Game of Spoons

Spoons was a popular game when I was growing up and one we played regularly during my years at church camp. Players (the more the better) would sit around a long table and metal spoons would be placed in an oblong ring in the center such that each player had a spoon within reach. There was always one less spoon than number of players. The dealer would deal each player 4 cards and then start taking one card off the top of the stack and pass it or one of his held cards to the left as each person could only hold 4 cards at a time. The dealing duties would also rotate to the left after each round. The first player to hold 4 of a kind would then take one of the nearby spoons as discreetly as possible. Once one spoon was taken and the others playing realized it, a free for all to get a spoon ensued before none were left as the player left without one was out and the next round would continue with one less player and one less spoon until there was a final winner. It was always fun to watch the game in the early rounds as a sneaky spoon holder while others would keep passing the cards, oblivious to what had happened. One of the most fun twists on the game was that keen players who weren't likely to get 4 of a kind in a certain round and thus wouldn't have rights to take the first spoon could often survive the cut just by paying attention to the overall game and be ready to pounce once the first spoon was taken. This was easy to do early on as most players were so caught up in their own game of cards that they lost sight on the real objective: the spoon! I've even seen the final round of two won not by the person who got 4 of a kind but the keen observer who was able to react faster than the entitled card holder and swipe that last spoon, leaving the would be winner with none. 

There are many parallels that could be drawn from such a scenario and most aren't as fun as the original version. If you just change the number of players to the population of planet earth, the number of metal spoons to the available metal resources, and take the leap that 4 of a kind is equivalent to the stack of paper money needed to swap for a metal spoon of a certain flavor then the global game is on. The only problem is with the comex paper markets reportedly leveraged well over 100:1 to the real stuff there will be lots of losers. It seems that the keen players are already stealthily taking as many spoons as they can get. It will, of course, start with the more established silver, gold, platinum, palladium, and rhodium spoons and when there are none left other rare metals and those with industrial value will also be grabbed up. At least that is our assertion. Those too focused on the paper cards they hold close could be the real losers. Be sure to stake claim to your allotment of spoons before they've all been grabbed in the final frenzy.

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