Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

welcome to the old west

My mother is visiting from Tennessee this weekend, and that usually means game night at my sister's house.

I love game night. I would spend every weekend playing board games, card games, trivia games, and the like. I just can't get enough. Why? I love to win. And everyone knows, I always win.

Well…I usually win.

We were playing a rather complicated card game called Phase 10, and right off the bat, the game got heated…we’re a competitive bunch, remember?  The first round of the game each player is trying to get two sets of threes in their hand, and then must get rid of the rest of their cards.  The first one “out” wins the round, and anyone left holding cards adds the total to their score.  The players who “phase” get to move on to round two, while the players who do not complete the “phase” are forced to complete phase one in the next round.  So not only are you trying to have the smallest score, but make it all the way to phase 10!

Like I said…complicated.

There were eight of us playing.  So, there we were in round one, and player after player is phasing in record time.  I had never played a round of Phase 10 that moved so smoothly.  At the end of round one everyone had phased except my mother, my niece Crystal’s fiancé Nick, and my sister’s friend Robin.  So,  six of us had moved to the next round.  It was almost unheard of.

As my mother and Nick counted their cards to discover they were both holding well over a hundred points each, Mom started laughing.  And not just laughing, it was more of a cackle.  And I say that with the utmost respect.  My mother was without a doubt, cackling.  She was up to something, of that, there was no doubt.

“I have to tell you something.” She started…her confession it would seem.  “I stacked the deck.  It was Nick’s idea!”  She continued on, confessing and cackling. 

Nick piped up.  “We were supposed to get all those wild cards…”

The cackling started again.  “…and it would have worked to, if Nick hadn’t cut the cards!”

We were all laughing then.

My mother was the only person I knew who could stack the deck and not get a single wild card!  We all agreed that if this had been the old west, she would have been shot, and it would have been considered justified.  She’s just lucky none of us were packing…and Dad wasn’t there!

She tried to get us to start over, but as punishment for her treachery, we let the round stand.  I would like to say that it gave me a head start on my usual win…but it would be a flat out lie.  I didn’t make it past phase 4.  And if not for a stroke of last round luck, I would have finished dead last.  But hey, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do…a strategic skip card played to my husband’s  twelve year old daughter kept her from phasing in the final round, and with the hand she had…it loaded her score just high enough to beat mine.  Yeah…maybe it was harsh…but I really didn’t want to lose! 

Until the next time…I think I’ll suggest another game for tomorrow night!

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