Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nothin' Up My Sleeve!

I have something to tell you, but I don’t even know where to start.  I’ve been keeping it a secret for a long time, and for good reason.  It’s kind of embarrassing, hard to explain, and frankly, something I don’t really understand myself.

It has to do with Cory. 
And where he often goes on Friday nights. 
And why he sometimes disappears into the basement for hours.
And how it’s not “just a phase” I was hoping he would grow out of because he’s been doing it for about 17 years now.

You guys, my husband is addicted to Magic. 

But not that kind.
Not the pull rabbits out of hats kind.
Or the smoke and mirrors "presto!” kind.
And least of all not the, “hey, you’re hardly wearing anything and your hair is so bright you could see it through a smoke cloud, would like to be my assistant?” kind.

I’m talking about Magic: The Gathering.  It is a card game, and chances are if you have a pimply teenager without a lot of friends who plays in the band, wears a lot of black and occasionally dabbles in eyeliner, he probably knows how to play this game too.  Cory will be annoyed with how I am portraying this, but the following is a TRUE STORY.

It was a weekend, and Cory went out one night to play Magic at a card shop in a neighboring town.  He sat across his opponent, a young teenage kid, and began making small talk.  Cory asked him where he went to school and when he answered Cory said, “Oh hey, I have a niece that goes to that school!  Do you know ------?”  And he did.  And the next day at school this kid went up to my niece and said, “Hey, your Uncle Cory says ‘hi’.”  And she was like, “Wha…?”  So the kid explained, she came back to us and reported the run in, and we have made fun of Cory for that ever since.  It’s how I show my love.

Cory insists that there are plenty of normal people just like him who love to play Magic (and that’s where the definition of “normal” gets fuzzy), and he has continually defended the investment of the hobby.  I have always smiled and nodded at this defense, waiting to turn my head before generating an eye roll that could circle the globe.  HOWEVER.  (Cory, are you ready?  Because I’m about to put this in writing.) 


Was right. 

A few weeks ago my good husband informed me that he was in need of new golf clubs.  Yes, and the Haitians are in need of clean drinking water because they are dying of the cholera.  Anything else?  Oh, he tried.
Cory:  “You know, I’ve had these clubs for like, 10 years.”
Me:  ….
Cory:  “And the technology is totally outdated.”
Me: ….
Cory:  “Maybe we could clip coupons to save more?”
Me: ….
Cory:  “What if I sold some of my Magic cards to pay for new clubs?”
Me:  “Bingo.”

This weekend there is a tournament going on in Denver, so Cory decided to look through his cards to see what he was willing to part with and trade.  Then, on a whim, I decided to go with him.  As we walked into the convention center it smelled like a boys’ dorm, where the dirty socks never get washed and the pizza boxes never get thrown out.  I looked around and leaned over to whisper in Cory’s ear, “You don’t have man boobs and I don’t have a lip ring, WE DON’T BELONG HERE.”  But he saw the guy he needed to do business with and we stood in line to wait for him.  It was just like Oz.  I needed a heart, Cory needed a brain, there were people in braids, and it smelled like dog.  Noticeably absent, any sequins or gingham.  THEN, a dude walked by wearing a shirt that said, no joke, “Once a King, Always A King But Once A Knight Is Never Enough.”  Oh, my life.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Unlike Cory’s Magic cards, which I would trade faster than a hummingbird on Red Bull to get bedroom furniture.

Our turn.

Cory settled behind the table and pulled out his rarest, best kept card.  “Whoo boy!” the dude exclaimed.  Cory plopped down his second best next to it, and the guy inspected the cards.  Cory had paid approximately $40 for both cards some years back, and now the guy looked at the lesser card and declared, “I’ll give you $125 for that one,” and picking up the 2nd card said, “and I could give you…$600 for this one,” as he held up the rare.  Cory looked him in the eye and said, “I think it’s worth more than that.  How about $1000 for both?”  He had to ask his boss, and his boss said ‘yes’, which is why you will want to invite Cory with you on your next trip to Tijuana when you go shopping for souvenirs.  After plopping a few more cards down Cory ended up walking out with $1200, enough to buy his clubs and a nice dinner.

We did both.

Cory wins.


Ria's Random Thoughts said...

First, I was going to say I'm sorry because I think I'm married to the one who started him on this hobby, like so many others.

But, I just had Pete read that and we are just depressed because he gave all his cards away.

Vern said...

Ria: It's totally Pete's fault! It's okay, I forgive him. Mostly.

Heather said...

Wow, who knew dorky hobbies could be so lucrative!! Hope you enjoed dinner.

Heather said...


jksfam said...

Nice play!

Stefani said...

I wish we had some cards to sell to help pay for my husband's golf addiction... lol, even if you had to endure man-boobs and other depraved displays of the "culture", it was worth it, especially the nice dinner part.

Wendy said...

So, I'm curious, what was the $600 card? Not like I would know what you are talking about or anyting.

Heather said...

Wow that is amazing!!!

anitamombanita said...

That is awesome! What a great story. I can smell the experience. Yes, I did mean that. LOL

mormonhermitmom said...

Wow. Years ago I knew a middle aged math teacher half a head shorter than I am that did that. She was a little on the "eccentric" side and I never asked to see her deck.

Meg said...

AWESOME!!!!!! I wonder if Cory used those cards when he talked me into playing with him in Paradox???

Garden of Egan said...

Wow! That's a lot of dough.
I can't believe someone would pay that much money!

Glad he can get his golf clubs.

Hopefully you can find something to sell so you can get something fancy for you.

Deleen said...

I wonder who really won in this ... you know that the clubs aren't the only thing that cost money in golf, right?

Patty Ann said...

Oh funny!! It is great when your hobbies start to pay something. so nice that one hobby can pay for another. My feeling is as long as you enjoy what you are doing, and you don't neglect the ones who are most important, have fun!! We all need something that makes us smile.

Kelly said...

Very funny Vern! I hope you get your bedroom furniture some day. My dream is dining room chairs that match my table. Sigh!

Meredith said...

A smidgen unexpected. I didn't ever see that one coming!

Kristina P. said...

Maybe I should be happy my husband is having an affair with the PS3 Batman.

momof8 said...

Holy Cow! I have a basement full of magic cards from my kids--we need to look into this!

Mom of Three said...

This is why we have boxes of original Star Wars figures in our crawl space. I hoping for a nice retirement!

Mortensen Baby Farm said... when are you guys out of town next? I will take care of your (basement) house for you!

It will be MY pleasure!

Meredith said...

BTW did you see Todd playing RISK in the middle of sacrament meeting? LOL Not the whole time but he still did it!

I gave you an award on my blog! Go to to check it out! Congratulations!

Lisa said...

I was tagged in the same blog post from Meredith as you, and when I saw the HAIR PULLING THE NECK MOLE, well, let's just say this here is a soul connection. HO- LEE CRAP funny! Love the bangs, too.