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CardShark Content - Kevin Knack (5/22/2002)

Magic cards and girlfriends do not go together. Sure, you can try and force it, but it’s like trying to mate a cat and dog – neither one of them is going to like it and the end result just isn’t pretty. Given that the stereotype of a given Magic player involves the words nerd, homely, and fourteen, one wouldn’t think the problem of girlfriends would even be an issue. The sad truth is, many of us normal folk had homely, nerdy fourteen year old friends to introduce us to the game. Well, that and some of us have also been playing long enough to grow out of that god-awful period of life. Anyway, for whatever reason, many people who play Magic also manage to keep their toes (or more appropriate appendages) dipped into the proverbial gene pool. This leads to the unfortunate mixing of girlfriends and Magic cards.

It starts simply enough. You’re hanging out with your buddies all the time, tossing cards, talking trash, and hitting FNM so often that you know everybody there by name. You’re foolish, however, and believe that you can live a normal life outside of Magic, so you’re going to parties, bars, outside into sunlight, and you’re actually mingling and socializing with life-forms other than the five guys you’ve know since high school. A few of those life-forms are actually girls. You have a presentable appearance and a wit that, while not lightning fast, is certainly capable of passing the old folks on the road, so you end up hooking up with one of these cute cuddly life-forms. Sorry
Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
, that’s it. Game over man. Your Magic game now has an alien incubating in its chest and it’s only a matter of time before that sucker bursts like a high schooler at the Playboy mansion.

Oh, there are no problems at first. In fact, they might even express some interest in those pieces of cardboard with all the pretty pictures. They’ll pick out a few faerie cards and other things that are ‘cute’ (there’s something about Atog
Atog
AtogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
0: +2/+2. Each time you use this ability, you must sacrifice one of your artifacts in play.
s that just drive girls wild…I wish I had half their charm), then ask you to throw a deck together for them. They’ll play a few (painfully) slow games while you try and teach them the basics. They never want to play enough to master the game…just enough to string along the hope that they’ll someday be as good a player as yourself. Eventually they go watch TV or look through cards for more cute things, leaving you tossing cards with your buddies and enjoying the best of both worlds. Throw in some good booze and you’re living large, thinkin’ your some kind of rap star you’ve got things so good.

It doesn’t last though. She doesn’t want to play as often as you, so as often as not you’ll end up hanging out with the guys alone. Then she’ll start calling and asking why you’re out so late, requiring you to drop the last game you’re playing, pick up your toys and go home. At least the whipping motions and noises your friends are making don’t bother you any more (textbook sign of somebody who’s not getting any…makes you wonder if they’re proud of it or something). Your Magic sessions get shorter and shorter. Then she starts complaining about not going out enough Friday nights, so you start dropping out of the tournament scene. Eventually you’re lucky to get in a couple of games a month, and half of them are with her because she gets sick of your whining and figure a couple of games will shut you up.
Stage one is complete. You’ve been cut off from the main group. You are the lone infantry squad that is lost and separated from the main group. You’re vulnerable, but not down and out yet. After all, you can still build decks in your spare time and read internet articles. You’re still in the Magic world. Big deal if you’re only playing a few games a month. You’ve got a half dozen lean, mean new decks just waiting to be let loose. Since you’ve been reading so much and have had oodles of time to think (you know, time you could have otherwise spent playing), you’ve got more tech than the terminator. You’ve got spells, mana acceleration, beasts, secret combos, a-bombs, knives, sharp sticks (yeah, I have this whole Aliens thing going on…what can I say…I love that flick). You’re feeling pretty good about yourself when you do play, because you’ve been mopping the floor with your opponents. Unfortunately, your girlfriend isn’t finished. Stage two of the plan is to cut off your supply lines. She starts hitting you where it hurts – your card collection.

There are two approaches she’ll take to this. The first will be to suck up all of your free cash. I’m not sure if this is a conscious effort on their part or not, as I’ve heard rumors about non-Magic playing guys running out of cash when they’ve got girlfriends too. In any event, paying for dinner and movies for two adds up a lot faster than dinner and movie for one (oh who are we kidding, we’ve all skipped meals to be able to afford more Magic cards. I survived a 3-day convention once on Gardetto’s snack mix and Gordon’s bulk white chocolate chip cookies in order to scrounge up that extra spending money). If you manage to survive this attack, she’ll drop subtleness altogether and just start bitching. “I can’t believe how much you spend on those things. You’re going to buy an entire box?! Why don’t you just pick up one or two packs. There’s no way that card is worth $5.” And so on…you get the picture.

So now you’ve got no time to play and no new cards. That’s ok, you’re tough, you’re resilient, you’re not flexible enough to change your lifestyle habits so dammit, you’re going to stay in the hobby. It’s time to launch your counter-offensive and you’re going to unleash the most awesome weapon known in the gender wars – bribery. You’ll never be able to beat your girlfriend in the bribery department (man is cursed with an Achilles heel that will always lead him in the direction he walks), but like the ninja, you can be stealthy and win the battles with calculated, surgical strikes. Friday Night Magic is coming up and you’ve just gotta scratch that itch, so you arrange for a girl’s night out between her and her friends. Sure, she’s going to get back earlier than you and complain that you were out so late, but such is the price a junkie must pay for their fix. What if her friends are busy that night? Improvise. Rent her some gooey chick flick you don’t want to watch anyway, go when there’s some prime time TV thing on that she doesn’t want to miss, get her to play a sport or engage in a hobby. Christ, brain her with a rock and run before she wakes up if that’s what it takes. You’re going to catch hell for it later, but you’re in a relationship – catching hell is in the job description. You could be sitting on the couch eating your morning Fruit Loops when she wakes up in a bad mood and decides some innocent sucker is going to pay for it. Since you’re usually the first person she sees in the morning, that innocent sucker is you. Might as well have a reason for her to get mad at you in the morning.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’re the light of some girl’s life, but you’re also a Magic player. Sure, the two don’t always mix, but you shouldn’t give up one love for another. Compromise – where nobody is happy, but at least no one’s miserable.

On a side note, I’d like to empathically point out that I do not love my Magic cards any where near as much as my girlfriend. Sure, my girlfriend and I fight, but I promise you I fight with my Magic deck a lot more. Swearing at it for too little mana, swearing at it for too much mana, wondering why in god’s name I have three Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
s in my hand, wondering where the hell one of the four Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.
s in my deck is considering that freakin’ Oath of Druids
Oath of Druids
Oath of DruidsSet: Exodus
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
115
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
During each player's upkeep, if that player controls fewer creatures than target opponent, the player may reveal cards from his or her library until he or she reveals a creature card. The player puts that creature into play and all other revealed cards into his or her graveyard.
has already chewed through half of my deck and I haven’t seen one yet. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe a girlfriend is the better choice than Magic. After all, when Magic screws you, whether it be with mana or two Petrified Field
Petrified Field
Petrified FieldSet: Odyssey
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
323
Artist:
Glen Angus
Text:
Tap: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. Tap, Sacrifice Petrified Field: Return target land card from your graveyard to your hand.
s in three packs, you’re not smiling when it’s done.

Regards,


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