Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XI: “Un-Graceful Exit”

After an hour or so of waiting (Three Jim Beams and a half-dozen Marlboros, for those of you who measure time based upon consumption of such items), I decided to go looking for Shonnie. The walk to the El Cortez was not long geographically, but too long emotionally.

Glitter Gulch was teaming with all the usual suspects: tourists, vagrants, weekend warriors, a few ‘normal’ looking locals, refugees from that ‘City of Lost Angels’ and on and on et cetera.

Walking down Fremont I passed the Pioneer Club with its fake ‘Big Tex’ (State Fair of Texas) neon Cowboy, which given my mood, just pissed me off even more.

If that were possible.

Trust me. It was.

Ordinarily I would enjoy casually strolling down Fremont Street. This particular night, not.

“What the fuck was she doing? She was supposed to wait ten or fifteen minutes, cash out, and meet me back at the Plaza,” I grumbled almost out loud.

Adding even more insult to my already sustained injuries, the route took me past a sexy neon cowgirl, reminding me none-to-subtly of My Missing-in-Action real cowgirl.

“Vaguely she floats and lacelike
Blown in like a curtain on the night wind
She’s nebulous and naked
He wonders where she’s been
He grabs at the air because there’s nothing there
Her evasiveness stings him…”

Joni

***

As I approached the El Cortez I noticed an old and gray grizzled geezer digging through a dumpster ‘parked’ at the entrance to an alleyway. Unable to resist (There but for the grace of God go I),

I approached him and dug a green chip out of my pocket and handed it over, theorizing he was a former dice-degenerate as I must inevitably someday become.

“God bless you young man,’ he said to my back as I turned and continued on my journey to El Cortez. Giving the man twenty-five dollars was not some random, selfless act of kindness on my part. I was using him in an effort to lighten my mood. Bestowing a kindness is a solid antidote for anger. At least for me anyhow.

Usually…

It was getting late and I had neither intention nor desire to return to the Cortez. But I had been summarily compelled.

Some months earlier I had almost been tossed out for the very same act I had so recently performed, albeit that time without a partner to fret over.

Damn you Shonnie!

I made my apprehensive way to the entrance of El Cortez.

Once inside and after successfully navigating my way past the slots, now packed two-deep with mostly ‘Blue-Haired Ladies’, I headed back to the bar. As I sat down I saw Shonnie still sitting next to ‘George’, laughing it up and with a surprisingly decent stack of chips in front of her.

George was lighting her cigarette. She did not notice me at the bar. I ordered a draft Stout, lit a Marlboro, and contemplated my next move.

I had to get her away from the table and away from George, who had obviously fallen to her charms. There were two other players at the table, but the seat next to Shonnie was empty. Once my beer arrived I took a drag from my cigarette and walked over to the table.

The dealer was yet another cute young ‘Ornamental’ sweetie. Before I sat down I withdrew five hundred from my wallet and placed it on the table.

“Green” I said.

The dealer stacked my chips and pushed them toward me. “Good luck, Sir.”

Shonnie looked up and betrayed some surprise. She could see I was pissed. This is an assumption. Not sure if she truly realized just how pissed I really was.

I nodded at her, probably not discreetly enough.

I had checked my ‘drunken cowboy’ façade at the door. All I wanted was to get her (and me) the hell out of there. The dealer was about to shuffle the two decks as I placed four green chips. Before she finished her shuffle, another dealer came up from behind and tapped her on the shoulder.

The new dealer was No Chick. He was more of a ‘Guido’.

My ‘Danger-Will-Robinson’ radar was now fully operational. She dropped the deck and clapped her hands in the air for the Eye-in-the-Sky and moved off.

Guido picked up the decks, smiled at me and parroted the ‘Good Luck’ catch phrase as he offered me the cut. I cut the decks low, knowing that would piss him off.

I cast a sideways glance at Shonnie. She ignored me. Good for her then.

“Sir,” the new dealer said, “Please cut closer to the middle.”

“Uhhh. Sure,” I said, somewhat condescendingly as I recut the decks.

I caught the pit boss looking at me. Or was I just being paranoid? Shonnie was still apparently oblivious or at least feigning indifference.

The cards came out. I caught a deuce and a jack, fucking Dead Man’s Hand. Shonnie caught a pair of queens. Shit! Maybe this game is all about luck after all. Señor Shit-for-Brains George had a fifteen. The dealer had an ace showing.

“Insurance?” he asked. Insurance is generally a sucker’s bet, so naturally ‘George’ took the offer. ‘Guido’ made a show of peeking at his hole card, and by his not flipping it over revealed he had no blackjack. He collected George’s insurance bet and stacked the chips in the rack.

Then he dealt.

The two to my right busted. I don’t even recall what they had. I was not counting cards at this point. I just wanted out. I had to hit my twelve. Caught a seven and stood at nineteen. Shonnie stood pat with her twenty. George hit his fifteen, caught an eight and busted.

The dealer flipped his hole card, revealing a six for a ‘soft’ seventeen. He had to hit and caught a deuce for a nineteen and a ‘push’ for me—a tie.  

A win for Shonnie.

As the dealer was paying off Shonnie’s win and gathering up the cards, I nudged her with my knee. She looked at me in mock surprise and I knew instinctively that she intended to have herself a little fun with this situation.

And at my expense.

“Okay,” I thought. “Wanna play games?”

Lighting a cigarette and taking a slow and deliberate drink from my beer, I said, “Looks like you’re doin’ okay here tonight. You always this lucky? What’s your secret?”

She giggled, “I have a blackjack mentor.”

“Ah… I see. Where is he now?”

“Dunno. He tole me to fly solo this evening.”

“Sure you ready for that?” I asked.

Gruffly she said, “Yeah. I am. What’s it to you Cowboy?”

Taking a slow drag off my cig, I said, “Uh, nothin’ to me. Just thought you might wanna take a break… while you’re ahead of course, and join me at the bar for a drink.”

“I got free drinks right here. Why would I wanna join you?’

(Obviously Shonnie was pushing my buttons and beginning to get on my last nerve. And I could tell she knew so and was enjoying it.)

At this point, ‘George’ slurred in: “Hey Pal,” he said, “She’s g-a-m-b-l-i-n-g, git it?”

“Yeah, I ‘git’ it Sir. And who are you, if I may ask?”

“I’m a sailor, for your inform-a-shun.”

Fuckin’ perfect, I thought. Another drunken sailor—a small fish in a big pond—this was gonna require some surgical delicacy. Goddamn you Shonnie! What’s your ‘game’?

I ended the conversation and focused on the hands I had been dealt, card-wise and otherwise. The card part was easy: I had drawn an eighteen. No decision time there. Shonnie had drawn yet another natural Blackjack (fuck!) and the dealer had a four showing.

Shonnie was paid her wages for her natural. I stood on my eighteen. George sucked on his fifteen and this time wisely stood pat, maybe knowing the dealer should bust, but more likely he was too drunk / stupid by then to even know or care what he had in front of him. 

The dealer did in fact, bust.

As he paid off the bets, I felt a presence at my elbow. I turned and was greeted by an ‘Official’ from the ‘Management’.

“Hello Sir. Are you a guest here at the hotel?”

“Nope. Why do you ask?”

(Here it comes… I had been asked this question before)

“Well Sir, we see that you are betting respectable amounts… and we like to accommodate our best customers. Is there anything you require, or want? A room? A meal? A girl?”

(A girl?? Shit! I had one just a few hours ago.)

“Not really. In fact, I was just about to leave and call it a night.”

“That’s a shame. Here at the El Cortez we pride ourselves in our ‘hospitality’. By the way, you look familiar. Weren’t you in here earlier this evening, seated at this same table?”

“Yeah, that would have been me.”

“You really didn’t play for long, even though you appeared to be having some very good luck.”

“Well, sir, since you seem so interested in this sailor’s life…”

“You’re in the Navy?”

“Most sailors are.” (This asshole was beginning to ignite my ire.)

