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Playing cards is fun. I quite enjoy it. But being the only PDn DW D FDUG JDPH wLWK fiYH other women … well, that could be challenging if not handled tactfully.
And sometimes, tact is not my strong suit. Knowing that, it was with some trepidation that on our recent YDFDWLRn GRwn WKH VKRUH, , sat down to play cards at a table full of forty-something women.
These were longtime pals of The Blonde Accountant, a few of her running buddies from when they were all 20-somethings and spending summers in Sea Isle City. Back then, I was spending my summers in Iowa and ,OOLnRLV FRUnfiHOGV DnG JLYHn what I know now, I’m pretty sure life in Sea Isle City in the 1980s was a lot more fun and interesting than it was in East Jablip, Iowa.
These days, some of the wRPHn DUH wLYHV, VRPH DUH moms and some are single moms. It was a weekend away from the real world of jobs, menfolk and kids, a chance to lie on the beach during the lazy summer days and then blow off some steam during the breezy summer nights by indulging in two popular VKRUH DFWLYLWLHV — thoroughly LnYHVWLJDWLnJ the wonders of FROG DGuOW EHYerages and playing a card game with an obscene name that can’t be printed in a family newspaper.
Of course, as the only man in the card JDPH, , PDy DV wHOO KDYH just painted a big bull’s eye on my forehead. My fiUVW WKRuJKW RnFH wH VDW down to deal the cards was WR VWRS, GURS DnG UROO. , fiJuUHG , GLGn’W KDYH PuFK RI D FKDnFH RI VuUYLYLnJ, PuFK less winning a hand or two.
BuW LI LW’V DnyWKLnJ ,’YH learned as a longtime member of the Stupid Man’s Club, it’s that when in a card game, just shut up and play cards.
The name of the card game itself is a one-word lesson in anatomy that oftentimes is a synonym for the word “jerk,” as in “That guy is a real [jerk].” For the purposes of this discusVLRn, KRwHYHU, wH will call the game “Gopherhole.”
The object of the game is to get rid of one’s cards. It reminded me a lot of the game UNO. But this game has the added attraction of creDWLYH nDPLnJ FRnYHnWLRnV and musical chairs. And, of course, there is some drinkLnJ LnYROYHG.
The winner of each hand LV FDOOHG VRPHWKLnJ ,’YH DOready forgotten, so we’ll call it “Grand Poohbah.” The person who gets rid of all her cards next is the “Assistant Grand Poohbah.” The person who gets rid of her cards second to last is the “As- sistant Gopherhole” and the last person holding a card is the “Gopherhole.”
One’s order in getting rid of cards determines where one sits for the next hand, hence the musical chairs portion of the game. And so it goes.
Fortunately for me, the women seemed content enough to allow me a seat at the table, as long as I kept UHODWLYHOy TuLHW. AV D IRUPDOOy WUDLnHG REVHUYHU, , FDn on occasion keep my piehole closed long enough to actuDOOy REVHUYH VRPHWKLnJ. AnG here is what I learned about playing cards with a group of women:
• 7KHy DUH SUHWWy KDUG Rn WKHPVHOYHV DERuW KRw WKHy look at this stage of their OLYHV, DnG IUDnNOy, WKHy DUH EHLnJ unIDLU WR WKHPVHOYHV. They all looked fabulous, just like they did when they were about 28 years old. I made sure to stay out of the crosshairs on that one when the opportunity presented itself by saying, “vou all look fabulous, just like you did when you were 25.” (Although I didn’t exactly adhere to the “Mike Needs to Just Shut Up Rule,” I did cut three more years off the age comment just to be safe.)
• SDOWy ODnJuDJH LV nRW H[FOuVLYHOy OLPLWHG WR PHn’V FDUG JDPHV. /LVWHn, ,’YH sometimes got more salt in my language than there is in the Atlantic Ocean, so I am familiar with the words. But I am not exaggerating when I say the language used in WKLV FDUG JDPH wRuOG KDYH made sailors, truckers and pirates blush. I will add, KRwHYHU, WKDW wKHn SODyLnJ cards, women seem to spit and scratch a whole lot less than men do, which I think is probably a good thing.
• PDyLnJ DWWHnWLRn WR WKH card game and not to the FROG DGuOW EHYHUDJHV LV Dn HIIHFWLYH wDy WR VWDy RuW of the Gopherhole chair — which is exactly what I did DOO HYHnLnJ. ,n IDFW, , GLGn’W lose a hand the entire time, WKuV , GLGn’W KDYH WR VwLWFK chairs. Not once. Hey, I’m D FRPSHWLWLYH Juy wKHn LW comes to card playing. I GRn’W EHOLHYH WKH wRPHn realized this until it was time for The Blonde AcFRunWDnW DnG PH WR OHDYH. And rats, I wish I could KDYH WKH VDPH NLnG RI wLnning luck at the casinos in Atlantic City, where there LV DFWuDO PRnHy LnYROYHG.
But it was a fun and enterWDLnLnJ HYHnLnJ DnG , TuLWH enjoyed playing cards with the Friends of TBA. It’s a good group and I hope we get to play more cards on our nH[W VKRUH YDFDWLRn.
At the risk of sounding too much like a gopherhole, I SODn Rn wLnnLnJ HYHUy KDnG the next time, too. Deal the cards, ladies.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-5420200, ext. 415, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column can be found at www.montgomerynews.com.
Outta Leftfield Mike Morsch