Spring Break (Gone Wrong)

 Spring Break has already come and gone at NLA,  and lasted only one short week due to Minnesota’s harsh cold winter this year. During this year’s spring break, many of North Lakes Academy students traveled on vacations, hung out with friends, or stayed home making up for lost time on their various game consoles.

Some students stayed in the state and hung out with friends, usually having parties, staying up to, as some say, “ungodly hours” playing entropic card games from three to five in the morning. Before more of this event is disclosed, some background information is in order.  On Saturday, March 16, Spencer Hammerstein (11) decided to host his 16th birthday party.  Every year he hosts this event at his house and invites most of his closest friends to his party. Here they either eat pizza, chips, or this years theme, chinese until they’re on the verge of raising the cholesterol levels to the point of cardiac arrest. They also fulfill the role of the consistently overlooked techno hermit by playing murderous, violent, first person shooter games,  which may have something to do with the problems in our society. Jacob Grinstead (10) admitted to being one of these techno hermits by announcing that he proudly played Modern Warfare 3 during break and didn’t leave his house accept to shop.

This year, however, Logan Haller (10) was invited to this year’s party and he decided to take the liberty of shaking a few things up. He and a few other people were introduced to a card game dubbed O’Joe ba No Joe by Andrew Warren (9) in Math class. Warren’s lead up to describing the game was this, “You will literally cry after playing this… it may from laughter, pain, or both.”

This game consists of reactions, cards, and chaos. The goal of the game is to obtain as many cards as possible laid out on a pile on the table. In order to win a card, one has to complete the correct action corresponding to the card. For example, at the start of every game, there is only one card with one rule. That card is the Ace. When that card comes up on the pile, one has to say O’Joe ba No Joe first, so they win the card and whatever is underneath it. At the end of each round, the person with the most cards wins. The winner then gets to make up a new rule on top of the old one until there are no more cards left to attach rules to. This is where the chaos aspect of it comes into play. Because the game moves very fast, people are having to react on impulse from what they remember about the rules. Because we are human, we all interpret things differently and therefore have varied reactions, usually resulting in hilarity.

At Hammerstein party, this game was introduced at the “ungodly hours” of 3 to 5 in the morning, when everyone was obviously at their peak in cognitive abilities.  At first everyone adapted quickly to the game, but then things became very interesting. The cards and rules were, Aces= O’Joe ba No Joe, 7= touch your nose,  Kings= roll over on your back and do three bicycle kicks, and finally the most complicated and dangerous of all Jack= stand up, rotate your shirt 180 degrees, and sit back down, crosslegged.

So after about an hour of playing this game, all of these rules were in play. There had already been ample time for the development of hilarity and intensity up until this point; therefore, at the start of the next round, as the cards were flipping, Hammerstein said, “I am literally ready to smack myself in the face.”

As soon as he said this, a seven displayed on the top of the deck and Hammerstein let out a very effeminate yelp as proceeded to smack his face and fall over in agony. This isn’t the only thing that happened, however. Evan Klein(11) rolled over to do bicycle kicks, Tyler Patten(10)  stood up to turn his shirt around, and Branden yelled “O’Joe ba No Joe,” and Patrick, Hammerstein’s cousin, quietly and slowly touched his nose, winning the card.

The game had everyone suffering from tears in hysteria at around five in the morning. However there was much chatter through the rest of the night, and persistent abuse of Branden Van Fleet’s (10) ego. Klein would say any name of an ancient empire and Van Fleet couldn’t help but go off on a 10 minute rant on the subject before realizing again how late it was.

For example, Klein would say, “Greeks,” and Van Fleet would sit up and go off on a rant about how they screwed up by overtaxing. Everyone around him would feed Van Fleet their own conflicting opinions, like Hammerstein, who said, “…but Braden, taxes are what we need to let the government control every aspect of our lives.”

After that night everyone decided it was a good idea to get up at eight to eat breakfast, pack up, and leave Hammerstein with his yearly mess to clean up after another chaotic, exhausting, and hilarious party.


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