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Today after work we drive to Utah to attend The Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. [1] I plan to pack a deck of cards; I hope to get Someone interested in playing some games. I am not very good at cards – any of them. Even at solitaire I tend to lose. All the same I enjoy them immensely if only for the comradery and the bridge mix. [2]

My paternal grandmother was an avid card player. She was The High Priestess of Bridge. [3] She was so serious about it she would get impatient and cross at partners who were slow or bunglers. I asked her once to teach me how to play but she refused. She believed if I learned how to play Bridge I would neglect my school studies and become an card-addict. Ironically no one played Bridge at my age then or now so there wasn’t a good chance I would degenerate into a street two-hearts-trump sterno bum. My parents play Bridge in a variety of Bridge clubs. I’ve often wondered if the social glue of these parties is what’s kept them going into their 80s happy and well.

Another card game often played in the Spo-house is Cribbage. Father still occasionally grumbles on the phone he’s been ‘skunked’ again by Mother but I daresay he lets her win at times (or it is through him I get my poor card playing skills). Someone and I have a cribbage board but I can’t right remember right how to play.

The third card game Spos play is Spite and Malice. It is a sort of two-man Solitaire. Someone and play this one and he always seems to beat me. I joke he has more Spite and Malice in his temperament than I do.

On the rare occasion when we play with others Euchre is popular which is another card game of which I have no grasp. Three-quarters through every round of euchre everyone seems to divine how it is going to end and throws down the cards in the sudden revelation what’s the point in going on it’s done. This always leaves me bewildered how the hell does anyone know so let’s back up. [4]

Brothers #3 and #4 are very fond of Poker. I have never played poker. I tried to learn Bezique but there is no one to play with. I read in the old days Bezique often led to arguments ending in murders and suicide. I think this alone is worth having a look-see into the game. Scottish Bridge has a similar bad reputation with less bloodshed but more curse words.

There are some store-bought card games too. Uno is fun, easy to play, and better played in a large group – like my men. It is another card game that sometimes leads to fisticuffs. Someone and I are fond of Sushi-go! in which you make sushi plates for points. This one tends to whiz by like pinochle but the cards are pretty. I have a vague memory from my youth of a card game involving car trips and mileage. The card directions were in French and it had tire punctures on the cards.

Currently my eldritch nephews are playing a couple of morbid sounding card games. One is called Guillotine. [4] The other is something about Werewolves. I’m told the loser of the game is deemed a werewolf by the winners and shot at dawn. Perhaps it is a good thing card games are on the way out.  Between Bezique and the werewolf thing it’s just too dangerous.

 

Spo-fans are invited to tell me what are your favorite card games. Are there any you recommend I try?

 

[1] They do a fine job, but there is no booze for sale at intermission. It’s definitely BYOB.

[2] I like the chocolate covered raisins most.

[3] I don’t remember if this was Auction or Contract Bridge. I don’t know the difference really.

[4] Needless to say I am not invited to euchre games. Stirges.

[5] I can only imagine the goal of the game.

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