On October 11, 1821, the Times of London gives us an account of two people who loved the game a little too much.
It appears that one fine day, a certain Mrs. Kahl of London went out visiting in the morning around 11:00 am and returned about 7:00 pm the same evening.
But Mrs. Kahl returned home to a bit of a shock. She was:
Struck with astonishment at seeing a light appearing and disappearing at the windows of her house.
And as she knew no one was home, Mrs. Kahl leapt to the only logical conclusion. Burglars! But she did NOT panic.
Instead of making a noise that might alert the thieves as most other females would have done, she quietly went to some of her neighbors and communicated her suspicions…
The troupe of neighborly Good Samaritans reconnoitered the house, procured a ladder, and entered quietly as mice through a second floor window. They crept down the stairs and tiptoed to the parlor door where:
They saw to their great surprise the two thieves playing a game of backgammon. They were sitting on a sofa and had the backgammon table between them. One of them instantly started up and said, “We’ll make no resistance.” On examination it was found that the house had been ransacked from top to bottom!
If only one of them hadn’t steered for a backgame and successfully executed the coup classique they would have gotten clean away! The moral of the story is, that if you MUST play backgammon while burgling a home, try for racing games!
In November of 1822, The Hagerstown, Maryland Torch and Light Public Advertiser gives us a punny backgammon tale.
Apparently, it was the fashion of the era to make backgammon boards in the form of books like so:
One day, a gentleman named Adam purchased one of these sets that was housed in the shell of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Upon taking the set home to his fair Eve, it was found that the dice cups and checkers were all present and accounted for, but:
The magical cubes (proverbially the device of the Old Serpent) which give life to the whole system were missing!
Whereupon Eve remarked:
In truth, my dear, this is Milton’s pair o’dice lost!
In June 1840 the New York Evening Post reported an unfortunate occurrence in the life of a player who was loving but not much loved in return:
On Saturday evening last, Major John Loving, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel in this place, was dangerously wounded with a dirk, in a personal affray with Dr. E.E. Slade. The misunderstanding arose respecting a game of backgammon they had been playing together.