FLASH NANO 2021

14th November FLASH NANO 2021

TAROT

I’ve never been able to believe in horoscopes, predicting the future, knowing someone’s personality by reading tea leaves. Or anything. So when someone said “Pick a tarot card and ….” I was sceptical to say the least. Nothing is ‘written in the stars’ or anywhere else for that matter. I can’t believe in god, tablets of stone, ideals or anything. Oh we can all try to live a good life but there’s always other people, contingency. They get in the way. We have to do the best we can with what we have been dealt. But most of what we do is hypocrisy. The I-Ching? Bollocks. Tarot cards? My arse. Live. Think. Recognise faults and do something about changing. Don’t blame or praise some force or magic – be yourself. That’s what I think.

Anyway, it was crib night. Cribbage. A good game. I partnered Anthea as usual. The woman on my left deals the first hand. I got the ace of clubs, 7 of hearts, 9 of spades, 10 of clubs and king of diamonds. It was Anthea’s box. I reasoned, if that’s the right word, there was more chance of scoring without the king so I throw him in. I cut the pack and turn over 3 of hearts. I still had nothing. Nobody did all that well with that hand. But we smiled and sighed about it.

Anthea folded her arms. “It’s going to be one of those nights,” she said.

Next the bloke on my right dealt. 6 of hearts, 7 diamonds, 7 hearts, 8 spades, 9 spades. This was much more interesting. The 9 went in the box and everyone round the table groaned, fiddled with their cards and eventually Anthea cut. She turned up the 6 of spades. A quick calculation told me my had would score 20 points. Not the best hand, granted, but after the previous load of crap, this made me feel pretty good.

We pegged pretty well as I recall. Nobody scored all that well but I revealed my score of 20, then looked at the box. 6 clubs, 7 spades, 8 clubs, 9 spades. That was another 16. So my tally for that hand was 36. If only the rest of the evening had gone like that.

At the end of the match, Anthea and I were the only pair from our side to win our games. The Red Lion always put on a few sandwiches and the beer is very good. And cribbage is a game of strategy, especially rewarding when you have a rapport with your partner. Plus Anthea doesn’t drink so she always drives. t

“That was a decent evening out,” I said in the car. “Thanks, Anthea.”

As we got going, Anthea began to talk about luck and strategy, what you get dealt and how you deal with that. I chipped in with my thoughts on knowing your partner’s play and all that.

“But mostly,” Anthea said, “it’s down to luck isn’t it?”

“Chance,” I said.

“Is there any difference?”

“I think luck is negative but chance is positive.” I was probably thinking on my feet. “They’re closely linked. There’s a card in the tarot pack, the wheel of fortune. That’s considered to be a good sign and fortune, chance, luck are all very similar.”

We’d reached the traffic lights on Gladstone Way and Anthea had to stop for the red light. She turned to me.

“So,” she said, “was it fortunate that we won tonight or did we win with skill?”

“Skill,” I said and we both laughed.

At that moment, a lorry careered down the slope opposite us. I thought it would crash into us but it wobbled and ran into the lamppost next to the car.

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