Sunday 19 October 2014

No One Plays With Real Cards Anymore

I wonder how much of our lives are spent waiting? Waiting, just waiting would be a large amount of time just by itself, but if we were to include the other forms of waiting, like the time it takes to get from A to B on the bus, subway or even in a car, the number expands. How about waiting for dinner to get cooked or that favourite show of yours to come on and waiting while the computer boots up. These things all take time.

Often, we fill those empty minutes with what we deem to be a constructive use of that “free” time. Reading the newspaper, book or magazine is what I consider to be a pretty good use of stagnant time. Reading expands your mind and brings the important issues of the world to you, unless you are reading the Calgary Sun or Calgary Herald. Then you are doing worse than wasting time, you are wasting your life and potentially poisoning your mind with conservative drivel.
In the winter, I have spent waiting time making footprints in the snow and then trying to walk backwards in those same footprints. You just never know when you might have to convince someone tracking you that you went that-a-way. Once I spent ten or fifteen minutes writing “leaf” on the leaves of a hedge in felt marker. I don’t consider that a waste of time because with any luck, someone would have noticed it and had a good laugh. Leaves can be used as boats if there is water running down the gutter. Just pick two similar leaves and bet which one will make it the furthest. More often than not, I pick the one that gets snagged on a piece of newspaper or small stone. No sense wasting my supply of luck on a stupid leaf is there.

I guess my favourite way of killing time is to watch the people around me. They are endlessly fascinating and often give insights into their lives. I will create characters based on these people, some of them quite involved. Mostly they are just people going to work or slogging through life doing the best that they can do for themselves and their families. It is wonderful how their faces light up when they talk to friends in person or on the phone. The light comes from happiness I suppose.
When there are no books or papers to read, no people to watch and no leaves to sail down the gutter, I sometimes will play solitaire on my iPad or computer. I normally play Spider Solitaire, but I also like to play Scarab Solitaire on my computer. I decided that I was spending too much of my iPad waiting time on Spider Solitaire and should get a copy of Scarab Solitaire on my portable device. They didn’t have Scarab Solitaire, but they did have a couple of games just like it. They were better in a way, having cute animated figures and silly, upbeat music to go along with the play.
There is a dark side to these games though. When you stop winning as I inevitably do, you run out of points. Points? WTF do I need points for? Well, to keep playing the game of course. I did run out of points and I still wanted to play the game. Lucky (?) for me, the company that designed the game was willing to sell me points, as many points as I could afford. They wanted me to pay them real money for a pretend game. A game that I could play with real cards on a real table in the real world.

I know, no one plays with real cards anymore, and neither will I. I also won’t pay to play a cartoon pyramid solitaire, so back to Spyder Solitaire or reading the shitty Calgary newspapers during my wait times…

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