¡uno más!


It was an innocent game of ¡UNO! when it began. The five of us were assembled around the kitchen table, armed with a tray of Jell-O shots and a pack of cards. And when the first game ended, amid a flurry of color changes and ill-played Draw Twos, we all marveled that the match had lasted nearly fifteen cutthroat minutes.

But then came Game 2. From the start, the round had a different sort of character. Players focused purely on thwarting the people next to them, with a total disregard for how many cards they might have to draw. No cards were too many, if it meant the possibility of laying down a Draw Four Wild on the girl next to you with only three cards. If anyone announced they had uno card remaining, faces hardened with steely resolve not to let that person go out, no matter what the cost.

After the first hour had passed, many pretenses of fairness went out the window. Cards were concealed in their stacks, or held underneath the table. Players openly speculated on how many cards others had, and what colors they were. At first, it took the form of veiled references to Joseph McCarthy (for red) or Eiffel 65 (for blue), but eventually players were openly advocating the use of specific colors against a player approaching UNO!

Now, ¡UNO! is a fun card game, but not really a game that one willingly commits multiple hours to. After a while, the only keeping the drunk and fatigued players in the game at all was pure stubbornness, the unwillingness to simply give up after two hours, with nothing to show for it. A victory would at least provide a hollow justification for wasting 1/8 of a day on a single hand of a children's card game. A defeat is unimaginably disappointing.

Aaron Vinson put it best, comparing the length of our ¡UNO! struggle to that of another popular game: "At least in RISK, we'd play for a few hours, and then we'd finally get some resolution. 'It looks like my approach to challenge his supremacy in Asia by way of Kamchatka was successful.' Instead, we're going to get to the end of the game and the revelation will simply be, 'Heh. I had red.'"

The game was an emotional roller coaster. I had just one card for nearly five minutes at one point, thanks to fortuitous draws from the pile and a steady stream of Skip cards from my right. I declared "Uno!" at least three separate times, and had as many as twenty cards on two other occasions. Heroic deeds and last-minute Reverses went hand-in-hand. Players boasted of "taking responsibility for the problem" when their neighbors got low on cards, and unleashed unholy assaults of Draw Twos. I began to doubt whether victory would ever come for me, but remained steadfast that no one next to me would go out.

My personal highlight when Khurram devoted nearly ten minutes to choosing between a green or blue card to play to Kristina, who waited, poised, with her final card at the ready. After much buildup, he put down... a Draw Four Wild card.

Finally, at 3:12 am, Aaron finally went out. The rest of us collapsed at the table, sobbing and cursing quietly to ourselves. Khurram was immediately hooked up to an IV. Kati was carried out of the apartment on a stretcher. ¡UNO! had ended, but at what cost? We'd recover superficially, but much like Joe Frazier after his 1971 victory over Muhammad Ali, we would never truly be the same again. And, much like Joe Frazier, I consider Aaron Vinson to be merely the White Man's Champ.

And, for the record, he had green. Heh.


you should play "uno attack!"

plus, i remember once playing uno with you....in someone's living room.... in high school (perhaps kim's old house? i'm not sure). and you kept dropping cards in your lap and i was horrified at this blatant cheating going on next to me. but then i started doing it too. and perhaps we should all learn a lesson from this: michele is not a cheat. sean is a cheat who made a bad impression on her.


I once played against my sisters, and insisted on wearing my large Starter-brand Giants parka during the game. I must have let at least fifteen cards slide down the sleeves during the game. But that was when I was 15... weren't you stacking the deck for deuces before that, Michele?

this sounds like a game gene was present at, solely due to the phrase "take responsibility for the problem." if you don't screw your neighbor, it won't get done.

Michele I remember that game. Sean eventually started throwing them over his shoulder. It was at Scott's house? Or Brad's? One of them anyways.

what i remember is the hundreds, nay thousands of games which involved michele stacking the deck or making illicit deals with other players or forming eight letter words in scrabble or promising (undlivered!) sexual favors in return for letting her win. the student has surpassed the master.

That kind of attitude carried over to school projects as well. I remember, during Mr. Ekdahl's Civil War simulation, we as the North conspired with the West to pass all of our mutual legislation. I think the final result was that the West group won by a single point, and the South group, led by Shawn Brown, was stymied at every turn. Good times.

and then kristen slapped him!

dood. i always delivered on my sexual promises. chris freeze gave me quarters all the time for my promise that he could sneak into katie's room that night. i made out like a fucking bandit. ah the good old days of my youth when being considered the "madame" was an all right thing that brought in just enough cash for a muffin from the tard room. (75cents.)

ah, this brings back memories of an infamous "uno to the death" game that i had with some friends. there was some controversy over whether when forced to draw you drew either one card or continued to draw until you had a card to play. the official uno rules say one card, but in a real uno game, you just keep drawing...

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

About This Site

Sean Keane on Tumblr

Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com
Short posts, better name-branding

Backup Blog

Friends and Associates

San Francisco Comedy

Fine Sporting Websites

Local Bands


Sean Keane's Internet Famousness

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on January 22, 2003 3:40 PM.

aaron vinson and alphabetical prejudice was the previous entry in this blog.

from the archive: age 14 writings is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04