Saturday, March 24, 2012
Pig Boy You're Going Down
He had the lip.
He had the leer. But as far as I know, Elvis never wore polyester in Pepto-Bismol pink.
Not with puffy sleeves and wide collars. Not like the dealers of Circus Circus. Not like me.
Arms crossed, hip cocked against the blackjack table, I'd stare into space and will the players to keep on walking. They never did.
Squeezed into a tiny tube top, and teetering on stilettos, a woman peers at me. "How are the cards tonight?"
"Can't seem to lose." I shrug as she thanks me and moves on.
Overhearing the comment, Poker Pete slides onto the stool at first base and blows smoke in my face. "Don't worry," he says in a voice thick with gravel, "I'll teach you a lesson."
I grunt, deal a hand and sweep his chips into the tray. He narrows his eyes and sends another plume of smoke my way. I hold my breath and smirk. I know this type of player. He thinks if he can make me angry, I'll start to lose.
There's just one problem.
I like to win. Winning makes me happy and I like to be happy. Besides, Murphy is in charge and you can't mess with Murphy.
"You're a bitch." He mumbles and hands over another hundred dollar bill.
"The way you're playing," I say, "you better make that two."
He snorts, but after a moment, he peels a second note from his money clip and I toss him a handfull of red chips and then one by one, take them back.
When the relief dealer approaches the table. I clap my hands and expose empty palms to the eye in the sky to prove I haven't stolen from the table.
"You always like this?" Asks Pete as I step down from the box.
"Pretty much," I tell him, "but I'll be back in twenty minutes and you can teach me a lesson then."
He chokes down a laugh and, for the first time all night, I start to grin.
Back from break, I push in on another game. The table is packed. The drinks are flowing and the players are playing the big bucks. I'm not sure I'm in the mood for a rowdy crowd, but I sweep a fresh deck across the felt and smile.
"Kelly" they shout in unison when they see my nametag. I heave a sigh. Thank you Cheers. Thank you Woody. Before I can deal the first hand the players drum their fingers on the edge of the table and begin to sing in monotonous C. "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly ..."
Oh Lord, my head is starting to pound, but my luck holds and within minutes the rowdys have stopped chanting my name and are packing in their chips. The casino floor is quiet. Maybe I'll get to go home early.
I cross my arms against my chest and cock my hip against the table. Before I can fantasize about what I'd do with a million dollars, if I ever played mega bucks, a snot nosed college kid heads my way.
I narrow my eyes and curl my lip. Elvis would have been proud, but Mr. Twenty One Years And Two Days Old doesn't notice. He places one red chip on the table. I'll bet it's his last chip. All I have to do is win one last bet and I can get rid of him.
I can go home.
I can have a glass of merlot.
"No more bets." I sweep my hand over the table and deal the cards. He has sixteen. I'm showing a ten. Okay Pig Boy you're going down. I grin.
He motions for a card. I deal a two. Without looking at me he crooks his finger. "Did you want another card?" I ask. "You have eighteen."
He doesn't answer but he signals for another card and I smirk. I should'a known better. Murphy is in the house and I've waved the red flag. I lay down a three and grit my teeth.
"Blackjack." He crows and leaps to his feet.
Oh for the love of ... "No Sweetie," I shake my head, "you have twenty one, but that's not blackjack."
"That's a winning hand," says Poker Pete sliding back onto first and launching a smoke ring, "and I'm ready to teach you a lesson."
Well crap. I need an aspirin.