The old men in his church are teaching the Colonel to play dominoes. As a game, it is deceptive in its simplicity, dominoes. The problem is it causes the Colonel to use mathematics, which is only slightly less traumatic and challenging than telling him he has to speak only in iambic pentameter.
And, no, the Colonel doesn't know what iambic pentameter means. He just likes the way the words sound together.
(And, no, the Colonel has no idea how many layers of meaning are in the last sentence.)
Twenty-eight tiles divided evenly between four players. That would be...let's see...um...okay, carry the two...seven tiles a player.
Two teams, each player laying a tile in turn, tiles laid to match ends, score by multiples of five off the exposed ends. Keep the other team from making big scores. Help your partner score. How hard can this be?
Pretty stinkin' hard, judging by the harsh language directed the Colonel's way when he plays the wrong tile. The only time the Colonel has heard any of the old men use harsh language has been when he's playing dominoes. Well, then, and when they are arguing over whose turn it is to be the Colonel's partner.
This might be hard for the Colonel to take, if his ego wasn't already diminished to infinitesimal proportions by nearly thirty-five years of marriage to the wisest woman on the planet.
There is a further complication that exponentially increases the degree of difficulty for the Colonel. He is, as the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone perusing posts hereon will readily attest, an insufferable know-it-all and loquacious curmudgeon. Turns out that the combination of pontification and multiplication are a neuron bridge too far for the Colonel.
"Hey, Jarhead, you gonna play or bang your gums? The women's gossip table is over in the other corner."
The respect and acceptance the Colonel enjoys at his new (and last) duty station is truly remarkable. Were it not for the respect and acceptance constantly displayed by the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, the Colonel might suffer significant emotional distress.
"Hey, knuckle-head, this is the women's gossip table. The old men are over there in the other corner."