Thursday, June 16, 2016

Honeymoon in Vegas—With Me! (Part 2)

O.K., here’s the second and concluding chapter of my night with the Australian honeymooners.  Be sure to read part 1 (here) first or this will make no sense.

Sheila soon mentioned that she loves the U.S. so much that she wanted to move to New York. She hoped Bruce would be able to pass the N.Y. bar some day.  Then she said something odd. The reason she loves America so much is that you can take your dogs pretty much anywhere, unlike her home country.  She has two dogs, and told me that she loves them more than she will ever love her children if she ever has any.  She said she sends them to "doggie day care" and to "doggie pre-school" one day a week!  I had never heard of such a thing here, but maybe it does exist?

A friend with a dog was looking after her “children” while she was in the U.S.  She then said that Bruce has a tattoo of one of their dogs on his left shoulder!  I asked if he had a tattoo of her. She said, " you see how I rate with him!"  But then she was quick to point out that he had her name tattooed on his wrist in some foreign language.  And she showed me her own wrist, which had his name tattooed in some foreign language.  She joked that they use foreign languages so if they break up they can lie about what it says.  It was then that I noticed some weird symbol tattooed on her upper, upper back but I never got a chance to ask her what it was.

I was too busy with the sense of deja vu, another gal telling me about her tats! You see, on my previous Vegas trip, I was playing with a girl who was discussing her tattoos with me, and in fact, that story is one of my very first blog posts, which you can find here.  Unlike the girl in that earlier story, Sheila never volunteered to tell me about any tats she might have had where I couldn’t see them.  However, I had already observed that the area exposed by the wardrobe malfunction was tat-free.

Since she was a dog lover I had to tell her that I was a part time dog-sitter.  LM had sent me a picture of one of her dogs just hours before, so I whipped out my cell phone and showed her that pic. She said, " cute!"  Then I showed her a pic of LM’s other pup.  She loved that too.

I learned that Sheila had been watching Bruce play for some time before I had even gotten to the room, and one thing she had learned was that swearing was forbidden.  This was a challenge for her.  She said the f-bomb (as she called it) several times and immediately caught herself and apologized for it every time.  She had seen some guy get warned by a floor person about it and was concerned about getting into trouble. She said that swearing in Australia is no big deal.  Bruce, however, disputed that.  He said to her, "it's just no big deal to you."  That was funny.  

At one point, Bruce won a pot with a pretty weak hand.  Sheila had thrown away a much better hand thinking someone had her beat.  She was pissed.  "F*** you, Bruce" she yelled at her new husband.  The dealer warned her and she apologized.  She wanted to know what she could and could not say.  I had told her that it was pretty much just the f-bomb that was banned, that I'd never seen anyone warned for saying "shit," for example.  But one of my dealer buddies told her that pretty much any cuss word was banned.  She started asking about different words. Could she say "ass"? Except, she didn't say “ass,” she said, “starts with an ‘a.’"  A different dealer asked  what she was referring to.  She asked was "bottom" ok?  The dealer said yes, but he liked to use "petootie."

After a couple of hours, we were having such a great conversation and exchanging so much info about ourselves, I began to feel like Sheila and Bruce were my good friends.  When Jack came to deal, one of my best dealer buddies and someone I always talk basketball with, I introduced them to him as “my newlywed friends from Australia.”  Jack and I talked basketball and we discussed Australian players in the NBA.  Sheila knew basketball mostly from the reality show "Khloe and Lamar."  Bruce actually seemed to know a lot about the NBA and the playoffs despite basketball not being that popular down under.  

This led to Sheila voicing strong opinions about Kobe Bryant's long ago public infidelity and she talked about the huge diamond ring he gave his wife as an apology. I think it was worth around $2.5 MM. She said if it was her he cheated on, she would have taken the ring, half of everything he owned and still divorced him. Let that be fair warning to you, Bruce!

Sheila loved American reality shows.  She mentioned "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "Jersey Shore."  While back east they actually went to the Jersey shore just because of the show.  She was disappointed she didn't run into Snookie or "The Situation!"  I was kind of lost there, having never seen the show.  She also mentioned that the reason they had to come to Vegas as part of this trip was because her favorite movie was "The Hangover."  So she was probably disappointed that she didn't run into Bradley Cooper while in Vegas.  She also mentioned a "Law & Order SVU" marathon she had been watching the other day. Since the show is about sex crimes, she thought it was very strange that the marathon was sponsored by …….Viagra.

