“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


One Chance in 216,580

Saturday, May 13, 2006

This morning, my Geek asked if I'd like to go out for breakfast. This is a common practice with us on Saturday mornings. We go to Perkins or Panera or a local coffee shop, have a leisurely breakfast and play a game or two of cribbage. This morning I told him no, I'd rather stay home. I had stuff to do, it was cloudy and rainy, and I had a good book to read. I just didn't feel like going out. A little later though, I relented when I realized there really wasn't much in the house for the Geek's breakfast. (He's not a big fan of Special K. Go figure.)

We packed up our cribbage set and some books I wanted to return to the nearby library and headed out to Panera. After we sat down with our pastries and drinks (Panera makes the best Chai ever!), we played one game, which I won by just a smidge. That was nice, but I wanted more since he had just skunked me recently. (For those non-cribbage players out there, that means basically that he left me in his dust.)

Towards the end of the second game, I was winning again, by quite a bit this time, though he had already passed the skunk point. He joked that he would have to get the elusive 29 point hand to win the game since I was just a few points from the end. Then his eyes glazed over. I asked why he was "spacing". He chuckled and answered that he was imagining what he would do if he actually did get a 29 hand. "I'd probably stand up and say, 'Ladies and gentlemen,' and announce it to the room." I smiled and dealt the next hand.

I looked at my cards. Jack of spades, 10, 7, 5, 5, 5. "Hmmm," I thought. "This is a pretty good hand." I then proceeded to debate in my mind whether I should lay down the 10 or the Jack since I knew I was keeping the 5s and dropping the 7 into my crib. (My apologies to those of you who don't know cribbage. Suffice it to say it should have been an obvious decision.) At the moment, I didn't even realize what I was holding...the potential to get that elusive 29 point hand.

Fortunately, I decided to keep the Jack, 5, 5, 5 and flipped the card on the deck that the Geek had cut. It was a 5....of spades.

That's when it hit me.

No, it couldn't be...could it? I started figuring furiously. I knew it was... but was it really? No, it's not possible. The Geek looked at me and said something – I can't remember what. I just grinned, not knowing what to do. Do I show it? Do I play the hand? He said my lip was trembling. Do I continue? Do I tell him? Aaaah! I didn't know what to do!

When I finally realized that a) there was really no point in playing out the hand, and b) my face had given away the fact that something big had happened, I layed out the hand on the table.

There it was. Like a fable given form. The legendary 29 point hand.

He laughed, and said something. I'm not sure what. Then he set down his cards on the table and stood up with a huge grin on his face. With his arms out wide, he shouted in his big booming voice, "Ladies and gentlemen, do we have any cribbage players in the room?" A couple people looked at him like he was crazy. The rest just ignored him. Then he announced to the entire room that I had just gotten a 29 point hand...the highest you can get in cribbage. "You'll be lucky to ever see this in your lifetime," he announced and then sat down.

A few older people came over to see the hand and tell us their own stories of 29 point hands, or close calls with them. One guy even shook my hand in congratulations. I'm sure my face was glowing red, but the Geek is still alive, which proves the power of my will, not to mention the depths of my love for him.

We very carefully packed up the cards hand by hand, and left the pegs in the board. The Geek has always said that if he ever got a 29 hand he would frame the hand and burn the deck, but since I won it instead, we're going to frame the whole thing. He's going to make a shadow box with the board and all the cards layed out just like they were in the game.

I got a 29 point hand. Hee hee.

I'm such a geek.


At 5/13/2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous Jeana wrote:

That is so great! I don't have a clue about cribbage, but I was laughing out loud about this. Congrats! And what a great guy, that he could bask in your glory!

At 5/13/2006 4:28 PM, Anonymous HolyMama! wrote:

i'm not a cribbage player, but that didn't stop me from loving every bit of this. y'all are too cute. 'he said my lip was trembling...' oh my gosh y'all are a riot!

At 5/14/2006 9:13 AM, Blogger Stephanie wrote:

I don't know a thing about cribage either but this story is great, I can just picture it in my head:) What a great sport your hubby is, he's a keeper:)

At 5/14/2006 8:02 PM, Blogger yellojkt wrote:

I used to play cribbage with my grandmother all the time. I need a refresher on the scorer though. Congrats!

At 5/15/2006 10:05 AM, Blogger Praying for your Prodigal wrote:

I am clueless about cribbage....or most card games for that matter...but I actually got goosebumps while reading your post! Congratulations! What a memorable breakfast!



At 5/15/2006 11:14 AM, Blogger Julie Carobini wrote:

Cribbage! Who knew that somewhere out there people still played that! Kidding. Actually, I've got no idea what it is. And that's not exactly true anymore, thanks to you and your hilarious story. Thanks for that! You two know how to have a good time :-)

At 5/15/2006 11:26 AM, Blogger Blond Girl wrote:

Even having heard it in person, the narrative was wonderful. I'm actually giggling here at work. The Geek is a wonder and I am amazed that you let him live after the public announcement. However, I can TOTALLY see him doing it. Absolutly, completely TOTALLY see every moment of it.

Can't wait to see the shadow box! Make him do it now; don't let it wait until the house is built, ok?

At 7/05/2006 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote:

OMG!!!! I would have been thrilled beyond words to get that 29 point hand! I had a 24 last week, with 6 in the cribb. I didn't know you loved to play... my family, we're all junkies!!!



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