I like playing cards, my favorite games being 500 & “Spit”. I’m pretty sure my father taught us to play 500, while we learned, I believe, “Spit” at my grandmother’s on those Friday’s my brother, sister and I stayed there. My dad is great at 500, and as kids, we could never beat him. Still can’t. One year on vacation in Florida in the 90’s my brother, sister and I were in the condo late at night playing 500, whoever reached the 500 points would get the trophy, an empty bottle of Coke. Why Coke? Really because it was the only thing there to use as a trophy.
I remember playing cards a lot at my grandmother’s. We’d build card houses too. The decks of cards were always in this one dresser drawer & there were several decks with holes in the center, which later on in life I learned were used casino decks. While we would play 500 or “Spit”, my brother taught my sister and I a game called “52 Pick Up.” The teaching went like this:
My brother, “You guys want to play ’52 Pick Up’?” he asks while holding a deck of cards.
My sister and I together, “OK.”
He then throws the deck of cards on the ground. “Pick them up.”
52 cards in a deck. “Pick them up”. We fell for this once.
Below are two decks of Disney cards. The first is a deck of Pirates of the Caribbean cards. The back of the card has the pirates’ movie logo, while the front of the card has Marc Davis Pirate character sketches. The second is a deck of Haunted Mansion cards. The back of the card says The Haunted Mansion, while the front has the characters from the stretching room. This deck glows in the dark.
Cards were something Rich & I used to play too. In the 90’s when we were in our late teens, early twenties, we’d play games of “Spit” with our friend Keith. He was the quickest at the game & the toughest to beat. He was like the mutant Quicksilver from X-men, it was tough to beat him & when I did it would be a feeling of triumphant. When I didn’t, he’d throw a card around the room like he was Gambit from the X-men. When Rich & I were older we’d play 500. He was very good at this game and pretty much always won & I finally found out why. He never rushed. While I’d be quick to get a match & try to get out, he’d pick from the pile making match after match, so even if I went out & he had cards left in his hand, not many points would be deducted from his total.
Playing with my family and Rich meant two things. With my family, whenever you went out you’d usually make a comment, laugh & threw the card down while you said, “I’m out”, which prompted us to throw ours down too in frustration. With Rich we’d trash talk, the most famous clichéd line being, “Are we going to talk or play cards?” We never played for money, I knew how to play 21 of course, but I never really got the hang of poker. In fact the only two times I’ve been to a casino was with Rich & Keith. Both were times when I was unemployed and we went after midnight. Keith would play the tables; Rich & I stuck to the slot machines or walked around the hotel.
Cards were a great way to spend an evening and one thing we still do. My sister and I recently started playing 500 again. The usual throwing down the cards or shouting, “Come on” when we’d take from the pile messing the other players chance of getting a match happens.
One day I’d like to play 500 again with Rich. But this time, I want the score to go to 500 million.