What person who grew up around St. Louis doesn't love the cards?
OK. Most people love the Cards with an uppercase "C," but I know a good many people who love to play cards.
When I was growing up, my cousin would sit for my parents when they needed to work. My mother was my cousin's babysitter when she was growing up and my cousin later watched my brother and sister and me when we were little. My mom subsequently watched my cousin's kids and now their kids.
I know my mom pops a children's movie in the DVD player and hangs out with the kids.
But when my cousin watched us, we learned to play cards. A favorite was rummy. We also played canasta, euchre and many other games.
I got pretty good at it and I hold my own now when I play cards with my wife and other family members and friends.
I also have played cards with my mom. I never hold my own against her. She is my nemesis. She has a crazy amount of luck against me — always getting the exact card she needs to score a lot of points and go out.
I am not proud to say that I had moments when I didn't take it too well. Imagine, if you will, an ill-tempered volcano.
Then I went to college and began working nights stocking shelves at a store. The crew got into the habit of leaving work to go pitch horseshoes and washers and play cards. We mostly played poker. We played every variety — five-card stud, five-card draw, seven-card stud, Texas Hold 'Em, and a two-card variety we called "guts." We played versions of no-peek, including ones with wild cards. It was a lot of fun after a long night of work.
When I moved to Centralia, Ill., for my first full-time newspaper job, editors, reporters and sports writers would join ad sales people and guys from the pressroom to play cards. We had a blast.
Within the last dozen years, it seems card playing has become a sport. It's not difficult to turn on the TV late at night and find Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negraenu, Phil Ivey, Annie Duke and other professional poker players going at it in some high-stakes Texas Hold 'Em tournament.
The popularity of high-stakes poker made it to the big screen too with appearances in "Rounders," "Ocean's 11" and in the 2006 version of the James Bond film "Casino Royale." The seriousness of the games in those movies ranged from cheating naive celebrities out of their money to win or you die.
The heroes in these movies tend to come out on top — a real Hollywood ending. I don't think they'd fare so well against my mom.
The topic of this week's trivia is cards.
1. What Swedish pop group had hits with "The Sign," "All That She Wants" and "Don't Turn Around" in the early 1990s?
2. In a standard deck of cards, which suit has the 'suicide king"?
3. In what Steve Miller song does the singer claim he is called "the space cowboy," "the gangster of love" and "Maurice"?
4. What two pairs does legend say Wild Bill Hickok was holding in a poker hand when he was murdered?
5. What Statler Brothers song features the lyric "playin' solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one"?
6. What is the stage name of singer and actress Dana Owens?
7. Who played King George VI in the 2010 film "The King's Speech"?
8. What pair of Jacks are the former lead singers of The White Stripes and one half of the comedy rock duo Tenacious D?
9. What starting two-card hand is referred to as Pocket Rockets in Texas Hold 'Em?
10. From what song is the lyric "Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy. She'll beat you if she's able"?
ANSWERS: 1. Ace of Base. 2. Hearts. 3. "The Joker." 4. Aces and eights. It is called the dead man's hand, although other historical references give other values to the cards in a dead man's hand. 5. "Flowers on the Wall." 6. Queen Latifah. 7. Colin Firth. 8. Jack White and Jack Black. 9. Two aces. 10. "Desperado" by The Eagles.
Shawn Clubb is managing editor of the Suburban Journals for St. Louis and St. Charles counties. You can contact him at email@example.com.