Croquet DeadWatch originated with an offhanded challenge issued around October of 1998. But I should start earlier still than that. I went to a small college that had a very large annual croquet match against the US Naval Academy across the street. As either a cause or a symptom a bunch of us spent many afternoons on the front lawn of the campus playing croquet.
In some of the various forms of croquet, including the one we played against Navy, it is important to keep track of which ball has hit which other balls. This is referred to as deadness. There are scoreboards called deadness boards used to track this specifically. They are usually large wooden or plastic boards with 12 sliding shutters used to indicate which balls are dead on one another. They are not large, but for a casual afternoon match it was annoying to drag them out to use. Especially after you’ve already gone to the trouble of dragging out everything else that you need to play croquet; wickets, stakes, balls, mallets, radio, friends, booze, etc. Usually we just winged it and there were frequent questions between the players about who was dead on whom.
At that time there was a company which sold a velcro wristband deadness board with small colored velcro circles to indicate deadness, though you’ll just have to take my word for it because I can’t find any pictures online. That brings me back to late 1998ish. I was visiting a schoolmate after we had graduated and at some point he said ‘You should write a deadness board program for that Palm Pilot to replace those wristbands.’ or something to that effect. I probably pointed out that I wasn’t a programmer but filed it away.
Fast forward to about 5 years ago or so and I wanted to try writing an iPhone app to see what it entailed. I remembered that conversation and wrote a deadness board. I got it working as essentially a proof of concept, never finished it and moved on with life. Fast forward a few more years and when I saw the Apple Watch my first thought was Aha! This would be perfect for the deadness board app.
Now I’ve written it. And there it is.
But what about Wicked Imperial you ask. Ah yes, I forgot, I’m glad you brought that up. The captain of the St. John’s College Croquet Team is called the Imperial Wicket. I didn’t choose the title, nor do I really like the title, but I served in the post. One day at some point I had the title stuck in my head and it started jumping around and eventually rearranged itself to Wicked Imperial. Now there’s a good name for a band I thought. But I haven’t started a band, instead I wrote an app and needed a company name to put in one of the boxes on the app store submission form and a company was born.
Anything else? Who am I? Why I’m Craig Sirkin