Game of Thrones

I’ll admit, when I received an email titled “PORTA POTTY CRIBBAGE”–just like that, in all capitals–I was a little skeptical at first. Len’s story soon won me over, though–read more below. (Up at the hunting shack, we have many euphemisms for ‘toilet’–throne is just one of ’em. You’ll see.)


One of my most enduring memories of playing cribbage with my father Stan occurred in July, 2007.
Doctors at St Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota had just discharged him after they could do nothing more for his congestive heart failure condition. It was the beginning of his “comfort care” at our local nursing home, so his spirit was still active and he welcomed the challenge of a cribbage match.
One of the side effects of his condition, however, was frequent urination. An armchair type porta potty brought in from his home allowed him to sit in comfort and “dribble” as needed. And that porta potty is what he sat in, complete with hospital gown, while we played cribbage on a portable bedside table positioned between us.
While pegging out one hand in the match, Stan remained calm and reserved while I went semi-beserk when all his cards were played. He held the Queen of Clubs plus three 5s, and a 5 was cut as the starter card. “A 28 hand!” I exclaimed. I’ve had only one 28 hand in my entire life and Stan said this was only his second (note: an internet search revealed the following approximate odds–28 hand is 1 in 15,000; 29 hand is 1 in 215,000).
I complimented Stan on his ability to keep a poker face while pegging out such a magnificent hand.
He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eyes and said “I got so excited that I quit peeing!”
Len Olson, International Falls, MN

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