A loser’s lesson

Sometimes I’m a substitute for a partners “pitch” league in Norwich. If you don’t know, pitch is arguably the greatest card game played on this earth (although no one outside of Central New York and the Southern Tier has ever heard of it). I’m not smart enough to explain the rules, though. So you’ll just have to trust me that it’s a pretty good time.

Anyway, a few nights ago the league asked me to fill in for someone who wasn’t feeling good (apparently, this person had eaten one too many ((one)) of those new Cheesy Beefy Melts from Taco Bell).

If the person I replaced knew then what they know now, they’d have overcome the Ebola virus – let alone a few Mexi-cold sweats – rather than give up their spot to me on that night.



It was a pitch massacre. Some say it equaled the combined horror of the Battle of Little Big Horn and that TV commercial for Time Warner Cable’s “On Demand Expert” featuring Rod Wankel.

Overall, really, it was a just a combination of bad cards and even worse plays – mostly by me.

I’m not afraid to admit it. I played some lousy pitch and sunk my partner (a.k.a the guy who got stuck playing with me) to the bottom of the standings.

I made a bunch of mistakes that cost us the game. It was embarrassing. In fact, one of the times when it was my turn to deal, an elderly woman said, “The only thing you should be allowed to shuffle is your feet out the door.”

The whole thing was so pitiful that the regulars requested I be taken off the official sub list.

The worst part was, when I did get good cards and made the right plays, the other team always seemed to one-up me anyway. It was a nightmare.

Towards the end of the night, a gentleman sitting at the next table over leaned across and said, “You should write about how bad you’re getting taken to the shed in this week’s column.”

We all laughed. But it wasn’t a half-bad idea.

Because it’s easy to point out everyone else’s mistakes, but it’s not often that I point out my own.

Granted, a blown pitch game isn’t a big deal. It’s trivial, actually. But so are a lot of the things I find myself railing on other people for.

We’re all screw-ups (some, admittedly, more than others). And – whether it’s a card game, a job or whatever else we think we’re great at – sometimes we have to get knocked down a peg or two before we realize that.

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