So about six in the evening we walk on down to the El Cortez. Shonnie goes in and I hang back a few; Smoke a Marlboro on the street and head on in. Making my way through the slot machine triple canopy jungle I head to the back, the bar, and the blackjack tables while looking for Shonnie. I spot her seated all alone at a two dollar minimum table decently close to the bar. She was next to ‘Third Base’, empty chair to her left, and five empty seats to her right, just as I had instructed her. “Good Girl,” I thought, “Now, let’s see what you can do.”
As I sat at the bar, lit a cigarette, and ordered a gin and tonic, I watched as Shonnie placed a two-dollar bet. Glancing about the casino, I saw it was a bit slow. A few of the Blackjack tables were completely devoid of players, but it was yet early.
This would certainly soon change. I hoped we would be out long before the crowds came. Shonnie had learned the basic count pretty fast, but I did not think she would be able to sustain if there were a table full of other players and thus many more cards to count. If she could pull it off with just her and the dealer, well that was good enough. We had already made a good score with the Craps game the night before and I really wasn’t looking to get rich. I just wanted to (truthfully) impress her with my ‘Gangsta’ ways. Prove a point, as it were.
She was playing a double-deck game (again per my instruction), and I noted that the dealer dealt deep into the decks (a very good thing). Between reshuffles, I could see Shonnie chatting it up just a little with the dealer, a diminutive ‘Ornamental’ Girl: Pretty much becoming the ‘Norm’ in Vegas at that time. Chinese or Korean, best guess.
I was on my second gin and tonic and my fifth Marlboro when some schmuck waltzed over and sat down to Shonnie’s left. Proper Third Base. He looked about fortyish and was wearing a fake cowboy hat, ruffled shirt, à la George Strait, and a stupid face. He began chatting her up. Now, I had not planned on this, but I did realize a good-looker such as Shonnie, sitting all alone at a BJ table, would be bound to draw some flies. I only hoped this asshole did not distract her too much from her count. We had practiced ‘distractions’ in the hotel room. As I played dealer and dealt way too fast, I would ask her questions and play with the remote on the TV. She did just fine. (She is smart, this one.)
Shonnie played through four reshuffles and was winning. I even saw her double-down a few times and in fact she was increasing her bets. ‘What the fuck?!’ I’m thinking. ‘How long does it take a double-deck to go hot?’
‘George’ remained and was beginning to piss me off. Obviously he was distracting her from her count. I ordered up another gin and tonic, lit a cigarette and stewed some. My drink arrived just as I saw Shonnie pull a cig out of her pack, hold it in her left hand and waited for George-The-Sycophant to light it.
I gathered my drink and my pack of Marlboros and sauntered over to the table. Sat down at first base, threw out (drunkenly, for show), a few hundred dollars. The dealer arranged them on the table for ‘The Eye in the Sky’, and said, “Changing six hundred.” She then passed me some big stacks of red and some green chips. I noted that Shonnie had placed two red chips immediately to the right of her stack. If she was spot on, this meant the count had gone to ‘plus ten!’ I had coached her to constantly shuffle her chips, as if she were nervous or bored, so that this act would not draw any attention.
“No Darlin’, gimme a few black,” I said to the dealer, pushing away the red chips. She took them back and pushed out three black chips to go with the twelve green. I placed two bets (two hands—one can play multiple hands if the table is basically empty) of one hundred dollars each. Shonnie dropped a green chip (I had told her nothing fancy dammit!) George dropped a red and seemed more interested in Shonnie than his game and whispered something in her ear.
All bets placed, ‘Ornamental Dealer Girl’ began to deal. (I estimated that only one-third of the two decks had been dealt, so this bode well for me. A plus ten count! Outrageous!) I caught a pair of eights on my first hand and a hard eighteen on my second. Shonnie caught a natural blackjack and sent me a sideways glance. George caught a dead man’s hand: a thirteen. The dealer had her hole card, but with a five showing. Surely she would bust on that weak ass shit. She would have to take a hit, no matter what and with the decks rich in face cards, she just had to bust.
Of course I split my eights. Caught a three on the first eight and doubled down (now two hundred on that hand) Caught a jack! Twenty one! Caught a deuce on the second eight, doubled down again. Caught a king! Twenty on that hand. Another two hundred. I am now five hundred into this round. I stood pat on my other hand, the eighteen. Shonnie had already been paid for her natural blackjack, so it was up to George. He hit his thirteen! (A rookie move: He should have stood on his thirteen against a dealer showing a five up card—idiot) He caught another face and busted. A face card meant for ‘Miss Ornamental’. Again: Idiot! But it all worked out…
The dealer flipped her hole card, revealing a ten, making her a fifteen. She hit the fifteen (as required) and caught a nine and busted.
