“I love Las Vegas! Jesus Christ do I love Vegas! I’ll make it, make it good and clear; it’s because my Girl’s Right HERE!”
“And MY Shonnie’s Right THERE!
Wearing Her ‘Come Hither’ Stare!”
Vid Cred: icamatrix
I took Shonnie by the hand and we waltzed over to a blackjack table.
‘One Dollar Minimum Bet’
This was to be a training session and a trial run. An ‘Introduction’, or ‘Baptism’, or ‘Enlightenment, if you will.
Then again, it could just as quicklyandeasily degrade into a ‘Fiasco’, a ‘Waste of Time‘, an ‘Exercise in Futility’, given Shonnie’s paucity of patience.
“Hey! You said something about teaching me ‘counting down the deck’ in Blackjack. Was that bullshit, or what? I have never played blackjack. What is that anyway, counting down the deck?What does it mean?” She demanded.
“Lower your voice to somewhere around a three on your dial. And never use the ‘C Word’.
“Huh? The ‘C’ word?”
“Counting” I whispered.
She lowered her voice almost to a whisper, a difficult accomplishment for her. “Oh, Okay ‘Mister Mystery-Man’, I won’t use any ‘C’ words, until I call you out for being a ‘cunt’.”
“I’m a ‘man’. I can’t be a ‘cunt’.”
“Oh yes you can. I have met lots of ‘man-cunts’ in my day.”She did not whisper that, drawing some looks from nearby innocent bystanders.
Trying to ignore her remark for now, I said, “Just try to aim for ‘discreet’. This is Blackjack, not Craps. Blackjack is more subtle, more subdued, more cerebral. Craps is for screamin’ and hollerin’ and gettin’ rowdy. Blackjack is diametrically opposed and polarity opposite.”
“Do you ever speak ‘honest’ fucking English? You know, without all the bullshit fancy words that no one gives a rat’s ass to hear. You’re not as smart as you think you are, Cowboy.”
“Ah now, come on Lil Miss, Ah jes tryin’ ta inject ah little bit ah refinery into yer head.”
“Stop right now, or I am gonna ‘inject’my fist into your head. Now, in English, tell me what is Blackjack. ‘Condensed’ ‘Abridged’ version if-you-please. See there Schmuck? I know a few ‘fancy six-bit words’ too.”
“Touché,” I said.
She smacked me hard on my ass.
I continued, “Surely you played ‘Twenty-One’ as a kid, right? Or was it all ‘Strip Poker’ or ‘Strip Her and Poke Her’ with The Boys-on-The-Block?”
“I’m warning you Asshole,” she said playfully, almost tenderly.
Shonnie is the only woman I have ever known who can successfully use ‘Asshole’ as a term of endearment.
“Okay. Okay. Seriously Shonnie, I just want you to get a feel for the game. Tomorrow, I will teach you how to count. You seem to have some ‘Rain Man’ in ya. No offense.”
“Never mind. I’ll tell you later. You just listen to me, and as we play, and I’ll teach you all about what are called the ‘Basic Strategy’ rules of the game and more important, the rules you never, ever break while playing. Not The Dealer, nor the other players will mind or care.”
“Besides,” I continued, “It’s common for neophyte players to show up at a ‘Dollar Minimum’ table and get verbal instructions, even from the Dealer, if the dealer has any class at all, that is. Tomorrow, we’ll hit The El Cortez, and we’ll be in disguise. They have one of the last double-deck games in town.”
El Cortez is Jumpin’! Hahaha!
Worth a read: One of my ‘El Cortez Moments’
“El Cortez? Double deck? Disguise? Get the fuck out! And, by the way, I don’t remember seeing any ‘El Cortez’ anywhere.”
“Not surprised you missed it. It’s a bit of a rundown joint… But in a good way, in the tradition of the old ‘Sawdust Joints’. Don’t worry. They used to know me there. Hopefully they have forgotten that they used to know me there. I’ll explain later. Please sit down and think about what you want to drink. The waitress will need to know.”