“Since you seem so interested in your customers,” I repeated, “I had to leave early because I had a date all lined up with a beautiful blond.” I raised my voice a little for Shonnie’s benefit and added “But she stood me up. So here I am, back at your fine Blackjack table. But now I really must be on my way.” Then to ‘Guido’, “Color me up, will ya pal?”

Management Man said, “As you wish Sir, and good luck to you.”

***

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck me! Time to GO!

I nudged Shonnie harder with my knee as I studied the progress of ‘Management Man’ away from the table. I collected my colored-up chips. The cacophony of the casino and the smells and the lights… all were getting to me! I just wanted to leave.

Right Now.

Shonnie ignored me and my knee.

Fine! If she were intent to continue her ‘game’, she could do it without me. I had come for her. That is all I could’ve done. And all I intended to do. She should have known that.

Wouldn’t she have known that?

***

As I left, under my breathe I said, “Next time Shonnie Dear, this table will turn on you.”

***

“Waiting for my Sugar to Show”

–Joni

Previously:

***

Coming Soon:

“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XII: Back to the Real World”

Update: Part XII is Up

***

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

***

Commentary Section from Original Post.

For continuity, please read from the bottom up.

22 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE PART XI: UN-GRACEFUL EXIT”

LAMarcom July 21, 2014 at 17:48 Edit

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for clearing that up. When I read that from Exile I couldn’t believe it. I mean, honestly!

😉

Thanks so much for all your visits here.

-Lance

NancyTex July 21, 2014 at 08:40 Edit

I have a home in Vegas, and you can rest assured that you can still smoke at the tables there. I think Exile on Pain St was referring to Atlantic City, where smoking is banned.

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:26 Edit

🙂

Thank you!

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:24 Edit

Ah, Shonnie was just fine; she just always did what she wanted at whatever time she wanted.

Cheers,

-Lance

Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 10:29 Edit

Ouch!

Shonnie wasn’t playing nice.

I was pulling for her.

I guess I have a little advantage from being away for a time.

I can move on to the next chapter immediately. 🙂

T

LVital7019 July 18, 2014 at 08:25 Edit

Uh… dude, you make it really easy! 😉

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 01:59 Edit

Thank you for reading.

Thank you a lot.

LVital7019 July 16, 2014 at 12:45 Edit

Oh, the intrigue! 😉 On to the next…

LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 08:19 Edit

Whaaat?! No smoking at the tables?! I have not been to Vegas since ’07. When did this happen? I do recall that then there were a few ‘non-smoking’ tables (usually empty), but all the tables now?

This pisses me off even though I no longer smoke (I dip snuff. Hahahaha).

What’s next? No booze? (Naw! Casinos love drunk customers) I wonder if they still douse the folks with pure oxygen to keep ’em awake and gambling.

Hope you’re gonna blog about your upcoming casino experience.

Thanks for the read and for your comments.

Cheers my Friend.

Exile on Pain Street July 14, 2014 at 06:16 Edit

These stories take me right back into a casino. Remember when you could smoke at the tables? They cleaned that up. I never liked when the casino tried to be friends with me. They don’t want to be my friend. They want to empty the contents of my wallet. The quicker the better. I’ll be in a casino in just three short weeks. I can’t wait.

LAMarcom July 13, 2014 at 16:39 Edit

Thank you Sadie.

You are very kind and your comments always lift my spirits.

🙂

~ Sadie ~ July 13, 2014 at 14:01 Edit

Damn – wasn’t expecting Shonnie to shine your ass like that . . .

Though sounds a bit selfish – glad you are able to work through the pain & finish the story . . . you know I can’t wait for the next chapter. This story has been of the few things I have looked forward to this summer . . . yeah it’s been that kind of a summer! So thanks for sharing your life & taking my mind off of mine for a few brief moments 🙂 Smiles & hugs to ya, Lance!!

artourway July 11, 2014 at 20:32 Edit

Je vais sortir … be back later. (;

LAMarcom July 11, 2014 at 20:27 Edit

Bien sûr.

🙂

LAMarcom July 11, 2014 at 20:26 Edit

Shame about the El Cortez. It really was my favorite sawdust joint. Lots of Vegas history there. I’d like to think I contributed in my small way, to some of it.

Thanks Mark for your continued support here at TT&H. Your time is always appreciated.

–Lance

LAMarcom July 11, 2014 at 20:23 Edit

Yes, the title is a little unwieldy (reasons I don’t ‘tweet’–could never be limited to 140 characters).

The title may be unwieldy, but nothing compared to the bizarre story. If-I-decide-to-write-it.

Hahhaah

Cheers My Friend.

artourway July 11, 2014 at 20:20 Edit

Thank you Lance . . vous parler soon (;

happierheathen July 11, 2014 at 14:49 Edit

That seems a moderately unwieldy working title.

It seemed for a time that I was the only male between the Mexico border and San Louis Obispo with good sense enough not to sleep with my second wife. Other than the next door neighbor who was afraid of me, anyway. He avoided me for weeks after she knocked on his door and propositioned him.

markbialczak July 11, 2014 at 08:57 Edit

Thanks for battling through the clouds and bringing us back, Lance.

I can tell it was not an easy return.

Cortez management does not like you, sir.

LAMarcom July 11, 2014 at 02:38 Edit

Hahahaha!

My Friend, I am anxious to put Shonnie to bed, so that I may write the next true story (they are all true, by the way)… the next true Navy Daze: “Two Sisters, a Mother, a Father, Rehab, a Grandma, A bottle of Gin, and Navy SEAL Training…all in La Mesa, San Dog County, California.”

(Working title)

Peace,

Lance

P.S. I never slept with your ex. This, I can (almost) promise… memory fails…

😉

happierheathen July 11, 2014 at 02:31 Edit

Damn, it’s sounding again like you were hooked up with my second wife.

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part IX: “Counting Down the Deck” or “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways”

Early the next morning, I ordered coffee and then waited outside to catch the room service dude/dudette before they could knock on the door and awaken Sleeping Beauty.

(Yes, we had that coffee maker in our room but I wanted ‘real-brewed, bona-fide coffee’ for us and not some Taster’s Choice shit.)

Presently the coffee arrived and I laced mine with Jim Beam, poured lots of sugar and lots of cream into hers.

Very gently, I woke her.

“Ahhh, what time is it?” She said while yawning and reaching for the ceiling, stretching her slightly freckled arms, splaying her fingers, undulating her hips and moving her head round and round as if she were performing some exotic aboriginal dance to summon up a God or maybe a lessor Daemon.

I sat down on the bed close to her, preparing my aim to land a kiss on her lips.

“I smell ‘real’ coffee. You got us some real coffee!” she said, quickly sitting up as my aimed kiss landed on the pillow where her head had been just a moment before.

“You didn’t have to do that.”

“I was hoping to get at the very least, a kiss out of the deal.”

“I need to pee. Be right back,” she said, jumping up from the bed. “And while you wait, lots of cream, lots of sugar, ‘Sugar,’” laughing at her own joke all the way to the head.

“I Already Did That!” But she didn’t hear as she entered the bathroom and slammed the door shut.

Shonnie, in case you haven’t noticed by now, never, ever does anything delicately, daintily, half-way, or without lusto-gusto.

After what seemed at least an hour, but was more like six minutes, she marched out of the head. The sleepy look had vanished from her eyes, her body language was all energy now. She planted herself in the chair by the bed next to the night stand.

“Here ya go Darlin’,” I said as I handed her, carefully prepared by me, the cup of real, bona-fide coffee.

“Thanks Lover. Now, if you’d be so…”

“Yes yes, I know,” I said, as I lit two ‘Cowboy Killers,’ passing one to her.

“Much obliged,” she giggled, laying it on really thick.

Nervous apprehension descended upon me as I got up and dropped some already queued up, soft and low music into ‘lil boom box’:

The first few notes of Kris and Rita‘s ‘Help me make it through the night’ began. Satisfied it was still queued properly, I immediately shut it off.

“Name that tune Shonnie Girl.”

