The Ladies Card Game
( Originally Published 1916 )
I NEVER understood the calling business until one day I found my small children, with the children of some of the neighbors, playing in the nursery. They had a number of cards and were depositing them, with much ceremony, at various chairs about the room.
Then I saw. It is a GAME.
Compared to calling, football and baseball are second rate in popularity.
It is a game especially for ladies, more especially for those fair ones who are hobbled by na useful occupation. It is played as follows :
You take a deck of cards, more properly speaking, a package of cards ; nice, new, white cards, which the lady in charge of the stationery at the department store will have printed for you, according to Hoyle.
Then you foot it, or if you live in a city where distances are great, you hire a cab; or if you want to appear the indubitable thing you own a vehicle with your monogram on the door, and you go to all the houses on your list.
Arriving at the door you ring the bell. A servant appears. You ask if Mrs. Van Dunsensnipper is at home.
If she is, you go into the parlor and wait till she gets her hair fixed. When she comes down you engage in a little short and pleasant conversation; the shorter the pleasanter.
If she is not at home you leave a certain number of your cards with the maid, which is still pleasanter. I don't know what the right number is, but it is very important.
You check the lady off your list. By and by all the ladies you have dealt cards to come around to your house and deal.
That this is a game is proved by the fact that it is fatal, unforgivable, to make a mistake. In business, when you make an error, you apologize and pay up and go ahead. But in a game, when you make a slip, you're OUT.
A male friend of mine observed that he couldn't guess what the Sam Hill it was all about. But he was plain ignorant. There are also people that do not enjoy baseball.
If the ladies want to play cards in a taxicab, let them alone. It is more healthful, to say the least, than playing poker in the Black Hole of Calcutta, otherwise known as the card room of the club.