We had some friends around for a friendly (read “hellish competitive”) game of cards in the weekend, and I learned how to play Presidents and Assholes. (I have no idea how I missed learning it until now. I must have been very, very busy . . . writing, of course . . . )
Now, as soon as you hear the name you know it’s gonna be a goodie. And boy, is it a goodie! (Mostly because I became the President in the very first round! And managed to retain that lofty position for so many rounds the rest of the table started muttering about beginner’s luck gone mad.)
The gist of the game is that you’re trying to get rid of your cards before everyone else. The complicating factor is that if you’re the President (ie you won the last round) you get to offload your two worst cards to the Asshole at the start of the round, and the Asshole (who lost the last round) has to give you their two best cards. (Want more details? Google it and you’ll find the full set of rules.)
Why do I mention all this? Well, Presidents and Assholes teaches several important life lessons which it never hurts to be reminded of:
1 It’s handy to have an asshole in your life.
2 Once you’re the President, life gets a lot easier – and if you get ousted it’s usually through your own stupidity.
3 Never trust your right-hand man.
4 Never think of the game as a game – it’s cut-throat, it’s dog-eat-dog, and every player is in it to win.
5 So much in life is luck – but you can still completely screw things up even when you’ve got it good.
And to my card-shark buddies: when’s the next challenge? Bring it on!