She took a sip of java, a slow, deliberate drag off her Marlboro, levelled her eyes at me, and said while exhaling, “Uh… ‘Goodtime Charley’s Rag-Tag Band with Tacos and Tamales on the horns section’. Song is called ‘He’s just another dead fish goin’ with the flow’.”

“That’s not even a ‘real’ song. You just pulled that outta your ass,” I protested.

“Of course I did. You wanna a ‘real’ woman in your life or you want one who wastes her time getting ready to be on lame-ass TV game shows?”

“Perfect Segway into something we need to discuss.”

“Perfect…’sledge’…what?!”

My so well-rehearsed plan was coming apart at the seams. I had not meant to push the Red Shonnie Button. I had meant to push the Blue Shonnie Button.

Obviously, I had missed.

Trying to recover lost ground, aiming at some humility and some seriousness, I broached,

“Shonnie, I’m sorry. But I want you to indulge me for a few minutes. Can we shelve our little ‘word trysts’… sorry, our little ‘romantic word battles’ for a moment. I want to talk to you serious. Have a seat on the bed please.”

Suspiciously, she moved her props (ashtray and coffee cup) to the side of the night stand closer to the bed. Then she lay down stretching out and crossing her legs, seductively opening her bath robe as she did so.

“Ok, you have my attention. Do I have yours?”

*This Woman! ¡Ay, caramba!!*

“Shonnie, Baby, I want you to listen to this entire song without saying one word. It is a song I am sure you have heard many, many times, even several times while with me. Pretty certain you know it by heart, but this time, try to listen as if this is the very first time you have ever heard it. And then allow me to say something before you say anything. Will you do this for me?”

With a raised eyebrow, she said, “Uh, sure. Light it up.”

I got up from the other chair in the room, walked over to lil boom box and pressed ‘play’. Then I got into bed, lying close to Shonnie, reached out and grabbed her left hand, entwining my fingers with hers.

The beginning piano chords… as I lay there, using my fingers to tenderly stroke hers.

Kris began the duet:

Take that ribbon from your hair

Shake it loose and let it fall

Layin’ soft against my skin

Like the shadows on the wall…

As the ‘duet’ part of the duet began I stole a glance at her eyes…

 I don’t care what’s right or wrong

I won’t try to understand

Let the devil take tomorrow

But tonight I need a friend

And discerned some tears welling up in them.

Shonnie knew where this ship was sailing.

Sailing headlong into dangerous unchartered waters.

And it’s sad to be alone

Help me make it through the night

I don’t want to be alone

Help me make it through the night

The song ended. Shonnie was weeping.

And so was I.

***

I sat up and pulled her into an upright posture. I faced her and took both of her hands in mine, looked straight into those intensely blue eyes,

“My Darling, I don’t want you to help me make it through a night. I want you to help me make it through a life. Our life. Together.”

“I love you Shonnie.”

Through blinked back tears she said, “Yes yes, I know. Have known. Just did not know how you were gonna deal with it. Were you gonna run away scared? Or were you gonna stay not scared?” She tried to produce a laugh as she said, “I gave the ‘stay part’ forty-sixty.”

I drew her close and kissed her very lightly on her neck, then deeply on her mouth.

She continued as I kept her locked in my embrace, “Lance, you know I love you too. Have loved you ever since…”

“Ever since our first night?” I interrupted. “Me too. I loved you from that night.”

***

Joni was well into the next song on my homemade cassette,

Help me, I think I’m fallin’ in love too fast

It’s got me hopin’ for the future and worryin’ about the past

‘Cause I’ve seen some hot, hot blazes come down to smoke and ash

We love our lovin’ (lovin’)

But not like we love our freedom

Neither Shonnie nor I suffered fools lightly, but we knew we were both fools whenever we were together.

How could we even dare to hope for a happy ending to our story? Both of us so headstrong and so independent. She of course not quite as subtle in showing her traits as was I with mine.

And not to mention the two other salient realities:

  1. We were both married, but not to each other.
  2. I was a sailor, and would be compelled to leave her for recurring lengthy deployments at sea.

Liberally and loosely stealing from Shakespeare, we were ‘Star-Struck’, ‘Love-Struck’, ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ living in a stolen season.

But at that moment, we didn’t care.

We made the most tender, yet passionate, slow passionate, if there is such a thing, love we ever had.

It was, to tritely yet accurately describe it, ‘Heaven on Earth.’

***

We lay there in the warmth of each other, knowing full well our relationship had been forever changed. And I am certain she, as did I, hoped it had changed for the better.

It was already perfect, but now it had the potential to become ever ‘more’ perfect, which I suppose is impossible grammatically, kind of like being ‘more unique’ or some such nonsense, but damn it all!

If we could form a ‘More Perfect Union’ then by God we would! Come Hell or Rapture!

Just hoping we hadn’t fucked up what we already had.

***

After lying there for half an hour, wrapped around each other and not saying even one word, just listening to Joni, we got up silently and sat down in our respective chairs.

Shonnie lit a cigarette and took a big sip of what had to be by now, horrible-tasting cold coffee.

I took a sip of mine, but it had been perma-warmed with Beam.

We exchanged loving, lustful, provocative looks.

But…

Not being able to stand the silence or the exchanged and corny goo-goo eyes any longer, she blurted out, “You gonna teach me that Goddamn card-counting shit or what?!” Then she laughed loudly and hysterically.

And so did I.

Our previous rapport had been spared from our love confessional and thankfully remained fully in-tact.

“Drag your ass and your chair over here while I drag the coffee table between us,” I said.

“Fix me a drink while you’re at it will ya? This coffee tastes like shit which hasn’t even been warmed over.”

“You got it, Darlin.’”

“And stop callin’ me ‘Darlin’ all the damn time. Come up with something new, will ya? You’re wearing me out with that Texas Darlin’ shit!

I had to laugh. See why I loved her so? What the Hell is not to love about a woman such as she?

However. I think she was trying just a little too hard to make sure that I knew and she knew that our previous tête-à-tête way of banging our respective relationship heads together remained firmly grounded and fully preserved. In other words, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

***

I began teaching her how to count down the deck.

“Shonnie,” I said. “Aces count as zero. Two through nine count as plus one. Tens and the rest (face cards) count as minus one.”

You’re gonna sit there and keep a running count in your head while you place two-dollar bets. Don’t get fancy. Just use the basic strategy I taught you.”

“When the count goes hot, I mean, when the count goes real positive, anything over plus five, you light a cig in your left hand. I’ll be at the bar and come on over, playing a drunk with a lot of money. Should just be a bit-part for me. No acting required. I can do ‘drunk’ slicker than owl shit.”

“Wait a minute!” She said. “You’re gonna ‘play’ a drunk?”

“Yeah. So what?”

“Never mind. But you probably might need to ‘rehearse’ a little bit.”

“Funny. Anyhow, we’ll go to the El Cortez this evening and you’ll go in first. Take a seat at the blackjack table closest to the bar. I’ll come a few minutes later and park my butt, watching you from the bar.”

When you signal, I’ll stumble on over and start throwing black chips around. You hand off the count to me by stacking some chips to your right. Five six, seven… Whatever it is. I’ll pretend not to know you while I pick up your count.”

If all works well, I’ll score a grand or two or three, then feign needing to move on, color my chips and bug. You stay for another twenty minutes or so and then meet me back at The Plaza. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Great Girl,” I said.

“Oh Yeah? Fuck you! If we get into trouble, it’s on your ass.

“Honey, nothing illegal ‘bout countin’, but they do frown on it. We’ll be fine. Just lay off the sauce a bit.”

“Double Fuck You!” she said.

“There’s that Girl I love.”

Love? I thought we had already settled that issue.”

***

For the rest of the morning and slightly into the afternoon we practiced her ‘counting.’ She was surprisingly adept and dare I admit, picked it up much quicker than I had back when I was floating around in the Northern Indian Ocean trying to teach myself.

I pronounced her ‘Ready for Prime Time.’

“Ready? I was ‘ready’ two fuckin’ hours ago. I’ve just been humoring you. Can we have some food now?”

Love is a Many-‘Splintered’ Thing… and a Double-Edged Sword of Damocles.

