Since when did a deck of cards become important enough to put in a disaster survival kit? Seems kinda frivolous at first, but after reading Katherine Rosman’s story about surviving Hurricane Irene on WSJ.com, it makes perfect sense.
According to her column, her husband is one of those thorough, list-making types. Before the hurricane hit, her husband devised an epic list to get through a few powerless days. Apparently, he didn’t appreciate her joke about how the “survival pile” needed playing cards. Sure enough, their power was out for six days. Those cards came in pretty handy.
With no light, no iPads and no TVs, Joe and I poured wine, and we played cards by candlelight. I lost two out of three rounds of gin rummy. “I’m glad I married someone smart enough to think about putting a deck of cards in the Survival Pile,” Joe said.
That’s the power of cards. There are a myriad of games that can be played with them. But for us magicians and flourishers, they are so much more. They are time-passing hobbies, tools of self-improvement, a medium of artistic expression and a way to snap anyone out of their funk by making their eyes get a little bigger.
So we completely recommend throwing a deck of cards into a survival kit. Heck, keep a brick beside the batteries and bottled water. Here’s some other invaluable places to keep a deck stashed (supply is also no problem for us magicians, because we tend to buy a lot of these things):
Inside our car. It won’t be good for the functionality of the deck, that’s for sure — when it gets hot, that deck will develop a click-bend that registers on the Richter scale. But how many times have we found ourselves waiting in the car, wishing for something to do? Working out that click-bend with a few faroes makes a wait in the drive-through line much better. Field-tested tip: Keep them in the glove box. They won’t get AS hot.
At the office. If that crusted, old guy two desks over can blow 30 minutes a day getting paid to smoke, you have definitely earned some card breaks. But even more than that: Nothing helps a long wait on the phone like practicing Charlier cuts. And in case the office needs to let off steam, you’re ready to blow them away with a quick Triumph. Field-tested tip: Avoid shuffles. Stick with cuts. You can get away with a lot of practice, as long as you stick to the quiet stuff.
In your briefcase. (Ladies: In your purse. Trust us: It will fit. We’ve seen the kinds of things that are stuffed in there, and a deck of cards will be no problem.) Women will have extra advantages here, because most carry a purse wherever they go. Not so with guys and their briefcases, but stashing a deck in our pockets is not for the half-dedicated. Stash a deck in the computer case, manpurse or whatever the kids call those things these days. It will be there ready for you in a number of situations: Painfully long lines, spots with no WiFi, etc. Field-tested tip: Hardly anyone will bug you for having a deck of cards. No one will think you are weird for doing it, so get over the fear and pack some pasteboards already.0
Near the kitchen table. We understand that there exists this thing called “cleaning,” and a lot of people like to do it, so keeping a deck actually ON the kitchen table will not fly all the time. But keep it close by: It comes in handy for on -the-fly games. Field-tested tip: Avoid pulling out the cards during a meal. We’d rather not discuss how we found out why that is so important.
Now you tell us: Where do you keep your cards?