At one point she mentioned dreading the 15-1/2 hour flight home because her back was giving her problems.  She hoped to see a doctor in L.A. to get some heavy duty drugs so she could mostly sleep on the flight home.  Otherwise she would down 4 Vodka tonics first thing and hope that worked.  Poor girl is in trouble if she has back issues at her age--25.  

How do I know she was 25?  Well, I started telling her some poker stories. My 4 7's story (here) and the tale of the young girl who lost when her 4 jacks were beaten by a royal flush (recently retold here).  I mentioned that it was a young girl. Then I corrected myself and said, “young woman” and apologized for being sexist.  She was fine with me calling her a girl but worried about the young part. She wanted to know how old she was.  I said she was like 22 or 23.  She was ok with that as long as I considered 25 young, because that was her age!   Jeez, I couldn’t imagine a 25-year-old worrying about being considered old!

In telling the story about Olivia, the girl who lost with quads, I told her about her dancing at the table when she thought she won.  This encouraged her to dance a bit whenever she won a pot. She stayed in her seat and thankfully, the dancing did not produce any more wardrobe malfunctions.

While discussing the "no cussing" rule, I thought of a joke for her.  I told her that in addition to the "no cussing" rule there was one other rule you must follow at a poker table.  "It's English only." She sort of nodded like who cares and then I added, "So don't start speaking Australian at the table."  She laughed and then played along. "OK, so no, 'G'Day Mates'"?  She used a thick, heavy Aussie accent for this, sounding a lot more Aussie than her normal tone.  I laughed, then she went on with the same exaggerated Aussie tone...."That dingo took my baby."

The guy sitting between Bruce and Sheila turned out to be an Israeli. She said she had studied the Israeli/Palestinian situation in school.  The Israeli clearly didn't want to talk about it, but Sheila kind of pontificated a bit about finding a fair solution.  This was maybe the one uncomfortable moment of the night. You all know how I hate discussing politics at the poker table and you can’t find a more volatile subject than this.  Fortunately it passed quickly.

Eventually our table thinned out.  There were three seats available at the other 2/4 table and four of us left in our game.  Normally we would draw for the seats with the loser going first on the waitlist at the new combined game.  But Sheila volunteered to take a break, be first on the list and just watch Bruce play for awhile.  She was just loving the hell out of the game though. She mentioned she lost about $125 but it was fine because of a) all the free drinks, and b)it was less than she was losing at video poker.  “And the fun,” I said.  “What about the fun?” Yes, she agreed, it was really fun and she was having a ball and really enjoying herself.

At the new table, Bruce was immediately to my left and Sheila was behind him, right between us.  There was a black guy sitting near us and Sheila said to him, "Oh you look a bit like Lamar Odom!"  This was an odd thing to say because he didn't really look anything like him.  The guy wasn't happy but he was not very friendly anyway.

However, he said something about wanting a certain kind of cigar.  She like that kind too and went to go look to see if she could find them. Bruce had been holding her purse so he gave it back to her and she took out some money and went hunting for the cigars.  While she was gone, the floor man came over and said, "Rob, is this your money?"  Right next to my chair and next to where Sheila was sitting was some rolled up money. It was a $20 bill.  I thought at first it might have been from my money clip but that had only $100's.  When i saw it was a twenty I was sure it wasn't mine.  I told Bruce it was probably Sheila’s since she had just opened her wallet to get some money out for the cigars.  But Bruce insisted it was not hers and that it belonged to me. 

Then the dealer at the time remembered that when I first came to the table, I had given him a twenty to buy some more chips and that it had probably fallen out then.  But money from my wallet is not rolled up like that.  I took the money, but when Sheila returned I told her about it and said it was probably hers.  But she insisted it was not! So I kept the money. Still, I knew it wasn't mine and I bet that it was Sheila’s.  So basically it was as if Sheila paid me twenty bucks to stare have this great, fun poker session and oh, btw, see a few “wardrobe malfunctions.” I suppose that was the best deal I've ever gotten in Vegas.

