Monday, April 24, 2006

More Than A Game
By Gartrelle W. Sexton, Esq.

“It’s spring again, everybody know it’s spring again.” © Biz Markie

Good people, the weather is warming up, birds are chirping like Nextels, and flowers are blooming. So that can only mean one thing for Black people: It’s cookout time! That’s right, it’s time to fire up the grill, throw some dogs and wings on the Weber and start a fire. Ladies are gonna have their toes out and fellas are gonna sip their Heinekens. The most asked question of the day will be, “Who made the ‘tata salad?”

But more important than the food and drinks is a very sacred cookout ritual, the SPADES game. Yes, the Blackest of all card games, Spades is a tradition. Now Spades is not a game for the weak. Spades is not for those with a short memory. Spades is not for those that can’t handle pressure. If you can’t play, don’t sit at the table. God forbid you sit at a table and don’t know how to play spades. Your Blackness will be questioned.

Many relationships and family ties have been broken over somebody reneging. Your Uncle Willie still ain’t speaking to Cousin Bobby over a renege 12 years ago? Did Ty-Ty stab Big Bruce with a plastic knife because they bumped and didn’t make their books?
Is your Aunt Trudie still mad at you for cutting her Jack of Diamonds? Does Lil’ Dre repeatedly underbid? Talking about he got “two and five possibles.” You always arguing about whether it’s “Joker, joker, deuce” or “Joker, joker, ace”? Do y’all play overs?

Spades has now become the number nine leading cause of death among Black folks just edging out choking on watermelon seeds for the top ten. Always set the rules up front. Also, I strongly encourage you to play with strangers instead of family. I don’t want to see any long simmering beefs lead to an argument during repast of Nana’s funeral. I ain’t trying to hear that Uncle Willie done pulled his pistol on Cousin Bobby talking about, “Nigga, back in ’94 we was in Trudie’s basement and you played the four of diamonds after you cut Big Bruce’s Queen of Diamonds with the six of spades! You non-spades playing muthaf@#$&*!”

In the sake of keeping the Black family strong (and out of the hospital), either play with strangers or play Uno.