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8:23pm on Sunday, 7th September, 2008:



I'm a great fan of playing cards, and have dozens of packs of them. None are antiques — I tried bidding for them a few times on eBay but this one guy would outbid me every single time, so I gave up.

The cards that I played with would get roughed up pretty quickly from being carried around in my pocket and from being held by people who didn't know how to hold cards, so when I went to university I resolved to buy the best pack of playing cards I could. I went to the local games shop, told them my requirements (non-creasing, long-lasting, non-stick), and they produced a deck of plastic cards. One shuffle was enough to tell me they were the cards I'd dreamed of, so I bought them.

I love these cards! I've played thousands of games with them, and they still look as fresh and crisp as the day I bought them. All, that is, except for the king of hearts: I left the pack on the windowsill once in full sunlight, and it discoloured the back of the top card ever-so-slightly, but enough that you can tell. Since then, I've only played occasional games of patience with them. I tried to get a new set, but the games shop told me they'd stopped making them many years ago.

I suspected as much, because I'd committed the name of the manufacturer to memory and had watched as they'd moved into other areas more profitable than the manufacturing of playing cards:

So it is that I can boast to many people, "I got my first Nintendo before you got yours".

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).