I owe this list, in concept and partially in content, to Lakshmi... you guys, this girl is clever. And I know that's a word people use in a sort of pejorative manner, but I don't mean it that way. I think cleverness is a great pastime! Possibly, the American Pastime? No, that is baseball.
15. Blockbuster card
With the advent of Netflix, this is basically irrelevant and I barely know why I included it at all. I guess it just reminds me of simpler times when my mom and I would go rent Mr. Mom over and over and over again. Michael Keaton + kids + renegade household appliances = WACKY!
The Cardinals went a modest 8 and 8 last year, but no one outside of Arizona really noticed. They're going to start Kurt Warner at quarterback this year, which is unfortunate. It was cool in 1999 when Kurt Warner came out of nowhere to lead the Rams to the Super Bowl, but wasn't he like, already old back then? I predict a 5-11 finish this year, and that once again, no one outside of Arizona will notice.
13. Hallmark card
A fun (but also intolerant?) thing to do is to give special occasion Hallmark cards for birthdays. I like giving Bat Mitzvah cards to boys/men on their birthdays, because a) they are not girls and b) they are not participating in a Jewish rite of passage. See, it's funny on TWO levels!
12. Postcard (from Maine)
Preferably from Acadia National Park, created by Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Acadia National Park is located primarily on Mount Desert Island, Maine... which is probably the coolest name for either a mountain, a desert, or an island. Also, on the subject of postcard, I find them to be a very smug form of communique. If you really wished that I was here (or there, as it were) so
badly, couldn't you just charter a goddamn jet? Jesus. Show a little initiative.
This guy... you don't know where he's coming from! He's cocky, he's inexperienced, maybe he has a wife, maybe he has a ferret--YOU DON'T KNOW. He's probably the demolitions expert on your heist team, and halfway through the movie, it looks like he's gonna double cross you, but then, in the closing minutes, it turns out he was A-OK all the while. BUT MAYBE IN THE SEQUEL HE WILL SCREW YOU?!!?!
10. Ace (in or out of hole)
Lots of great things are referred to as aces: tennis serves, star pitchers... there's even a Motorhead song about the Ace of Spades. Well, it's called the Ace of Spades; I don't think anyone really knows what it's about. But... then, there's that pesky debate about whether an ace is the highest or the lowest card. I guess it's a contextual thing, like whether or not you can make fun of foreigners at a party. If it's a Congratulations For Getting Your Citizenship party, then probably not.
9. American Express Centurion Card
I hear these things are like, a real status symbol or something. I think the reason that I'm unclear on this is because I have very little status. Well, whatever. Centurion is a neat word.
8. Library card
These things really exist! Do you ever forget that? What a silly joke of a card, I know, but the more I think about it, it's such a great idea! A little white and blue piece of laminated paper with your name on it that allows you to take books out of a big building for a certain amount of time. HAH! Ridiculous! If you don't have one, you can't take books out of that building! (You guys, I don't know why I am for something suddenly amused by libraries. My mom is a librarian, for crying out loud!)
7. Rookie card
When I was a little guy, my way of expressing adoration for an athlete was by screechily proclaiming, "I have his rookie card!!!" Um, I still do this, actually. Like, for real people who aren't athletes. For instance, if I was at a party and someone asked, "Hey, do you know Dan Erickson?" I'd go, "Yeah! I have his rookie card!!!"... even though he's never had his image printed on a trading card! I'm so full of lies, you guys.
6. Race card
I think it's a great idea to equate the race issue to a trump card, specifically because it reminds me of Rob Trump, the fella I write this list-blog with. He's a great guy, and he rarely plays the race card. In fact, the only cards that I know for a fact he plays are Magic cards. OH MAN. You guys. What if the way to counteract the race card was by playing a Magic card--but by that I mean a card that is ACTUALLY magic. Whoa.
5. Gender card
4. Red card
This card is a badass, no? It is a piece of paper that says you have to go sit down and stop running around, but it doesn't even have words on it--JUST COLOR. That's pretty intense. Also, it's much cooler than the yellow card, mainly because red is such a more aesthetically pleasing color than yellow. (Although I still maintain that it's overrated.)
Lakshmi berated me pretty harshly for not making this the number one card to play. I understand the joke--one card left, you have to say Uno, etc.-- but I've always had problems with this game. It just seems... so arbitrary. And European. I know, I know, if I think I could make a better card game, I should just do that, but you guys, it is harder than it sounds and I lose things very easily. I have very fond memories of Uno, to be honest... they just aren't recent ones.
2. The Jack of Hearts
The reason this guy is so high on my list is that the Dylan song "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts" is so integral to my upbringing. It's about this cat the Jack of Hearts who shows up in Town to rob the bank--but also the love of Lily, the fairest girl at the cabaret? Of course, Lily is sleeping with Big Jim, the wealthiest guy in town, and his wife Rosemary is none-too-pleased with that little turn of events. ANYWAY. The eminent music critic Herman O'Wikipedia claims that there is an interesting debate as to whether or not the song is about criminal facades that hide romantic motives OR romantic facades that hide criminal motives. NICE! It also has my dad's favorite line in any song ever: "The only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts."
1. "Race card" card
Hahahahahah, oh my friends. Sometimes I delight in my own jokes. But seriously, it is ridiculous when someone makes bigoted or racist statements and then uses the phrase "race card" to gloss things over. Oh, man... we ended on a downer! Um? Football starts next week. Go Vikings!