The deck was still hot (plus to the plus) so I played another hand and won three hundred. Shonnie won another twenty-five. George lost another five. The dealer started to reshuffle. I was done here.
I pushed all my chips out in front and said, “Color me up Darling and keep this one,” as I tossed her a green. I saw Shonnie throw me yet another sideways glance, rolling her eyes.
I gathered my chips and headed over to the cashier. Got my money and split back to the Union Plaza to wait for Shonnie.
Thank you Abby (Wherever you are finding yourself these days)
This below was inspired by a post from a blogger I much admire: Abby of Abby Has Issues fame: writer, published author, blogger, self-described sarcastic (and inspiring–my words) You Wench/Bitch! J/K! I LOVE You!
Jean Knight – Mr Big Stuff
“Who am I?”
“Who do I Think I am? Who/What Should I be?”
Those should be a very provocative questions for all. Some ancient Greek guy once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
I am rapidly approaching my sixth decade on This Earth and have been (painfully) taking stock of all that I could call “My Life.” What good have I accomplished? What are the bad things I have done? How many ‘friends’ do I have? How many bridges have I nuked? (I generally do not ‘burn’ bridges; I have a tendency to shock and awe ‘em—obliterate ‘em)
I have put my boots on the ground on every continent except South America. What has this taught me? A lot. Did I always use this knowledge gleaned? Most definitely not.
“Who am I?”
More and more I have come to the stark realization that I must sum me up with one word:
I am an asshole. I don’t want to be an asshole, pompous ass, arrogant ass, the smartest ass in the room, (which I obviously am… maybe once in ten or twenty tries 😉 )
I do not want to be any kind of ass, but that is my reality. I have made some friendships during my life which should have lasted forever, but didn’t: Mostly from my neglect. I have had some wonderfully loving relations with women, and actually married four of them.
Each one of those relationships should have been a lasting euphoria, but I did not, could not, would not, allow that.
Wanderlust always took me away, eventually needing to ‘get outta town’, but with no malice, just gotta go…
‘This is the part where the cowboy rides away’–find some elusive spot half-way across the globe where I could ‘find’ ME, unencumbered by people who ‘love’ me and think they can help me.
“My Heart is Sinking Like A Setting Sun…
“I’d ‘Cred The Sharer of This Video, But I No Longer Give A fuk.’
That is the Reward of Old Age–U No longer Have to give a fuk.
Not sure if I have ‘found me’ yet. And this is disconcerting, ‘cause I do fear the time for that is growing shorter. Writing helps, but I continue to struggle with:
“Who am I?”
I still don’t know.
As Abby broached the subject:
“How would you answer the question?”
Run with it, and drop in to read Abby: (and tell her I sent ya–I could use the publicity and btw, this link actually works)
Cheers Y’all and Happy Monday.
Abbies Link no longer works—Not Sure Where she Went..
Music Credit: Steely Dan – (‘Blackjack’) Do It Again
Video Edit Credit: Eduardo Montenegro
Bastardized Title Credit: Lance Marcom
So about six in the evening we walked down to the El Cortez. Shonnie goes in and I hang back a few. Smoke a Marlboro on the street then head on in.
Making my way through the slot machine triple canopy jungle I head to the back, the bar, and the blackjack tables while looking for Shonnie.
I spot her all alone at a two-dollar-minimum table decently close to the bar. She was sitting next to ‘Third Base’ on her left, and five empty seats to her right, just as I had instructed.
“Good Girl,” I thought, “Now, let’s see what you can do.”
‘Blond Bombshell Blackjack Babe’s Back
I sat down at the bar, lit a cigarette and ordered a gin and tonic while watching Shonnie. She placed a two-dollar bet then defiantly tossed her hair back.
I cannot prove this, but she must have sensed my stare and was showing out for my benefit. Glancing about the casino, I observed it to be a mite slow.
Almost dead, in fact.
From my look-out perch I could spot only one or two others playing blackjack. Sitting at the closest table to me was an old geezer with long gray hair and a long brown cigar.
He had a modest stack of red chips in front of him. He didn’t appear to be drunk, just a little ‘un-steady’. There were some bored dealers manning the other, mostly empty tables, struggling to stay awake, would be my ‘astute’ observation.
