Pokemon cards are an enigma to me. I'm sure I could figure out all of the names and symbols and powers and points if I sat down with an afternoon to spare and a bottle of wine to kill. But do I really want to? No.
Jack and Luke have started a collection of Pokemon cards. I think the cards are an enigma to them as well, although they won't admit it. They both pretend to know what is a worthy card and what is not. Maybe they really do know. From their actions, however, Jack judges a worthy card on any card he wants that he doesn't have but that Luke has, and Luke judges a worthy card on any card that Jack wants.
Take for instance the Ancient Mew card. Luke ended up with this card through the kind dissemination of a lifelong collection of Pokemon cards by my cousin Clayton. Jack claimed he wanted it and saw it first. Luke is apparently faster and grabbed it first. Thus began a week long obsession by Jack over the Ancient Mew card. He had to have it. I even went on line to prove to him that it wasn't that special. He didn't care. I said I'd by him one of the ones online. He said he didn't want a used one. I pointed out the obvious used nature of the current card, but he still wanted it. His brother had it, after all.
He pleaded with his brother. He cried. He threatened. He bargained. "I'll trade you all of Pokemon cards for that one card. I'll trade you my Nintendo DS for that one card." The bigger the offers got, the more Luke's power grew. Finally, Jack agreed to be Luke's servant. Jack got his card. Luke got a servant.
But Jack forgot to work out the terms before agreeing to the deal. Luke wanted a servant for a few months. He wanted to pick out Jack's clothes that Jack would wear everyday. And I realize this being Luke's mother but Jack did not when he struck this deal, Luke can have constant demands and requests, some of them quite unreasonable.
So when Jack got tired of the whole servant routine after about two hours, Luke snatched back his Ancient Mew card. The deal was called off and Jack went back to bargaining and obsessing.
I tried to explain to Jack in a way that would not allow him to outright manipulate his brother that the more he appeared to want something from Luke, the less likely Luke was to give it. "Ooohhhh," he said. The wheels were turning. I heard him talking to Luke. "You know, that card isn't so good. This one I have is way better. But I'll trade if you want." No deal. Too little, too late.
After about 5 more days, the card was forgotten. Luke left it on the table and it got ruined by the dripping condensation from a water cup. I don't think Jack cared so much about the wasted greatness as long as Luke didn't have the card either.