Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Beating Blind People

I got a call on Friday from a friend of mine who apparently had an ongoing couples card game once a month with some friends of theirs. It apparently apprised a normal group of 8 people, which worked out well for having two tables of 4. One of the couples had to cancel, and they had to find some alternates, and they called me and my wife. It was a Sunday evening, so I said, "Why not?"

It had not occurred to me when my friend called to factor in the fact that she was legally blind but not totally blind. She could see a little with a magnifying glass if she holds up a book or a card up really close.

My wife and I got there after a busy Sunday which included a Pet Blessing at St. Mark's. We sat down at a card table, and I suddenly realized that the group of people were all blind, except for me, my wife, and my friend's husband. I didn't know quite how to ask politely, but I was thinking, "How exactly do blind people play cards?"

The cards came out and, lo and behold, the cards had braille markings on them, which was quite clever really. The indentations made the cards really thick, so shuffling was a bit of an adventure.

It was a delightful evening, playing a Nebraska card game called Pitch, with marked cards and blind people. (I'm not making this up, ask my wife.) I am convinced that some Nebraska farmer who made up the rules of the game had been drinking too much ethanol at the time. I ended up winning the tournament and the door prize, even though I had only played Pitch twice in my life.

As we got out to the car, my wife made a good-natured jibe by congratulating me for beating a bunch of blind people at a card game, to which I replied, "Like I would have ever lived it down if I had come in last."

Perhaps it was beginner's luck, but I did feel a bit like a tyrant, because I just couldn't get out of my head the old saying, "In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

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