Dead or not, the casino noises are forever a constant. Most of the sound emanates from the banks and banks and banks of slot machines.
Slot machines never shut up, busy or not.
The slot machine cacophonous chorus resembles that cicada sound, but the cicada sound comes once every seventeen years. The slot sound is ubiquitous, loud and intrusive, even somewhat abusive.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the ‘Casino Sounds’–When I have money–Hate them when I don’t. But with or without funding the earworms are always there, unavoidable as a matter of fact and as a matter of course.
No escaping ‘them’. I can still hear their noise as I type these words, and it has been more than some few years since I have been treated to a ‘live’ performance.
Yep, they’re the only ‘Ear Worms’ that don’t fuck around. Once they bore deep inside of you, you’re done.
Deal (pun intended) with it.
True Casino Junkies must live with them forever. One gets used to it though. There are definitely worse afflictions to be had.
I could see a few banks of slots from my bar stool as well. In modern era casinos slots are dominating and they areeverywhere. Some joints even have them in the head.
Allow me to go even further: you cannot throw a dead cat across a casino floor without hitting a slot machine.
(Never actually try this Y’all; just take my word.)
But I used to have this fantasy whereby I was allowed to try—for science, of course. This fantasy only appeared if I had lost my stake and was forced to go home to my ship, empty-pocketed, empty-headed, physically and emotionally spent and depressed.
There is nothing on Earth more disconsolate than finding oneself in a lively casino with no money.
A few blue-haired ladies were feeding the beasts. There is something rather charming, heart-warming and endearing about ‘Grandma’ gleefully tossing away the social security or the pension or ‘Daddy’s’ money.
Not their ‘Actual Daddy’, but their husband, if they happen to be from Dallas, or Fort Worth, or Waco, or Atlanta, or Little Rock or Baton Rouge or… Y’all catching my drift here?
The ‘Erstwhile Southern Belles’ are always a delight to hear and to watch.
As much as I love to ‘Casino-People-Watch’, I could not indulge. Had to keep my attention on Shonnie and wait for her to light a cigarette in her left hand.
Never thought I would be waiting for that girl to fire up a smoke.
Sometimes life is just weird.
The barren emptiness of the El Cortez would not last long. It was a Saturday Evening, soon to be a Saturday Night and the place would fill up soon enough.
Allow me a word or two about the El Cortez. It has been my experience that this particular joint has always been frequented more by the locals than by the tourists, at least in the modern era.
The place has a long and rich history. First constructed in 1941, remodeled many times, but still manages to maintain what I like to call ‘The Cheers Effect’.
‘Where everybody knows your name.’
Not quite, but it is a pleasant fiction.
1941: THE EL CORTEZ IS BORN
John Kell Houssels partnered with John Grayson from California, and Marion Hicks, a Los Angeles Architect and developer, to build and operate the El Cortez Hotel-Casino on East Fremont Street. Constructed for $245,000, it was Downtown Las Vegas’ first major resort with 59 rooms and designed in a Spanish Ranch theme.
But I hoped we would not be here long and we would be long gone before the crowds arrived.
As recounted in a previous chapter of this series, for Craps, the louder and rowdier, and crazier the better.
None of that is needed, nor even desired for Blackjack. In truth, better off without it.
Shonnie had learned the basic count pretty quickly, but I did not think she would be able to sustain if there were a table full of other players and thus many more cards to count and many more distractions to distract.
If she could pull it off with just herself and the dealer, well that was good enough. We had already made a good score with the Craps game the night before and I really wasn’t looking to get rich. I just wanted to (truthfully) impress her with my ‘Gangsta’ ways.
Merely To Prove a Point, as it were.Whatever ‘Point’ I was trying to ‘prove’ escapes me now.
She was playing a double-deck game (again per my instruction), and I noted that the dealer dealt deep into the decks (a very good thing).
Between reshuffles, I could see Shonnie chatting it up just a little with the dealer, a very young, diminutive ‘Ornamental’ Girl wearing a bright perma-smile: Pretty much the ‘Norm’ in Vegas at that time. Chinese or Korean, best guess.
Definitely not Southeast Asian; her face was too flat. The lovelier S.E. Asian girls mostly worked The Strip.
And yes, ladies and perhaps even some of you gents may be tempted to chastise me roundly for being a male sexist pig, but damn it! I am a Sailor!
It is genetic in me, like the salt water that runs through my veins. Nothing to be done. Believe me, many women have tried.
