Playing cards

The Mirror
Playing cards
2008-06-25 21:54

What would you do if you discovered that your six-year-old son was telepathic? My mother put my talent to good use: she taught me to cheat at cards! We were very poor, living in a couple of rooms in a Tel Aviv apartment and surviving on what my mother could earn with a needle and thread.

She supplemented her income with a few shekels won at gin rummy, and when she guessed that I could read her mind, she set me some tests. With a hand of cards held close to her chest, she demanded: “What have I got?” And though I didn’t know the names of the funny red and black symbols, and I had only just learned to count to ten, I could envisage the cards as clearly as if they were spread before me. That afternoon she took me to my first game.

I was to read the minds of the other women, and signal to my mother with my fingers what cards they were picking up. It was all too complex. The other players didn’t transmit clear mind pictures like my mother, and I got my fingers in a twist, and the game was long and boring. So we simplified the system: whenever I sensed a player was holding a joker, I had to kick my mum under the table. Jokers were easy to spot, and my mother soon had a row of bruises. She also had a pot of money. I was very proud, and when I got my first dog I called him Joker. I have owned a Joker ever since. Sometimes the games were played late in the evening, and I couldn’t sit with my mum then.

I had to go to bed on my own, which I didn’t like. As soon as I heard her key in the door, at one or two in the morning, I’d be awake, and I could always tell how much she’d won or, occasionally, lost. It became a ritual:

“How much tonight, Uri?” “Two shekels, Ima!” When I began to study parapsychology at prestigious universities such as Stanford in California, I discovered intense telepathic links are common between mother and son, especially when the boy is an only child and the woman is divorced. They both know they have no one else in the world, and they have to look out for each other in every way possible.


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