Playing the sympathy card

I was thinking today about the phrase “Playing the sympathy card,” and I started wondering. What would things be like if that were an actual card?

Imagine a society more or less like our own, except that people are issued cards, which they can use when they need a certain emotional indulgence. To my thinking, these would be more or less like baseball cards, with a picture on the front and cool stuff printed on the back. Maybe you could buy them in packs.

Some cards would be plentiful and easy to come by. Others would cost you more to play. If you needed some sympathy, you’d play one of your sympathy cards.

Except you wouldn’t want to play it frivolously. Because then you’d run out, and you wouldn’t be able to get any sympathy when you really needed it.

There could be cards for every occasion: victim cards, race cards, ignorance cards, righteous indignation cards and more. You could get away with pretty much anything, if you played your cards right.

Over time, with everyone using them, the true value of each type of card would become known, and this form of emotional exchange would form a currency of sorts. Wouldn’t the world be a better place, if everyone just placed their cards on the table?

Now where did I put that irony card? It was around here somewhere…

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