I was on my second gin and tonic and my third Marlboro when some schmuck waltzed over and sat down to Shonnie’s left–Proper Third Base–My Seat!
He looked about fortyish and was wearing a fake cowboy hat, ruffled shirt à la George Strait, red, yes, red! cowboy boots, and a stupid face.
He began chatting her up. Now, I had not really planned on this, but I did realize a good-looker such as Shonnie, sitting all alone at a BJ table, would be bound to draw some varmints. I only hoped this asshole did not distract too much from her count.
We had practiced ‘distractions’ in the hotel room. As I played dealer and dealt way too fast, I would ask her questions and play with the remote on the TV.
She did just fine.
(She is sharp, this one. Very sharp. Sharp of mind, and being the faithful reader that you are, you also know she is sharp of wit and tongue and temper as well.)
Shonnie played through three reshuffles and was winning. I even saw her double-down a few times and in fact she was increasing her bets.
‘What the fuck?!’ I’m thinking. ‘How long does it take a double-deck to go hot?’
‘George’ remained and was beginning to piss me off. Obviously he was distracting her from her count. I ordered up another gin and tonic, lit a cigarette and stewed in my own juices some.
My drink arrived just as I saw Shonnie pull a cigarette out of her pack, hold it in her left hand and wait for George-The-Sycophant to light it. He ignited his lighter and Shonnie seductively put her hand on his and guided it to her cigarette!!
I WOULD be bringing THIS up with HER later in the evening.
Anyway, Game on! Blackjack Game. The ‘GeorgeGame / Situation’ would have to wait.
I gathered my drink and my pack of Marlboros and sauntered over to the table. Sat down at first base, threw out (drunkenly, for show), a few crumpled up hundred dollar bills.
The dealer smoothed them out on the table for ‘The Eye in the Sky’ to peruse, then announced over her shoulder toward the Pit Boss, “Changing six hundred.”
She passed me some big stacks of red and some lesser stacks of green chips. I noted that Shonnie had slid two stacks of five chips just slightly to the right of her stack. If she was spot on, this meant the count had gone to ‘plus ten!’
I had coached her to constantly count and fiddle with her chips, as if she were nervous or bored, so that this act would not draw any undue attention.
“No Darlin’, gimme a few black,” I half-slurred to the dealer, pushing away the red chips. She took them back and pushed out three black chips to go with my twelve green. I placed two bets (two hands—one may play multiple hands if the table is basically empty) of one hundred dollars each.
Shonnie dropped a green chip (I had told her nothing fancy dammit!) George dropped a red and seemed more interested in Shonnie than his game as whispered something in her ear.
“All bets placed,” ‘Ornamental Dealer Girl’ said as she began the deal. I estimated only one-third of the two decks had been dealt, so this bode well for me.
A plus ten count!
I caught a pair of eights on my first hand and a hard eighteen on my second. Shonnie caught a natural blackjack and sent me a smug sideways glance.
George caught a ‘dead man’s hand,’ a thirteen. Which seemed appropriate to me.
The dealer had her hole card concealed, but a five showing. Surely she would bust on that weak ass shit. She would have to take a hit, no matter what and with the decks so rich in face cards, she was bound to bust.
Of course I split my eights. (‘Always split Aces and Eights’—Never forget this ‘red-bird-cardinal rule’) Caught a three on the first eight and doubled down (now two hundred on that hand) Caught a jack!
Caught a deuce on the second eight, doubled down again. Caught a king! Twenty on that hand.
Another two hundred. I am now five hundred into this deal. I stood pat on my other hand, the eighteen.
Shonnie had already been paid for her natural blackjack, so it was up to George. He hit his thirteen! (A stupid, stupid, should-be-illegal stupid rookie move: He should have stood on his thirteen against a dealer showing a five up card. Idiot!)
He caught another face and busted. A face card meant for ‘Miss Ornamental’. Again: Idiot! I have seen players get their ass kicked for being so stupid and screwing up a play such as George had just performed.
But it all worked out…Lucky for him.
Still, he had pissed away a face card!
The dealer flipped her hole card, revealing a ten, making her a fifteen. She hit the fifteen (as required), caught a nine and busted.
The deck was still hot (plus to the plus) so I played another three hands and won eight or nine hundred or a grand more. Shonnie won another fifty or sixty or so. George lost another ten, or twenty.
The dealer started to reshuffle.
I was done here.
I pushed all my chips toward the dealer and said, “Color me up Darlin’ and keep this one,” as I tossed her a green. I saw Shonnie throw me yet another sideways glance, rolling her eyes.
