Round One: Jonathan Reid, Geoffrey McCullum, Sean Hampton, Clarence Crossley, Elisabeth Ashbury, and Old Bridget.
Sean was silent as he sat stiffly. He felt his face burning with embarrassment. Why had he let everyone else pester him into playing this game? Most of his cards were so rude or offensive. He couldn’t play any of them.
Clarence was quietly giggling next to him. Luckily, he was the card czar for first round. He had already read his question out loud through his snorts and chuckles.
‘Science will never explain the origin of … blank…’
Geoffrey had already chosen a card. Jonathan had too. They were both ready to give their answers when needed. The other two players of this game, Lady Ashbury, and Old Bridget, were stoically looking over their own decks.
From what Sean had learned in very little time so far, the two ladies were a lot more sordid than most would assume at first glance. He could hardly believe the answers that Old Bridget had given, let alone the impossibly delicate Ekon that was Elisabeth.
“A micropenis,” Old Bridget said, as she put her card down.
Geoffrey and Clarence burst out laughing immediately. Elisabeth was smirking behind her set of cards. Sean felt more of that embarrassment seep into his nerves. Jonathan was smiling as well, his shoulders shaking a little bit.
“Masturbation,” Elisabeth said, refuelling the noise. Clarence had tears in his eyes.
“Breeding elves for their priceless semen,” Geoffrey said, grinning. He was ready to grab one of Sean’s cards so he could read it. Sean was less than willing to do it himself.
“Obesity,” Jonathan said.
“Oh come on, Reid, that’s not even funny,” Geoffrey said. Jonathan shrugged his shoulders, “All right, let’s see what you got here, Saint...”
Sean wasn't really looking at his cards. He just held one out so that Geoffrey could take it.
“Coughing into a vagina!” Geoffrey called out while he read it. Clarence burst out laughing all over again. Sean winced.
“It has to be ‘coughing into a vagina’,” Clarence said once he finally got some control over himself.
“Good for you, Saint,” Geoffrey said, grinning. Old Bridget was smiling at him as well.
“Please don’t call me ‘Saint’ right now,” Sean said. At the moment, in this context, he felt that his usual nickname was really undeserved.
It was Sean’s turn to read a black card.
“Step one. Blank. Step two. Blank. Step three. Profit,” he said, once he picked it up and saw what it said.
It was one of those ones where the players needed to choose two cards each from their sets. At least he didn’t have to pick any this time.
Clarence was giggling again. Geoffrey rolled his eyes. Once again, Old Bridget and Elisabeth had picked theirs rather quickly, as had Jonathan. Geoffrey took a little longer, but then he seemed satisfied with what he had chosen.
Everyone was waiting on Clarence first. They had decided it was usually better to get him out of the way so his laughing would take less time to delay everybody.
“Step one. B-bitches. Step Two...” Clarence couldn’t finish. He burst out laughing all over again.
“Clarence! Read!” Geoffrey barked.
“Yes, Geoffrey?” Jonathan asked, grinning.
“Shut up! You know what I meant, leech!” Geoffrey snapped back. Jonathan quietly chuckled.
“All right. All right. I’ve got it. Step one; bitches. Step two; a mime having a stroke,” Clarence said. Geoffrey’s frustration was quickly forgotten as he laughed. Jonathan did too, “Step three; profit.”
“Step one; a bleached asshole,” Old Bridget said, “Step two; Gandalf. Step three, profit.”
Sean sucked in some air through his teeth. He briefly thought that perhaps the best way to gauge the ‘best’ card was how much it made him cringe.
“Step one; two midgets shitting in a box” Elisabeth read out, “Step two; being a motherfucking box. Step thee; profit.”
Sean once again winced. Geoffrey and Clarence laughed all over again. A few puffs of air escaped from Jonathan’s nose as he held back his own urge to join in.
“Step one; an ether-soaked rag. Step two; multiple stab wounds. Step three; profit,” Geoffrey said. He didn’t want to waste some of the better cards he had.
“You were saying about me?” Jonathan asked.
“Read yours then,” Geoffrey said, “If yours is better.”
