I love Canasta. There is no other way to put it. More than that, I love cards. I love poker and blackjack, but those are acceptable card games for a guy my age to play. But I have a secret love (not so secret after this, fatboy). I love old-lady card games. And I am not alone. My wife (the vixen described in the latest installment of The Life and Times of the Drunken Rogue) loves them too. Canasta? Check. Spades? Check. Ole' George? Check. Speed (no not the drug, retards, the card game)? Check. You name it, we play it. If we don't know how to play, we'll gladly learn. And more than that, we'll spread the game amongst our kind.Why cards? It's a perfect time waster and it's a great way to spend time talking to friends without just sitting around twiddling your thumbs. You can't talk during a movie. Who's got money to constantly go out to restaurants, and let's face it nobody likes to just talk to somebody else. That'd be weird. So I play cards. We visit, we talk smack, we have a great time, and at the end of it someone gets bragging rights. It started when I was a kid. I was a homely child, sort of chubby and maladjusted. Didn't have a lot of friends, so I mostly hung out with old people. My grandparents both loved all sorts of card games but their favorite was canasta (vaguely like gin rummy). Since most of their friends were dead or dying (sarcasm, dark but still humorous) they turned me and my sister into their new partners. I carried that game (and others) with me through high school, occasionally turning my friends on to it as well. I still like to think that somewhere right now, somebody I hung out with in high school is trying to teach their new girlfriend, "No, you can't play the black three like that! Oh never mind!" During my first few years of college, we played a lot of hearts. For those that don't know it's sort of spades backwards. The group I hung out with then (Amanda, Walker, Rick, Shaun etc.) would spend a whole weekend, drinking beer and playing hearts, just like, one continuous game. "How far down am I?...15,000? I'll make it up by Monday." In retrospect, these marathon sessions of hearts might have had something to do with the fact that we would miss entire months (who says card players can't be party animals?). After I met Ella, I quickly popped the most important question, "Do you play cards?"...(what? You thought it was like, Do you believe in God, or Are you a servant of Satan, or Do you mind that I eat fast food daily?) She said sure, that she and her family had played cards lots growing up, and I (with the assist from Mom) taught her canasta. We in turn taught it to her older brother and his wife (successfully, they're addicted) and to her younger brother and his girlfriend (less successfully, they didn't like it...but give them time). We do however play spades with Chase (little bro) and Erin (the above mentioned gf), and they rock at that (to each his own). My point in shouting my love for card games, is this: Why let the old people have it? Screw them, they have plenty of hobbies (eating soup, watching the 700 club, waiting on their grandchildren to call, arranging their medicines by color etc.). They even have their own club and magazine (AARP, and Mature, respectively). Where's our freakin' magazine? Some would of course argue that we (as young people) get everything focused at us anyway, but I say nonsense. Let's take back card games. In the interest of spreading my love of cards, I am hereby challenging any of you that within driving distance of me. Send me a message, pick the game, I swear to God me and Ella will whip your ass. Also I am providing a link to a site with tons of card rules online (how thoughtful of me), this way you'll know I know what I'm doing when I kick your ass. So, what are you waiting for? Go play cards.