Happy 45th Anniversary, mum and dad

You’re supposed to send cards to wish someone a happy anniversary. Well, today, my mum and dad have been married for 45 years (!), so I sent them some cards. Specifically, five playing cards, with weird symbols on them.

Joker, J♠, A♥, A♠, 5♠

So, the first question is: what order should they be in? You might need to be Irish to get this next bit.

There is a card game in Ireland called Forty-Five. It’s basically Whist, or Trumps; you each play a card, and highest card wins, except that a trump card beats a non-trump. My grandad, my mum’s dad, was an absolute demon at it. You’d sit and play a few hands and then he’d say: you reneged! And you’d say, I did what? And he’d say: you should have played your Jack of Spades there. And you’d say: how the bloody hell do you know I have the Jack of Spades? And then he’d beat you nine hundred games to nil.

Anyway, what makes Forty-Five not be Whist is that the trumps are in a weird order. Imagine that, in this hand, trump suit has been chosen as Spades. The highest trump, the best card in the pack, is the Five of Spades. Then the Jack of Spades, then the Joker, then the Ace of Hearts (regardless of which suit is trump; always the A♥ as fourth trump), then the Ace of Spades and down the other trump suit cards in sequence (K♠, Q♠, etc).

And it is their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. (See what I did there?) So if we put the cards in order:

5♠, J♠, Joker, A♥, A♠

then that’s correct. But what about the weird symbols? Well, once you’ve got the cards laid out in order as above, you can look at them from the right-hand-side and the symbols spell a vertical message:

Weird symbols spell out 'HAPPY ANNIVERSARY'


Also, I’m forty-one, so all you people who have suggested that my parents were unmarried (although by using a shorter word for it) are wrong.

Happy anniversary, mum and dad.

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  • Gamer Geek responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: Happy 45th Anniversary, mum and dad kryogenix.org/days/2018/01/0…
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