Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Slappers and Punks

A time the rules of brotherhood were broken was when my younger brother, Tyler, taught me how to play the card game Slap. Slap is a two player card game that revolves around playing cards in order incrementally up or down on two separate piles. The game gets it’s namesake from the slap rule. If at any time both stacks of cards have the same number card face up the first person to slap the piles becomes a slapper. The slapper’s opponent, now called a punk, must then pick up all the cards in both piles, flip them face down, and add them to their deck. The first person with no cards in their deck and hand wins the game. Big brothers are supposed to be slappers, and younger brothers are supposed to be punks. Tyler was forcing me to break that rule. I wasn’t going to let my little brother beat me at a simple card game.

It was shortly after dinner one day that Tyler had decided it was time for me to be initiated into the proverbial fraternity of slappers and punks. It was not long before two threes were face up on the table. Tyler’s hand came thundering down. Before I even knew what was happening he was pushing both piles of cards my way. I was a punk before I even really understood the rules of the game. This was going to be a long game.

The important cards in my hand read two, three, and four. The suits and colors did not matter as cards get played in order by their value. An opportunity presented itself when one pile of cards had a face up two, the other a face up five, and Tyler couldn’t play any cards.

Down went the four on top of the five! Down went the three on top of the four! I halted as Tyler hovered over the piles waiting for the two I was not about to play. I needed to be absolutely ready. He made me a punk earlier, but now it would be down to the fastest hand. If only his concentration would break.

I refilled my hand to the maximum of five. Tyler was going to be a punk, and it was sealed when he suddenly blinked. Down went the two and cards flew across the table as our hands impinged atop the face up twos. My hand lay firmly below his!

“You’re a punk!” I exclaimed as a wry smile crossed his face.

“It’s not over yet.” He picked up the cards and the game went on.

There comes a time for all big brothers when they realize their little brothers aren’t so little anymore. The same brother that I had taught to play Go Fish, Monopoly, and a dozen other games as a child was now teaching me. Not only was he teaching me, but he was beating me. I started out not knowing the rules, but in reality I knew the one rule that counted. You never let your younger brother win. You never let them become the slapper.
Note: This is a cut and paste of a paper I turned in for my English 101 class. Hope everyone enjoys it.
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