23 February 2009


Christmas without an argument!

Yes, I thought that would get your attention!

As the temporary owner of a half dozen of the word's noisier and rambunctious children (or so it seems to my eardrums anyway), the achievement of a Christmas day without an argument is monumental. And now I suppose you want to know how I achieved it?

The day started normally with the youngsters arising at about 6:30am, and heading off to the present pile (under the pathetic plastic thing that passes for a tree!). The presents were all catalogued, shaken, smelled and guessed well before anyone else showed up.

The mid-morning flurry of preparation for going to Christmas Day service was undertaken with good nature and a resignation that today and Easter Sunday are days when there is really no excuse for not going - especially in this household! So we all tramped off to watch mother blow (across?) the flute and father advance the electronic slides during carols and sermon.

So we returned home for lunch, which of course had to be spread ... but then no-one who is hungry is going to complain about putting the food out and getting it ready. And then a minor hiccup while we waited for our invited guest to arrive, before finally sitting to eat.

Conversations degenerated into the normal rough and tumble of a meal with 8 people around the table, 7 of whom have a whole life time of experience together. Dinner over, and now .... SCUM!

This is the secret weapon! As soon as the dishes are cleared, out came 3 packs of cards and we started to play SCUM! The most important part of this game is that the last one out gets ragged by the others, and so long as its not the same person, the psychological distress levels are held in check. And as the youngest are getting better through practice its usually the eldest who play irregularly who suffer. Fortunately, the guest had never played so she was easy pickings!!

Sorry ... what's SCUM? Its a card game where one gets rid of cards by throwing out multiples in numerical order, with the aim being to have no cards left. First finished is "El Presidente", although others call him "emporer". I suppose it depends on your Republican aspirations! Next out, "Vice Presidente". Second last out "Vice Scum" and last out "SCUM". I say this in capitals advisedly because it is not a pleasant position and all other players are keen to see that you know this.

But it is fun and my lot can ... and did! ... play for hours. Until early evening. So that's the trick - SCUM!