Joker

joker.jpg I once knew someone in college who used the jokers from decks of playing cards when he left notes for people. Unfortunately, he was the most boring person I have ever met. I thought the joker was the only creative idea he ever had.

Z, [we called him Z, for no reason] had one of those long card boxes full of jokers. No one could ever figure out where he got them all. Some of us thought he must obsessively buy packs of cards to keep up his supply. What he did with the rest of the deck, I don’t know. He did have a bit of that kind of obsession to him, so this was possible. For instance, Z would only take a prime number of drinks from a water fountain, would only have an odd number of meatballs with his spaghetti and would cut his bananas long ways before cutting them short ways for putting in his shredded wheat [unfrosted]. Others believed that his dad worked for Hoyle and was his hook up. I never knew what to believe.

His favorite jokers were from Bicycle decks because they had the most white space for writing. The notes he would leave, crumpled between the door and jamb, were pretty terse. ‘package’ meant he had a package for me in his room. ’7:00 SDH’ meant everyone was eating dinner at 7:00 in the south dining hall. He never signed them because we all knew the only person who used jokers for post-its was Z.

His sophomore year, Z started using jokers to pick up girls. It worked, well, sort of. He would walk up to them, usually at the student union during the midnight quarterdog run, mumble something, and hand them a joker with his phone number on it. They would usually call him [drunk], but we never saw any come over. I think he just liked to talk to them.

He did get one date out of it, unfortunately. He knocked the girl up. A bunch of us were talking to him about it late one night and we found out that he lost his virginity at the same time. The girl was real torn up too, she didn’t want to marry him, had really only shagged the boy out of pity in the first place [she told him that]. She didn’t want the baby either but couldn’t get an abortion. Z really couldn’t handle the stress. One day the floor of the hall was covered in jokers and each door had one jammed in it. They all read ‘goodbye.’ Z had disappeared. That is the last time we heard of him in this made-up story.