Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BillyBlog Plays 52-Card Pickup

The hard way.

For years, I've wondered about playing cards occasionally strewn about the street.

Many regard these discards as additional clutter, littering up the cityscape.

A few weeks ago, I picked one up near Penn Station. I copied one side and taped it face down on the other side. This is the result:

And then I sat on it for a few weeks.

Until this past weekend when I came across this card:


That's the King of Hearts, otherwise known as the Suicide King. I grabbed that one on March 22, 2008 at the corner of 88th Street and 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn.

I had two cards, from two different decks, from two different boroughs.

Then the inspiration struck.

So begins the game I have devised for myself: 52-Card Pickup. Except unlike a game that usually just takes a few minutes to play (a few annoying minutes, but still only minutes), the BillyBlog version may never be won and, if I do succeed, I would imagine it will take years.

Here are the rules:

1) Whenever I see a card on the street, as long as it is not soaked in urine or covered in excrement (or an unidentifiable substance), I will pick it up.

2) It only "counts" if it's a card that hasn't been retrieved yet (i.e. if I find the King of Diamond again, it doesn't count. I already have that card.

3) I am only allowed to pick up one card from any dispersal area at any one time. In other words, if someone has strewn half a deck somewhere, only one card is eligible to be retrieved.

4) Ideally, each card will be represented by a different deck graphically. The backs of the cards should be different. However, I concede that this would make an unlikely task next to impossible. So, if I find a card from the same style of deck, I may use it, but I may also replace it with a newer card from a different deck at a later date.

I will keep a running tally on BillyBlog to let the readers know where we're at in the game. Sound fun? Let's play!

Card 1: Three of Spades February 28, 2008 Manhattan 32nd and 7th Avenue
Card 2: King of Hearts March 22, 2008 Brooklyn 88th and 3rd Avenue

So sit back and enjoy!

4 comments:

Leon said...

OK I'll try again; earlier comment did not appear!

Am I blind, or is that really a King of HEARTS? ;~0

Bill Cohen said...

You're not blind. Post has been fixed. Thanks, Ancient One!

Judith Shapiro said...

I almost never notice cards, er, I mean, I never notice cards. Perhaps it's because I live in the suburbs, not the city. That said, I never saw hubcaps on the side of the road but when one of my children noticed them I began to see them everywhere. I do see gloves but the idea of finding mates seems out of the question. I'm gonna work on a deck of cards also and eagerly await the update on yours.

Micah Kelber said...

Another idea for this kind of activity: make it blackjack instead of 52 card pick up. So far, you have 13. If you come across a face down card, you have to decide whether you want to pick it up (a hit). If you do and you bust, you have to start over. If you come across it face up, then you get a free choice of whether you want to incorporate it into your hand. Once you get to 21, you give yourself a point and start over. You could keep a running total of anyone else who plays with you....