonzaga, Dominion, Seven Wonders, Letters to Whitechapel, Tomb, Bohnanza, Wits and Wagers and on and on.

2 Appropriately known as witness security, but since he's not actually in witsec--that I know of!--we'll go with the classic witness protection