Lyrical Laughs

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The odds are not ever in my favor

I have a small obsession. It’s nothing earth shattering or sordid, really, just something I tend to get a little wrapped up in. And I can’t stop myself from doing it again and again and again.  Hmm yeah, that does sound a bit sordid when you put it that way.

So here it is.

I am hooked on the card games on my cell phone.

No, wait – that’s not totally true. I am hooked on winning the card games on my cell phone.  Yes, I understand everyone wants to win sometimes, and I know I can’t always win. The thing is… I don’t accept defeat well from an electronic device.

Before I go to sleep I plug my phone in to charge it… but I can’t seem to put the phone down until I’ve played a few card games. They are all under one umbrella known as 250+ Solitaire. No, don’t look for it. Whatever you do, don’t download this mind-sapping vortex of delusional euphoria you experience the first time you win. It’s a trap – don’t buy into it. It’s like gambling only worse because you’re in the comfort of your own home or car or back alley and you don’t even notice that 3 hours have passed and you’re starving and probably slightly dehydrated and in need of a bathroom and some deodorant STAT.

Not that I’ve ever gotten to that point.

It’s not just at night that I obsess over – I mean, enjoy – this source of masochistic entertainment. If I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting for the Spouse after work I am usually secretly hoping he doesn’t appear until I’ve had at least one shot at winning Klondike. Klondike, by the way, is one of the simpler challenges among these games. I don’t want to take on anything heavy, like Golf, while I’m waiting.

Even the guy I married, the one who invented the sarcastic snicker that slips out upon winning a game – any game – thinks I’ve lost it. I asked him recently if he plays Scorpion, one of the games in this app, and probably my favorite. A few times, he replied. And me? Well um… yes. And I won a whole bunch – 245 to be exact. His look was incredulous. How many games did I play to win 245? I wasn’t going to volunteer the answer that easily.

For some strange reason (you know, like something having to do with the world going by while I suffer anguish over when to release the 3 extra cards on the side that could make or break the game) I have a touch of guilt over enjoying this delightfully hateful pastime that taunts me with a false sense of security for the first 12 or 13 moves, when WHAM – it becomes obvious that 4 of diamonds is going nowhere. The stats? Let’s just say that 245 was just over 20% of the amount of games I had actually played. Shhh, don’t say the number out loud.

Spouse is mostly mystified, and rightfully so, over how many times I will replay the same game if I think I can beat the odds. Hey, that option is there for a reason. I mean, doesn’t everyone try and try again until their battery dies (hence the reason I have to plug my phone in)? And why move on to a new game when you might have a chance of winning if you just hold out for the King of Clubs next time instead of moving the King of Hearts?

I am normally not a competitive person when I’m playing against others. But there is something about playing against a computerized game that brings out the adversary in me, shrieking at my phone after I lose 5 times in a row on Golf, which is just plain evil and has absolutely nothing to do with golf.  I believe I would fare much better in an actual golf game because as bad as I might be on the course, my little phone screen says I am averaging not quite 4% in wins. And you do not want to know how many games I’ve played to mark that achievement.

Yes, playing these games is a waste of time, I know this. It is a solitary activity and a sedentary activity with absolutely no social or health benefits. And yet… within the time I allotted myself to complete this blog post I am happy (and for obvious reasons also mortified) to say that I won Klondike twice!

Stats on the amount of times the game was actually played in order to achieve these wins will not be made available to the public.

What are your phone obsessions?

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