Saturday, 28 November 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