Monday, October 04, 2010

Fifteen two, four, six.........

If that title means anything at all to you, you've played cribbage. My dad was taught to play cribbage by a hospital roommate many decades ago, and that was the start of countless games between the two of us. We loved our cribbage games so much that one year I bought him a giant cribbage board, four feet long. Because he lived in Florida, mud-daubing wasps filled up all the holes. But I cleaned them out, and I still have the board somewhere. I should find it and hang it up.

This week I discovered online cribbage, playing against the computer. Believe me, it is not as much fun as playing with Harry. But I was surprised at how quickly the game came back to me, considering it's probably been close to 20 years since I've played. And I learned something else. There's a certain lingo attached to cribbage, and after I played a few rounds with the computer I began to remember it. It felt good to speak it aloud.

"See one, play one."
"Fifteen four is all I score."

I don't know why cards are so much fun. How we found hilarity in sitting at a table staring at them and adding up points, I have no idea. But we did. The banter was fast and funny, our laughter frequent.

My dad loved playing cards. If we had a group, we played knock rummy. If it was just the two of us, we played cribbage, honeymoon bridge, or some variation on rummy. And you had to play for money with my father. Not a lot of money, but some coins had to exchange hands at the end of the evening. Said coins usually ended up in his hand.

My daughter Jill was the only one of my kids to inherit the card gene. She and I played several different games, but it is our hilarious double-solitaire battles I remember best. No money was involved, but you'd think we were playing for megabucks the way our hands slammed those cards down to beat the other to the center. Like her grandfather, she usually beat me.

Playing against a computer really can't compare. No matter how many qualities one tries to attribute to one's opponent, it's just a hunk of metal. And the charming British accent of the recorded scorekeeper fails to save the experience from being so quiet. Maybe this is why I find myself saying out loud all those expressions my dad taught me so long ago.

"Fifteen two is all I do."


Bridgett said...

MAkes me want to get my friends over to play Hand and Foot.

crystal said...

Oh, I have a cribbage board too - my grnadfather's. He and my grandmother used to play cards also - she had a bridge club and he played cribbage and solitaire. He taught me solitaire but I never did learn cribbage. Are there cribbage games online where you can play with other people? I've been playing scrabble online with my sister :)

Indigo Bunting said...


Mali said...

My dad enjoyed cribbage. I have fond memories of him and my husband playing cribbage every night when my parents were visiting us in Bangkok. They'd sit playing at the dining table with a glass of whisky, whilst my mother and I chatted.

I didn't inherit the card gene.

Mali said...

PS Bridgett, to me Hand and Foot sounds like a disease. I'd better go Google it!

Susan said...

Thanks for all these nice comments! I managed to go a month without posting, and I wouldn't blame you if you'd forgotten about me. Good thing I'm not trying to make money from blogging. :-)

Crystal, I could play against a real person online. But I wouldn't want to do that unless I knew the person. Call it fear of commitment. :-)