Monday, April 14, 2008

An ode to Spider Solitaire

(This copy of today's Drabble obtained from Yahoo! Comics, but I
saw it this morning in the Chicago Sun-Times. Click to enlarge.)

Don't get mad at me for the sexism implicit in this cartoon; for all I know Mr. Drabble usually and cheerfully pitches in with the laundry and dishes and other housework.

No, my focus is on panel four -- where Mr. D. sees his wife, goggle-eyed, fixated on the computer screen and says, "I see you've discovered Spider Solitaire."

It was a truly dark day when I discovered it, too.

It took me hundreds of tries before I got my stats up to break-even on the intermediate level (two suits); that had to mean I was was winning three out of four or more, but I never really checked... because, by that time, I'd succumbed to the challenge of the "Difficult" setting -- all four suits, two decks of each.

Those who've never seen Spider Solitaire -- Apple users maybe? -- won't know what I'm talking about. But many of the rest of you -- maybe most of you -- share my secret shame.

I try and rationalize it. It's a means to focus one's concentration, I tell myself, like doodling. Except when one doodles while talking on the phone, one generally stops when the party on the other line says something important. Someday, though, I fear I'm going to miss a settlement offer because I'm agonizing over whether to deal another layer.

I've thought about confessing my addiction here many times -- after all, what are anonymous blogs for? But, somehow, I couldn't.

Frankly, I was just so pathetic at Spider Solitaire that I didn't want the world to know I was hooked -- and lousy at it.

Then, last week, I won my 100th game. Of course, I've lost over 600, for an anemic winning percentage of only 14%. But it's 15% on my machine at home. I'm actually getting better at it.

And I can quit any time I want to.



Patti said...

I'll have to show my Airhead 55 this post.

I believe he is addicted to the same game as you, Mr. Curm.
Spider Solitaire. I don't understand it. Truly I don't.

sari said...

I'm a big spider solitaire fan, but we have a Mac now so I don't play it much.

Anonymous said...

Great posting and especially the cartoon. My wife and I both found spider solitaire - and we love it. For some reason it clicks with my brain. While I consider my patience level normal, for this game I seem to have endless patience. I've gotten quite good, and with the four-suit difficulty, I've currently played 38 games, won 37. I'm on a 27 game winning streak. Some of my games have taken hours to find that elusive path.