Wichita police stormed a notorious local gambling den this week, arresting more than two dozen Mennonites and seizing countless decks of Rook cards. The raid is the largest bust of Mennonite gamblers since the famous Skip-Bo raid of ’94.
“I’ve never seen so many Rook cards. There were five games going on at once!” said Constable Jansen. “I estimate the street value might be close to twenty or thirty dollars if you add it all up. I’m sure glad we’ve been able to seize these Rook cards and keep them out of the hands of innocent Mennonite children.”
The game of Rook has been popular among Mennonites ever since it was introduced by Elder Schmidt at a church New Year’s Eve party in the 1960s. At the time, the Red, Yellow, Green, and Black suits were seen as a holier alternative to the pictorial suits found in traditional playing cards.
“Unfortunately, you can play all the same games. We caught these Mennonites playing Texas Hold-em with Rook cards. They were calling it Pennsylvania Hold-em, but it seemed about the same to me,” said Jansen. “When we busted in, Elder Penner was just gathering up his winnings. He had won more zwieback than a man could eat in his entire life!”
Close to thirty Mennonites have been charged with misusing Rook cards and could face up to three weeks of potluck dishwashing duty if convicted.
“Let me tell you, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m never gambling with Rook cards again,” said Mrs. Warkentin. “I’ll just stick to wagering on how long the sermon will go on Sunday. I always bet at least an hour-and-a-half. So far I’ve never lost.”
The Wichita police later held a huge bonfire in front of city hall to burn all the Rook cards while hundreds of Mennonites looked on in disbelief and quietly wept.