We have a little game group going on in our lab among the grad and co-op students during lunchtimes. The most common game we play is Coup, since it can have up to six players. Today, however, Carine was in the cleanroom and Adam was nowhere to be found. Vivian was in the weekly Monday CTC meeting and Dhilan, if he were here, would also have been in the meeting, but had a doctor’s appointment so wasn’t in at all.

Thus, Wenhan and I were alone, forming the Wen club. We happen to both have the same “wen” in our names (文), so it works out. As Coup isn’t as fun with only two players, we decided to play cards. We played a few rounds of Speed and then switched to Slapjack, because Wenhan thought he had a good chance of winning at that.

Slapjack is a game that involves, well, slapping. The cards of the deck are divided among the participants, who take turns placing an upturned card on a table in the middle of the players and counting “ace, two, three, four,” and so on for each card. If the number counted matches the number on the card (including face cards) or if the card is a jack (hence the name Slapjack), all players must slap their hand in the middle of the table atop the card pile and the person who slapped last must collect the pile of cards and add them to their deck. The winner is the player that finishes their personal deck and does not lose the next slap match.

As you may have expected, Slapjack is a rather violent game with lots of hitting and slapping. At the beginning, Wenhan was winning, mainly because he knew how to play and I had just learned. Eventually, I started winning as he started messing up, and near the end he started to win again (spoiler alert: he won). At one point, though, I accidentally slapped him (this part is normal, as you pretty much slap each other every time), but my nail went in between his fingers and stabbed him (this is the abnormal part). He was very upset (Wenhan’s a bit of a baby sometimes) and said “ow” a lot. I apologized, though, really, it was an accident and that also happens to be the nature of the game so it’s his own fault since he proposed it. Apparently Vivian did something similar to him a few months ago when they were playing the same game so it looks like he hasn’t learned his lesson yet. He also almost sprained her finger in another game, so maybe it’s just karma.

Wenhan currently wants to ban me from the Wen club in retaliation, but I argue that he can’t do that, because we’re the only two members and if it came to a vote, there’d be a tie. I’m older, so I ought to get the tiebreaking vote. Conversely, even if I were ousted from the club, he’d be the only member and I’m not sure it can be considered a “club” with only one member so, really, there’s no choice.


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