Last night I lost $22,000 in a game of surrogate poker. Surrogate poker is a game for people who would like to play poker but are too lazy or whose attention span is too short to learn how. In surrogate poker, each player brings along a real poker player he or she has hired to sit in for him or her and actually play the game. While the real players play poker (using their clients' money) each client sits behind his or her player and wraps his or her arms around the player's body, as in the old comedy routine wherein the hidden person's arms appear to sprout from the body of the other person. The client thereby enacts all the hand motions of poker—holding the cards, dealing, placing bets—while the real player makes all the decisions, telling the client what to do with his or her arms every step of the way.
Long story short, my player wasn't a very good communicator, nor was he or she much of a poker player, for that matter. Since I couldn't bear to face my wife after losing $22,000—the entirety of her inheritance following the death of a venerated ancestor—I spent that night at a Red Roof Inn watching the CW network and wondering whether the ringing in my left ear was symptomatic of a brain tumor.