We sat at ‘Third Base.’ Well technically, ‘I’ sat at third base. Shonnie sat next to me.
“Card counters actually have an advantage when it comes to the seating. These players are recommended to sit in the third base position to give them more time to keep an eye on the table, as well as count, and of course bet last.”
Credit: Blackjack Australia
The dealer was a perky blond. Her name tag announced
“I’m Debbie-From-Des Moines”
“Live it Up!”
This Here’s Debbie. Kinda Cute an’ Innocent-Lookin’Ain’t She? Be Thee Not Deceived;
She’ll Take ALLYour Money Ere You Leave
(If You Grow Careless)
And as the hours passed by, I taught her Basic Strategy Blackjack. She was good with it. Grudgingly very good with it. (My gal ain’t stupid, just stubborn and impatient.)
We never bet much. This was just for training after all, (and we already had our stake from Shonnie’s earlier very profitable ‘Dice-Capades‘) and I distrusted the dealers at the Plaza anyhow, so we just chilled. Well, at least I chilled… and taught.
“This is boring.” she said rather abruptly.
“Honey, you’re learning the game. Relax.”
“I like craps better.”
“Darling, we all do, but Craps is all about luck and guts and gambling. Blackjack is all about skill, smarts, strategy, and patience. ‘Patience’, I realize, is not your strong suit, and I know from time to time I strain what little you have, but this game is gonna pay off for us tomorrow night. Trust me.”
We continued with the Blackjack Lessons for a few more hours.
Shonnie was growing weary and bitchy and mouthy so I called an end to the training session, satisfied enough by then with her understanding of the game.
We walked over to the coffee shop and I bought her a bagel with cream cheese (Her favorite food-of-the-moment, she claimed) Then I took her off to bed.
She was beyond ready, and fell asleep just as soon as blond hair hit white pillow. I gently pulled the blanket over her petite little, exhausted body.
I was left alone with my thoughts, my plans, and a hard on.
“Sleep Princess,” I whispered to her, “And I have something important to tell you tomorrow.”
She stirred a bit and moaned, but did not hear.
I lay down beside her, wrapped myself around her, and slept too.
Anddreamt happy dreams.
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Part IX: Counting”
Update: Part IX is Up
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
Yes. A Repost. If you do nothing else, please scroll down and listen to the clip. It is hysterical (and real) Even better.
Cheers Y’all and Happy Saturday Oops! Sunday (is it?)
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Texan, Father, School Teacher, Rancher, & Much Maligned 36th President of The United States of America.
I love LBJ, or as Brother Dave Gardner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4E_Nrm0j8k) once called him: ‘Daddy Bird’. Johnson was a divisive entity during his one and a half terms as president—primarily due of course to the Vietnam War—which he inherited. Yes, I realize I am gonna get some push back. Favorably mention ‘LBJ’ even today and you best stand by for some unhappy and contentious words.
Young Daddy Bird
The problem I have, in general, when talking to folks about Johnson is that most are ignorant of the man, his history, his upbringing; his good works: Rural electrification for Texas. Medicare, Civil Rights, The Great Society (never really came to fruition, due to Vietnam) and so on.
Once he became ‘The Accidental President’ he took JFK’s dreams and made them reality. Johnson could do that. Why? Because he was the consummate politician—far more effective than Jack Kennedy.
JFK’s dreams were hollow pipes. Johnson made them happen. This is historical fact: For those of you who would care to search it out. For those who don’t really care to do that: Just-Trust-Me on this one, ‘cause I am a Texan, and Texans don’t lie (overmuch).
I have read all of Robert Caro’s books (http://www.robertcaro.com/) on LBJ and I have done my own research, and I have my own memories.
During the Sixty-Four election, my Mom, the originalHippy Chick informed me she was voting for Goldwater.
