For a little while my blogging may have a different theme. Meaning, for a little while my blogging may actually have a theme.
THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART I
DEALING POKER (AND MOST CARD GAMES)
An old friend at the Rugby, introduced me to her neighbour Sandy from Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs between Hornsby and Chatswood).
In quite a moving way, Sandy proceeded to explain to me that her husband walked out 13 years ago and left her to raise her seven-year-old son and two slightly older daughters. I was wondering why she was sideline-baring her soul to me and was a tad nervous she was a bit of a nutter (which it turned out she wasn’t). Luckily she got me at half-time, so she had my full attention.
She told me her son Rick is smart, caring and gentle and she’s incredibly proud of him, but having grown up with three women, he’s socially… (she was looking for the right term).
Me – “Socially retarded?”
Sandy – “Awkward”, (damn, I shouldn’t have suggested a word). “I’m concerned Rick doesn’t yet know what it means to be a man, especially in social settings”.
I nodded as she spoke.
Me – “Does he support NRL or Rugby? I know Sea Eagles and the Aussie Super Rugby teams are in a bit of a slump, but club Rugby is amazi-”
Sandy (interjecting) – “Soccer”.
Me – “Oh dear. Ok then, has he never seen a bloke publically get up an old mate who’s put on a heap of weight?”
Sandy – “Absolutely not”.
Me – “Shit. He’s never been told on the sideline with a bloody nose, I know you’re hurtin’ son but you have to go back on, your team needs you?”
Sandy (her lip trembled) – “He plays tennis”.
Me – “Aaah. Never learnt the basics of poker?”
Sandy – “Hearts.”
Me – “Yikes. He does need some help. Doesn’t know he can piss in the backyard if it’s just too far to walk back to the house?”
Sandy – “I didn’t know that was a thing.”
Me – “Oh it’s certainly a thing. Never seen a bloke lying hung-over on the couch, wasting a perfectly good Sunday after having been out with the lads the previous night?”
Sandy – “No! He doesn’t know any of that! Now I know we’ve only just met, but it’s important. Could you write some blogs on things my twenty-year-old son should know? The reason I asked to be introduced to you is that Rick and some of his mates read your blog and think it’s, well… cool. He won’t listen to me, even if I knew what to tell him.”
I thought, sipped my latte and subtly checked how many minutes before the second-half started.
Me – “Sandy I’d love to help Rick, especially if he and all his mates think my blog is so super-cool (my mind was ticking over). I’ll blog the stuff he probably won’t find written about by anyone else.”
She hugged me and left. Lindfield kicked off.
THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY
Rick, when you start to make your way through life, there is one overriding principle you should learn early and practice often, as it will make your progression much smoother and easier.
Don’t annoy the older blokes!
Let me give an example.
It’s best to go through life never gambling.
In the same way it’s best to go through life – never getting on the piss, never having a ciggie, never eating KFC, never getting stoned, never skipping lectures, never having a messy room, never vomiting in your mum’s Maidenhair Fern, never getting fired, never coming home with one shoe and never coveting your mate’s girlfriend. But realistically Rick, that shit happens when you’re twenty.
There will inevitably be a time that you’re playing poker. Whether it’s at the local pub, on a buck’s or in your mate’s garage, there’s one piece of etiquette which must be heeded to not give the absolute shits to the older blokes (those of us who do know poker).
When you’re dealing, DON’T… FLIP… THE… CARD… TOWARDS… YOU… and NEVER LOOK AT IT FIRST.
If you’re dealing you must flip the card away from you, towards your opponents. And you must flip it quickly and don’t look at it before the other players.
This sounds to non-poker players, a small thing. However to poker-experienced men, small it is not. A “deal-peeper” is generally either a newbie (if that’s the case you probably should prepare for a night of really hard lessons) or just doesn’t give a shit about common poker courtesy. Both of which you want to avoid. A “deal-peeper” unfairly gaining that one extra moment to decide on a “clever” comment like “you got a hand like a foot” or “you played that like a vegan”, is unacceptable.
Another important part of poker Rick, is knowing how your chip stack compares to everybody else’s. So it’s polite to stack yours so all players can quickly see how many/much you have at any time. There is nothing more freaken annoying than some bloke who conceals his valuable chips behind a wall of red ones, hiding it like it’s his f#cking Browsing History! Nobody’s going to steal them! You’re not building the Trojan Wall out of Lego!
Put your chips in rows, by colour, so we can all see instantly what each other have got and get on with the game.
Rick when my brother and I in the early 90’s had to travel to Campsie, Marrickville and Blacktown to play cash-games in the homes of dodgy blokes of… ill-repute, we luckily knew to flip the cards away from us, without looking at them and didn’t try to hide our chips. Luckily. Can’t say the same for our old mate Brett “Deal Peeper” Jorgenson… God I miss him (just joking, he’s fine… now).
Welcome to being a man Rick! It’s amazing, but it comes with certain obligations. One of which is don’t annoy the older blokes! More things I wish somebody’d told me at twenty, to follow.
Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.
If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase.