miðvikudagur, nóvember 16, 2005


One of the things I missed most about my old job in Boston was the foosball table. It was a nice Tornado model that sat in its own special room, and behind that closed door the thwack! of shots-on-goal could be heard most of the afternoon. When I got to my new job here in another software company, I looked around for the standard-issue foos table but there was none to be found. When I asked, people shrugged as though I was asking if they had seen today's Fréttablaðið. Clearly, foosball was a little lower on the recreational rungs in the Land.

About a month ago, two coworkers and I realized we had some extra profits left over from running the company concession stand (kitchen-based sales of soda and licorice-derived Icelandic candies). There was a concurrent grassroots movement building in the company to buy a foosball table. Apparently all those old Friends reruns on DVD were paying off. Turns out our profits from an extra 30 krónur per Pepsi Max really came to something, and the foos table was within reach.

I did some research and found out that Tornado had been sold to a larger company, but that the former head of Tornado, David Shelti, had gone into business for himself, making tables under his own name. We settled on a Shelti Foos 200, and ordered it up from a drawling and helpful Florida vendor. Just hours before the Florida foosball office was deluged with Hurricane Wilma tsunamis, a truck loaded up our table and headed to the Iceland trans-shipment point in Virginia.

After a couple weeks at sea and a couple days down at Vöruhótelið, we picked up the table today. I stayed long after work, sliding plastic players onto rods and tapping steel pins into their foos-man hearts. The Michigan-made table is sturdy and hearty, and quintessentially American. It has boxy steel legs and woodgrain sides and weighs over 200 pounds. It's beautiful. I'm looking forward to hearing those closed-door back-of-goal thwacks again tomorrow.


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

An excellent post, me laddie. A real rags to riches story where the lemonade sales buy a new video game...fitting that it's made in the USA, somehow. I'm glad the Report is back up and running.


Blogger Farbror Willy said...

Það verður gaman að prófa gripinn í næstu suðurferð!

Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

We just got a Shelti a few days ago for X-mas. Having a little trouble with the snake shot, but the craftsmanship is unbelievable! I hope yours has that metal inside the goal (it makes a wonderful SLAM when you knock one in).

Anonymous Hans said...

I accidentally found your post about foosball in Iceland while I was searching for a nice table here in Reykjavík. I'm an exchange student from Germany and want to play "Foosball". So, have you found a good table in a bar or something like that? And were is your Tornado standing?

Hope, you'll read this :)


Blogger JB said...

Hi Johannes,

I have bought two Shelti tables and imported them to Iceland from the U.S. These were the best value I could find for "serious" tables. Really great. But they are both under lock and key at private employers here.



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