A House of Cards

Evil PlanOver the last several days, my world has revolved around poop. Or more specifically the complete lack of it. My little lord tyrant has once again been suffering from a blockage in his lower tract, a chronic problem stemming from a combination of his hypermobility and the logic-defying, adamantium clad will of a stubborn three-year-old. He is unbreakable! And so apparently, nearly was that poop.

I know you are as excited to learn this tidbit as I have been to live it. Unfortunately, you will just have to wait for other articles on the subject or go to other blogs because I seriously need a break. The worst is over…for now, so in the words of Monty Python, let’s now move onto something completely different.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to join Lamont’s (aka the hubby’s) Rotary club for its first annual casino night. Proceeds from ticket sales would go to charity/outreach, but I was looking forward to it as an excuse to glam up and throw the children at the mercy of a babysitter. Gambling is technically illegal in the state of North Carolina, so instead of using real money, each guest was given three $100 bills (bank of Milton Bradley) which could then be exchanged for plastic chips at the table. Chips of a certain value could then be turned in for raffle tickets (it’s the economic circle of life); the grand prize being a flat screen TV.

The room was packed with card tables and eager players. After dazzling one dealer with my grasp of the rules of Texas Hold’Em (by ‘dazzling’ I mean irritating and by ‘grasp’ I mean a complete lack thereof) I wandered to a table more my speed. Blackjack. The cards just have to be closer to twenty one than the dealer’s without going over. No bluffing. No double blinds. Just simple math with a dash of luck.

Poker fail
image courtesy of flickr

My mom, who was also attending the event along with my sister and their respective spouses, had been playing for a while as I settled into an open spot at her table. Mom’s game is Bridge, and within seconds it was clear that she was as equally out of her comfort zone playing Blackjack as I was at the poker table. This dealer, Joe, didn’t seem to mind playing teacher as well as cards (Mom is adorable when she is clueless). A casual suggestion or nod of his head and Mom was soon winning about as much as anyone else at the table. My sister joined us as Mom went on a hot streak. Others began to notice. They really didn’t have a choice. We were loud. We laughed. We teased. We had a great time.

After what felt like a minute, the emcee announced that we were nearing the end of the night. By this time, my luck had come and gone. Joe looked at Mom’s hand. “You want to double down,” he stated more than asked. I looked at her hand too. She had already bet practically everything she had. She didn’t have enough to double her bet. I looked at my cards and my remaining chips. But I did.

I placed a $100 chip (my last) beside hers. “She doubles down!” I said.

“No,” she looked at me in shock. If we lost, I would be out of the game. I would have to spend the remaining evening watching others enjoy their fun from a distance.

“Why not?” I answered (In Mom I trust). The expression on her face, as she realized I was willing to risk it all for her, was worth the cost of our ticket.

The final cards were dealt. Joe displayed the house’s hand.


The three of us jumped up and down, shouting with excitement as Joe slid the winnings her way (tween girls at a boy-band concert have nothing on us).

We didn’t walk away with the TV that night (neither of us really needed one anyway), but instead walked away with an evening that will go down in the family’s history. Some people will describe a house of cards to be one that is weak, one that is built on a shaky foundation, but in our case the cards made our family stronger, and a well deserving civic group gained guaranteed attendees for next year’s event.

spend time with those you love
image courtesy of flickr

8 thoughts on “A House of Cards

  1. Great article, really captured the moment and now, more than anything I feel I owe Joe a drink if he dares to come back next year!



  2. I taught myself to count cards years ago, but never got to test out my skills during a live game. It’s probably a good thing. I don’t need some goon named Salvatore “feeding me to the fishes.”


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