It’s In the Cards

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Kids can answer the question readily because they have no clue where the boundary between reality and fantasy lies.

Spider-Man!

Astronaut!

President!

Fluffer!

But as we get older, it becomes very difficult to decide what task we wish to perform almost daily for the better portion of the rest of our lives. Some of us don’t bother thinking about it seriously at all and then suddenly find ourselves in college realizing there is simply no way to score a BA in Boozing and Noncommittal Sex. So we major in English and eventually go into Advertising. Or something.

But what if we could actually determine our children’s futures while they were still young? What if, instead of asking the direct question that always receives a fantasy answer, we resolved to use an utterly oblique question? This way, the subject is not keen to the process and thus answers honestly and openly, without presumption.

An example of such a question might be the one from the old trick known as 52 Pickup. The trick is to get your hapless victim to pick up the entire deck of playing cards after you have thrown them all over the place. You ask, “Would you like to play a game of 52 Pickup?” If your victim says yes, you throw the cards everywhere and tell them to pick them up. It’s hilarious if you’re eight years old.

So we propose the 52 Pickup question and then determine the kid’s future occupation and other means based on his or her answer. It’ll make more sense after a few examples, so to give you a better idea where I’m going with this, here are some possible answers and the predictions we can derive from them:

“Would you like to play a game of 52 Pickup?”

“Sure!” – This response indicates a complete lack of forethought and is, sadly, the most common answer. People who answer this way will more often than not grow up to be blue-collar workers with lots of debt and/or child support. Many will be alcoholics.

“Nah.” – A child who immediately replies in the negative is either depressed or already knows what he wants to do and your new game certainly ain’t it. Either way, the kid will probably have a decent career as an emo rock musician or horror novelist. That is, provided he isn’t beaten to death by bullies for wearing eyeliner (combat boots if we’re talking about a girl).

“I don’t know.” – Children answering this way do so because they’re used to having everything spelled out for them and are nearly incapable of making decisions on their own. They require a strictly regimented lifestyle and thus are generally inclined to enter the military. Most will remain there until retirement.

“Huh?” – The 52 Pickup question having been asked slowly and clearly, this reply would indicate the child is either deaf or terrifically stupid. In the case of the former, the question would be written down for the subject and the new response analyzed. In the latter case, the child would be resigned to a life of picking up garbage on the side of the interstate.

“Might as well.” – This points to an unhealthy level of curiosity and/or resignation. A child expressing either of these sentiments in their answer will likely grow up to be a heroin addict or a prostitute. Quite possibly both.

“Is it any fun?” – This reply means the child is overly gullible and trusting. Most subjects responding this way will eventually become white-collar workers and be promoted to management before realizing being an office manager isn’t any fun at all. Approximately 1/3 of them will commit suicide.

“How do you play?” – This is one of the rarer of answers and indicates a curious but discerning mind. These respondents will end up going one of two distinct ways: they either become scientists or spiritual leaders, depending on other significant factors such as the types of literature they are exposed to and how their parents react to things like masturbation and late bed-wetting.

“Not sure I’ve heard it, but if you sing the first verse I can probably join in.” – Obviously, this little smart-ass will become a stand-up comic. Or possibly a lounge singer.

“Fuck no. Get the hell out of my face you shitstick!” – This child is an asshole and will have a lengthy career as a prison inmate.

“Who has time for games when there’s a real world out there chock full of vulnerable people to exploit!?”
– Politician. Hands down.

I’ve limited the examples to ten for the sake of brevity, but I think these should suffice to prove that I definitely have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to psychology, which is one of the careers my personal response of “let me think about it” would have indicated for me.

In other words, this post is as pointless as the game 52 Pickup…

…except that you probably would have rather picked up a bunch of stupid playing cards.

Read and post comments

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
This entry was posted in Can I Say Something? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to It’s In the Cards

  1. Lauri says:

    Omg. This is my favorite! Because it's so totally TRUE! :D“How do you play?” – This is one of the rarer
    of answers and indicates a curious but discerning mind. These
    respondents will end up going one of two distinct ways: they either
    become scientists or spiritual leaders, depending on other significant
    factors such as the types of literature they are exposed to and how
    their parents react to things like masturbation and late bed-wetting."

  2. Kirk says:

    Ha! That's my fave of them, as well. Glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. Austin1234 says:

    "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
    Selma Hayek's bicycle seat.

  4. K. says:

    So we major in English and eventually go into Advertising.
    Hey, now. Some of us major in English and go into Administrative Assistant-ting and want to blow our brains out.
    Awesome post as always, my friend 🙂

  5. SweetMisery says:

    Great post. I hate to admit I asked what the game was and then was told you either wanna play or not. I said okay. picked up the freaking cards. lol

  6. Susan says:

    Ha! Great post.

  7. northerngeek says:

    ummmmm Did I see Fluffer in the list?

  8. Jillzey says:

    Wow. I'm slightly frightened with how accurate this was. I tried the approach on my son. He immediately gave me the "nah" response. Which I probably could have guessed because he a musician, plays in a band, paints his fingernails, wears combat boots and dresses like a child-goth. He's already on his way to being an emo rock star.I have tried to talk my Advisor into letting me major in booze and casual sex. She said that it as a Communications degree and that sounded boring so I stayed with English.

  9. Kirk says:

    "Did I see Fluffer in the list?"Yup. That's my demented sense of humor for you. I can't really help it. It just comes out (no pun intended).You'll note that I put the definition in the tags for those unfamiliar with the term.

  10. Kirk says:

    "I have tried to talk my Advisor into letting me major in booze and casual sex. She said that it as a Communications degree and that sounded boring so I stayed with English." Awesome comment. The idea of Communications being so boring you stick with English is pure gold. Five stars!

  11. stubbie23 says:

    I'm trying to not have a hernia from not being able to laugh like I want to at work, but I do have to favorites:1) “Fuck no. Get the hell out of my face you shitstick!” – This child is an asshole and will have a lengthy career as a prison inmate.Or better yet, a prison guard.2) Fluffer!I about wet myself when I read that line. I had a friend that was a bartender. She wore a t-shirt one night with that title across the front one evening. After about an hour she asked me why all the men were making lewd suggestions to her. "You do know what a Fluffer is, right?" I asked. "Isn't it someone that fluffs things? Like pillows?" she replied. After explaining what job skills a true Fluffer required, I truly thought she was going to die from embarrassment. "Trade me shirts!" she ordered. I swear to god I came back with "You fluffed your bed, now lie in it". She then proceeded to chase me out of the club.

  12. Jay says:

    "Would YOU like to play a game of go f*ck yourself?"This means your kid will grow up to be Italian. Good for you. :PGood stuff Kirk!!!

  13. Kzinti says:

    You fluffed your bed, now lie in it..
    LOLOLOL.
    Oh, and Jay, I believe the game though is "Hide and go fuck yourself".

  14. Brown Suga' says:

    I'm with Lauri – the one below is VERY accurate!

    “How do you play?” – This is one of the rarer of answers and indicates a curious but discerning mind. These respondents will end up going one of two distinct ways: they either become scientists or spiritual leaders, depending on other significant factors such as the types of literature they are exposed to and how their parents react to things like masturbation and late bed-wetting."

    Great post, LOL!

  15. Kirk says:

    "I'm trying to not have a hernia from not being able to laugh like I want to at work…"As a humor writer, I couldn't ask for more (as long as you did in fact avoid distending any organs). Glad you enjoyed it, my man.

  16. It's so early in the morning here, I can't think of one clever thing to write. My comment pales next to the others and next to this hilairous post. Thanks for the laugh, Kirk.

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