Monday, January 15, 2007

Fifty Two Pickup

189 Fifty Two Pickup

Back at PS 150 in the 1940s, if you were maybe in the fourth or fifth grade and had a deck of cards or a bunch of baseball cards or a bunch of war cards, some sixth grader’d come up and asked if you wanted to play fifty-two pickup and then pull the cards out of your hands and throw them on the ground. And you’d pick ‘em up and then try the trick on someone else.

But if you think about it, you get at least a full deck of cards in your lifetime. Some get Canasta decks.

01. You start with a birth certificate.

02. Social Security Card (they used to wait until you went for work for this one, but you get it right away now.)

03. School ID.

04. Library card.

05. High School ID.

06. Lerner’s Permit.

07. Driver’s License.

09. Voter ID.

10. Draft Card.

11. College ID.

12. Visa.

13. MasterCard.

14. Discover Card.

15. American Express Card.

16. ExxonMobil Card.

17. Macy’s/Sears/Penny’s or other department store card.

18. Moose/Kiwanis/Shriners/Lions card.

19. Union card.

20. Health Insurance card.

20-30. Employee ID cards.

31. MetroCard.

32. LIRR Monthly Pass.

33. Wedding license.

34. Green Card or other proof of legality.

35-48. More credit cards, Costco, BJ’s Wholesale/Sam’s Club, Waldbaum’s Shopper card, replacement birth certificate, new library card. And maybe the HessExpress “free coffee” club.

49. Deed to the cemetery plot.

50. Senior Citizen ID.

51. Medicare Card.

52. Death Certificate.

Of course, you have to keep all this stuff. Most cards are small and easily stored. And equally easily lost.

Notice, that there are no jokers. Your voter card, your union card and half your employee IDs or school IDs probably qualify.

And if you don’t drive or didn’t go to school or are an illegal alien, you can always fill in with some of the thousands of useless business cards you can collect over the course of a lifetime.

Start with your own. Remember the card they printed for you when you joined Enron or RCA or Amstrad Computer or any other company that’s out of business?

Then there are cards from ten or twelve auto dealerships, five or six real estate brokers, five or six stock brokers, the stamp shop, the shoe repair guy. You have appointment cards from doctors who retired 20 years ago, from a dozen antique shops, furniture stores, encyclopedia sellers, missionaries, carpenters, electricians, restaurants (that card from Longchamp’s is a treasure!) Cards from office suppliers, reporters, auto repair shops, public relations types, your landlord, the telephone store, the cable company, the massage parlor, the claims adjuster, the appraiser, the pawn shop, 15 banks, two funeral homes Thomas Edison and your immigration lawyer.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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