And absolutely extraordinarily exhilarating with Shonnie.

***

Previously:

Part X: “Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Chapter X: Dalliance (and loyalty in Las Vegas)”

Coming Very Soon

Update: Part X is UP

***

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

***

Commentary Section from Original Post.

For continuity, please read from the bottom up.

12 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE, PART IX: COUNTING”

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 10:05 Edit

Pretty sure you could. Just takes practice.

Thanks for reading Teela!

Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 09:59 Edit

I couldn’t count cards if I wanted to.

Looking forward to reading the rest.

T

LAMarcom July 1, 2014 at 21:01 Edit

Problem with me being ‘Lance Corporal’ is that I am a Sailor, not a Marine. 😉

There are many different levels of skill in card counting. I had honed my skills on a six month Western Pacific deployment. I also read Thorpe’s book and Kenny Uston’s.

http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Blackjack-Ken-Uston/dp/0897460685

(This book must be a later edition. The one I worn out reading, I purchased from a book store in Hong Kong. Same title, but published in the late Seventies if memory serves. Was not aware of any later editions. Might be the same book, just a reprint.)

I taught Shonnie just the basic count. Not as powerful as the more sophisticated ones (for example keeping a side count on Aces). The thing I learned from Uston was the concept of the ‘Big Player.’

The easiest way to get spotted as a card counter is to be betting small, then suddenly when the deck goes ‘hot’, start betting large. Sure tip off. Having someone else counting, then walking up and immediately placing big bets is safer. Usually.

Thanks for your comments and for the visit. You are correct. I need to finish this up. I aim to.

Cheers,

Lance

Exile on Pain Street July 1, 2014 at 06:24 Edit

You make counting sound so easy! If you don’t have a brain for numbers or, like myself, a functioning brain at all, you get pretty tripped-up in the pluses and minuses. But that’s a pretty concise explanation.

I know my way around a craps table but don’t know nuthin’ ’bout no stinkin’ cards. I’ve sat at black jack tables and fucked it up for everyone. Boy, do they give you dirty looks!

I think it’d be cool if your last name was Corporal. You’d be Lance Corporal. See what I did there? Finish this up. Did you get busted?

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:22 Edit

It’s a grind if ya do it right Sadie. More and more difficult these days. Most of the Joints deal from a six-deck shoe and reshuffle halfway into it. Tough to get a real advantage.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting.

Peace,

Lance

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:21 Edit

Laughing my ass off!

Thanks Annie.

Cheers

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:20 Edit

You could be right Mark.

Thanks for the read and your comment. I appreciate it.

Cheers

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:19 Edit

Yeah, I think I know that guy.

Hahaha.

Thanks My Friend.

Cheers

happierheathen June 29, 2014 at 22:26 Edit

One of my cousins is a nice guy who dresses well and speaks softly, and if you aren’t careful about counting cards in certain Vegas “properties” he’ll drop by and invite you to take a walk with him. Good thing you didn’t get to meet him.

markbialczak June 29, 2014 at 19:14 Edit

Somebody’s gonna end up either beat to a pulp in the back room of the casino or bloody face down on the pavement in front of the joint, and I sure hope it ain’t Shonnie. You know how to build the tension, Lance-a-rooney.

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 29, 2014 at 19:12 Edit

“There’s that Girl I love.”

“Love?”

Methinks the cat just landed amidst the pigeons!

Loading…

~ Sadie ~ June 29, 2014 at 18:42 EditDamn – you can get an education anywhere 😉 I want to try that card counting shit, now!!! Thanks Lance for teaching me something new & the continued saga . . . great writing & storytelling!!

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part VII: “The Birth of a Star, A Craps’ Star!”

We freshened up, got dressed, and prepared to head down to the Casino Floor. Generally, and as a semi-hardened and made-fast rule, I do not gamble at The Plaza.

But on this night I was feeling freshly full of myself (No small thanks to Shonnie) and wanted to capitalize on that feeling before the ‘fresh’ had time to wear off.

Please allow me to clarify something:

I do not believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Cracks-in-Sidewalks, Broken Mirrors, Feet Belonging to Dead Rabbits, Karma, Fate, Oklahoma, or God.

But I do believe in Dama Fortuna, AKA ‘Lady Luck’.

In fact, before we left our Blue Hotel Room Love Nest, and while Shonnie was taking her second shower of the day, I offered up my Burnt Offering to La Dama Fortuna:

I carefully picked up a small bowl left behind by Room Service and ceremoniously set it down on the night stand. Then I retrieved a crisp five-dollar bill from my wallet. (I ain’t cheap ya know).

While holding ‘Honest Abe’ over the bowl, I splashed a little Jim Beam onto him.

Then carefully placing Mister President Lincoln into said bowl, I took my Zippo and set him and the fiver ablaze as my lil boomer box belted out this song, hoping Lady Dama would enjoy the music and smile down upon me and bless me with favorable favors:

Y’all may be thinking that I’m making this shit up.

Allow me to assure you.

I ain’t. I’m just really weird is all.

Gamblers, real true-blue-dyed-in-the-wool Gamblers, are a funny lot, funny as in half-crazy-funny at a bare minimum.

Your humble author is certainly no exception and registers a solid ‘three-quarter nuts‘ on the ‘Crazy O’Meter.

Shonnie emerged from her shower just as Frank was finishing up his song and Mister Lincoln had finished curling up and turning into semi-green ash.

“What the hell you been listening to? Some old-timey shit? And why are there ashes in that little bowl you’re all hunched over? And why does it smell funny in here?”

“Good God Woman! Must I explain everything to you? We’re In-Las-Fucking-Vegas! Normal behavior don’t work here. Trust me.”

She produced something resembling a petite pout, half-real at best, but I sensed I had slightly wounded her. Naw, probably just winged her a little.

I abandoned my tiny Dama Fortuna Altar and rushed over to Shonnie, embracing her little body and kissing her deep and tender.

“I’m so, so sorry Baby, (I genuinely was sorry for my un-called-for outburst) sometimes I get a case of the ‘pre-game’ jitters. Forgive me?”

She saw she had me at a remorseful disadvantage now and quickly capitalized,

“Okaaay, but you better be nice to me Cowboy,” she said softly while lowering her head and trying to look all ‘hang-dog’. Then she quickly looked up piercing me eyeball-to-eyeball and added not-so-softly, “Because you won’t like me when I’m angry.”

“Smart Ass! C’mere!” We kissed again. Then we laughed in unison.

All Good Now.

The very LAST thing a gambler wants to take to the ‘Gamble’ is ‘Bad Juju’.

An Ill or even slightly awkward feeling between a gambler and his woman is the absolute worst Juju of all, even worse than betting with scared money, which is damn near as bad.

If you’re carrying either of these situations to The Arena you may as well save yourself the bother, mail them a check, and call it a night.

You want Good Juju and Fearless Money is what I’m sayin’.

Good Juju Being Administered by Dama Fortuna

***

As we entered the Plaza Casino proper, it was all flashing lights, laughter, musical sounds from the slot-machines—basically your typical Las Vegas Scene.

I led Shonnie over to a bank of ‘dollar slots’.  I pulled out a crisp one-dollar bill and fed it to the hungry machine.

“Pull the lever and stand by,” I said to her.

“I’ve never gambled before,” she protested. “You do it.”

“Honey, if my instincts are right, this ain’t gambling. Go ahead. It’s my dollar anyhow, so you really ain’t gambling, Per se.”

Joni’s Tribute to all the Slot Machine Junkies of the World

“The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines”

Vid Share Cred: Renato Spallucci

“Pear who? Okay,” she said, “Here goes nothin’!” while pulling the Bandit’s one arm, using both her arms to do so.

“I certainly hope not,” I said.

I’d never seen anything like that shit before: Both Arms to pull a one-armed bandits’ arm?!

I love this woman!

We watched the cylinders spin.

Then stop.

Bells sounded and lights flashed from the machine.

Double bar. Double Bar. Double Bar! 

Casino silver dollars rained down into the tray, making that magic music of metal clanging on metal.

