Old Maid

Old Maid CardsChapter 24 of Jo Ann Bock’s book, Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in Eighty Years is entitled Games, Games, and More Games.

Even before those Monopoly-dominated years of the 1940s, I spent my earliest years playing card games like Old Maid, (today the game would be politically incorrect, giving way to an updated title such as Career Girl or Miss Independence),” she wrote.

A trip to the sock drawer

Old Maid Cards 2That reminded me that I had a bunch of old playing cards in the back of my sock drawer. My sock drawer is the repository for miscellaneous old heirlooms that don’t fit any other place. There is plenty of room because this is Florida where socks aren’t a big priority.

I showed the cards to Wife Lila: “Do you know what card game these are for?”

“Old Maid, [dummy].” The “dummy” part was unstated, but clearly implied. “They came in pairs except for the Old Maid. The person holding the Old Maid was the loser.”

Not much of a card player

Old Maid Cards 4I never was much of a game player. I dismiss board games as bored games and nearly got drummed out of the newspaper business when it became known that I never learned how to play poker.

Dad and I spent many an hour in the basement playing gin rummy and canasta, but I think it was mostly so he could win back my allowance. I might be able to pick up gin rummy again, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten all the arcane rules of canasta.

 Around the Town

Old Maid Cards 5P.S. I’ll have a review of Jo Ann Bock’s book in the next few days, but if you want to beat me to finishing it, you can pick it up on Amazon at this link. Here’s an even better deal: sign up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime by January 10, and you can get the Bock book with free two-day shipping. You can cancel any time in the 30 days (and I get a $10 bounty for signing you up, even if you bail).

Where’s the Old Maid, you ask? She either dried up and blew away or she ran off with one of the odd socks that’s missing from my sock drawer.