I don’t know how to explain our obsession with this game.
We must have played ninety-two games while we were camping. Most everybody had at least one or two nights past midnight [way past!] and I gotta say, if I had the chance, I would play it again, right now. I would take anybody as a partner.
The amazing thing is, this year Mikelle finally gave in and learned how to play. Boy howdy, did she learn! I give the credit to Scott because he is the all-time greatest Rook player in the family and he taught her. Not only did Mikelle take up the game after vowing to ban it permanently from her life’s experiences for approximately the past ten years, but, Andie, age 15, also learned and became quite the player, as well. And, then Cam and Nicole got there on Sunday and she learned, too! She picked it up and won several games just like that! Oh Holy Cow [sung, of course, to the Christmas tune, Oh Holy Night.] We now have a baker’s dozen who are as obsessed as I am about the game.
But, apparently, it is more than a game. It’s actually a therapy session. It’s fellow-shipping. It’s listening to the longest stories you’ve ever heard. It’s actually wetting your pants and getting the really nice camp chair soaking wet — and a little smelly. It’s pretty crazy and sometimes it takes forever to get through one hand. Oh, wait. Sometimes it takes forever to just get through the bidding process.
I’ll try to explain it but I really doubt you will get the full picture.
First, we shuffle the cards anywhere from one time, to eleven-teen times. Then we deal them out. Then we realize we don’t have the kitty in, so we shuffle and deal again. Seriously. This happens a LOT! Then we look at our cards, or we look at the kitty if we pick up the wrong pile and pretend we didn’t pick it up on purpose. This only happened a couple of times and I was not the one who picked it up on purpose!
Then we bid. It goes like this:
50, 55, oh, me? 60.
65, 70. Pause.
Where are we? Pointing around the circle: 60. 65. 70.
Hmm. 75. Ugghhhhhh.
Keziah, would you check on Annesley and get me a drink?
So, anyway, I was going into the store to get the watermelon and I saw her standing there and decided, against my better judgement, not to approach her because I only had a few minutes and knew she would talk for twenty . . . . what, is it my bid? OK. 75. What? You already bid 75? Hmm. 80 . . 80 . . No I’d better pass. Wait. What the heck. It’s only a game, 85.
Wait. Let me hear you say 80.
OK. 85. So then she said, are you listening? You look like you are rolling your eyes a little. Anyway, she goes over to the milk and did I tell you she now drinks soy? So, I really couldn’t approach her now; she was standing in the soy section and she’d think I was trying to persuade her or something.
90. How did you get so pretty? I mean, really, I’ve seen a lot of your other cousins who were cute at a young age and didn’t really turn out cute at all. So, anyway, then she really was willing to try the Silk. Did I tell you we love it? And, wait. Keziah, please pick up 50 things in the camper. OK.
90! And then she saw me out of the corner of her eye. Just a minute. Keziah! Did you check on the kids? Did you get my drink? Richard. Do you want to play? Fisher. Buddy, you need to gut that fish and take those dirty socks into the camper. Annesley? Just a minute. Blythe? Are you showering? Richard can you help Annesley put on her shoes? So I had to go over and I said, oh, try this soy. We love it.
We pick up the kitty.
100! Seriously I could go a hundred with that kitty. Crop!!!!!
That explains the after-midnight stuff.