One hundred bucks! A propitious beginning!

(And damn good Juju!)

“Oh My Fucking God!” she screamed.

“Baby, God had nothing to do with it. Thank Dama Fortuna, if you feel compelled to thank someone.”

“Drama…who?? Shit! Wow! Look at all that shiny money!”

“It’s all yours. Take that plastic bucket and fill it up.”

“Should we go again?” She asked breathlessly.

“Absolutely not,” I said. “Come on. I’m gonna show you the ‘real’ games.”

“You’re the Boss,” she giggled.

I leaned very close to her, pulled my collar to her lips as I breathed into her ear,

“Speak into the microphone, My Dear.”

“Lance, you’re crazy!”

“Yeah. I am. C’mon.”
I led her to a craps table.

“Oh! This looks complicated,” she said.

“Well, yeah. It is and it isn’t. Don’t worry. I will walk you through it. One question though, do you throw a baseball like a girl?”

“Screw you!”

“Ok then. We should be fine.”

Craps is the best game ever invented by Man.

I love the high-energy!

The Craps Crowds

The cacophony.

The excitement.

The electricity.

The camaraderie.

The laughter.

The tears.

I love the suspense as the galloping dominoes bounce down the table.

And last but certainly not least, I love the possibility of winning (and sometimes even losing) very large amounts of money in a very short amount of time.

“It’s all-in-the-game Yo!”

And yes, I am what some might call, a

‘Dice Degenerate’.

Started when I was hustling crap games at Honey Grove Junior High in the school hallways between classes.

Only got busted once.

Rather Proud of my Record.

***

Shonnie and I shouldered our way in at one of the far ends of the table. We sandwiched ourselves between a middle-aged, gray-haired man (on our left) in a business suit (I immediately pegged him as a ‘Corporation Man’ on Convention) grasping what looked like a scotch and water and there was a cigar in a tiny ashtray set on the rail in front of him. It was obviously neglected, as there was an inch and a half of ash hanging from it.

On the right side of us, a ‘normal’ looking guy, about thirty-something, sporting a too loud red t-shirt and a gimme cap. Baseball. I forget the team.

Normal Guy had control of the dice, so that meant once his roll ended it would be Shonnie’s turn to ‘step up to the plate’.

The table was just about at ‘capacity’. I glanced around, looking at the contestants. You see, in Craps the idea is to find the table with the highest energy level. You want the most up-beat, loudest, rowdiest players at your chosen table:

Players who were having FUN–Again, Good Juju.

Sad to say, but one can never (in my experience) win any money at an empty table or one with an atmosphere of doom, which does sometimes come rolling in like a blue norther on a bad Texas Autumn afternoon.

Savvy crap shooters recognize the early warning signs of ‘The Atmosphere of Doom’ and fly away like scalded rabbits just before, or just as it descends.

This table was on the upswing and I intended to make quick work of it before the worm turned. (The worm always turns, but sometimes, thankfully, it takes some long time in the turning.)

Looking up and down the side of the table, opposite the ‘Boss’ and the dealers and the stick men and all, I studied the other contestants. There was a young couple to the right of ‘Normal Guy’. Right out of “Honey Moon Ville,” I guessed.

Next to them stood a nervous-acting, fidgety Middle-Eastern type wearing a white starched shirt and lots of bling. Next to him, a dude with a crew cut, tight shirt, bulging biceps, who may have been suffering from ‘Roid Rage’, given his overly passionate ramblings at the dice as they bounced down the green felt.

At the far end of the table there was a young big-bosomed bleach-blond hanging onto the arm of another elderly well-dressed business man. (‘A man and his Hooker’, I ungraciously thought).

Next to them there was a diminutive oriental man. I was thinking ‘China’, but could not be certain. I had a wonderful experience once at a craps table at The Golden Nugget following the streak of another China Man. Won almost two grand while he was in control of the dice.

You see, all craps players are infamously superstitious and from that night forward every time I encountered an ‘Ornamental’ man shootin’ crap the needle on my Juju Meter pushed slightly more into the green end of the spectrum.

There were several other players mixed in and even some standing behind, perhaps waiting for some space to open up.  I was happy with the crowd and the level of ‘Good Juju’.

After the current ‘roll’ had ended (wins all around) I pulled out four Benjamins and put them on the table in front of one of the dealers.

“Give me two hundred green ($25), and two hundred red ($5),” I announced. The dealer spread out my four bills so ‘The Eye in the Sky’ could get a look. He then stacked my chips and slid them toward me.

“Good luck Sir,” he said, as I split the chips (‘Checks’ in the Vegas’ vernacular.) with Shonnie.

With all the bets paid, Normal Guy was ready to go at it again. I instructed Shonnie to take a red chip and place it in front of her on the “Pass-line” (If you don’t know how Craps works, you may be at some loss here—I will try to make it as easy to understand as possible.) I placed a red chip in front of me on the Pass-line as well.

All bets placed, Normal Guy tossed the dice toward the far end of the table. He rolled a four. (Meaning he had to roll another four before he rolled a seven, thus crapping out.)

“Put two red chips behind your bet,” I told Shonnie.

“Why?”

“We’re taking the odds,” I said.

“I don’t understand.”

“Just do it. Smartly.”

She stacked up the chips behind her original bet and I did the same.

On a hunch, I tossed a red chip onto the middle of the table and yelled, “Hard Four!” (Betting that the shooter will make his ‘four’—called his ‘point’, but that he will do it ‘the hard way,’ i.e., two deuces and not an ace and a three.

This is really a sucker bet, but I had Dama Fortuna in my corner. The bet pays ten for one, which if won, would net me forty-five dollars, plus of course our pass line bets with the odds placed behind them would win as well.

Normal guy tosses… wait for it… Double Deuces! Pandemonium from the players. Everybody wins!

“How did you know to do that?” Shonnie asks, as some decent stacks of red chips came our way.

I gently curled my fingers around Shonnie’s tiny neck, pulled her ear to my lips and whispered, “Stick close Baby. Gonna be a bumpy night.”

Winners paid, Shonnie and I put another two red chips on the pass-line. Normal guy rolls an eight. We back up our bets with two each red chips. Normal guy then rolls a seven. Aw Shit! Crapped out! No worries. We are still way ‘up’.

Now the dice pass to Shonnie. I can see she has stage fright. One of the dealers senses this too.

“Don’t worry Little Lady! Newbies are always lucky!” He says.

The ‘table’ agrees and I see chips of all colors dropping unto the ‘Pass-line’.

Shonnie and I both place one each twenty-five dollar green. Yes. I was confident. All bets now placed, I watch as she picked up the dice. Picked them up as one might imagine someone picking up a rotten banana, or a dead rat, or a used condom.

“They won’t bite,” I assured her. Just toss them at the end of the table. Oh and shake ‘em a little. And here, let me blow on ‘em.

“Blow on ‘em?” she said incredulously.

“Old Indian Tradition. Remember I am part Comanche.”

She rolled her eyes.

“Baby,” I said, “You can roll your eyes at me all you want, but right now I want you to roll those bones, er… dice toward the end of the table and don’t forget you can only use one hand to do so.”

 “One hand?” she protested. “I always throw a baseball with both hands.” I hoped she were joking.

“Baby, this ain’t little league. Use only one hand or they will frown and act perverse.”

“Okay,” she said. Then after shaking the dice a bit, she wound up… and threw the dice…

…Right over the heads of the players at the far end of the table and off into space, most likely reaching escape velocity somewhere in the vicinity of Caesar’s Palace.

Collective groans from the table.

In craps, the absolute worst thing one can do is miss-the-fucking-table!

That, THAT! Is Extremely BAD Juju.

Dice are like the American or the Texan Flag. Never, ever let them touch the ground. Ever!

 It always, always forecasts a negative outcome. Ninety-Nine times out of one hundred, the next roll will produce a crap out. In Shonnie’s case, the anticipated next roll would be snake-eyes, Box cars, or ace-deuce.

All instant losers.

