What is life like, living in a residence where folks eat their evening meal at 4:30 P.M. and go to bed at 7:30 P.M.?
After supper seven, sometimes eight, of us old folks gather for a game of rummy. It is a simplified version we have adapted for old folks. No longer do we shout "rummy" when a person discards a playable card. That would occur too often in a senior game. Instead we merely gently point out the error and ask the miscreant to make the play and discard a different card.
We freely look at one another's hand and suggest adjustments. "You could discard that Ace, it doesn't go with anything."
"But I like Aces. Do they count ten or fifteen?"
When someone "goes out" we lay our cards on the table face up, and the fun of adding the score begins. Some of us have forgotten our basic addition facts, and others mis-remember them.
"Seven and eight is seventeen, and ace makes twenty, and two jacks is forty-one."
"How much is 35 and 28?" Who knows? Adding single digits is challenge enough.
We dutifully record the scores in a note book, but no one cares. However a record is nice because we all like to complain, "I haven't won in six months." And others can look at the book and say, "Oh, yes you have, you won on August 18th."
"Well, I wasn't counting that."
We play with two decks and have to use Large Index cards, or we couldn't see them across the table. We announce out-loud each play to help old eyes discern. "I am playing the seven-eight-nine of clubs."
To make matters merrier, we add the jokers. We're still laughing because one night Nancy was dealt three of the four jokers, and couldn't play 'em becauseof some improbable combinations.
"How can you simplify rummy," I hear you ask. "It's a child's game already." Well, we have, so we can cope, and we still have to help each other. It is cooperative rummy.
Isn't it boring to play such a simple minded game night after night?
Oh, Lord, yes.