There are around twenty pieces of Laffy Taffy hidden the top drawer of my nightstand, plunder taken in last night’s family poker game.

That’s right.  I said “poker game”.

Nate purchased a set of poker chips with cards at the local dollar store.  Since that purchase he has been strongly attempting to persuade us to play poker with him.  He also persuades us to play ping pong, basketball, and golf with him.  I’m used to it.  I have been the object of persuasion for many years, a boy waiting out front for me each evening over the years, a ball or ball glove or ping pong paddle or golf club in his hands.  I’m not sure how games of catch or one on one basketball I have played in my work clothes.  Quite a few, I am sure.  It’s nice to see him getting Mir and Alyssa involved in his acts of persuasion now.

Although he uttered the statement in the direction of his mother this past Saturday  “yeah, Mom, I want to play ping pong with you but I prefer Dad because he is more of a challenge”.  I’m rarely off of the hook with the boy.

So last night, after I came inside from playing with my Drew Peterson Deluxe chain saw out in the yard (my next door neighbor did not appreciate my attempt at humor when I told him that), I faced a family waiting at the dining room table for me to join them in a game of poker.  Each spot at the table was arranged with rows of bite size Snickers and Milky Way, Laffy Taffy, and mini candy bar squares.  Poker chips representing the value of said candy accompanied each row.  We played poker using the chips and divvied up the candy after each hand.  The game was literally dog eat dog, as long as you understand that the dog was really the candy.  Many dogs did not make it to the end of the game.

My game strategy was shrewd – win as much taffy as possible.  I controlled the supply of banana taffy, my favorite, then cashed out.

It was interesting to see my Baptist-raised wife greedily gambling for chocolate.  A week ago she couldn’t tell the difference between suits of cards.  Now she’s a real shark.  Cards are apparently no longer evil.  She was talking of making the candy poker game an event at the next family outing with her sisters.  This should be fun to see.

So, my loot hides in the safest spot I know of in the house.  Even the dog won’t find it there.