Much of the blame must be placed on the information revolution and the manifestation of the instant sound bite. I am not bemoaning the Information Age. I would not be able to throw my thoughts so carelessly about to the entire world if it were not for this Internet Thing we all embrace.
All I am saying is one must ponder how many potential great leaders are out there, but refuse to step up to the plate simply because they do not wish to have every word they have ever uttered tweeted or twerked or posted or face-booked for all to see. Some things should still be classified as TMI. That is just good manners.
What if JFK had had the internet to deal with? We would all have known of his affair with MM. WWBS? What would Bill ‘Oh Really’ Say? We would have been ass-deep in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Fox and CNN and even MSNBC would have burned more video on JFK’s infidelity. Castro would have loved it. Just sayin’…
My Step-sister worked for Oliver Stone on the film JFK. She was one of the on-set-dressers. We got into a heated argument over the whole conspiracy thing. She was convinced that LBJ was behind it all. I know quite a lot about LBJ as I have mentioned. I have done my research and I love Texas history.
Anyway I asked her upon what she based her unwavering belief.
She said, “That photograph of Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One in Dallas.”
Smug? Ladybird? (Just behind his right hand, in case y’all don’t recognize her) Of course, that is Jackie on the other side.
“You’re shitting me,” I said.
“Look at that photo and see how smug Ladybird looks in it. You just know then and there, she knew the whole thing.”
“I think I need a drink,” was all I could muster by way of response.
(Oh! And my step-mother worked for Jack Ruby: I know some shit about it)
I am not writing here as an apologist for LBJ. My focus is on the wonderful Texan caricature character he was. His humor, his down-to-earth’ed-ness, his vibrant lust for life, his convictions, and his larger-than-worldly-life persona: His ‘Texan-ness’.
Therein lies the rub for me. Johnson could be a buffoon. He could be portrayed as an idiot. He could be rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. He would be chastised and eventually ostracized.
But he got shit done!
He was a great, moral, honorable man.
No one will ever convince me otherwise (but you are certainly welcome to try)
Watch and listen to the Video Clip. It proves my point (and it is hysterical). These tapes were released a few years back. I have them all.
(Every so often, Script demanded we ‘kiss’—We never did during rehearsals.)
During one rehearsal, when the script DEMANDED a kiss, and RIGHT NOW!
We didn’t. We did not kiss.
Some fellow ‘actor’ shouted, “Hey! Y’all didn’t do the kiss! How are Y’all gonna do a believable kiss on stage if you don’t rehearse?
Madelyn didn’t miss a beat and coolly replied,
“We rehearse our kisses every night.
When we are at home.
So don’t worry.”
Opening night, we kissed, not unlike two horny teens. It was painful. (For her. Not for me! I had been waiting for years to kiss her!)
And right before we kissed, live on stage, in front of about three hundred audience, she whispered to me,
“You better not slip me no tongue.”
So… guess what I did?
“C’est Française, n’est-ce-pas?“
She was NOT Amused, but she pulled it off, non·plussed
As if nothing untoward had just happened.
OK. I am sober now. Slept off my drunk.
I have Slept Off thousands of drunks in my day.
Got that routine down pat.
Could not sleep off my sorrow over losing my
My Dear Madelyn:
New unchartered waters for me.
Never have I lost a sister.
My heart is broke, but this is not gonna be about me.
Lord knows I write too much about me and my narcissism.
This is about My Sister, My Madelyn.
My intent is to write and write and write about her for the next few days until I run out of virtual ink in my virtual pen.
Some of you out there in ‘Radio Land’ knew her.
If you have any memories to share, now would be the time.
This may come across as ‘sick’ to you, read in the harsh light of present day:
But, if I am being honest with my feelings, I must write them.
Since Madelyn and I were not actually ‘blood relations’ there were more than a few times when we were tempted.
Tempted to be much more than step-brother and step-sister.
There for damn sure was a mutual physical and cerebral attraction.
