If you see a penny on the sidewalk, look around a bit and you’ll usually find another one plus a dime, too. Same goes for playing cards. People don’t generally drop just one playing card.
And when you’re two cards away from completing the deck of found playing cards you’ve been building since the 1980s, you learn to draw wisely. Fairly, but wisely.
If there’s only one card on the ground, of course I’ll pick it up. But if there’s more than one, odds are half of them will be face-down. And those are the ones from which I choose. It’s fair– Even Steven!
I don’t know what two cards I need to complete the deck. I know I’m suited in hearts, but I’m not positive about diamonds. I actually think the two cards I need are black suits, but I’ve been very careful not to know for certain because if I ever saw the card I knew I needed in a face-up scatter on the sidewalk I’d be in a real moral jam. It would be hard not to pick it up– and I’d like the deck to be completed as organically as possible. I don’t want to get any hassle from the Ripley’s people once I’m done.
I happened on a hand last night on Cornwall. It was New Year’s Eve and the gang outside Downtown Johnny’s was smoking tough at 9pm. I first spotted a red-suited facecard in the gutter, and I jerked spastically in my tracks like I always do when I see a playing card on the ground. Glancing around to make sure no one else was closing on it, I scanned the vicinity for more options and was not disappointed. In the middle of the sidewalk at the north end of RiteAid were two cards, face down.
Glancing around again, I nonchalantly approached the cards, crouching down to study the backs. A pale yellow vector design advertising someplace called the Point Casino stared back at me. There’s not much technique in choosing a face-down card. Pick a card, either card. I’m right-handed, so I picked up the card on the left and stuffed it in my pocket. Then I went to Akroteri for a glass of Ouzo.
I need two cards to complete my deck. Of course I’m going to draw lots of doubles before I find these last two cards. The King of Diamonds, the Queen of Clubs– I already got em. Hell, I found two Aces of Spades last year alone, but guess what– I already got one!
But you know what else I already got? Jokers. I already got tons of jokers.
And there’s only two of them in a deck. Aren’t the odds the same of me finding one of the two cards I need the same as finding another joker?!