C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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Card Games

February 12, 2013   

I sit at my desk thoughtfully shuffling a deck of cards.  I have always loved shuffling cards, as it introduces unbridled chaos into perfect order.  Those little numbers which used to count off one, two and three are now completely jumbled with kings and queens of various suits.  There is little reason and scarcely a discernible pattern in this stack of cards.

Unfortunately, this dramatic re-sequencing is about all I can accomplish with a deck of cards.  Do not ask me to draw a hand or deal someone in—card games are a foreign concept to me.  As a child, I could not see the appeal in sitting around the table with a few numbered leaflets.  The games seemed to require little skill and had no tangible object other than winning; so I wandered away from card tables in pursuit of different ventures.

I firmly believe this ineptitude with cards is an inherited trait—my family enjoys little interaction with games of chance.  We seldom entertain board games or card games; we rarely keep complete decks of cards in the house.  Not one of us tries to learn a game – how to beat the odds – because not one of us sees the appeal.  So we wallow in our ineptitude.

But now, I regret not finding the time to learn at least the basics of poker or hearts.  Cards are an easy pastime, and they crop up in many social interactions.

On the Hill, long, dull periods of time are livened up with a stack of cards.  The games are more telling than they first appear.  They reveal who is cool under pressure, who is a gracious winner, who is a courteous loser and who is not.  But much to my chagrin, I sit out and look on each hand confusedly, offering disjointed commentary and unhelpful advice.  These games also reveal that I know absolutely nothing about cards.