We opted out of much of the holiday spending extravaganza, partly for reasons of conscience, partly for economic reasons, and partly because we’re just not organized enough to plan and list and shop and ship in time for plausibly festive arrival. I hadn’t been inside a Major Retail Establishment except the Apple Store, and the only reason I went there was to make a maintenance purchase that I would have been making anyway.
So when Pippa and I ventured into Target this afternoon to buy a couple of blankets for the coming influx of family, I was astounded — verily flabbergasted — to see the staggering abundance of “poker sets” (including ensembles specifically designed for the currently-popular Texan version of the game). Once upon a time, I especially appreciated card games in general and poker in particular because you didn’t need a “set.” A deck of cards, some pocket change or other small counters, and you had a game. Pippa and I threaded our way between small mountains of packages that included chips, cards, rulebooks, storage devices, probably make-up kits, screwdrivers, sump pumps, and dental appliances.
Our only consolation lay in the fact that evidently a lot of people looked at these overpriced packages and said, “Who needs a ‘set’ to play five-card draw?” and left these boutique poker sets on the shelves.