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Axe-your-ex event not welcome in St. John’s

Adrian Beaton of Jack Axes at the Water Street facility on Tuesday afternoon.
Adrian Beaton of Jack Axes at the Water Street facility. - Joe Gibbons

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Itching to throw an axe at a photo of your ex, spouse or your boss? Well, it’s not on at Jack Axes.

“We don’t actually let people do that. … It’s a non-starter. That will never be a thing here,” said the St. John’s business’s co-owner, Adrian Beaton.

“We’re a fun-loving, happy place full of fun-loving, happy people and that’s what we want to be known for.”

It’s a relatively frequent request, and one that at least one other axe-throwing venue in the country openly promotes, citing a surge in bookings on Valentine’s Day from “jaded singles” looking to axe their ex.

In a news release, Forged Axe Throwing in Whistler, B.C., said bookings are popular for Feb. 14, including its annual F--- Valentine’s event.

In this trend, according to Forged Axe Throwing, jilted singles pin a photo of their ex to a wooden bulls-eye before testing their aim with a hatchet. This novel alternative to darts is proving a hit for groups of singles looking to celebrate single life and take a different approach to the Valentine’s Day norms, the venue stated in the release.

Calling it a tongue-in cheek practice, Forged Axe Throwing owner James Anderson, in the release, stated, “What better way to get over your ex than to axe them on a bulls-eye!”

“We don’t actually let people do that. … It’s a non-starter. That will never be a thing here." — Jack Axes co-owner, Adrian Beaton

At Jack Axes, Beaton said the idea of throwing axes at a particular person’s image is something that comes up all the time — several times a week. The requests include exes being the target, someone’s current wife and groups wanting to toss one at their boss’s image.

“It’s mostly good natured. Can we put our boss’s face up there, ha ha, that kind of thing. … But we are just not a fan of the idea of it. I feel like it sends a bad message,” Beaton said.

One might feel there’s a violent undertone in the idea of wanting to deface your former or current loved one’s image.

And Beaton said that’s something Jack Axes is cautious about.

“That (undertone) is kind of what we perceived it as. … It’s in bad taste of what we kind of stand for,” Beaton said.

Valentine’s Day is a busy day anyway at Jack Axes, as are bachelor and bachelorette parties, without anyone ever personalizing the targets.

Beaton said he does support Forged’s ongoing efforts to get axe-throwing named an Olympic sport.

“That’s a phenomenal idea … definitely on board,” he said of that pitch.

Anderson told The Telegram the idea for the axe-your-ex event came about in recognition that people don’t pair up as early as older generations, and likely cycle through more relationships, and there are a lot of singles needing an outlet on Valentine’s Day, which is focused on couples.

“What could we do that was kind of fun and exciting?” he said of coming up with the concept. “Valentine’s is such a tough one for all the single people out there.”

The Valentine’s Day concept was to put black hearts on bulls-eyes and charge $20 to attend the party. And then they decided to let people in for free if they brought a photo of their ex.

It’s the third annual event this year.

“It’s turned into a bit of a thing … that has suddenly become the main event of the evening,” Anderson said of the axe-your-ex event.

Now people line up with lots of photos and it’s a therapeutic thing, he said.

But he also sees how someone might have a different view of the trend.

“I could understand how people could look at it like that,” he said of the idea of it being in bad taste.

For Anderson, the act is symbolic of how people move on from relationships, as most of the customers are over the bust-ups.

He describes his business as a “positive, friendly environment.”

As well, the event has served a match-making function.

“Relationships have come out of axe-your-ex,” he said.

More women than men show up with photos of their exes, he added.

Meanwhile, he said he hasn’t had any requests for someone to throw an axe at their current wife, husband or boss, but they would welcome that as well. The venue does have people throwing axes at politicians and opposing sports teams from time to time, he said.

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