The point of this post is to tell a story I’m not sure will make sense in writing, so I’m padding it a bit in case the story bombs.

My family is not, on the whole, an indoor games family. We’re competitive, and mostly athletes. The traditional family Thanksgiving football game usually lasts until either too many people are hurt, or my uncle has made too many people cry, to continue. The indoor games popular in our family tend to be ping pong and pool, though Tripoley is also a favorite. Mom got my sister and I a Dungeons & Dragons starter kit at one point, but with just the two of us and a binder full of rules, it languished in the cupboard for years.

Our neighbors introduced us to one amazing card game many years ago, Dutch Blitz. It sound a bit complex, but once you get into the flow it’s a very fast-paced game, and requires that you pay attention. We loved it, and played in numerous vacations. I’ve been toting around a deck of Blitz cards for years now (the neighbors’ had a deck they’d acquired years back, and my sister tracked a deck down online in the early days of the Internet as a Christmas gift) in the hopes that I would find enough people for a game. I’m getting there, just slowly – it helps to have two of the four players know what they’re doing, and finding another player and two willing volunteers is tricky!

Two summers back, my sister and I were vacationing in Amsterdam, and searching for a souvenir for said neighbors, who had lived in the Netherlands for some period. We thought it would be genius to track down some “authentic” Dutch Blitz cards as a gift. On our last day, while doing some last-minute shopping, we wandered into a number of toy stores, or tried to – one was closed, one mega-store was crowded. One clerk, a poor Dutchman who had to listen to our increasingly frantic descriptions of these cards, since we didn’t know what the game was called, directed us to a local toy shop where he seemed confident the owner would be able to help. We didn’t see the cards, so asked the owner if they carried a particular card game, notable for having pictures of little boys and girls on the back.* “Sex cards?” she asked. Horrified and embarrassed, we fled to another store, eventually abandoning our quest in favor of something else.

Upon our return to the States, we told our neighbors about our failed odyssey to buy them a new set of cards. They broke into hilarious laughter; apparently, Dutch Blitz refers to the Pennsylvania Dutch, and has almost definitely never been heard of in the Netherlands. It was chagrin on top of embarrassment.

It’s a good game, though. You should come over and play it sometime.

*Between not speaking Dutch and being probably hungover, I suspect our request was significantly less coherent, but that’s bedsides the point.

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