Monday, October 25, 2010

Reared as a Heathen

You gotta love it. Only in South Carolina. Once again, our archaic (and sometimes Archean) laws set us apart from every other state. This came from our local paper in an article covering a case before the SC Supreme Court concerning whether an organized poker game in someone's home is illegal gambling in our fair state. This case has not been decided yet - the jury (ie the State Supreme Court) is still out.

According to our paper, "Read literally, a South Carolina law on the books since 1802 makes illegal any game with cards or dice - including popular board games like Monopoly and Sorry. [SC Attorney General] McMaster has traditionally said that he followed a loose interpretation of that law, only considering games that are more reliant on chance [than] on a player's skill - like Texas Hold 'Em - to be gambling and therefore illegal."

Had this law been enforced, when my saintly Granny crossed state lines to visit us every Easter, she could have been put away in the poky (as my Aunty would say) for her love of the game of Sorry. And, my father raised reared two heathens by starting us early with the game of Monopoly as soon as we could count money. And, the greatest iniquity of all, Aunt Kat's Old Maid card game would be deemed illegal in the eyes of the law, much less the afternoon Bridge parties proper ladies down here have enjoyed for centuries.

The irony is that my Daddy sold playing cards in his drug store and the state collected tax on every deck sold. I can remember the tax stamps on each deck. So the state of South Carolina was collecting taxes on every deck of cards that was sold in the state, but the cards had no purpose except that which was against the laws of the state. I'm confused.

Meanwhile, I am trying to remember if I have ever torn the tags off a mattress (remember "illegal and punishable by law"). It's bad enough I'm having nightmares for fear that I am going to "Go to Jail, Go directly to Jail" (and I really could use that $200.) But, I'll be with good company. After all, all those fine ladies who play bridge will be joining me. And, to think the Baptists are still concerned about us buying batteries on Sunday morning. I just hope they are not playing a game of solitaire waiting for their mom to get dressed for church.

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