I gave her and wink and a discreet nod in ‘George’s direction in an effort to make her understand I wanted her to leave earlier than we had originally planned.
“Leave in ten, instead of twenty” was my silent communique. Not sure if the transmission arrived in-tact and un-garbled.
Shonnie ignored me and turned her attention back to her drink and her Marlboro.
George tried to whisper some more bullshit into her ear. She pulled away, but not quickly, nor forcefully enough to suppressthe ‘Green-Eyed-Monster’ inside me.
The Green-Eyed-Monster who Torments Me Is Always Female, Feline-Like, and Redheaded.
Yours May Be Different.
“O beware my lord of jealousy.“
“It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.“
–Iago (From ‘Othello’)
Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady
Cred for Vid: musicvideoswhd
I had to leave before I blew my cover by goin’ up-side this asshole’s head.
I gathered my chips and headed over to the cashier. Got my money and split back to the Union Plaza to wait for Shonnie.
And wait some more.
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XI: Un-Graceful Exit”
Update: Now Published Below
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Below You Will Find Most Of The Original Posts. Once / If You Arrive At Thirteen There Are Links To The Final Few Chapters. Please keep in mind however, that each and every one of them is in the process of being rewritten: first to last. This will probably take at least two or three weeks.
I hope you were not arrested, dude, by anybody, really.
LAMarcom July 7, 2014 at 22:42 Edit
You are correct: The vid did not look right to me either, but I have smoked a lot of shit in my time and … I was in a hurry to get the post ‘posted’, so I probably did not pick the best YouTube.
Point well taken: I shoulda know’d.
I will change it (when I have time)
LAMarcom July 7, 2014 at 22:39 Edit
Thank you for reminding me of that song (one of the best Steely Dan) and it does fit.
Sorry for the tardy response. I was arrested by the NSA.
(Now…that was a joke–kinda)
LAMarcom July 7, 2014 at 22:24 Edit
I alternate between black coffee and whiskey. Keeps the cocktail waitresses on their toes.
Thanks for your comment. I have been in jail for the past few days, so I do apologize for the tardy response.
(I was framed, by the way).
P.S. “All’s Well That Ends Well With The Protagonist Still Alive and Walking About.”
markbialczak July 4, 2014 at 22:29 Edit
It looks like Walter Becker to me, 1971 or so.
Exile on Pain Street July 4, 2014 at 21:39 Edit
WTF is up with that video? That’s not Donald Fagan singing, but that’s his voice. What’s going on there?
Exile on Pain Street July 4, 2014 at 21:32 Edit
I never drink and gamble. There’s a good reason why the casinos want to ply you with free hooch while you’re trying to do the odds math.
Things look good but why do I feel like it’s not going to end well? Where have I heard this song before. Oh, yeah…I’ve sung it myself a time or two.
markbialczak July 4, 2014 at 08:59 Edit
Just like with The Dan, with The Lance and Shonnie, I will wait patiently and enjoy the ride. “Aja, when all my night dancin’ is through, I run to you” … said the song “Deacon Blues.” And that’s the song that your Vegas tale is now reminding me of, Lance. “They got a name for the winners of the world, I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide. Call me Deacon Blues.” So, you see, I fear your winning streak is coming to an end here. Can’t wait to read more. I am already hating “George.”
LAMarcom July 3, 2014 at 18:49 Edit
evil grin *
LVital7019 July 3, 2014 at 18:47 Edit
Well, I’m over 18 so… 😉
LAMarcom July 3, 2014 at 17:09 Edit
I still remember the street address of my house in Fremont California back in ’66, but I can’t remember what I had for supper two nights ago. Go figger. 😉
Thanks very much for your visit and I do hope you will read the entire series. It does get a little racy in parts though.
Cheers to you!
LAMarcom July 3, 2014 at 17:02 Edit
Thanks for the enthusiasm. 🙂
Appreciate your visit as always.
LVital7019 July 3, 2014 at 10:17 Edit
THAT was flipping fascinating! I’m listening to Steely Dan as I type this – cool song; great band! Seriously, you make me wanna sign up and take classes with you! I’ve always been fascinated with films about card-counting heists – they always have savant-like mathematical & memory skill. My only skill is REMEMBERING numbers; like phone numbers from 35 years ago…
Now I have to go back & start from the beginning of your Shonnie-tales. 🙂
Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann July 3, 2014 at 08:43 Edit
I am with Sadie and Heathen here…I GOTTA know what happened! LOL
LAMarcom July 2, 2014 at 23:40 Edit
I am gonna end this one soon.
