I grew up surrounded by my extended family on my mother's side, all of us out there in the wilds of West Africa. Sundays were always spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Holidays too. Since we had large groups of people, no TV, no movie theatre, no parks, no lots of things that people here take for granted, we played a lot of games.
One of the family favorites was, and is, a card game named "Maize." I have no idea where it came from or who made it up or anything: I've heard rumors it's known by other names and with some variations, but have never actually encountered them myself. Since my grandmother would not allow classic playing cards in her house (due to negative associations with gambling and such), we played with Rook cards instead, which worked fine. There are still four suits (colors) and fifteen cards (numbered 1 through 14, no face cards, with the "1" acting like an ace).
We played it on Sundays, on holidays, on vacations. We children could and did play it along with the adults. We were allowed to lay out our cards on chair seats when they became too much to hold, and the adults would politely ignore them. I remember playing it endlessly with my parents on a vacation by the beach, my younger sister running about in the sand and complaining that we were spending too much time playing "Mayonnaise." We have family jokes about my grandfather stabbing his hand into the air and saying Wait! with every card played and staring intently at his cards before allowing play to continue; about my grandmother (a nurse) constantly saying she was discharging cards instead of discarding them.
We still play it these days. My brother and I just played a full game (seven hands) over two nights with our grandparents while up here on vacation. My grandparents are doing very well, but they are in their eighties and sometimes their memories won't cooperate, so we've had to remind them of the rules the last several times we've played. Grandma, exasperated, finally said Just write them down so I can look at them next time! the other night, and we thought this was reasonable.
So my brother typed up the rules, I nitpicked--er, edited--them, and voila! It's only taken forty or fifty years for someone to get around to that.
And because I'm generous and like to encourage social game-playing, I'm sharing the rules with you! They're written for both regular and Rook cards, and you can download the PDF file here.
(Dark chocolate would be considered acceptable payment for services rendered.)
(I might even share with my brother.)
3 years ago