In every rivalry, there’s at least one confrontation. The boys from the Computer Shop and Vinnie’s Barbershop of Amagansett had theirs on Thanksgiving Eve at Indian Wells Tavern.
The rivalry between the two small businesses is pretty friendly, but when it came to a series of showdowns in the form of competitive yet slightly goofy games that night, the teams representing the two businesses were deadly serious—well, sort of. It’s hard to be serious when you are playing football against each other with gherkin pickles or conducting a tug of war with dental floss.
In the end, The Computer Shop, led by Lee Satinsky with seven team members, beat Vinnie’s Barbershop, led by Vinnie Mazzeo, with five on his team, four games to two in front of a bar crowd of about 50 people.
“They just couldn’t hack it,” said Mr. Satinsky, referring to his rivals.
Meanwhile, Patty Sales, manager of the Indian Wells Tavern, couldn’t quite figure out how her restaurant got roped into hosting the competition. “I must be Lee’s inspiration,” she quipped. “I didn’t know that much about this thing—Lee posted signs everywhere and we kind of found out about it the way everybody else did, through the signs.”
John Auquilla was more clear about how he got on Mr. Satinsky’s team. “I just work for him. I figured I better show up or get fired.”
Sam Champion, who also works at the Computer Shop, said before the contests got underway, “I‘ve got to support the team. The barbershop is going down.” He later won the thumb-wrestling competition for his team.
Mr. Mazzeo’s brother-in-law, Joe Fenrico, joined the team for the barber shop. “I knew he needed backup,” he said of Vinnie.
More backup was provided for the barbershop team by Mr. Mazzeo’s grandson, Dominic. But, at six weeks old, little Dominic could do little more than gawk from his mother’s arms and wear a Vinnie’s Barbershop cap made just for him.
Danielle Perodan, who was in the audience, said though she knew both the guys from Vinnie’s Barbershop and the guys from the Computer Shop, she wasn’t choosing sides.
“I have to be neutral,” she said, refusing to wear one of the team T-shirts that all the competitors were wearing.
In addition to the thumb-wrestling, gherkins football and the dental floss tug of war—in which single members of each team pulled on a line of dental floss, each with one finger, until the floss broke—the games included a dance competition and “elbow bronco.” It requires one team member to grab the flesh beneath another’s elbow and hang on while the other team member struggles to pull his arm away.
The gherkins football consisted of flicking the sweet pickles between human goalposts to score points for the team.
Mr. Mazzeo won the dance competition for his team by doing the funky chicken, taking off his T-shirt in the process, according to one witness; and his son, Nick, won the beer chugging competition. Those were the only games in which they were the victors.
“It was fun, and great to see two businesses come together,” said Mr. Mazzeo good-naturedly. He said the idea for the rivalry came from Mr. Satinsky, who was just trying to “stir up some controversy. Anyway, this was a nice thing to do on the night before Thanksgiving.”
Mr. Satinsky, emboldened by his team’s win, said the games would be repeated next year. “We want to make this an annual event,” he said.
“I think they’re all crazy,” said the bartender to no one in particular.