LAMarcom July 2, 2014 at 23:39 Edit
I truly, do, want, to, end this one.
But there is so very much more to tell.
Please be patient.
~ Sadie ~ July 2, 2014 at 23:32 Edit
Damn – your killing me here Lance – can’t wait to see what happens – LOVE me some Steely Dan from way back . . . 😉
happierheathen July 2, 2014 at 23:31 Edit
I hate waiting. Especially on a woman who’s being chatted up by a dude in urban cowboy get-up. Especially with that song playing. Good choice or diversion?
Keep writing, man! I’m ready for the next installment already!
“Well Shonnie, was nice of your friend to introduce us. Did Y’all come here together?”
“Yeah, we come here two, three times a week.”
“I didn’t catch her name.”
(Well, I guess ‘that’ fits, I thought.)
“See seems like a realniceLady,” I lied.
“She’s a good friend. We work together.”
“I see. Do you need a fresh drink?”
“Uh, yeah I do. Thanks.”
I managed to get the attention of one of the Serving Wenches, a slightly chunky Brunette, wearing too-tight jeans, and rockin’ a Neon-Green ‘Cowgirl’ Hat, with little flashing lights adorning the brim.(???)Other than the hat, she seemed fit enough for her duties.
“Shonnie, what ya drinkin’”
“Jack and coke,” she said. (A kindred spirit? Well, if you lose the coke, but what the hell, right?)
To the waitress I said, “For the Lady a Jack an’ Coke, and for me a shot ah Beam and a Heineken.”
“OK. Be right back with those. Wanna run a tab?”
“Sure. Thanks. Nice hat, by the way.”
The word ‘Cowboy‘ seemed to get caught in her throat. Likely her first or second night on the job here at…still cannot remember the name of the joint. Oh well.She was probably a refugee from some higher-end beach bar in La Jolla.
The band started up with “You Look So Good In Love” (George Strait)
Vid Share Cred: ‘asphyxed’
“I love this song,” Shonnie said.
“Wanna dance?” (I knew I could manage a slow dance and that was about it. My Two-Step resembles a blind turkey caught in a rain storm)
“Sure,” she said, standing up. Wow! I thought, she really istiny, as I took her hand and led her to the floor.
We began our dance and her head barely came up to my chest. I estimated she was about five foot nothin’, maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet. She held me very tightly as we slowly moved back and forth to the music.
She smelled sweetly of some perfume I could not identify. Not surprising, as I am not really a connoisseur. Whatever it was, it was very alluring, and seemed ‘perfect’ for her.
To any Ladies reading these words, is it common to ‘fit’ the perfume to the ‘venue’? Certainly it must be.
Her semi-long blond hair just covering her shoulders was somewhat unkempt and slightly askew. Well, that may be unkind. Let’s call it ‘Country Casual’.
She had a very nice figure, breasts just about right (far as I could tell) for her frame, nice ass (Yes. Yes. I know. I am being sexist, but I suspect she was ‘checking me out’ as well.
And at one point she actually put HER hand on MY ass. So there!
As we danced I admitted to her that slow dancing was all I could muster and that I had never even mastered the simplest dance of all: ‘The Two-Step’. She giggled in my ear and offered to teach me. Told her I would have to drink on that.
As the song finished, we stood there momentarily to see if they were going to play another slow song.
They awarded our wait by busting out with ‘Cotton-Eye-Joe’, a song I remember far too well from the Seventies and the line dance that went with it.
I hustled us off the dance floor mucho más pronto.
Below is How One Dances to ‘Cotton-Eye-Joe’
(It is requisite that one be ‘at least’ four sheets to the wind before performing this dance. In fact, that is a State Law in Texas.Though probably not in California)
Surely you can understand no way I’m gonna attempt THAT, making a fool out of myself in front of a PotentialNew Girlfriend.Uh Uh. Nope!
Texas Style Cotton-Eye-Joe
“The Bullshit Song”
“Texans don’t like line dancing, with one exception. When this song is done at the end of the night it is a real crowd pleaser. If you don’t know how to dance the Cotton Eyed Joe yet (the real way) you will, two and a half minutes from now.”
Video Content & Quotation Credit: ‘Wisegeorge’
Happily our drinks had arrived while we were dancing and we settled back down and began to get to know each other over booze, Marlboros, and Country Music.
While we were continuing our small talk, Layla suddenly (and loudly) reappeared.
