Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Smokin' Hot Waitress, The Bearded Dealer, and Me (Part 2)

(Note:  This is the second of three posts.  You can find part 1 here)

Oddly enough, I was back in L.A. when I heard through a friend some rather surprising news.  I heard that Betsy was pregnant.  Hmmm.  This information was second or third hand, so I couldn’t be sure about it, but I knew on my next visit to Vegas I had to investigate.
I returned to Vegas a few weeks later and of course LC2 was one of my first stops. But of course this was tricky.  She certainly didn’t look pregnant.  Not yet, anyway.  And it isn’t the kind of thing you can just ask a woman out of the blue, is it?  “Are you pregnant?”  “Do I look pregnant?” Slap.  Or worse. 
So I just observed.  I watched and listened to her interaction with the other players.  Of course, this being a locals casino, with 95% regulars playing there all the time, they all knew her, and I was sure if the word was out, I would hear someone ask her about it or talk to her about it—if it was true.
And indeed it was. I can’t recall what exactly I heard that confirmed her condition, but I heard enough to become convinced.  And then I heard her talking about due dates and stuff to the person right next to me, so I asked her directly, knowing it was now safe.
It was true, Betsy would have to take a maternity leave a few months down the road.
Now of course I had to report this interesting news to Nigel.  Next time I saw him at BSC, he was rather surprised to hear this.  One reason he was surprised was that he hadn’t heard this from his girlfriend, Eva.  Eva, he explained, was pretty chatty with the folks at LC2, and had played a lot of poker there.  He couldn’t believe she was unaware of such juicy gossip, especially since she had heard a lot of good gossip in that room.
So he finally had a good piece of gossip to bring home to his girlfriend.  Then he asked me a rather startling question.  “Do you know who the father is?”
I burst out laughing.  “How the hell am I supposed to know that?”  Seriously, it was amusing he would think I might possibly be that much in the loop.  My relationship with Betsy basically consisted of her bringing me diet cokes and me ogling her (and tipping her for said diet cokes). It was only because I had clearly witnessed Betsy talking about her pregnancy with others—and obviously acting very happy about it—that I had the nerve to ask if she was indeed expecting.  I was hardly in a position to get that kind of information.  Besides, there was not much likelihood that I would even know the father if I ever did find out who it was.
That didn’t stop Nigel from asking me several days later if I had learned the identity of guy!  Of course I still responded in the negative.
By my next visit to Vegas, upon entering LC2 and seeing Betsy, it was clear that she was “showing.”  Yes, she was starting to look pregnant, and she started to wear a less sexy cocktail waitress outfit, as befitting a mother-to-be.  I reported this news to Nigel, but was still of course incapable of naming the father.
A few days later, Nigel had some news for me.  It seems he had played at LC2 on his weekend, and had seen Betsy for the first time since she started looking pregnant. He mentioned this to me while he was standing behind the current dealer, waiting to push in to my game.  He was somewhat surprised that she looked “so pregnant.”  Then he added, “But she’s still f***ing hot!” 
He said this rather loudly, and there he was, in his dealer uniform, standing right at the table he was about to deal to.  He realized the faux pas immediately and put his hand to his mouth.  He kind of whispered to me, “oops….I’m in uniform too.”  But no one seemed to notice except me, and if anyone did notice, they weren’t bothered by it.  Besides, what he said was inarguably true.
That was the last time I saw Nigel for awhile.  I assumed that he was on vacation.  Coincidentally enough, it was at LC2 where I learned that he was no longer working at BSC.  I ran into a couple of off-duty BSC dealers relaxing at the LC2 2/4 game one afternoon.  I mentioned that I’d also seen one of their co-workers play there, and they informed he was no longer their co-worker.  Sad news for me, to be sure.  But I suspected that I might some day run into Nigel again, most likely at LC2.  Remembering he liked to bet sports, and usually used the sports book at LC2, I made a mental note to always check out the sports book whenever I stopped by, just to see if he might be there.
A few months went by.  Betsy started looking really, really pregnant, but she soldiered on.  Then one day I was playing at LC2 and I happen to notice a familiar looking woman at another 2/4 game.  It was Eva.  I looked around further and sure enough, Nigel was also at her table, playing.  They were too far away for me to shout over to them, but once the button passed by me in my game, I got up to say hello.
When I greeted Nigel, I noticed he was sporting a new look.  Now that he was no longer working at BSC, he was apparently growing a beard.  Or had already grown one.  Hard to say.  I commented on it, and he basically said, “why not?”  My game was kind of lousy anyway, so I asked for a table change to the table where Nigel and Eva were playing.  This took awhile, as some of the games were starting to break. But eventually I was called to their table and I joined them.
We were having a good time chatting and catching up when Betsy started her shift.  She came over to take our orders.  She of course recognized Eva and Nigel as she had me.  But this was the first time she’d seen Nigel in awhile, and the first time she’d seem with the beard.  After commenting on “long time, no see,” she commented on the beard. 
“I like the beard.  You look good.  Actually, you look Jewish.”

