There is no reason to have two A's at the beginning of aardvark. I simply won't do it.
Unfortunately, this is a game you'll need to house rule a lot. It just isn't a good design. It was one of the first games I ever bought but I realized pretty quickly it isn't that good. I'd suggest doing a one card cycle every turn. Move the top (or bottom, whichever is farthest from the deck) off to a discard, slide the remaining cards down and refill the spot. Just make it free. If you want more flexibility, a player can pay 3 coins to clear the entire column of one or the other and immediately refresh. It needs to be expensive so a player won't just burn a single coin to screw over their opponent.I came here with this answer cocked and ready. Couldn't have said it any better myself.