“Step one; a powerpoint presentation. Step two; destroying the evidence Step three; profit,” Jonathan said.
“Reid, that is absolute shit,” Geoffrey said. Jonathan shrugged once again.
“So, what will it be, Sean?” Jonathan asked. Sean saw some sympathy behind his blue eyes.
“I suppose, um… the midgets one? It was quite... well put together,” Sean answered.
“Thank you, Mister Hampton,” Elisabeth said, smiling, “That’s three for me.”
“You’ve just been lucky,” Geoffrey said.
“You keep telling yourself that,” Elisabeth said. Old Bridget chuckled.
It was Geoffrey’s turn to read a black card. He was already smirking.
“What brought the orgy to a grinding halt?” he asked.
“Lord Redgrave’s shrivelled testicles,” Elisabeth said. It was clearly one of the customised cards that everyone had had a chance to fill out. Old Bridget burst out into cackling laughter on hearing that. Clarence did as well. Jonathan’s shoulders shook as he looked down at his own deck again. Sean subtly shook his head.
“God,” Old Bridget said between her chuckles. Clarence laughed again.
“That would certainly stop it,” Clarence said.
“Dying,” Jonathan put the card down. Geoffrey sighed and shook his head.
“Honestly, Reid. The point is the funniest card. Not the most logical,” Geoffrey said. He then glanced over at Clarence, “Your turn.”
“Blood farts,” Clarence said. Geoffrey laughed again, just as Clarence started up.
“Go on, Sean,” Geoffrey said.
“You do it,” Sean said to Clarence, holding his deck out so Clarence could take one at random again. Clarence took one glance and then completely lost it.
“Necrophilia!” he called out.
Sean felt his cheeks turn bright red. Just when they had started to cool down again. The whole table pretty much erupted into amusement.
“As much as I’m tempted to give it to Sean, it has to be Ashbury again,” Geoffrey said.
“Thank you, Mister McCullum,” Elisabeth replied.
Old Bridget was the next card czar. She chuckled as she read it.
“Blank. High five, bro.” she said.
“My daughter fucking my boyfriend,” Elisabeth said almost immediately. Old Bridget laughed all over again at that, as did Geoffrey. Clarence was caught in a mix of snorts and chuckles.
“What was that about me?” Charlotte poked her head in the door.
“Nothing, Charlotte. Go back to bed,” Elisabeth said.
“You’re playing Cards against Humanity,” Charlotte asked, “Can I play?”
“No,” Elisabeth answered.
“Damn,” Charlotte rolled her eyes before she smiled, “Well, have fun.”
She was gone again.
“Oh come on, Ashbury, she’s an adult,” Geoffrey said.
“She can play when I’m not around to hear her swearing and saying sordid answers,” Elisabeth replied.
“Fair enough,” Geoffrey said, grinning.
“J-j-onathan’s sex p-pistol,” Clarence said, before he finally erupted into hoots of laughter. Jonathan was smirking behind his cards. Elisabeth was giggling as well.
“Setting boundaries with coworkers,” Jonathan said. Geoffrey laughed then. Elisabeth was forced out of her giggles and into some louder guffaws.
“Okay, Reid, you got me with that one, only because it’s true,” Geoffrey said, before he then grinned and set his card down, “A real cum dumpster of a saxophone.”
Old Bridget’s shoulders shook and she brought a hand to her mouth.
“Sean?” she said, as she then looked over at him. Sean sighed and put the card down. At least it was one he could read.
“A four hour depression nap,” Sean said.
“Aw crap, that's sad,” Geoffrey said, “But fitting for you I guess.”
Old Bridget looked thoughtful.
“I’m torn between yours and Mister Crossley’s, Mister McCullum,” Old Bridget admitted, “But thinking about it. It’s going to have to be Mister Crossley’s.”
“Yes! That’s my third!” Clarence said.
“Well done, Clarence,” Jonathan said. It was Elisabeth’s turn to be the czar.
“Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Blank,” she read out.
The table was silent for a few moments. Surprisingly, Sean was the one to speak up first.
“A full-on panic attack,” Sean said, as he placed his card down. A few quiet chuckles followed.
