This really has nothing to do with anything. Nothing really witty or profound here. Just an expression of how much I love playing a good game of spades. It is one of my natural highs.
I came to know the game my first year of college. I was a freshman at the University of Florida, my girlfriend had just broken up with me, and I was a lonely soldier. I had made some good friends in the campus ministry there, and thankfully they surrounded me with love. One of the ways they did this was with our Monday night hang-out time. About a half dozen of us had this ritual -- every Monday -- where we'd come together & first watch "Monday Night Raw." We were WWF wrestling fans. The Rock. Chris Jericho. We loved it. As soon as the show went off at 11 PM, we'd break out the cards, the goldfish crackers, and the store-brand Mountain Dew, and we'd play spades for hours. Sometimes to 3 or 4 in the morning. Those nights are some of my richest memories of college at UF.
(Also, however, they left me sleep-deprived. You could imagine how, when I transferred to Harding, I was excited to have a curfew. My first thought was, "They're giving me a bed time! Yes!")
I love everything about the game. You have a partner. Your chemistry with that partner is vital to your success. You bid your hand, but as a team you have to work with whatever is in your partner's hand also. Inevitably there will be moments in the game where you squirm trying to play to your partner's strength though inadequate in the sense that you can't know what is in your partner's hand.
I love the table smack talk. I love the laughing that it induces. I love spades.
I especially love playing when there is nil hand in the game. When I go nil, I love the excitement of trying to slough off high-valued face cards when you're not allowed to win a trick. I love the challenge of trying to cover a partner who goes nil, and protecting them from winning with those high-value face cards. But I especially love setting a nil hand. My friends in my UF days used to tease me because in my euphoria of setting someone else's nil they said my face would look like it was going into a little trance.
Last night up at the church building a few of us stayed late to play a couple games of spades. I had a blast. We may have to make this a more regular event. Because I love spades -- for me it is a natural high.
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