I watched as most of the table players pulled chips back from their original bets. Not me. As someone went searching for the errant dice, I told Shonnie to put two more green chips on her pass line. I did the same.

We now had one hundred-fifty-dollars bet, even though I was not certain she would find green felt upon her second attempt.

She was offered two more dice by the dealer (stick man, just another word for him). I whispered in her ear, “Just relax Honey. Use a little less passion and a little more finesse this time. You’ll do great.”

She shook the dice, wound up, and pitched ‘em down the lane. When they came to rest: Natural Eleven! Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

I grabbed her and kissed her hard on the mouth.

“Now, Do that again Little Dynamo Darlin'” I said.

Well… Now! Suddenly the table went nuts! Large bets were placed all around (after some applause).

Shonnie kept ‘control’ of the dice for the next fifteen or twenty minutes: an eon in ‘Craps Time’.

We won well over a grand, some thanks to my recklessly wild betting and some thanks to the favor of Dame Fortuna.

But of course, most of the thanks went to Shonnie’s curve ball.

When she finally crapped out, there was more applause. Everyone had ‘gotten well’ with her streak. And there are no more appreciative gamblers than craps’ shooters when it comes to situations such as these.

“Color us up,” I said to the dealer as I pushed our stacks and stacks of chips toward him.

“But Sir,” He protested, “You’re up. Aren’t you going to shoot?”

“Nope. We’re done here, but thanks.”

Shonnie and I gathered our (now mostly black–$100 chips.

I double-tapped a black chip on the table and tossed it to the Pit Boss. “For the Boys” I said.

“Thank you Sir,” he said back.

“What now?!” Shonnie demanded gruffly, but wearing all smiles.

“Blackjack Baby. Blackjack.”

“Lance. You’re nuts! I have never had so much fun! I love ythis!”

“Yeah, I know.”

(On both accounts)

***

Previously:

Part VIII Coming Soon:

“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Part VIII: Black Jack Preamble”

***

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts OneTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenElevenTwelveThirteen

***

Commentary Section From The Original Post:

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:45

Maybe ‘distrust’ is too strong a word. It is just that I have had some major losing streaks at the Plaza BJ tables. And of course I cannot blame my poor money management skills for that! Haha!

Thanks for your visits here and for your comments.

Cheers,

Lance

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:44 Edit

Thank you Sadie. Gonna try to get another chapter up tonight.

I appreciate your visits very much. And your comments Too!

Cheers,

Lance

~ Sadie ~ June 26, 2014 at 14:08 Edit

Can’t wait for more, Lance! Great story, great storytelling!! I have loved looking forward to each new chapter 🙂

Exile on Pain Street June 26, 2014 at 06:31 Edit

Why did you distrust the dealers at The Plaza? They’re as honest as the day is long. Seriously…what’s not to trust? Shonnie’s right. BJ is boring. Craps rules.

I’m going to catch up on on these chapters sooner or later. I love a good casino tale. Maybe I’ll get fired or laid off. That’ll give me loads of free time.

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Part “V(iva) Las Vegas”

Author’s Note:

Before we dive in, I’d like to humbly request/suggest that you take the time, if you have the time, to watch/listen to all the added multi-media and follow the link to the ‘desert’ post.

On the flip-side of ‘Humble’, I’d like to add this:

A great deal of thoughtful thought and time goes into the re-working, expanding of this Shonnie “La Cosa Nostra” Series. I have mercilessly interrogated my memory cells and dragged out items I did not take the time to recount in the original series.

The original was written in a frenzied rush, usually without even one edit. I am very happy now to have the time to try to do justice to my fond memories of Shonnie. She always deserved my full, undivided attention, and my best effort in her regard.

After all these years, I think I just may have finally become “Strong Enough to be Her Man.”

***

Every new word is still the truth as I best do remember events.

I sweat every word, every comma, and every ‘Added Value’ vid and song and link I drop in.

Nothing is hap-hazard.

Nothing is irrelevant.

This is a package deal.

A complete full-meal-deal.

Don’t ignore the fries and the hot apple pies.

I’d like for you to get the ‘full-benefit’.

My fervent desire is that you enjoy it and it satiates.

Bon Appétit

And As Always, I Do Appreciate Your Time Invested, And I Do My Very Level Best Not To Waste Even One Drop Of It.

For if I waste your time, that makes me a thief. And that makes me unhappy.

Thank You.

P.S. And for any of Y’all who may be wondering, yes, ‘Shonnie’ is her real name.

***

Our road trip to Vegas takes five hours and change. Once we got past San Bernardino and well into the desert I announced it was safe to drink and drive and ride. (We had, technically, already been drinking, but neither one of us considered beer ‘real drinking’.)

Needing a break, I pulled over and as we admired the scenery, we had a couple of cocktails. And smokes.

The desert was picturesque, desolate, and wondrous thrilling to behold.

(Recall, if you have read any of my “Desert-Rat-Lance” posts, how very romantic and beautiful I find the deserts of the world)

We hit the road again. Stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots more desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday.

For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation.

At the Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, downtown: Glitter Gulch.

I never much cared for ‘The Strip’ during my visits to Vegas, but as this was Shonnie’s first trip, I promised myself I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-More-‘Glittery’-Than-Glitter-Gulch.

“Are we there yet Daddy?” she asked in a rather high-falsetto child-like voice about an hour out of San Bernardino.

“You need to pee again?” I shot back over strains of Jimmy Buffett and wind coming from my half-open window.

“Yeah. Matter of fact, I do.”

“Wimmen!” I said, as I pulled off onto the breakdown lane.

“I ain’t gonna pee here!” She protested.

“Look Darlin’, See those big ol’ rocks over yonder? You can go pee behind one of those. Nobody will see you.”

“Snakes,” she said.

“Huh?”

“Snakes. I don’t like snakes.”

“Okay, I will come with you. Just let me fetch my M60 machine gun outta the trunk.”

Ignoring my piercing wit, she said, “I won’t be able to piss if you’re watching me.”

“You’d prefer the rattlers watch instead?”

“Okay, but you turn your head at the last minute.”

“I never figured you for a prude Honey.”

“Fuck you. Les go. I gotta go!”

And off we went. There were no snakes that day, so mission accomplished, no apparent casualties, except for maybe some ants who could not haul ant-ass fast enough away.

Back on the road.

The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful.

We arrived to Vegas about six in the evening. As we drove along The Strip, I pointed out all the hotels / casinos which had been graced by my presence (and by my money) during previous trips.

She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the true glory of the Neon City that is Las Vegas.

“Well, time enough for that later,” I mused.

We finally arrived at the very end of our road which was Fremont Street.

(This was years before they tried to re-vitalize Downtown Vegas by constructing ‘The Fremont Street Experience’ and completely shutting down all vehicular traffic–1995)

The Fremont Street Experience

***

So I checked us into my old Nemesis. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but not unlike a marriage gone bad, I just never could seem to break it off entirely.

We found the way to our room, which for me was mediocre (I have been ‘around-the-world, remember? And spent time in some fine, really fine hotels), but to Shonnie, who was not so much a world traveler—more of a life traveler—the room was amazing.

She immediately did a thorough inventory of all the ‘accoutrements’ in the room.

“Hey Lance!” she exclaimed. “Come look at this shit! There are little teeny-tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little baby-sized shampoo bottles! And some paper thingy on the toilet. How I’m supposed to pee with that paper there? And look at this!” she said, walking out of the head and back into the room, “There’s a coffee pot and Coffee! And Look at this here! A Remote Control for the TeeVee!”

(She was, most likely, pulling my leg, but I went with the scene as she had written it—hitting my marks and saying my lines)

*heavy sigh*

 “Shonnie Darlin’, Welcome to the ‘First World’.”

“Smart ass! Hey! Just look at that bed! Is that one of them water-beds?”

“I seriously do not think so. This ain’t Caesar’s Palace Baby. We are in the part of Vegas known as the home of ‘The Sawdust Joints’.”

“Oh… Well, I like it.”

“Stay tuned.”

She walked over to the little desk beside the TV and picked up the room service menu. “Now this is my idea of Heaven”, she said.

