Every now and then I like to find myself an arch nemesis, to keep the spark alive. It’s usually just me and my cats and god knows any crazy old cat lady needs a good healthy dose of paranoia and someone to point the finger at and go “it was you!” in a shaky accusatory tone.
My new arch nemesis is
Three draw Klondike, to be exact.
That supposedly innocent solitaire card game that has been best mates with your computers since the first stages of concept. Quietly working with your computer to make your gaming life hell. The jealous, spurned lover who watches and bides its time while you play your advanced MPRGs MPRPGs or MPORGS or whatever the hell they are.
Klondike doesn’t know, Klondike doesn’t care.
To better understand my new arch nemesis, I decided to Wikipedia it. Which didn’t really help because Klondike lives up to its title of arch nemesis. Not much is known about it, which makes it mysterious, aloof, dark and sinister.
It says “yes, you want to know about me. You want to know my past. But you can’t. You can’t know how many children I’ve murdered and how many great minds I’ve sent insane. You want to know, but you can’t. All you know is that I am your future, your burden, the babysitter neighbour who you think is trying to take over your life but you get accused of paranoia and then one dark lonely night you hear a noise in the basement and you go down into that basement because you’re an idiot!”
Klondike, with its three card draw, was designed to make my life hell, sorting in descending order red, black, red black… need a four of spades? Too bad! It’s the third card down, behind the five of spades.
Think you’ve almost finished the game? On a home run? Not so fast! All the cards you need are still buried in the foundation, probably behind that nine of diamonds that’s been sitting on the pile since the start of the game because the ten of clubs is behind the four of spades and don’t even get me started on the ten of spades. It probably doesn’t even exist.
Klondike, around since at least the 18th century, also known as patience (patience my arse, I’ll give you patience if you don’t let me have that freaking queen of hearts) may have originated in Germany or Scandinavia. One of those two. Or somewhere else in Europe. Pick a country, any country. It may have gotten the name Klondike after being played by prospectors in the gold fields of the Klondike area. In Canada. .
But I like to think differently.
Klondike was an evil emperor obsessed with order. His mother called him Klonny and everyone knew him as Klonny the Anal.
Tired of the old currency, Klonny the Anal had sets of cards made up to represent himself and his many personalities, for his subjects to barter with. Unfortunately, he made so many cards that they soon became disorganised and Klonny the Anal realised that he had created a monster.
Angry, he imposed a new law that all cards must be traded in the same colour, which posed a currency nightmare and the chaos grew worse. People were trading mismatched sets, nobody seemed to have the correct number in the correct order. Frustrated, he decreed that every single citizen in the land should spend every night putting them in order, from highest to lowest. Red on black, since Klonny the Anal liked patterns as much as he liked order. Anyone who dared defied him would have their heads chopped off and their first-borns fed to the wild roaming dragons.
On his deathbed, realising that the Monster he had created was still not tamed, Klonny the Anal ordered Aristotle to start a secret society to ensure that all cards were captured and in the right order well after his death.
Aristotle founded this secret society, the Illuminati, to create order once more and they almost succeeded, until the advent of the 20th century where card games grew less popular as cinema and television took its place. Until Bill Gates, that is. The Illuminati hired Bill Gates to curb the monster who had turned back into the Card Beast of Death and Klondike Solitaire was born on every home computer world-wide.
Thanks Bill Gates. Thanks.
Now, whenever you play Solitaire on your computer, the Illuminati watches you gather all cards, seeing a day when all cards will be in order.
They’ve probably given up on me. I lost in 37 seconds and Microsoft has the nerve to tell me ‘good game??’ Don’t patronise me, Microsoft. You lasted 37 seconds and then tell me good game? It was a terrible game!
The Illuminati is probably watching me play and cringing. “We should put her out of her misery. Why does she keep on trying to put diamonds on hearts? That’s not how its done.”
“She’s undoing all our hard work! How are we going to get all the cards in the world in order if she’s just going to make a mess of it?”
“It’s been 37 seconds. I can’t take this anymore. Kill the switch. Kill the switch!”
“Storm her! She must be stopped!”
At which point I’ll be dragged away screaming: “Jack on Ace! Jack on Ace!”
“There’s no such move! You, ma’am, are part of the problem, not the solution. You’re going to Solitairey Confinement.”
“Will I get a Free Cell?”
“No. No cards for you.”
I’ll get the best of you, Klondike. One day. You haven’t beaten me yet with your three card draw and smug hiding of cards under other cards. You will be stopped!
Also, feel free to use this as an Historical text. There are no holes in any of this story. Every. Single. Bit. Historical. How can you stop this evil if nobody knows of its existence?