Police have urged whist players across the country to calm down a bit after a fifth whist game resulted in a mass brawl last week, this time in the sleepy village of Carrickmore.
Following on from the shooting in Ardboe last month when an unsuccessful and irate whist player shot at the car tyres of one of his opponents after the event, Carrickmore Social Club was the latest scene of whist violence which threatens to grip the county in fear.
Although the exact reason for the brawl in unclear, onlookers claim there was a menace in the air from the first minute the cards were shuffled. Henry Gormley, a whist expert of 71 years, maintains the game may need to go underground until order is restored again:
“It is out of control. Whist is on the verge of witnessing drive-by shootings and the like. This happened with dominos in the 1970s. All of a sudden domino meetings were witnessing riots all over the county and it was finally halted after a man was scalped in Derrytresk halfway through a game. Us Tyrone ones just take things too seriously after a while.”
Last week there were 32 Whist Drives held in GAA rooms across Tyrone, with police reporting disturbances at 31 of them.
Whist Drives across the county are said to be taking too long ever since the beleaguered Donald Trump became President of the United States of America.
Whist, a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in Irish clubs and societies until recently, involves the use of the term ‘trump’ which is the suit chosen by the last-dealt card that will beat all other suits regardless of rank. When two cards are played from the trump suit, the higher card wins the trick.
88-year old whist fanatic Geraldine McGuire from Beragh explained:
“Any time the word trump is mentioned now, you have to listen to grunt and tuts and then people start calling him a bollocks and that America is couped and stuff like that. The thing is, we can’t remember taking about it the last time so it just starts all over again when ‘trump’ comes up in the game. Maybe about 40 times a match. We didn’t get the game finished last night and it was 4am.”
A petition is now underway by a group of whist players in Galbally to get the word trump removed from the game and replaced with ‘deadly’, so that the deadly suit beats all other suits.
“We’re not trying to change the world here. Our generation prefer the word ‘trump’ to describe passing wind from your behind and we’re happy to still call it that, so we are.”
Rumours of fights at the Greater Coalisland Weekly Whist Drive have also been attributed to pro and anti Trump supporters from the surrounding area, with Stewartstown being a particular safe-haven for Trump fans.