“What?”

“We can have room service! I’ve never had room service. What should I order? I’m hungry.”

“Honey, order anything you want.”

“No. I’ll tell you what I want and you order it. I don’t wanna talk to some stranger on the phone about food.”

“Very well,” I said. “Go ahead. Take your time. Then I will order us up some supper. Wanna drink while you ‘peruse’ the menu?”

While I do what to the menu?!

“Decide what you want to eat.”

“Yeah… reach me a beer and my cigs while I study this. So many choices!”

She was enjoying her stay so far. And I was enjoying her ‘enjoying’.

“Have you decided what you want for supper?” I asked after a spell.

“Yeah, but I can’t make out what some of this stuff is, so I’m shopping ‘price’”

“Baby, you don’t havta shop price. I have money. Order what you want.”

“No, I mean I am shopping Price. Gonna order the most expensive thing on this menu and see what I get.”

Good Gawd! I am loving this woman! “You go right on ahead Darlin’.”

She had picked out what she called a ‘baby steak’, based upon the photo and pricey price in the menu (Filet mignon) and then said, “I love the picture of that steak but it looks kinda tiny. Can you add some taters or something with it?”

“Don’t worry Honey, I will take care of it. I’m gonna go for ice first, then I will order.”

“That Seven Eleven we saw is way far from here,” she protested. “Don’t you leave me alone!”

“You really are ‘country’, ain’t ya? And you called me ‘City Boy’. Baby, the ice is just down the hall. Be right back.”

Over her protestations, I went and fetched a bucket of ice. When I returned, she announced she wanted a shower:

“I’m gonna freshen up. You make sure that room service guy don’t come into my bathroom while I’m in there.”

“Shonnie, I will gallantly stand my post just outside your door.”

I lowered my voice an octave or two, snapped to rigid attention, then announced solemnly,

“None shall pass.”

A throw-away line that went sailing right over her head, but it made me happy none-the-less.

She gave me a cautiously perplexed side-ways look, then quickly said,

“Uh… Well… Okay then. See ya in a few,” as she disappeared into the bathroom, almost slamming the door behind her.

The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened the bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple wants, simple tastes, simple desires).

Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ on the table, along with the white candle I had also added to the order. I lit the candle and waited for ‘Lady Guinevere’ or ‘Joan d’Arc’ or ‘Mae West’ to appear.

I never knew who I would be dealing with from one moment to the next when it came to Shonnie. She had a natural chameleon talent, backed up by intelligence and instinct.

She yelled at me from behind the bathroom door: “Is he gone?”

“Yes Darlin’. I fought him off. He shall not return.” (Until we need him again) “Come on out.”

She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, wearing a pure-white hotel terry-cloth bath robe.

Resembling a vamp straight out of a film noir, she waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked absolutely stunning, her wet hair flowing down her shoulders and dripping water everywhere. Her face was glowing radiant red and her blue eyes full of energetic mischief.

I suppose the shower had agreed with her.

She’d become reinvigorated and reborn, casting off the long hot trip through the desert.

As I filled my eyes with the complete little dynamo package that was Shonnie, I felt another brick in my emotional wall crumble into dust.

“Let’s eat! I’m starving!” she announced gruffly in that coarse gravelly voice I had grown to love so well.

We had our meal to the sexy strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from her album Hejira on my little boom box.

(I never go anywhere without my  lil boom box)

Neither one of us had any desire to watch television, as we were too much into ‘our’ music.

The music we made and the music we heard.

And too much into ‘our’ each other experience.

The TV-with-the-remote was just a novelty for her anyway; she had no desire to actually watch it.

Nor did I.

Half-way through our meal and our bottle of wine, Joni began singing this:

“A Strange Boy”

I half-hoped Shonnie did not listen too closely to the lyrics, but who the hell was I kidding?

Shonnie and I had myriad things in common yes, but paying particularly close attention to song lyrics, good ones, was damn near to the top of our ‘things-in-common-we-have’ Hit Parade.

Y’all tell me true:

Does this song hit too close-to-home in describing the relationship Shonnie and I were already so deeply into?

Do Y’all find me a ‘Strange, Strange Boy?’ Some parts obviously don’t work for my purpose here, but other parts of the lyrics work so completely well as to negate the bits that don’t work.

Y’all tell me: Enquiring minds wanna… and all that rot.

***

We finished our meal and retired to our rented, oh-so-inviting, so alluring, so sinfully comfortable bed.

We made love as Joni sang on…

Now the Title Tract from the album:

Yes. Joni was singing

Hejira’

A beautiful, yet somewhat sad commentary on relationships set to the melodious Joni voice and her wonderful guitar strains.

***

Not my desire, nor my intent to drop in any ‘spoilers,’ but suffice to say, if you watch the vid and listen carefully to the words of the song, you may come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that I have included it here for a very specific reason.

Perhaps even a subtle foreshadowing reason.

Or perhaps not.

Or perhaps just a ‘tease’ to pique your interest.

Guess you will just have to keep reading…

***

Lying on our backs, smoking and glowing in our after-glow, she asked,

“So, you gonna show me around and about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours. Or what?”

“In due time. In due time Darlin’. Now snuff out that cigarette, shuffle off that robe once again, lie back and relax. I have something I want to do to you first.

Then I am gonna teach you how to ‘count’ down the deck in Blackjack.”

***

Previous Chapter Here:

Next Chapter:

“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Pt VI: Vegas ‘Soft Porn’, or ‘Blue Hotel Room’”

Coming Very Soon

Update: Part Six Found Below.

If you are new here, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey

Below and then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

i.e., The Lancelot Links:

***

Below is the commentary section from the original post.

Please read bottom up for continuity.

***

LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:34 Edit

You should read the ones that really get thrown away.

😉

Cheers!

Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 18:22 Edit

“There were no snakes that day, so mission accomplished; no apparent casualties, except for maybe some ants who could not scurry away fast enough.”

This. Of course, I’m enjoying it all but I do have a strange sense of humour that likes these kinds of throwaway lines.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:29 Edit

Thanks Annie.

Yeah, Heathen cracks me up. We like to keep up a lively banter.

Thanks for readin’ an’ commentin’.

Peace and Beer,

Lance

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:25 Edit

I agree Laura. It has been decades since I have gotten behind the wheel even with one drink in me. When I think back to the Seventies and Eighties and my reckless behaviour, chills run down my spine. I am so grateful I did not kill anyone (including my self).

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Bad knees eh? Yep, I suppose that would present some problems when trying to ‘girl pee’ in the wilderness.

* wink *

🙂

lauramacky June 21, 2014 at 16:08 Edit

Ah yes, the days when we thought it was ok to drink and drive. It was only a ticket back then right? Gawd I can’t believe I EVER thought that. As for the Peeing…i have crappy knees…I need a white porcelain seat. When I was in Italy in a remote place, it really became a problem! lol

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 21, 2014 at 09:25 Edit

Don’t know which part of this I like more…the post itself, or the comments you and Heathen are tossing back and forth! 😉

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:44 Edit

I am really struggling’ too much with what passes for my current sanity to respond.

(been re-watching Polanski’s “Macbeth”)

No worries!

I shall rally manana.

How I roll, n’est-ce-pas?

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:39 Edit

No worries. I’m into my third glass of wine, and thinking about burning up some innocent flowers. These here flowers I got have way too much gravity in ’em and it’s a toss up which of us will destroy the other. I’m a-fight it to the end either way.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:34 Edit

Ah shit!

Heathen,

Ya caught me on the leeward side of drunk.

Love this comment (and the Janis vid inspired bit.)

Promise this:

I will give a proper respond….tomorrow.

(any mis-spelled words are intent-u-al._)

–Lance

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:28 Edit

Blackjack? Oh, man, there you are in Vegas with a beautiful woman and you’re playing a sucker’s game. Damn. If I’d been there I’d have slapped you up side your fool head.