Did she really just say that?  My first reaction was to choke on the diet coke that was now coming through my nose.  I couldn’t remember the last time I heard someone say that to anyone—at least outside of a Jewish joke.
Here’s where I have to some explaining to those of who aren’t Jewish.  For a non-Jew to tell someone “You look Jewish”—whether the person being told that is Jewish or not—is going to be always seen by a Jew as being insulting and offensive.  This is something that was a lot more evident back in my parents’ generation.  But it was passed down to me.  You don’t really hear it much any more, but my parents sure did.  Outside of an occasional thoughtless remark, I never felt I experienced any anti-Semitism, but again, my parents sure did. 
Of course, as with anything of this nature, there is a total double-standard.  It is perfectly okay for any Jew to say someone does or doesn’t look Jewish.  But if a non-Jew says the same thing, it must, by definition, be meant as an insult.  Despite the fact that a million Jewish jokes involve the theme of someone looking—or not looking—“Jewish.”  It’s ok as a long as Jew is telling the joke.  Now, for my parents generation, not only did it have to a Jew telling the joke, but there had to be no goyim (non-Jews) present when such a joke was told.  Otherwise, it was just inviting trouble.  My generation, and the ones following me, don’t usually have such restrictions. 
So, if my dear, late mother had heard Betsy tell Nigel that he looked Jewish, she would have been aghast.  She would have labeled Betsy as an anti-Semite.  Especially since, as I noted at the beginning of this story, Nigel was in fact Hispanic.  He was not at all Jewish looking (I can say it, folks), and the beard didn’t make him look any more Jewish than he did when he was clean-shaven.
But it was clearly the beard that Betsy was referring to when she made her comment.  Nigel just laughed when he heard her comment.  Ironically, if he had been offended, that would, of course, have been offensive to Jews!  But he was amused.  He realized it was the beard that suddenly made him Jewish in Betsy’s eyes.  And he responded as such.  “Oh, it’s the beard that makes me Jewish, huh?  All I need is the sideburns.” 
Again, I was totally cracking up. Nigel was referring to the type of very religious Jews who have really long beards and the curled sideburns.  In reality, Nigel’s beard wasn’t anywhere near that fully grown out yet.  It was just a really odd thing for Betsy to say.   But it didn’t bother me in the slightest.
Still, I thought it was rather amusing and I couldn’t wait to tell Woody and LM the story back home.  Remember, she’s Jewish, and he’s not.  And they had been hearing all these stories, about Betsy, and Nigel and the comments back and forth, all this time.  Woody was especially amused when I told him that Nigel asked me if I knew who the father of the baby was.
So I told them story when I got back to town and they had very different reactions.  Woody thought it was just hysterical that Betsy told Nigel he looked Jewish.  He repeatedly asked how I could just sit there and say nothing when I heard that. 
But LM had a different reaction.  She took it the way I described how my parents’ generation would have taken it—as an insult to Jews (even tho LM is of my generation).  She accused Betsy of being an anti-Semite.  I believe the term she used was “skinhead”.  She was kinda laughing when she said it so I was never sure just how seriously to take her reaction.  One thing for sure was, she definitely enjoyed giving me a hard time about it. I tried to defend Betsy, saying it was more a question of her being a foreigner, more like a cultural thing.  I didn’t think she meant anything sinister by her comment.  But LM wouldn’t let up; she actually accused me of giving her a pass because she has a large bosom.
Come on, would I give a woman the benefit of the doubt just because she has large breasts?
Hmmm.  That may be a rhetorical question.
Nothing much happened for a few months—other than LM continually giving me a hard time over Betsy hating Jews.  I didn’t run into Nigel again—in fact, the Nigel portion of this story has now ended—and I saw Betsy’s belly getting larger and larger every time I walked into LC2.  It’s possible her breasts were also getting bigger—I understand that happens to a woman when she’s pregnant—but of course, I didn’t notice.

(End of part 2, part 3 can be found right here.


  1. I can't believe that the pic included with this post is the best you can find for a Jew that looks like a "Jew." "A Jew Not A Zionist" "Free Palestine Now"?!?!??! Your dear mother would be turning in her grave if she saw that as your example.