“How’re you kids doing?” She shouted over the band.
Just as I was about to say “Fine,” Shonnie said, “Great!”
(Hmmmm…. ‘Great?’ OK, I’ll take ‘great’.)
“Uh, Layla… That’s your name, right? Would you like to join us for a drink? Take a load off?” I asked somewhat disingenuously.
“Well, name your poison,” I said.
“Wine cooler, white.” (Go figure)
I decided to just go to the bar to place the order, as our little wanna-be Honky-Tonk venue was now just about completely full and I did not want any delays in getting Miss Layla her (hopefully) solitary drink, and then her continuing to make her ‘Rounds’.
I took the liberty of ordering drinks for me and Shonnie while I was at it, returned and sat down.
Shonnie and Layla had their heads together and were giggling over something. (Probably my ‘dancing’).
“Drinks on the way,” I announced, thus interrupting their little giggle fest.
“Oh goody” (goody?) Layla exclaimed.
“So, Layla, Shonnie tells me Y’all work together.”
“Yep, and we’re best of friends, so you better take good care of her,” she said, still in giggle mode.
(Good ‘care’ of her? Hmmm…)
The drinks arrived and I decided to kick it up a notch, so I proposed a toast: “Here’s to new Friends,” I said, raising my shot of Beam.
The ladies followed suit and two glasses and one shot glass collided with a soft ‘clink’.
“Hear! Hear!” Layla giggled (what is with this woman? Drunk or stoned, or both?)
We tried to settle into some conversation, but Layla clearly was not interested, as she spent more time perusing the other tables and the dance floor than she did ‘focused’ on the ‘conversation’. I could see she was as anxious to extricate herself from our table as I was to see her succeed.
Thankfully, a California Cowboy finally came over and led her out onto the dance floor.(“Keep her as long as you like Cowboy.” Of course, I only said that inside my head.)
Shonnie and I danced every slow dance song that came up for the next couple of hours (between several more rounds of drinks).
About every twenty minutes or so Layla would pop back by, ostensibly to be ‘social’, but methinks, to ‘check on us’, as if we were her charges.
Finally, as it was getting up along twelve midnight, and Shonnie and I had, indeed, seemed to find some mutual attraction, I broached:
“How ‘bout I give you a ride home? And Layla can be freed of her chaperone duty?” It was a gambit and I gave it fifty-fifty.
“Sure,” she said instantly. “Just let me tell her what’s up, okay?”
I watched as Shonnie tracked her down and gave her the happy news. I could see they were having some discussion over this, but it did not seem ‘too’ heated, only ‘marginally’ heated.
Shonnie returned to me and announced gruffly, “Let’s go.”
“Yes Ma’am. Just let me settle-up with the bar, and we can split.” (Not really a Cowboy term, ‘Split’, but hell! I was in Southern Cali after all.)
We walked to my Toronado which was parked way in the back of the parking lot, by now pretty much emptied out. After we settled in and I was about to start the car, Shonnie said, “Ya wanna smoke a joint?”
“I would love to ‘Darlin’, but you know I’m in the Navy, and they have random piss tests all the time, so I just can’t.”
She looked a little disappointed, but it was a fleeting look. I turned my attention back to the keys in the ignition when she put her hand on my arm and said, “Well, would you like to fuck me then?”
“Love to.” And it was definitely ‘On’. Since she was so tiny and my car so huge, with front seats that could be moved way back, we had no trouble with her straddling me on the passenger side.
The sex was passionate, slightly drunken, and fucking great! Seems there was much energy stored in that diminutive frame of hers and she unleashed all of it on one unsuspecting Cowboy.
After we had finished and I was back in the driver side seat fishing for two Marlboros, she started crying. (Crying??)
“What’s wrong Honey?” I sincerely asked.
“I’m married,” She said.
Almost laughing as I said,
“That’s okay Baby, so am I.”
She stopped crying and started laughing, laughing really hard and loud.She had a great laugh, by the way, boisterous, loud and proud, not even an ounce of pretention–seemingly impossible to be emanating from such a petite, sweet, lil’ thang.
And I joined in with herlaughter.
We found time to fuck again.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Pride AndJoy (Live at Montreux 1982)
In Nineteen-Eighty-Seven San Diego County there was only one Country & Western Bar/Dance Hall (that I knew of). I was sorely missing Texas and though I was never what one might call ‘A Hardcore Country Music Fan’,
I was feeling nostalgic. So I bought me some Nocona’s (NO, I did not varnish them), a Stetson, Wrangler’s, some shirts with snaps, a string tie, and off I went, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, or in this case, ‘Place’.
