Although I know The Fu*k’ed Up Anniversary Has Long Since Passed. Are We Approaching November?
Septembers Are Always Very Hard On Me. Because They Remind Me… Brings Back Insanity… They Break Me! I’d Just as Soon as to fore-get. But, I cannot! I just Cannot!
Why Did You Die On Me???!!!
Yu Fukin’ Cunt!
OF Course, I NEVER Call’d You”Maddy”
And I CERTAINLY Never Called You “Cunt”
That would’ve just pissed You off!
So I always just call’d You ‘
Re-Whines Me Of…
Of A Sad Anniversary I’d Just As Soon As Try To Forget. But I Can’t. Won’t. For I Made A Promise You See. One Promise I Hold Near & Dear And Shall Always Keep. Until That Day I Die Too.
“Cowards Die Many Times Before Their Deaths;
The Valiant Never Taste of Death but Once.”
In 1971 when my step-sister Madelyn and I were fourteen and thirteen respectively, my parents would often go out of town on the weekends. My father and stepmother seemed to always have some magic convention or gathering to attend in Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, or any number of other venues.
So She and I ‘fended!’
Oh Good Gawd!
Oh! How we Fended!
And We Broke a lot of fending fences along-the-way,
Left them in the dust, to rust.
My father knew all the local high school kids from his directing of the senior plays every year. Two of the former graduatesGood Gawd! Hded’ Oh , Ronnie and Doug, then about twenty years old, remained very good friends of my father and particularly Ronnie, (who wasPeanut’sUncle). My father decided that Madelyn and I needed a ‘baby-sitter’ while he and Gloria were off on their long weekends, so they paid Doug and Ronnie to look after us.
Now mind you, Madelyn and I were both pretty certain we were over-mature for our age and could easily fend for ourselves, but we loved having two “big brothers” to help us throw the greatest parties in the history of Honey Grove while under their tutelage.
We used Marcom Manor as our venue of course and were always in a rush to get the house back into some semblance of order before the folks returned, usually on a Sunday, but occasionally on a Monday or Tuesday.
During Labor Day Weekend of 1971 my parents were off to a big convention in Houston and we had a great party planned for Sunday the Fifth of September.
We were to have ‘The Mother of All Parties’ out at Lake Coffeemill, north of Honey Grove. (The party was going to serve double duty for me, as my fourteenth birthday was just five days away.) Right up until the night before, I had no date lined up for this all-day Blow-Out, and I was in a panic.
We freshened up, got dressed, and headed down to the Casino floor. Generally I don’t gamble in The Plaza, but this night I was freshly feeling full of myself and wanted to capitalize on that feeling before the fresh wore off.
Allow me to explain something: I do not believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Karma, Fate, Oklahoma, or God. But I do believe in Dama Fortuna, and I could sense her radiance shining down upon me that night.
The casino 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’, pulling out a crisp one dollar bill, I fed it into the machine. “Pull the lever and stand by,” I said to her.
“I’ve never gambled before,” she said.
“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.” “Pear who? Okay,” she said, “Here goes nothing,” while pulling the Bandit’s one arm.”
“I certainly hope not,” I said, as we watched the cylinders spin.
Double bar. Double Bar. Double Bar! Casino silver dollars poured into the tray, making that oh so magical sound of metal raining on metal. One hundred bucks! A propitious beginning!
“Oh My Fucking God!” she screamed.
“Baby, God had nothing to do with it. Thank Dame Fortuna, if you feel compelled to thank someone.”
“Wow! Look at all that shiny money!”
“It’s yours. Take that 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 and pulling at my collar, breathed into her ear, “Speak into the microphone My Dear.”
“Lance, you’re crazy!”
“Yeah. 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?”
“Ok then. We should be fine.”
Craps is the best game known to man. I love the high-energy. The camaraderie. The cacophony. The excitement. The electricity. The laughter. The tears. The suspense as the galloping dominoes bounce down the table.
And last but certainly not least, the ability to win (and sometimes lose) large amounts of money in a very short time. And yes, I am what some might call, a ‘Dice Degenerate’. Started when I was hustling crap games in Junior high. In the hall ways between classes. Only got busted once. 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.
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 be the shooter.
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 players: Players who are having fun. 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.
Savvy crap shooters recognize the early warning signs of ‘The Atmosphere of Doom’ and fly away like scalded rabbits just before, or 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 turning time.)
Looking down the side of the table, opposite the ‘Boss’ and the dealers and the stick men and all, I studied the players.
There was a young couple to the right of ‘Normal Guy’. Right out of “Honey Moon Ville,” I guessed. Next to them stood a 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 lane.
At the far end of the table there was a young bleach-blond hanging onto the arm of another elderly well-dressed business man. (‘A man and his Hooker’, I ungraciously thought). Next to them 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, craps players are infamously superstitious. And I was certainly no different.
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 after the present ‘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 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.
“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 said,
“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 $45 dollars, plus of course our pass line bets with the odd’s bets behind them.)
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 put my hand on her neck, pull her ear to me and say, “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 ‘ahead’.
Now the dice pass to Shonnie. I can see she has stage fright. One of the dealers sees this too.
“Don’t worry Little Lady! Newbies are always lucky!” He says.
The ‘table’ agrees and I see chips of all colors dropping to the ‘Pass Line’.
Shonnie and I both drop one each green chip onto the Pass Line. Yes. I was confident. All bets now placed, I watch as she picks up the dice. Picked them up as one might imagine someone picking up a rotten banana, or a dead rat.
“They won’t bite,” I assured her. Just toss them at the end of the table. Oh and shake ‘em a little. But you can only use one hand when tossing them.”
“One hand?” she protested. “I always throw a baseball with both hands.”
“Hun, this ain’t a league of your own. Use one hand or they will frown and be perverse.”
“Okay,” she said. Then after shaking the dice a bit, she wound up… and threw! Right over the heads of the players at the far end of the table on off into space.
Collective groan from the table. In craps, the absolute worst thing one can do is miss the fucking table. It is always bad Juju.
Ninety-Nine times out of a 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.
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 try.
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!
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 minutes: an eon in ‘Craps’ Time. We won almost a grand, (thanks to my recklessly wild betting and the favor of Dame Fortuna. And of course 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 like this.
“Color us up,” I said to the dealer as I pushed our chips toward him.
“But Sir,” He protested, “You’re up. Aren’t you gonna shoot?”
“Nope. We’re done here, but thanks.”
Shonnie and I gathered our (now mostly black–$100 chips—and I led her away)
“What now!” She demanded.
“Lance. You’re nuts! I have never had this much fun! I love you!”
“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)