I might have been there, come to think of it. My memory’s faulty. Glitter Gulch… November ’88, at the Nugget. It was ’89 for you? Didja manage to avoid the infamous Barstow bats? 🙂

***

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

“And Now My Watch Has Ended.” (For Now)

About an hour ago I ended ‘My Watch’ of all four seasons and all episodes of “Game of Thrones”—Took me all of three days to get through it, soup to nuts, but I really had nothing better to do anyhow.

Certainly there are quite a lot of rabid fans out there belonging to “Game of Thrones” and this I do not deny, and I may even count myself among their numbers now, but…

And my intent here is certainly not to rain upon anyone’s parade. However I must admit that a few years ago I was curious to understand “Why all the hype?”, so I went to my Amazon dot com and purchased the first Season.

And I Tried, Ever So Hard, to get “Into” it.

Fail.

Major Fail.

Got bored pretty much instantly with the show.

I am no prude (and anyone who has read even ten percent of my blog posts should know this), but what turned me off almost immediately was all the HBO gratuitous sex and violence. I don’t need to see people fucking every ten minutes to understand the dynamics of ‘intimate’ relationships.

And even though all the fight scenes were Oh So most ‘tastefully’ done, and pretty much well-choreographed, every once in a while, I would rather just hear the severed head hit the ground, rather than have to see it.

“Trust me HBO”: These kinds of graphics do not interest me, even though upon occasion we, as audience, might need to see them… but for the most part we do not. (Actually, I am speaking only for myself. You do you.)

My opinions are generally not worth a cup of warm spit.

If I want pornography and / or snuff films, I can certainly find them outside the realm of ‘Serious Drama.’ In other words, when I want porn, I want porn; when I want good literature or drama, I want good lit or drama. Not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, but a preponderance of one over the other is a waste of time. Just a waste of time (and film).

If you would like to explore a decent contemporary, well-done balance, take a look at Polanski’s “Macbeth” for a start,

 

 

Then perhaps, even Zeffirelli’s “Hamlet”

(if you want to get into all that Oedipus and violence stuff).

Or…

 

Branagh’s “Henry V”

***

The thing that never rang true for me in “Game of Thrones” was the silly justification that “For One Thousand Years, The Men of “Lannis-Sister” Always Had Sex with Their sisters.”

Or Whatever…

In short, I have just now finished, as I did preamble, the Entire Series up-to-date. And, I would be less than honest if I said I could have easily stopped watching.

There are some intriguing characters to be certain, and some plot twists, or at least some of those, “Oh my fucking God! I did not see that one coming!” moments.

After watching all four seasons however, there are only two characters I take away and hold dearest to my heart and interest. And even truly care about.

It will probably be extremely easy for y’all to tell me which ones they are…

That is, if y’all know me at all.

(Or, at least, if I follow that typical male, raised-on-video-games cliché)

Now That, That above is a joke. I hope you know that.

Here is a ‘clue’ for one of them. Hahaha!

Let me know what you think / thought of “Game of Thrones.” I would be very interested to hear. (And Yes. I know: I am so very late to the party)

Story of my life…

Cheers,

Lance

P.S. And if you can guess my two most favorite characters, I will send you two Dinars, Silver.

And a “Mickey Mouse pencil sharpener.”

(Stolen line from the film, “About Last Night.”)

And, if you are a fan of the series, I would be most interested to hear which two characters you favor above the others…

To Be Continued…

-L

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XII: Back to the Real World

Continuation of Shonnie: Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven

With nothing else to do and somewhat pissed at Shonnie for putting us both in a bad situation, I walked over to The Las Vegas Club just across the street from the Union Plaza. My intent was to pass some time playing a relaxing game of roulette. I have always enjoyed roulette. The pace is slow and generally that game draws a more serene clientele. A casual game of roulette would afford me the opportunity to calm my anger and pleasantly pass some time.

The minimum bet was one dollar, so I bought a hundred bucks worth of two-bit chips and began scattering them about the table. Never really scoring big at roulette, I did not expect anything but a hundred dollars worth of entertainment and some free bottom shelf booze. I had a few wins, but more losses and as my initial investment faded away along with about an hour and a half, I cashed out the remainder of my stake (about twenty-five bucks), drained my glass, stubbed out my Marlboro and headed back to the Plaza.

Upon entering our room, I discovered Shonnie face down on the bed, a cig still burning in the ashtray.

I sad upon the bed next to her.

“You awake?” I whispered.

“Owwwie… Is that you Honey?”

“Yes, Dear. It’s me. How’d you come out?”

“Won three hundred. Proud of me?”

“Nope,” I said. “You nearly got me in trouble.”

“Always about you,” she said, turning on her side to face me with piercing blue eyes.

“We did have a plan, you know. What happened?”

“I couldn’t get shed of that moron.”

“I see.”

She sat up abruptly. “I tried, Goddamn it!”

“How hard is it to walk away from a blackjack table?”

“I was having fun too.”

“You’re drunk,” I said.

“Yeah. Be a dear and light me a smoke.”

I lit two Marlboros and handed her one. She took a long drag and asked for a cold beer. I fished two Bud longnecks out of the cooler we had brought along and handed her one. She drained about half of hers, belched, and said, “Cotton mouth.”

“Charmed, I’m sure.”

“Fuck you. I have a major headache.”

I kissed her lightly on the forehead and said, “We need to head outta here tomorrow by noon. I have to be back on my boat…”

“Okay! Okay! I got it. What time is it anyway?”

“It’s later than you think.”

She drained the rest of her beer, threw her half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray, rolled over and went immediately to sleep. Just perfect, I thought. I took some minutes to finish my beer and my cigarette, then got undressed and curled up next to her and was soon asleep myself.

****

Next day we managed to check out of our room and hit the road by about twelve-thirty. I stopped for gas and a six-pack at Whiskey Pete’s and we reverse-road-tripped on into San Diego, arriving about six in the evening. I dropped Shonnie at her mom’s and headed back to the Frederick. I hit my rack and slept like the dead. I had duty the next day, so I could not leave the ship. On Tuesday at sixteen hundred after liberty call I got in my civvies and hit the beach. Found a pay phone on the pier and called her up.

“Hello?”

“Hiya Baby. How y’all doin’?”

“Why didn’t you call me yesterday?” She sounded pissed.

“You know damn well. I had duty yesterday,” I shot back.

“Oh… Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”

“Wanna hook up?” I asked.

“Yeah. Meet me at Seaport Village. In the parking lot. In an hour.”

“Make it an hour and a half.”

“Okay.”

***

I pulled into the parking lot at Seaport Village around six p.m. No sign of Shonnie. I killed the Toronado but left the stereo playing (Tom Waits: “Warm Beer and Cold Women…”) Pulling from a pint of Jim Beam, I lit a cigarette and watched some seagulls diving on scraps in the bay. I saw a haze-gray-and-underway-piece-of-shit heading out to sea, black-shoe-sailors manning the rails. I saw couples walking hand-in-hand on the boardwalk. I was allowing myself to have some second thoughts about my relationship with Shonnie: Was it going anywhere? Was it worth the risk? Was she fun? Was she great in the sack?

Did I love her?

My mindless contemplations were brusquely interrupted as she pulled up alongside me screeching tires and slinging gravel. Grand entrance! She exited her ‘La Bomba’ and walked toward my vehicle. She looked California stunning: wearing tight faded blue jeans, a halter top, cowgirl boots, and carrying a fifth of whiskey and obviously an attitude. She ‘runway’ sauntered over to the driver’s side of my car, opened the door, plopped herself down and inquired, “How’s my favorite Sailor-Boy?”

Aiming for ‘nonchalant’ I said, “Fair to mid’lin. You?”

“Finer-n-frog hair,” she said.

“Don’t be mockin’ a good ol’ Texas Boy,” I said back. (Yes. I did love her after all)

“I have a surprise for you Lover.”

“Do tell,” I said.

“I am ‘house-sitting’ my aunt’s condo in La Jolla all this week. It’s all ours.”

“I’m partial to parking lots and sleazy motel rooms,” I protested.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Drive. I will guide you.”

So I drove. (With no little trepidation)

Video Credit:

Chelseacf

To Be Continued…  HERE