June 22, 2006

Hand Games

One of the things I'm already liking the most about consulting is the flexibility of the work day. Sure, I may be up until midnight working on a project, but I have that option. That flexibility came in handy yesterday when I went downtown to do run a few business-related errands.

It was Aboriginal Day, which is an actual holiday (everyone gets the day off) in the NWT, but is not in the Yukon. I think it should be. Anyways, even though it wasn't an actual holiday, there were events going on downtown, such as moose calling and hand games (generally called "stick gambling" in the Yukon).

If you know me, you know that I love playing hand games. The event was open to to teams of six, so I tried to round up a team. I didn't have much luck, but one of the teams was short, so I joined them as their "shooter" (known as the "caller" in the Yukon).

I was helping a team with a lot of Irenes. There were three Irenes on the team. Yes, 50% of the players on the team were named Irene. That seems to be a pretty high proportion of Irenes in one place.

We did fairly well, even though it was the first time any of the players on my team had played (except for me). I started off strong with my guessing, but we lost in the end. I blame it partly on a bad call made by the judges and the shooter on the other team. When the shooter on the other team made her call, one of the Irenes on my team uncrossed her arms, a common rookie mistake. The judge and the shooter only saw her arms uncrossed, so they called her "out". I explained that she had uncrossed her arms, but the shooter on the other team was fairly insistent, so I acquiesed.

I also blame our loss partly on me. There was one stick left and I had to get only one more player out. When she was hiding her hands under her jacket, I was pretty sure that she had put her token into her left hand, but I wasn't sure and had decided before-hand that I was going to guess "right", since following my gut often works best. So I guessed "right" and guessed wrong. Lesson learned.

The other team won, but we were only playing for bragging rights, so we didn't lose anything we didn't have before.

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