The name of which escapes me, but it was along the lines of Gilley’s in Pasadena Texas, albeit much lesser.
I mean Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance floor in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it didn’t even have chicken wire in front of the stage to protect the band from errant long neck beer bottles.
What a gyp!
T’would serve my purposes, however, and sate my lower expectations at any rate. I mean, we are talking Southern California here folks, after all.
So I began to frequent this establishment in earnest. The thing that stuck me upon my first visit was that all the ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Cowgirls’ looked like Yuppies. Not Dallas Yuppies, mind you: ‘Southern California Yuppies’.
The walls were adorned with all manner of Rodeo Scenes, all of which looked like Norman Rockwell had dipped his brush on them. There were also some lariats, a few saddles strategically placed against some walls, a few ‘decorative’ spittoons (nothing more useless in the world than a spittoon ‘what never dun been used’), and many more things I cannot find the stomach to recount.
The lighting was, well, too light. Hopefully, this would be rectified later in the evening’s adventure as the ‘real’ cowfolks came sauntering in.
One sustains hope in situations such as these. There really is no other choice.
“Good Godawmighty! Lance! Son, you were more ‘at home’ in the Titty-Bars downtown San Dog than this abhorrent lame excuse for a ‘Honky Tonk’,” voice in head said.
There was, as I said, one bar. And Immediately to the right of this bar…
(a respectable looking bar, if I do grudgingly say so, replete with no less than four barkeeps and many, many serving wenches scurrying back and forth not unlike so many dutiful worker ants—all very pretty—in that Southern California Urban Cowgirl Beach Babe Style),
…was the stage with a Cowboy Band. Actually a damn good one. They even had a fiddle player (so at least they could play ‘Amardillo By Morning’a song which always reminded me of ‘Monsieur Le Peanut’, and always held a special place in my heart and in my ears.
“I ain’t Rich, But Lord I’m Free”
Immediately in front of the Bar was that dance floor, (No sawdust, but that could be grudgingly forgiven).
The rest was mainly four-seater tables and chairs (And Candles! Fer Christ’s Sake! Candles!) For the life of me, I could not spy a single pool table nor a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Travesty!
The bar itself drew me first (of course). I asked for a Lone Star and got a vacant look. “Ok, gimme a shot ah Beam and a… ah… a Heineken.” (‘Jerry Jeff, please forgive them; they know not what they do’.)
Now properly attired and bona-fide in my two-fisted drinker status, I went searching for a table close to the dance floor. As it was relatively early, I had no difficulty finding same.
I sat and drank and ‘Cowgirl Watched’ as the place began to fill up. Along ‘bout 1900hrs, the place was semi-jumping (For San Diego—I guess–by that time I suppose the surf was no longer ‘up’).
I studied the apparently single cowgirls and spied a rather lanky ‘tall drank ah water’, long-haired brunette with Sloe-Gin eyes and all that implies, just tearing things up with several different dance partners.
I made my move: Between songs, I sashayed over to her and asked for a ‘daince’, (actually tipping my hat! Yes! Yes! I know!) trying ever so hard to establish that I weren’t no ‘Coke-a-Cola Cowboy’, but a real ‘un. From Texas.
Lance As Cowboy (The one on the right don’t look much like the one what shot at me), But then, that is another story, ain’t it?)
We danced the dance and I could sense I was not her cup of… whatever it is that they actually drink here. She whispered in my ear, “Hey ‘Cowboy’ (rather mockingly, I perceived), “I have a friend you should meet. Her name’s ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I’ll introduce ‘Y’all’” (Yet another perceived slight)
I glanced in the direction she was leading us and saw a rather diminutive dirty blond, absently stirring her drink as she casually watched the band as they began to belt out some Randy Travis monstrosity.
We waltzed up to the table and my escort announced quite cheerfully, “Hey Shonnie! I found you a ‘real’ Cowboy.” (She quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)
“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’”
I shook the diminutive hand she offered and sat down,
“Uh, Howdy Shonnie, Little Lady; Nice to meet Y’all.” (Yes, I was really laying it on thick, but I was somewhere between buzzed and drunk and starting to figure, ‘What the hell I got to lose’?)
She smiled wily, if not demurely through semi-white teeth, Marlboro smoke, and Paul Newman Blue Eyes. I must admit: I was intrigued.
Thus began one of the most bizarre ‘flings’ I have ever had.