Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pig Boy You're Going Down

Elvis could'a been a dealer. He had the look.

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.

Well crap.

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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nudie Butts & Mental Ruts

Heaving a sigh, Rob slams the front door and collapses on the couch.

"Tough day?" I mark the page of my book and glance up.

He shoots me a look and runs his hands through his hair. The short strands spike up in wild disarray. "I went shopping with my mother."

That'll do it. I grin and, as Rob rolls Simon to his back and strokes his belly, I go to the kitchen and put a beer in the freezer. Not that pale wimpy stuff he buys, but a real beer, a nice dark manly beer, a beer with guts, cause shopping with Betsy ain't for wimps.

Last week I took her to Saks Fifth Avenue. In the junior's department, she found a three tier pink gauze skirt and pulled it on over her pink jeans. She matched, I'll give her that, and the sales clerks were polite as she wandered from floor to floor. She ditched the skirt in the men's department and we moved on to Chico's.

Chico's was a madhouse. Women clogged the aisles, but Betsy slipped through the crowd, plucking clothes from racks and handing them over. The pile in my arms grew out of control and, when Betsy wasn't looking, I'd put a few back. She never noticed.

And she didn't notice the line of disgruntled shoppers waiting for the changing rooms.

I did.

Betsy ignored the line, went straight to the dressing room and attached herself to the back of the saleswoman clearing out the stall. A hush fell over the crowd. Throats cleared. Betsy waved for her stack of treasures.

I froze. Then I faced the crowd and did something I never did again. I mouthed, "alzheimer's," ducked my head and ran into the stall. In my defense, I was afraid of the crowd.

Rob heaves another sigh and the memory evaporates. I look up. "So where'd you go?"

"Where didn't we go. Mom wanted a swim suit."

Uhoh. I'm familiar with Betsy's nudie butt, but it still gives her son the willies. "So," I stifle a grin, "you got an eyeful?"

He blinks and shoots me a sour look. "That's not the half of it." He wanders to the kitchen, retrieves the beer and takes a few sips. "Mom knocked over the first rack of swimsuits."

I shrug. "I'm sure the clerks are used to stuff like that."

He studies me over the rim of the bottle. "She also knocked over the second rack. Two racks," he holds up two fingers, "she knocked over two racks of swimsuits."

"Happen's" I say, no longer able to hide a smirk.

He ignores me. "She finds a suit on the floor and takes it to the dressing room, but the dressing room is locked." He cuts me off when I open my mouth. "Before I can find a sales clerk, she strips."

"Out in the open?" I ask.

"Out in the open." He says.

"Bet you wanted to hide?" I manage before the giggles start.

"Who do you think was holding her upright?" He takes a long pull of beer and closes his eyes. "Two seconds after she stripped, the sales girls came back to the department along with a handful of customers. Mom's naked and I'm holding her by the elbow."

"Was she embarrassed?"

"No," he drawls, "she was pleased to find a new suit."

I snort and after a minute Rob starts to laugh.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Techniques of Seduction

"Ooh girl, what are you reading?" Demands Tan Suave as he plops down beside Bodacious Barbie. Before she can answer he flips the cover up and grins. "Ooh relationship how-to."

Tan Suave is dark and dangerous with glittering amber eyes and a deep throaty voice meant for late night radio. "Listen carefully," he says, "I am about to reveal how you should seduce your partner. First, you must set the stage."

He looks to see if I'm paying attention, so I shrug and close my book, it's not like I'll be able to tune him out.

Now that he has our attention, he stops to make a cup of tea and then settles against the galley carts with his back to the ovens. "Candles are important," he says, "three candles in each room, not two, not four, three. They must be the same scent that you will use on your skin." He pauses to sip his tea, but I suspect he does it for effect.

Bodacious Barbie hangs on every word. "Then what?" She asks.

"Well," he drawls, "you must bathe your lover. This is a very important step. You don't want the oil from your skin staining the silk sheets."

Silk sheets? Oily skin? I manage to turn my laugh into a strangled cough, but he shoots me a suspicious look. I try a polite smile. "Go on," I say, "this is fascinating."

"Oh yes," breaths Bodacious Barbie, "please go on."

Tan Suave verifies that I'm paying attention. I nod.

"After cocktails and verbal foreplay, draw a hot bath and use the same scent you've chosen for the candles to perfume the water."

I blink. Verbal foreplay, at our house is, let's go.

"Trust me," he pats Barbie's hand, "the rules of seduction are vitally important."

"Geez," I blurt, "Seduction is simple. If I want to turn my husband on, I give him red wine. If I want him to fall asleep, I give him beer." Tan Suave's brow inch up and he's about to speak, but I cut him off. "And furthermore, Hubby isn't getting clean sheets because he and the dog don't care about sand in the bed."