“Rising from the grave,” Jonathan said. Geoffrey rolled his eyes, although Elisabeth smiled, Clarence laughed a little, and Old Bridget once again put her hand to her mouth.
“Sudden penis loss,” Geoffrey said. Clarence once again lost control to a tear-filled burst of merriment. Jonathan smirked behind his cards again. Sean took a deep breath inwards.
“Free samples,” Clarence said, when he gained some control over himself.
Some chuckles were refuelled from that.
“OIL!!” Old Bridget shouted as loud as she could, which admittedly wasn’t that loud at all. Everyone laughed all over again, “I’m running out of good cards.”
“Mister McCullum’s won this round, I’m afraid,” Elisabeth said.
“You have better taste than I thought,” Geoffrey said, grinning. He then looked at Jonathan, “All right, leech, let’s see what you’ve got.”
“Why am I broke?” Jonathan read out.
“Of course the doctor who lives in the fucking mansion gets that question...” Geoffrey said.
“Aloysius Dawson's butt crack,” Clarence managed to get out between his chuckles and brief gasps of air. With the exception of Sean, everyone at the table burst out laughing at that.
“Big smart money boys tap-tapping on their keyboards,” Old Bridget said. That got some more guffaws.
“Spectacular abs,” Elisabeth said. Old Bridget laughed next to her. Geoffrey smirked.
“The Economy,” Geoffrey said.
“And you said about my answers being too logical?” Jonathan asked.
“Oh shut up, I’m running out of good cards,” Geoffrey retorted.
“I think we all are,” Elisabeth admitted.
“Let’s see what you have here, Sean,” Geoffrey said.
Sean knew he shouldn’t have used his ‘polite’ cards so soon. Geoffrey picked one of them. Sean was almost certain he had left the other one there on purpose, so he would have no choice but to use it.
Everyone had one card left.
“A fifty-five gallon drum of lube!” Geoffrey belted out. Sean didn’t say anything. Jonathan quietly laughed again.
“As good as that one was, it’s going to have to go to Clarence,” Jonathan said. Clarence grinned.
“I knew that would get me the round,” he said. It was his turn to be the czar once again. He smiled as he read at the card.
“When all else fails,” he had to pause so he could laugh again, “When all else fails, I can always masturbate to… blank.”
“Queefing” Jonathan said, as he put the card down. Elisabeth chuckled next to him. Clarence and Geoffrey burst out laughing and Old Bridget hid her smirk behind her set.
“Wow, Reid, you actually picked a good one,” Geoffrey said, “Wonders never cease.”
“Cards against Humanity,” Elisabeth said, causing some more laughs to erupt around the table again. Sean managed to smile. He then looked at the card he would have no choice to play and it faded.
“Dem titties,” Geoffrey said. Clarence had to wipe the tears from his face all over again after he had finished roaring with laughter.
“Child beauty pageants,” Old Bridget said. After the laughs quieted, everyone looked at Sean. Sean shook his head. His cheeks were already turning red again.
“I can’t,” he said. Geoffrey didn’t hesitate. He grabbed Sean’s off the table, a wide grin already spreading across his face.
“The biggest blackest dick!” he shouted out. Everyone burst out into that same merriment while Sean simply groaned in disdain and buried his face in his hands.
“It has to go to Mister Hampton,” Clarence said. His shoulders were still shaking, “That card is the automatic winner of every round.”
That did little to comfort Sean. What did give him some solace was the fact that the game was finally over. He would never have to be so mortified ever again.
“We’ll have to do this again sometime,” Old Bridget said, smiling.
“Yes, we certainly will,” Clarence agreed.
“I thank you for the offer, this was an interesting evening, but I must go and return to my flock now. I bid you all a good day,” Sean said. He hurried out of the door before anything else could be said. He definitely had no plans to accept another invitation to play.
Old Bridget sighed and smiled fondly.
“He’ll be fine,” she said to Jonathan, “But this was a good evening. I look forward to the next game.”
“As much as I hate to admit it, I am as well,” Geoffrey said, grinning.
Sean didn’t talk to any of them for a week after that. Even when that time passed and he felt that he had regained most of his composure, he still found himself blushing whenever someone coughed.