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.

3 thoughts on “Joker

  1. The re­al­ly wierd part about the whole sto­ry is that it could well have been true at ND. The on­ly rea­son why I picked up on it be­ing false is that I lived in the same sec­tion as you dur­ing your sopho­more year. Yet it sounds like a blend of the char­ac­ters from that sec­tion. You do know that one of the guys in that sec­tion had a sim­i­lar woman sit­u­a­tion hap­pen to him right?

  2. i like it. i be­lieved it was a true sto­ry, and for some rea­son i think that’s key. it just sound­ed plau­si­ble, yet strange. i al­so like the idea of try­ing to pick up girls by hand­ing them jok­er cards. one guy i went to school with prob­a­bly tried it… it sounds just like his style.

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