The card game of bridge used to be very popular way back when (those old enough to know, know “way back when,”) and you learned it at your mother’s knee. By the time you went to college (if you did) you were really good at it and, perhaps, even played it for spending money! It is an excellent combination of wit, wisdom, and the deal of the cards.
My folks weren’t into the game so I didn’t learn it until I was married, and we played it quite often with the couple who taught us. My X, however, never really enjoyed the game much and when we moved out of town we gave up the game. I loved it, but since that was during my “Debbie Domestic, do what your husband says” phase of my life, there was no more bridge.
Then I married R and he loved bridge and was so good at it that he even has master’s points. Boy, was I intimidated. But, being the loving, patient man that he is, we started playing with friends who wanted to learn the game. R was the greatest teacher, and I improved as the years went on and we played more and more frequently. We both loved the game.
As we grew older and older a strange phenomenon occurred, and not only with us but with those couples with whom we were playing. We couldn’t remember who dealt the last hand! Now in bridge the person opposite the person dealing shuffles the cards and puts them on the right side of the table. This, presumably, is the next person to deal. It shouldn’t then be difficult to know who is to deal next, right? Hmmph!
This would be so simple if we all obeyed those rules, but what happens is that the person supposed to shuffle has to, say, go to the bathroom. Thus, someone else shuffles the cards for them and puts them on the right which is now the wrong side. Or, the person supposed to be shuffling shuffles and, in a moment of distraction, puts them on the left which not the right side. It happens all the time. Sad, sad.
Most annoying isn’t the shuffle shuffle though. No matter who shuffles, right or wrong, left or right, when the cards are all distributed, someone will invariably say, “Who dealt this mess?” And then the blank stares take over as no one can remember who dealt like two nanoseconds ago! We look for where the cards are set down after shuffling, but we already know that isn’t always right. This type of confusion led to two of the four of us dealing for about eight hands while the others kept asking “Who dealt this mess?”
But aha! We found an answer to this dilemma brought on by our rapidly degenerating brain cells. The Pretzel! Yes, I grabbed a pretzel from the bowl we had on the side table and it rotated around the table as we played each hand. Whoever had the pretzel was the dealer no matter where the cards were on the table. It worked like a charm for about an hour…then I inadvertently ate the pretzel and confusion once again reigned supreme!