Saturday, November 28, 2009

Recollections of a warped mind No. 3 - Game


Over fifty years ago when we were first married we both worked together for the same firm. It was a big national brewery with branches all over England, but that is another story in itself. We had both been brought up in families that found our amusements at home, before the insidious TV ruled the world. So we were used to board and card games and these were always a constant pastime with both relatives and friends.

Our Saturday evenings out were rarely to a commercial establishment but a quiet game of cards or such at another couple's home or they visited us. There was however a social club at work that on Tuesday evenings ran a progressive Whist drive. This old game of cards, a forerunner of Bridge, was a great game for socialising as winning pairs had to split up and either go up or down the tables whilst the losers similarly sat at the same table but with a separate partner.

We were quite adept at the game and often were in the prize money. We got used to the partners that played well and groaned inwardly when the ones that didn't have a clue sat down opposite. Just before Christmas a special event was held and even more couples were encouraged to take part because of the special prizes that had been donated.

As luck would have it, I managed to get the highest score that night. My card was checked and rechecked and I was duly pronounced the winner and invited to go and collect my prize. I could see Maureen beaming all over her face in anticipation. There at the prize table I was duly presented with a brace of Pheasants! When the applause died down I looked back at Maureen and she at me, both with horror on our faces.

As the other minor prizes were awarded we sat together contemplating our luck to have a pair of sad, undressed, feathery birds to take home. As we discussed the possibilities of their disposal to any likely relative or at the worst an early burial for the unfortunate creatures, we were joined by well wishers, saying how lucky we were. As we expressed our doubt of being able to cope with the hanging, plucking, dressing, and other preparation of the prize, let alone the thought of eating them, an interested player with no luck at cards offered to buy them from us.

Never had we ever felt so relieved to hear his words. With scarcely a nod to each other the deal was struck, the birds and money exchanged, and there were happy customers all round.

So it was that in those long gone days we were not game to eat game!

Picture - Brace of Pheasants, Oil painting by Jessica Brown

13 comments:

  1. Great story We always played cards at my friends house. The story reminds me of the time that one day at a market I went for some fish crumbs and won a fish with tail and head. I wasn't happy and held it far in front of me to hand it over as quickly as possible to my mother

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great story, especially the concluding three game meanings.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We always played cards when I was younger and never remember winning a brace of pheasants - Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved your story.
    I can't imagine plucking and fixing up a pheasant and then sitting down to eat it either! My husband's Uncle loved to hunt pheasant and deal with all of the prepping!

    Card games are still big in my house....Cribbage and Euchre are our favourites.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very vivid writing. I loved the expression that passed between you.I used to play progressive whist in the village hall. I usually went down a table.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is funny and you managed a win after all. remind me of the time I won a raffle, a carton of beer, which I don't drink, someone offered to buy it from me,I accepted and gave them a discount on the shelf price.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank God you sold it and didn't acquire a taste for game, then proceed to feed it to us kids. But I am thankful for all the card games we played.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't blame you for not tackling those beasts! I loved the feel of this piece - a real slice of village life which bought to mind being in the local pub on a winter's evening with a wood fire crackling away in the corner..(thanks for your visit to my page too) Jae ..

    ReplyDelete
  9. very express-full writing :)
    I got carried away in your words.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Huuh...That must had been some game.The card game must had been fun but the prize game was really gross.[Also, thank you for commenting on my 'game']

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm wondering what someone thinks that makes them decide to bring something like that for a prize lol - great story!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a lovely memory and well told. I enjoyed reading your tale (sorry, couldn't resist), not only for the play on "game" but for the mention of Whist as a forerunner of Bridge. Thank you also for reading and commenting on my memory as well, though a little grittier. The shared companionship comes through delightfully.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lovely bit of nostalgia Robin. I'm glad you dug that one out.

    ReplyDelete