Saturday, 21 August 2010

Pride comes before a fall

An evening on Northern Pride
1st August 2010

The occasion of the meeting of the crews of Northern Pride and Wand'ring Bark in Abingdon deserves a post of its own.

Jeff's Titanic entrance

We had been watching Sandra and Barry's steady progress down the Oxford Canal with interest, knowing that we would be following in their footsteps at the start of the summer holidays. This sedate progress slowed to a glacial pace at one point and we realised that if they took a look at the Upper Thames to Lechlade our paths might just cross as we thundered round the Thames ring at a rate of knots.

Wand'ring Bark and Northern Pride bum to bum

A quick look at Nick's Canal Planer confirmed that our paths should cross at Abingdon - if everything went according to plan. As with most boat trips, the itinerary slipped and slid, but in the end the plan came together and we spied a windmilling pair of boaters just below Abingdon Lock.

We had been offered an "evening of fun card games" which was accepted but only after we gained an assurance that it wouldn't involve the removal of any clothing! The game in mind was Six handed rummy, or better known as "Barry's Game" all lubricated with copious quantities of
his infamous home brew and distilling enterprise. Mention of Barry's home made alcohol is enough to suggest how this evening was going to turn out.

Sandra makes an entrance

I am going to try and record an outline of the rules of six handed rummy, not because I want you  to play it but to record it for future reference:

  • Take 3 packs of cards and shuffle together, including Jokers.

  • Deal out ten cards plus one to start the drop down pile, with the rest upside down.

  • Aim is to get rid of all your cards or to have as low a score in your hand as possible when the first person gets out.

  • 6 rounds :

    • 1 group of 3 the same (ie 3 threes of any suit) and 1 run of 4 (aces are high)

    • 2 groups of 4

    • 2 groups of 3 and 1 run of 4

    • 3 groups of 3

    • 2 runs of 4

    • 2 groups of 3 and 1 run of  four but you must lay all cards in one go.

  • Twos and Jokers are wild and count as anything

  • In any group or run the number of wild cards can't exceed the number of proper ones

  • Player has the option to take the card showing or take a chance from the blind pile

  • Player may only place cards onto other runs / groups when they have placed their cards

  • Player must discard one card at the end of their go

  • If the next player does not want the upturned card other players can "buy" it - taking an additional card from the blind pile at the same time.

  • If you are left with cards when someone else is out you add the face values together except aces count as 20, 2's are 25 and Jokers score 50.
When you are winning it is clear that the game is all about skill but when you lose it is equally apparent that it is mostly a matter of chance!

Belle finally "gets" it

Barry's home brew flowed and flowed and the noise level rose in parallel. Jeff just sat there and played and drank and drank and played, happily accepting all that Barry sloshed into his glass, as would any self respecting teenager.

Barry's losing hand!

For some reason Belle and I fell into identifying a song for every occasion or word, and this strange game gained popular appeal as the evening wore on. Did I win the game? Well, very nearly and I should have - but I was robbed! I bought in the last round of the last game which you should never ever do, and as a result gave the game to our hosts. Not that I am competitive or anything!

It's amazing what fun you can have with some cards, some booze and some great friends! We stumbled back to WB at midnight and I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies to the boaters round us that night.

Barry and Sandra, thanks for a truly memorable evening and sorry we drank the boat dry!


Northern Pride said...

What a great blog Andy, you really have a way wit words, it was a fabulous night with most enjoyable company! Shame about the cards - well done for putting in the rules of the game - Barry says good luck to anyone following them and he'll take questions if anyone has any when they try it out!

Andy Tidy said...

Guess what.... we played six handed rummy last night and in the final hand I was dealt three two's and a jack - which was too many to greate a valid hand.... so I had to buy. This proves that for every rule there is an exception!