The Supreme Court of Peroutka Family Poker
When I was a little kid, I asked my dad to teach me the rules of poker so I could join in the family card games he would play with my big sisters after the supper dishes were cleared away.
So, Dad taught me what beats what – like one pair is beat by two pair which is beat by three of a kind, etc. He explained that, even though we were just playing for fun, it was important for me to know and understand the rules.
So, imagine my surprise when my big sister Mary reached for the first pot even though I had a flush and it turns out she just had one pair. Looking for justice, I turn to my dad, who of course, is the Supreme Court of Poker at the Peroutka dinner table.
“Sorry Michael, but the rules of poker are a living, breathing, set of rules.” he says. “Sometimes we follow them but we always have to be ready for them to evolve.”
You see, he continued, “the rules of poker were invented a long, long time ago by crusty old men who never thought about having little girls play poker. And some little girls feel that they should win when they have a pair no matter what anybody else has.”
At this point my other sister, Kathy, chimed in, “I have a pair of Queens and Mary just has a pair of nines. So, I win, right, Dad?”
As I listened, my Dad gently reminded Kathy that while normally she would be right, in THIS case, the “bad weather rule” was in effect. You see whenever there is any bad weather, like rain or sleet or it gets really gusty, the Supreme Court of Poker always lets the big sister Mary have her way.
But, now Kathy is pointing toward the front window and raising her voice, “But Dad, (I mean Your Honor), it’s sunny and clear outside.
That’s right says Dad, but the weather report says it might drizzle tomorrow. You see, when those crusty old dead guys wrote the rules of Poker, they couldn’t even envision modern stuff like accu-weather forecasts. Nowadays, we are able to see bad weather coming in advance and so it gives us the ability to change the rules more often.
(Mary smiles sweetly as she shows her pair of nines and rakes in the pot.)
“Isn’t evolution wonderful, Dad smiles? Aren’t you happy we play ‘living, breathing’ poker?”
Well Mary seems happy, but Kathy and me – we’re looking for a new place to live.
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