But… we were ‘mature’ enough, even back then, mature enough to understand that we could not go there, however much we, at times, desperately wanted to.
We wanted to ‘go there.’
Oh My God!
How we wanted to ‘Go There’!
But It would have been so easy.
C’ly I Love You So Very Much!
I Know Nothin’ Stys The Sme (my eh key is still Broken–Fuk it! I’ll Work ‘Round It!)
We had the entire third floor of Marcom Manor to ourselves.
The parents were often gone for days at a time.
Leaving us to ‘fend’ for ourselves.
For the sake of ‘The Family’… we didn’t.
We didn’t go there.
Some small part of me wishes we had.
But if we had, this would be quite a different post than the one I am writing right now.
Over all the years there were so many things I wanted to say to Madelyn, but shit always seemed to get in the way.
Now, my mind is racing with all those words left unsaid.
Never to be said, at least not in this place, this alone place I find me in.
I suppose I can just cast this one out into the ether:
“Madelyn, I love/loved you!”
But she cannot hear me now, can she?
“How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”
This Song very well, and very accurately, describes Madelyn.
She was always a ‘Problem.’
She was SO Fucking charming!
Could NEVER be angry at her.
Not for a moment!
She could melt / play you with a smile.
(And she knew this power she had)
And trust me Folks,
She wielded it.
With reckless abandon.
(Much to my chagrin at times)
I could never get away with shit.
I cannot continue this.
At this moment.
But I will come back.
And sooner than later
“Madelyn had a horse once: a cross between a Shetland pony and a Welsh mare. Now, I really don’t know much about horses and during that time I knew even less, but I really did want to play cowboy, so I decided to make friends with the local “real cowboy” and have him teach me how to ride this animal. I was about twelve going on thirteen at the time.
The problem with this horse was that it was a pet. Madelyn had talked my father into buying it for her not long after she and her mom moved in (I was not yet on the scene; was still living with my grandparents.
I suppose I arrived some months after the horse). Anyway, she soon lost interest in Gretchen (is that a proper horse name?) hence, she (Gretchen) never ever got ridden; (I cannot speak for Madelyn.) This will become important later in my story.”
First he was taken by Kim. Kim got bored with him and gave him to my step-sister Madelyn. She thought he was just the coolest thing ever!
For about three days…
His coolness factor having for her it seems, a very short half-life, I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse for her coon: Cash Money. Money’s coolness factor has no half-life. She was only too happy to surrender Leroy to my care for the tidy sum of thirty-five bucks. Quite tidy indeed to an unemployed High School girl in 1974.
My heart is broken.
I miss you Madelyn!
You were so much more than my sister.
I was so forever in love
OK. Now I am Drunk again.
Seems I have come ‘Full-Circle.’
I am gonna stop fucking around with this post and just wallow in my grief.
was living large in the ‘Proper Garage Apartment’ and was ‘in good’ with the Landlord. She informed me he had this ‘wonderful little apartment’ for rent, which was ‘just perfect’ for me. Read CHEAP.
I checked it out, paid my fifty bucks and moved in. The moving in took all of two minutes, for I had not much to move.
Working for Ruth at her Liquor store in Ladonia and making a solid three dollars fifty cents an hour (plus ‘benefits), it was indeed, ‘perfect’ for me.
Now mind you, I never complained about living in such a place. After all, it did suit me and no one would have cared anyhow if it didn’t. It had some kind of ‘certain charm’ (just like this place) to be sure.
How many folks could invite a guest into their home and lead them past the shitter before arriving into the living room/bedroom/kitchen/study proper? As far as I knew, I had the only such place in all of Commerce. It was special.
And truth be told, I did some ‘entertaining’ there a couple of times. The only person who I would invite over was my girlfriend. She never judged me. She was always happy to be with me, no matter the venue. (Yes, that sounds conceited, but there it is Gentle Reader—c’est vrai, or quel dommage, or… choose your own français).