Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thirty One ... Cong Gone ...

With Winter approaching, I have to make at least a few plans for the time indoors. A project or two takes the guilt out of watching 5 movies a day and still having time to blow through one book after another. Maybe I will learn to be a Water Color Artist ... another story for another time. Or I could study French. I should learn Photo Shop. Or I could rehearse for The Guitar Hero Showdown of The Beatles Song Book ... so I'll be ready when Yoko, Paul, Olivia and Ringo decide to hold one.

Aside from these plans, which may or may not come to fruition, Winter on The Prairie means cards ...and they can only be Bicycle Playing Cards. My Family has been playing "Thirty One" for a hundred years. If you want to learn it, see "Details of Play" at

If you don't want to learn it, your aren't going to leave here without learning something. File this away for future reference:

The Ace of Spades served a famous "Psychological Warfare" purpose in the war in Vietnam. In 1966, two lieutenants wrote The United States Playing Card Company and requested decks containing nothing but the Bicycle® Ace of Spades. The Viet Cong were very superstitious and highly frightened by this Ace because The French had occupied Indo-China, and in French fortunetelling with cards, the Spades predicted death and suffering.

Thousands of these decks were shipped to our troops, at no cost, in plain white tuckcases (card boxes), inscribed "Bicycle® Secret Weapon." The cards were scattered in the jungle and hostile villages during raids, with the very sight of the Bicycle® Ace causing Viet Cong to flee.


  1. hmmm, I guess it pays not to be superstitious. This looks like a fun game. I can't wait for winter so we can play it. My husband would rather move to a warm climate, but I love winter. I particularly love winter because it includes times at home - hopefully doing things like playing card games. Throw in some flannel pjs and some hot tea and I'm too happy for words!

  2. Wow, I've never heard that story before! Interesting...

    I like to play cards, but oddly, I don't do it often -- and I never remember how to play anything. Every time I sit down to play Hearts or Spades or Canasta -- once or twice in a decade, probably -- I have to read the rules all over again!

  3. Thanks for the history lesson Laurie. Robert DuValle did the
    same thing with the Ace of Spades in the movie "Apocalypse Now".