Saturday, January 12, 2008


There are two kinds of gin.

We have both of them here, at Home. With one of them becoming more and more outrageous, we may have to break out the other.

When I first mentioned gin to Loo, she had never played the game... I was weaned on it, my mother a card playing fool, who is one of the best poker players I know, and who can shuffle a deck of cards with the skill of a Vegas card shark. She taught me gin when I was in my teens, in order to hone her own skills... and it was one place we bonded when all else was chaos.

It's a place we still can meet and enjoy each other even when we barely speak away from the table. I taught HRH this game, bringing it into the third generation.

Understand, we do not play gin, we live the game. There are curses you throw, you do the titty dance (don't ask) and we run victory laps. Sadly, HRH has inherited my mother and my "Ah HA! I've won!" cackle, a sound that lifts the hair off the back of your neck when all of us are issuing forth as we grab cards off the pile of discards in a heated game. Our games go on for the entire time we are together, and lingeredthereafter, when Mother had left.

I never thought to find someone else who'd have that desire, that burn-that cackle.

I introduced Loo to this tradition three years ago, on my last trip to her home. We decided to play a few hands, then go to bed before our 'Let's play tourist' day in London.

We went to bed at 4AM after 2,ooo points and a bottle of vodka.

The neighbors below were treated to cackles, victory dances, mad screams of "You FUCKING cow!" whoops, and slapping cards.

She was a true gin player.

We've kept the book up, she brought it over when she came to the Land O'Utes to visit me and we've also kept score on little bits of paper... which I've lost, so, although the official score is only around 2715 each (can you imagine it's even!), unofficially, it's around 4,000 points.

MB has taken an interest. At first, she was hesitant, playing slowly, carefully, silently. Now she sits, hunched over her cards, cursing like a sailor, doing the titty dance and "doing a Patsy".

A Patsy is when you make a move my mother made famous... picking up a huge number of cards in order to play a single one--then hoping no one goes out, leaving you with a handful of points.

Another rule of Patsy is, always keep your aces.


This has accounted for me sitting there, when Loo goes out, with two aces and a two face cards, thus, putting me 400 points behind her for most of this trip.

Last night, we went dead even on points.

It will be an interesting last few days... MB is far behind us point wise, but, fully caught up in the trash talk, and the gris gris thrown, each of us with our own good luck move, the idea this is all about laughing, enjoyment, the thrill of victory and cackling in the loser's face.

It's bonding and something to do during the day, when you have your tea, and say, "Okay, one hand...." breaking the cards out, the curses start, and the new neighbors wonder what in the world is going on as voices cry out "BUGGER ME!"

When just the two of us play, we ban three of a kind throws, to make it more interesting. We twitch, seeing two or three cards sitting there, knowing they are no good. Trash talk picks up even more.

"You see that card? That card is shit."

"Wait, let me move my cards still nothing."

"Did you shuffle? Buggeryfuck, I don't think you did."

Nothing like a game of gin to get the blood going, traditions to look forward to, as the book crosses the pond to carry on that tradition, and a good Patsy to cause a gasp at the table.

I likes me gin, both kinds.

If she doesn't stop picking up 20 cards and winning, I'm going to need more of the liquid kind.

Our Neville Fact:

Neville worked as an Environment Officer, for the Devonshire Council. He drove a Ford Mondeo, checking on farmers around the villages, making sure they kept healthy animals. Upon his retirement, he purchased an A4, which he only uses to drive in and out of the garage or to Waitrose and bought Margaret a VW Polo, a bog standard car. The pen set in his pocket was for 30 years of excellent service to the government . Before he started with the Council, he was a Regular in Her Majesty's Army, in the Supply Office, serving as a clerk in Quartermasters Stores, in Inverness, where he met Margaret. His job there was providing urinal cakes to all of the latrines, making sure they were sent to the proper camps. He also worked with the Boy Scouts when he left the Army, helping them with their camping badges, comforting them when they were frightened at night. There is nothing Neville likes more than when Margaret makes Spotted Dick for the sweet when they have tea. He wept when the Queen Mother died.

DISCLAIMER: Neville facts are totally the creation of FMD. Or, are they?


constant_drama said...

Hehehehe. This story iz funnay (am chanelling LOLcats). Oh you know, I dunno how to play gin. You should really teach me how to play it one of these days.

Your Neville fact is so amusing. I fucking love it.

guestofaguest said...

I use to know how to play gin ages ago, now i just drink it :(

Quin said...

cd~this can be done.

gog~it's easy to relearn, even easier when you are consuming the liquid kind.

golfwidow said...

I'd have to reprogram my brain for gin. We play Rummy 500 or Spades, and those are finite.

Quin said...

gw~i'll teach you. the cackle is the most important thing. that and talking smack. and cursing. and gris gris. and shit.

Peter Varvel said...

Backstage, on a cruise ship, we used to do the pee pee dance.

I love the phrase "stroppy cow." Never in the U.S. would you . . .