She came back and gave the black guy a pack of small cigars, and then bummed one of them. I wondered if she knew the rule about smoking not being allowed in the poker room. She did not! She was about to light up when I told her that there was no smoking in the poker room and she was surprised.  I told her she had to go five feet beyond the rail that enclosed the poker room to smoke it.  She said they have metric in Australia, so how was she supposed to know what five feet is?  Bruce said that since she's about 5'7", she could lie down and then stand about where neck rested. She didn’t do that of course. But the table had a discussion about the metric system after that. 

While she was gone, I commented about them having a tough drive in the morning if they were both hung-over.  They were both drinking a lot during the evening.  He said no, they'd be fine, he'd be fine.  I asked how long they dated before getting married and he said two years. Also, dogs were discussed and Bruce exposed his left shoulder, which had a huge tattoo of one of their dogs.  When Sheila came back, she insisted he expose it again. 

By the time she got back, a seat was available two to my right.  But as it was close to 3AM, I really was ready to call it a night. I was losing and I would've left a lot earlier if I wasn't having so much fun talking with my two new Aussie pals.  I said goodbye to them, shook both their hands, wished them luck and a fun rest of the trip, and told them I had a total blast playing with them. They each told me they had a blast as well.  

Since they were coming back to Vegas for one night a few days later (to see the Glee show), I asked if there was any chance they’d return to the BSC poker room after the show.  She said that it was a possibility.  But they did not.  I never saw them again.

Still, I don’t think I’ve ever made friends that fast before—at a poker table or anywhere else.  I think only at 2/4 was it possible.  It took much longer to become pals with Prudence (of course, we met at 1/2, not 2/4).  And that I guess is one of the things that makes me miss the 2/4 game.  Although that was unique, I do recall becoming really friendly with players at 2/4 when I was at BSC in that game every night for a week or so, seeing the same players over and over again.  It’s different at 1/2 for sure.  At that time, it was probably the most fun night (and morning) of poker I’d ever had, and it is still in my top 5 fun sessions, for sure.

And we had become so chummy and had become such good pals that I started feeling guilty about the occasional nip-slip.  At the beginning, Sheila was just some gal I was only going to interact with for a short time.  By now, she seemed like a friend—almost like a life-long friend since we had exchanged so much info on each other.  And I started wondering if I should tell her that she was exposing too much flesh.  But then I thought, that would just embarrass her needlessly (if indeed she would be embarrassed).  What would be the point? I was essentially blocking anyone else from getting the view I was getting.

But this is that first reason I mentioned for not posting this story earlier (in part 1).  Because by the end of the night, it was no longer a story about some random drunk woman accidentally flashing.  I’ve told stories like that before.  Including stories about ladies flashing a lot more than just a nipple.  But those were anonymous women I encountered for less than a minute. Sheila was now my buddy, my pal, my friend.  Somehow, it felt a lot different discussing Sheila’s “revelations.”  She was far from a fleeting stranger. 

Not only that, but I had also become friends with Sheila’s husband…..her brand new husband. It was kind of weird that I had seen a bit more of my friend Bruce’s bride than I was ever meant to. So, for that reason alone, I felt uncomfortable reporting this story to my readers for all these years.

There's a punch line to the story......about the twenty bucks.  Because I didn't think it was mine, I never really thanked the floor man for finding my "lost" twenty bucks.  When I got to the room the next night and had to wait, I went over and thanked him, but added that I didn't really think it was mine.  I asked if he remembered the Aussie couple.  He said, "You mean the girl in the white dress?  Yeah, I remember her."  I told her I thought it fell out of her purse when she went to buy cigars.  He said the way it was rolled up he thought she might have been keeping it.... and then instead of finishing his sentence he pantomimed with his hand to indicate down the front of her dress.  I laughed and said, "Oh, it was definitely not there!" without elaborating.

When I emailed this story to my friends while it was fresh in my mind (which is how I can report on this in such detail five years after it happened), a discussion ensued about the wardrobe malfunction.  There was a feeling among some of my friends that it hadn’t been an accident at all, and that Sheila knew exactly was happening and probably enjoyed flashing me. I never really bought into that but I suppose it was possible.

Well there it is….a story it took me five years to reveal (so-to-speak).  Hope you found it worth it.


  1. Rob, I think you had a great story here even if you had completely omitted the wardrobe malfunction part of it.

    1. Thanks very much Xdex, really appreciate it that.

      Yeah, I considered telling the story without that part, but I felt I managed to figure out a way to include that part of it in an amusing way (I hope).