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Yes, May 22nd really, truly is National Solitaire Day! I love that old-school game and so here are some thoughts on the subject!
I think I played my first hand around the age of fourteen or so. I can’t even remember who taught me how to play. Obviously, this was way before folks played games on a PC or mobile device. There I was with a deck of real frickin’ playin’ cards, hijacking the dining room table, playin’ that game for hours. Not that I didn’t do “outside stuff”, too. All boomer kids played lots of tag, hot-pot and sandlot baseball. And dodge ball, kick ball and tether ball. We did all of it. But I loved Solitaire then and I still do.
I would sometimes play on my bed with the desk chair pulled right up to. Another confession: I’d rarely make my bed unless I was going to play. The cards don’t lay flat on a bed unless it’s pretty damn tidy! Got the visual yet?
That got me into collecting playing cards, too. Still have about a dozen decks in a storage place; my faves are the Pepsi cards and the zebra-backed ones. It doesn’t get any better than that! I’d had up to twenty or so decks, not sure how many of those I could lay my hands on if I made the trek to storage and started lookin’ around… Hoping the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles deck is still there…
These days, of course, it’s so convenient to play on a tablet. One of my fave time-wasters. Oh, no! Make that my absolutely fave. Nothing comes close. I don’t play any other games; downloaded Missile Command and some other classic Atari Games, but I don’t put down the Solitaire long enough to play the others. Yeah, it’s an addiction. I don’t deny it.
Unlike many other hard-core players, I don’t really chase points. It’s a bit like wine drinking; it’s better and more fun if you pace yourself and go for max enjoyment and not for shear speed. Not too different from the way I travel; I like to get off the interstate sometimes and check out the local stuff, rather than just jetting around at 80 mph for the sake of making time. You know, the journey, not the destination.
Solitaire. Not a bad past time for a dinosaur like me. But I’m not entirely old-school here; while my fave decks of 52 are languishing in storage, I’m in the recliner with my Kindle Fire, playing an ancient game on a 21st Century tech toy. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
“Bulldog Ben” Basile
© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile
Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile