Time for the Unusual No-Trump Overcall


‘Hoping against hope that an Orange King isn’t in the cards’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: politics really has no place in LutheranLiarLand. But these are, as that Chinese curse would have it, ‘unusual times’. Which means I’ve broken my rule once or twice. So sue me. (See ‘The Boss Who Got Banished to Belgium’ and ‘Libertarian Blonde’ for recent examples of quasi-political straying.)

But today is Election Day. Finally. I figure I’ve got very little to lose by venturing out on that Political Limb. Most of you have already made up your minds — or even voted already. (If you haven’t, please stop reading this right now and get out there! Unless, of course, you’re planning to vote for the Orange Guy, in which case you can keep right on reading. In fact, why not read all 135 of my posts? Maybe, just maybe, you can finish before the polls close.)

But back to the point of this post. Besides the obvious Donald Dig, did you notice the bridge reference? No, not like George Washington Bridge. Bridge as in the game of bridge. Lessons in which I am taking. Learning bridge is hard. So hard it makes my head spin around and smoke come out my ears. Kind of like what happens when I watch Donald in a debate.

So why take bridge lessons, you ask? Continue reading

The Smarts against the Dumbs


‘Show me a kid who grows up playing games, and I’ll show you a grownup who knows how to play games.’

If you have the good fortune to have access to the New York Times on Sunday (forgive the local journalistic boosterism), then you may already be familiar with a feature called ‘Sunday Routine’. New Yorkers of all stripes, including Jim Grant (better known as Lee Child), are asked about their, um, Sunday routines. Heady stuff.

Most of the New Yorkers profiled here, interestingly enough, do much the same as me and everyone else on a Sunday: read the paper, and drink coffee. (‘Lee Child’ drinks even more coffee on Sunday than I do, and that’s saying something.)

Well. I was giving this week’s piece (about some landscape designer or whatever) a perfunctory skim when I noticed her saying that her son wakes her every Sunday with a demand to play ‘Sorry!’. I felt an immediate connection with Whatshername, even though she’s decades younger and lives in a row house in Queens. And it was all about that demand to play a game.

When I was a kid — and even when The Child was actually a child — games were a big deal. I don’t, alas, have photographic evidence, but I swear on a stack of Scrabble dictionaries that we did in fact play hours and hours of Sorry! Also Clue (Miss Purple in the library with a candlestick, anyone?) and Monopoly. (I liked to ‘be’ the iron, for some strange reason.) Board games were big. Very big. And, of course, there was Scrabble. But before I get into Scrabble, let’s talk about cards. Continue reading