Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strip Poker

Genre:  Card Game

Players:  Two or more

Playing Time:  Amount Varies

Skills Required:  Counting, Strategy, Bluffing, Probability

I had never been good at card games.  Susan and I had a favorite board game manufactured by Parker Brothers called Clue, a game that didn't require much in the way of skill, just a simple process of elimination which ended with either Susan or me triumphantly declaring: "Mr. Plum did it with the lead pipe in the conservatory!"

     When Ricky Comfort telephoned my house that day, his scratchy voice asking, "Hey, um, what're you and Susan doing today?  Wanna come over and play strip poker?" we figured it was time to learn to play cards.  Neither one of us had skills like strategy, bluffing or probability but we did have our Teenform training bras.  Evidently since we'd already had our first make-out session underneath Ricky's house, the word on the street was that Susan and I were, how shall I put this delicately?  Easy.

     Hanging up the yellow kitchen wall phone I nervously said to Susan, "I think this'll be okay.  We can always leave whenever we want.  Let's go in my room and just find as many clothes as we can.  That way, we shouldn't have to strip down too much."  I was nervous but by now I was an old pro -- my first kiss under my belt.  This was the age that sex hormones were starting to kick in and the prospect of hanging out with a group of hot, sweaty half-naked pimply guys sounded almost enticing.

     We rummaged through my dresser pulling out extra t-shirts, sweaters, leotards, tights to go underneath our stretch shorts and of course our Teenform training bras.  I'd taken to stuffing my bra with toilet paper that year since I was flat as a board, but that little secret was something I decided to forgo that day.  "Hey, look what I found," said Susan pulling out a pair of wool gloves from the back of my underwear drawer.  "The more clothes the better," she said with a nervous smile.  We were so overdressed that our strip poker debut was sure to be successful.  I grabbed my winter coat for good measure before we stiffly walked out into the scorching hot Florida sun and ambled over to Ricky's house.

     When we arrived at Ricky's house, we were greeted by Ricky, Henry Mahanke and Michael Melvin who wore the bare minimum of clothing -- each wore just a pair of jeans and t-shirts and Converse high-top tennis shoes with socks.  I started mentally counting how many articles of clothing they wore compared to ours.  As usual, Ricky's mother was either at work or running extensive errands since she didn't seem to be around much.  The house was uncomfortably warm, made all the more so by our extra clothing.  One inefficient box-style fan stood in the corner of the room blowing warm air.  Susan and I sat down on the tattered sofa which was covered with a faded beige-colored nubby bedspread.  Ricky's dog, a large brown mutt with fur that felt like wire sauntered happily over to us, his tail thumping against the side of the mahogany-colored naugahyde recliner that was set up in front of the black and white TV set.

     "Buster!" Go lay down," commanded Ricky.  Buster obediently curled up right in front of the fan, ready to watch the action.

     Sex-god Henry was looking just as alluring as ever that day, his mesmerizing blue eyes scanning our fit-for-Alaska clad bodies.  I felt myself flush.

     Walking out of the kitchen carrying a couple of cokes with ice in cheap plastic tumblers, the pink tumbler for Susan, purple for me, Ricky said, "Hey, this'll be fun.  My mom's gone the rest of the day shopping with my sister so we got the place to ourselves."

     Henry produced a deck of Bicycle playing cards and set them in the middle of the coffee table and started shuffling the deck not taking his eyes off of Susan and me.

     I felt myself get dizzy as cards were passed out and the boys started throwing around phrases like 'poker face, wild card, and stripped deck' -- phrases that I'd never heard before but sounded like words I wouldn't mind becoming more intimate with.  I can't really remember how this game is played because I still never do more than put five bucks on black on the roulette table whenever I go to Las Vegas.  I like games that are nice and simple.  But Ricky, Henry and Michael seemed to have strategy when it came to strip poker because before we knew what was happening, Susan was down to her white cotton underwear and Teenform training bra and so was I.  A few more cards were dealt and Ricky's luck took a turn for the worse.  Suddenly, he was down to his Fruit of The Loom tighty-whities, his pale body only matched by his pale pimply face.  That was when the phone rang -- a shrill sound disrupting our intense concentration.  We all jumped in alarm.

     Ricky snatched up the phone.  "Hello?"  I suppose the person on the other end of the line must've said, "What are you doing?" because Ricky answering in nothing but his underwear said, "Oh, nothing."  A few more mumbled phrases before he hung up the phone and panicked saying, "My mom's gonna be home in half an hour!"

     Saved by the bell.  The five of us scrambled around, gathering up our jeans, t-shirts, Converse high-tops, leotards, stretch shorts, socks, gloves, coats, and rapidly dressed.

      As we walked home, Susan and I felt as though we'd just performed an important rite-of-passage.  Susan picked a red hibiscus flower, tucked it behind her ear and smiled.  And that, my friends, was my first time seeing a boy almost naked.

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