    1. OMG!!! Thank you, Poker Meister. I have terrible eyesight--in fact I have a Ophthalmologist's appointment this afternoon--and didn't see that. I was just looking at the man.

      I have fixed this, hope this one's ok.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, thanks. You know, PM, glad you caught that!

    2. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, no doubt. However, in reading your blog for some time, I highly doubted that your political view would be anti-Israel - particularly if you're talking about how you grew up with your mom secretly accusing everyone of being anti-semetic (a common theme among people who lived through WWII and their first generation kin). My wife's grandmother, a concentration camp survivor, to this day understandably hates all Germans and thinks that many "goyim" (which, by the way, is a somewhat derogatory word as well) are anti-semitic at the slightest mention of her being Jewish.

      BTW, from wikipedia: "In English, the use of the word goy can be controversial. Like other common (and otherwise innocent) terms, it may be assigned pejoratively to non-Jews. To avoid any perceived offensive connotations, writers may use the English terms "gentile" or "non-Jew"."

    3. Regarding your first comment. I dunno if you've been reading long enough to have read my post on "Politics and Poker" from March, but the point of it is that this being a poker and Vegas blog, this is meant to be a politics-free zone. Believe me, that's really tough right now in the middle of a heated Presidential campaign.

      But you are right, and if this offends anyone, so be it--I am very much PRO-Israel. Forget about out my dear, late mother, when I saw what you were referring to in that original pic I had, I almost dropped dead in horror.

      Interesting story about your mother in law. I know a lot of people like that. In fact my Mom would avoid buying any German product her entire life. She was really annoyed when my Dad's boss--who was also Jewish--started driving a Mercedes.

      As for the word "goy" being offensive--hmm, I wonder what you're gonna say about Part 3 of this story! Heh heh.

      But I think that too is somewhat generational. I think my parents usually meant it in a somewhat nasty way, but I don't think my generation or younger generations necessarily do. I never mean it that way. And Woody, the non-Jew side of the mixed marriage in this story, refers to himself as a "goy" all the time.

      By the way, as a reward for catching this horrific faux pas, I added your fine blog to my blogroll.

      If you haven't read it, here's my Politics and Poker post:

  3. Awesome! Thanks for the blogroll addition. I periodically add the blogs I subscribe to via google reader, so you are already on my list. Love reading the stories - keep up the excellent work. I only wish you would sneak some pics of these well-endowed characters of whom you write. On the other hand, it's likely that what you've built up through your writing will in no way match what the imagination has conjured up...

    Personally, I don't find the word "goy" offensive, though I don't generally tend to use it. I think it's a segregationist word that serves no purpose; is there a word that describes "non-Christian," or "non-Muslim?" Regardless, just wanted to make you aware. There are a ton of words that I find far more offensive, which are used by that generation. "Schvartze," in particular, always caused me to bristle, though they always claimed it's just "another Yiddish word for black."

    1. Thanks, PM. Well, I have posted a picture of some of the subjects I write about--but so far, only when they BEG me to take the picture. I'm sure you read that post. It would be virtually impossible to take pictures of the others, and also, if I did and posted them, I wouldn't be doing a very good job of concealing their identities, would I?

      I would only use "goy" if there were no--you'll pardon the impression--goyim present. And I only use it for comedic effect. As for "Schwartze"--that to me is a word I would definitely avoid, I think it definitely has a negative connotation.

      Oy Vey! We're about to turn this in to Rob's Vegas, Poker and Yiddish Blog! It's meshugganah.

  4. Replies
    1. Yep...

      Gotta say, I'm really happy to see you're up to commenting on other blogs! I think you will get a kick out of the final chapter, fellow "MOT".

  5. Can we get a link to the original pic for our fellow Hebe?

    1. Ok, here it is:

  6. Have you seen the movie 'Focus' with William H. Macy, based on the Arthur Miller novel? I just watched it recently and couldn't help but think of this blog post.

    1. Actually, BuzzedSaw, I had never heard of that movie until now. But reading the description, and then Roger Eberts's review of the film, I can understand why you thought of this post! Thanks for pointing that out, and for remember this 4 month old post.

      How was the movie? Do you recommend it?

    2. I thought it was good, but not great, it might appeal to you more, though. I like Macy in most things, and he was solid, though not necessarily the perfect choice for the role. I'm not sure if I noticed his name while browsing Netflix, or if Ebert re-visited it (I follow his blog).

    3. Thanks for the movie review! I suppose if I get around to watching it, a review of it would now make sense for my blog, tying it back to post!