A week of Christmas: bug-up!

December 25, 2011


I thought the highlight of the day would be the awesome cherry pie I made—it was good—but the most fun turned out to be playing a game called “bug up” that my parents and I frequently played when I was a youngster. (The sausage and mushroom strata turned out the best that it ever has, too. I made it with whole grain bread this time instead of sourdough.)

“Bug Up” might also be called “7 Up.” We aren’t sure. If I weren’t typing this in the dark on my laptop in bed, I’d take the time to look it up. Cribbage is the only card game I really ever got into, so you probably know more than I. 

Each person has an equal number of chips to begin with and you deal all the cards out. If the number of players doesn’t divide equally into 52 then somebody get stuck with an extra card. The person to the left of the dealer starts by playing a 7 if they have one. If they don’t, they have to “bug up” (throw a chip in) to the pot. From each 7 you build upward from the 8 and downward from the 6, by suit. If you can’t play a card, you relinquish a chip to the pot. After a player plays their last card, the remaining players throw one chip for each card left in their hands into the pot, which the winner gets. 


We always used Deelie Bobbers as our chips. These, I think I will take the time to look up and link to. I can remember playing with the Deelie Bobbers a little bit in general, but all you could do was stick them together and make shapes. I suppose some people got complicated with them, but Lincoln Logs and Legos would have held more allure for me.


Anyway, in theory, you keep playing rounds until people run completely out of chips. In practice, that can make for a lo-o-o-o-ong session. We played for three hours with one cherry pie break. Cats, it seems, like to play, too. And they like cherry pie.


My strategy thus far has been working. I’ve spent most of my waking time in the kitchen which I find pleasurable anyway, and it’s proving to be an excellent way to keep busy. And we all benefit because we’re eating mighty well this weekend. But after two straight days in the kitchen, I was ready for the mindless relief of tonight’s card playing.

2 Responses to “A week of Christmas: bug-up!”

  1. truth8happiness@bellsouth.net Says:

    Willing to sell the deelie bobbers? My wife’s been looking for these for a while.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    @truth8happiness They’re my mom’s and she said no. Sorry.

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