On A Most Disastrous Invention

Willow is currently undergoing surgery.  Please enjoy this classic edition of This Way Lies Madness.  It originally appeared June 10th, 1765 in Duchess Wilhemina's correspondence to the Count of Hampton-Cross-Vandingburg.  It was published in 1775, as part of a commentary on the sad state of gaming in the colonies.

I had the questionable honor of being allowed to partake in cardplay of one notable John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwhich.  While this is a rare occasion for noblewomen, afforded to me only by my most scathing analysis of the Wrightford Double-Nought Stratagem, I must afford unto you that I have met better card players, better Cards, and better Players, should you catch my innuendo.

The game of the night was the Oxford Forths Exchange (Westbury Variant), which I had not previously played but was familiar with by reputation.  As far as the Exchange family of card play goes, it is an inferior game to the more common Oxford Forths, primarily due to the presence of the "Counter-Duece-Round" rule and the overly-simplified scoring system.  I say, is it truly that difficult to recall that a single eliminated eight is worth seven points, plus one for a club, plus five for each additional eight, doubled if the player's reserve contains a One-Eyed Jack, unless the Challenge Rule has been activated?  It surpasses the Cartford "Whiffle" Exchange, which is perhaps the best thing I can say about it.

Our Host, the Earl, was most pleased with himself over his newest "invention," an abomination against science, God, and table manners.  Because of his sloth, commensurate to his mishandling of our nation's naval affairs, he refuses to leave the table whilst playing for any reason.  I will leave the more nuanced results of this to your imagination, but cardplay with the Earl is not for the faint of heart.

This physical manifestation of hubris is made with two slices of bread, with various meats placed within.  It is stuffed by hand into one's gaping maw, without any concern for cordiality.  In his narcissism, the Earl has named it after himself.

I do declare that this so-called "Sandwich" will never catch on.


Wilhemina, Duchess of Painfyre


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