The Bunco Squad

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Well, it finally happened. After seven years of what I thought was a blissful marriage, The Wife kicked me out.

Monday night, she threw me and The Boy out on the curb like yesterday’s trash. Not because of any of my faults. I have none. Like most husbands, I’m perfect. No, The Boy and I had to leave for the evening because SHE was coming: the Bunco Queen.

On Monday morning The Wife said she was taking a half day off work to get ready for the Bunco Queen. She had to clean the house, go shopping, cook hors d’oeuvres, and make finger sandwiches.

I told her I would make hand sandwiches — there would be more to eat. It was right after that comment that I received my first poke in the ribs.

Me being the perfect husband and all, I acted like I was interested. “Just why are you having the police over anyway?” She laughed and informed me that bunco had absolutely nothing to do with the police. Bunco is a game, and husbands weren’t allowed to play.

She explained that bunco is a game of dice. Players split up at four tables in teams of two. They roll three dice trying to get a certain number. The Wife talked for another 10 minutes about the rules of the game. My eyes were glazing over during the explanation so she finally took mercy on me. “Bunco is really just a mindless game.”

“Good,” I said, “I don’t have to go anywhere tonight. If it’s a mindless game, I’d fit right in.”

That comment prompted the second poke to my ribs, and it wasn’t even six in the morning yet. But the day was only going to get worst for yours truly. By the time the Bunco Queen arrived at our house that night, The Boy would be driving me to the hospital.

With sore ribs I made my way to the computer and looked up the game of bunco. Seems it’s a social event for ladies only and has very little to do with playing a game.

As I read, it became apparent that it was just an excuse for 12 women to get together and talk. They’d talk about their husbands, boyfriends, kids, jobs, and just about anything else that came to mind. While they talked, they would forget about diets and snack on finger food, hors d’oeuvres, and drink spritzers.

When I asked The Wife what a spritzer was, she flashed a coy smile and said, “Just a special little punch, dear.” I told her bunco seemed like poker night with the guys — minus the football, beer, poker, and guys. She just smiled and reminded me that The Boy and I were to be out of the house by six.

The Wife went to work, and so did The Boy and I. We returned to the house by 5 that afternoon, dropped off the trailer, hedge clippers and tools. The Boy had to get his camera. It’s not everyday Dad walks around with a three-inch splinter through his finger. I followed The Boy inside and showed The Wife my finger and the four-inch splinter that was through the middle of it.

Before she had a chance to ask, I held up my impaled finger and said, “You don’t want to know.” Then I added, “Can I stay and show the Bunco Queen my finger?”

This time, there was no poke to the ribs. Instead she hugged me, gave me a kiss, and told me to call her to let her know I was okay.

After taking pictures, The Boy and I went to the immediate care facility. The lady doctor took really good care of me, especially when I told her we just were thrown out of the house because of Bunco. Seems she too has a group of 12 she plays with once a month.

The doctor removed the five-inch splinter and put in a jar for me to keep as a souvenir. Something I can show the guys at the next poker night.

After the doctor’s visit, I called The Wife and told her that it looked like I would survive. She could hardly hear me with all of the laughter in the background. The Boy and I ate dinner out, filled my prescriptions, looked at a few new places to go fishing, and then called back at 9. “Can we come home now?”

We arrived back at the house just as the Bunco Queen and her court was leaving. All were in good sprits and sympathetic about my finger, but strangely none wanted to see the picture or my six-inch souvenir splinter.

The Wife was busily cleaning up as I came into the kitchen. She hugged me asked me to tell her how my finger got skewered. As I did, I looked around the kitchen and noticed a chocolate fountain on the counter disassembled. Chocolate was on the counter, cabinets, floor, and just about everything else in the kitchen.

The Wife smiled, held up one finger with chocolate still covering it. As she licked it off, she said sweetly, “Don’t ask. We had a great time.”

The next morning I woke up late, and my finger was throbbing something awful. I went to the refrigerator looking for leftover finger sandwiches for breakfast and found the punch. I had five finger sandwiches. After my second glass of punch, my finger stopped hurting. I lay down and woke up after 1 o’clock.

That’s when I decided. At the next poker night, I’m bringing some finger sandwiches, dice and lots of special bunco punch. No chocolate though. The Wife warned me if I reached for her chocolate, my finger wouldn’t be the only thing skewered.

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