The Fitful Flog

April 8, 2006

The Return of the Three Card Monte

The Three Card Monte

But only briefly. When I posted about the Three Card Monte back in November, the Flog had maybe three readers and they were all, I think, Americans. Now we have a lot more and only 37% of you have regular access to good old 8½×11 inch American letter paper. (For the rest of you out there in A4 lands, welcome aboard and it’s not too late to reject the faux scientism of the vast Vichy Metric Conspiracy.Throw off your power-of-ten shackles! Freedom belongs to those who can count by twelves!)

Um, I had a point here, somewhere. Ah, yes. At the annual convention in New York City, one sees signs here and there, saying, “Don’t Get In Over Your Head!” Probably not a great way to learn how to swim, nor a particularly good way to learn how to fold. I admire those who jump into the complex side of the pool. It can be frustrating, I know, but not everyone wants to start out with duckies and sailboats.

Ce?i dit, sometimes an individual will see a complex model and want to fold that model, come Hell or high hamsters. Say a hapless folder were to post a CP, knowing that most experienced folders could puzzle it out in a few moments without any difficulty and this rugged, yet untutored, individualist comes along and sees it. It’s the old Immovable Object and Irresistible Force thing. Something’s got to give.

This morning, I fully intended to get up and make a full, from scratch SCP of how to fold the Three Card Monte, full of landmarks and angles and three-part harmony and all like that. But then my landlord came by with a big bag of smoke detectors and CO detectors and the day kind of got away from us.

Please to accept this humble set of photo instructions that will lead you step-by-step from the CP to a hexagonal shirt wallet, with my abject apologies for not explaining how it got here. And, if you feel cocky, you can try your hand at the playing card model.

And next time, I promise to post something from a square. Tschüs!

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12 Responses to “The Return of the Three Card Monte”

  1. 1
    Rebecca Says:

    Bless you!

  2. 2
    oschene Says:

    oschene notes Rebecca’s progress. Myself, I’d go for plastic whalebone, at this point.

  3. 3
    Mélisande Says:

    You King of Twelves do not make life easier to us poor slaves of the metric system !
    When automatically shrunk to A4 by my printer, your CP was too narrow for cards to fit in. Then I cut a US letter out of a paper roll and gave it to the printer ; even asked politely, this plugged device did not want to eat the US letter, thinking it was dangerous for its mental health…
    So I needed to redraw the CP myself, it wasn’t really over my head.

    La morale de cette histoire : we are struggling with various paper formats, but when it’s about money, cards are standardized…
    Geld über alles, ja, leider ! It’s a fallen world, hopelessly.

    My husband tried, the wallet fits perfectly in his shirt’s pocket : another standardized item ! (I mean pockets of course, men I hope not and never).

  4. 4
    oschene Says:

    Not even Robespierre and his terrorist band of surveyors and philosophes could change a man’s shirt size, although I’m sure they tried. Comme disait mon vieux, Protagoras, “Man is the measure of all things.” I am content to measure out my days by the King’s foot. But not the foot of the King of the Cowboy Dunces. One must have some standards.

    When I print out A4 PDFs, I can stop them from shrinking to 11 inches in the printer dialog. Does it not work the other way around?

    Notwithstanding, you’ve had some lovely results.

  5. 5
    oschene Says:

    Ooh, gotcha.

    At one point, I did make one of these from A4, but by switching the orientation, folding it landscape instead of portrait. You end up with four pockets, I think. Not elegant.

  6. 6
    Mélisande Says:

    Oschene, the endpoint was printing the original size CP on US letter, not on A4 ; Folded from A4, tabs on sides are too narrow, doesn’t hold well.

  7. 7
    Eric Gjerde Says:

    I love your witty phrasing but I have to imagine that you are absolute hell on automated translation tools.

    my pity goes out to international readers trying to decipher your pages 🙂

    (and thank you for the pictorial steps to the design, it was very helpful!)

  8. 8
    oschene Says:

    Well, hell or high hamsters.

    But we’re dealing with a system that renders the simple English “Ah” into ampere-hours. Most of written communication is noise. I’m hoping the signal will get through in spite of the babelfish.

    The pictoral approach is, I think, a good one, especially if you can draw lines on the photos. The next one I’m doing will actually have x-ray visions or dream sequences.

  9. 9
    Mélisande Says:

    I do of course want to be an absolute hell on automatic translation tools ! They can’t recognize which language they are reading ; french-french translation via english-french plugin is absolutely hilarious…
    Don’t worry about international readers, they know some intellectual gymnastics aren’t harmful.

    Maybe it is old-fashioned to believe that human brain is better than the most sophisticated algorithms, but I’m not ready to abjure this opinion.

    Your Chief-cowboy launched Iraqi war II because he read they have dangerous secret weapons, but now he can’t find a proof of that. All this mess perhaps because iraqi words for “canned food plant” were babelfished into “chemical weapons” ? Go figure…

    May I humbly ask to be explained the meaning of “hell or high hamsters” ? My 10 cm thick dictionnary is of no help, thanks.

  10. 10
    oschene Says:

    Oh, Mélisande, one can not hope to read English with a dictionary that measures in centimeters…and one would have to translate my writing into English first, anyway.

    Eric gently hints that I abuse my readers with political ranting and verbal pyrotechnics. He is, of course, correct, but he’s also too far away to prevent my capering.

    As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Modern English makes very little use of the subjunctive and makes less use of it as time goes on. There are some relics of the past floating around, phrases such as, “Come Hell or high water, I will do thus and so.” or “God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will do thus and so.” Our ancestors had very rudimentary flood control, I suspect. I was substituting hamsters (a delightful Levantine rodent) for water, merely for alliterative effect and because it’s a nice image.

    Our Cowboy-in-Chief should use the subjunctive more, since almost everything he says is contrary to fact.

  11. 11
    MPB Says:

    “faux scientism”

    I favor genuine scientism– according to Fowler’s Guide Modern English Usage (which is no longer modern and I think it actually spoke American) — scientism is to be dressed in the guise of science; it isn’t anti-science but fake science (except to those who practice it.)

  12. 12
    oschene Says:

    I love Fowler, but he was very much a Brit and is rather deader than Jacob Marley. It is important not to confuse what the British speak with the English language.

    Scientism can mean many things – here, I am referring to the superstitious use of scientific conventions in places where they don’t belong. Scientists prefer the metric system because it makes large calculations easier for them. Why should this preference be used to determine the size of a beer or the dimensions of letter paper? Most scientists like vanilla ice cream, but that doesn’t make vanilla more scientific than chocolate.

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