Included in my catalogue of aberrant behaviour, quite apart from refusing to apologise for defaming the warthog community, is a total disinterest in playing card games.
To me they are an absolutely frivolous waste of time and life.
Now, for the one person or warthog who I have not yet terminally offended, I wish to continue.
The love of playing cards even has the dubious distinction of at least once being incorporated into the lyrics of a popular song. Tex Ritters 1948 "Deck of Cards" (here) tells the story of a soldier who took his cards to church in lieu of a prayer book, then proceeded to hoodwink his commanding officer with some cock and bull story about all the spiritual reminders his deck of cards provided him. Rubbish. The man should have been courtmartialled, manacled, and sent to solitary confinement.
I humbly submit my own version of that song for your abhorrence.
When I see the Ace, it reminds me that playing cards is a singular waste of time, when I could be more productively occupied.
The Deuce reminds me that idleness of mind is contagious, and two or more people can simultaneously fritter their lives away with meaningless boredom.
When I see Three, I see a tricycle, with a young child more intelligently engaged in healthy outdoor activity when the adults are inside shuffling pieces of cardboard in some ancient heathen ritual.
When I see Four, I think of the 4 corners of the Earth which would never have been discovered if Columbus had similarly squandered his years with trivial pursuits.
When I see Five I remember that only one fifth of the Earth's surface is land, with humans having evolved onto it from the oceans. Card playing represents evidence of a chink in that evolutionary process.
When I see Six, I know that God made heaven and Earth in 6 days, including presumably one stupid pack of cards.
When I see the Seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested and showed Adam and Eve how to play with them, and apparently some other things as well, given that there are several billion of us on the planet today.
When I see the Eight I think of the two complete games of Aussie Rules football, each with four quarters that I could have watched instead of playing cards.
The Nine, is for Channel 9, the broadcasting host of cricket, the most wonderful, complex, uplifting, subtle sport ever devised by mankind and infinitely more educational and entertaining than mindlessly turning a few picture cards upside down in the vain hope of finding something meaningful or profitable.
Ten reminds me of Bo Derek.
Fifty two is the number of cards in a pack. There are also exactly the same number of matches in my matchbox.
After collecting every single pack of cards in the world I will ignite them in a conflagration the likes of which will make the Great Fire of London look like a precautionary backburn.
Then there will be Zero playing cards remaining.
Zero…..by strange coincidence the number of readers I have remaining at the conclusion of this dissertation.