Grampa, being 92 and nearly blind from a fifty-year stint of macular degeneration, is a gambling riot and a stubborn old goat. He developed the habit of secretly leaving his room on the eighteenth floor of the Flamingo in the middle of the night and speed-wheeling himself over to the video poker machines, playing the profit out of every machine with Double Double Bonus until breakfast. Dude can hang.
So when the cousins and I struggled onto the casino floor at 4 am on our way back to our rooms after a night of smooth stripper comedy, we found him sitting there next to his walker with his nose an inch away from a screen, tapping his holds with shakey fingers and mumbling to himself. "Double double bonus my ear, where are all the Jacks? Ohhhh, ga-ahl-lee. These darn machines are...drier than toast. How are you supposed to win when--well, three sixes. I guess the Devil is a winner on Saturday morning."
I love my Grampa.
Blackjack tables at Flamingo are all ten dollar minimums, and like I said, I'm a huge pussy when it comes to gambling. Last time I was in Vegas I had all the money I needed and I thought I was a goddamn baller and swept through tables like Katrina, but instead of gathering cash up I was leaving it behind. I was Hurricane MC Hammer. So this time, I decide I'm playing it like Sean Hannity.
We hugged Grampa because he deserves it, Yellavitch said goodnight, and rest of us walked next door to O'Shea's in hopes of busting in on their Beirut tournament, but no luck. By that time we're good and blurry drunk, so we saddled up our invincible shoes and ambled over to the craps tables.
Fuck Sean Hannity.
I promptly lost all of my money, hit up the ATM, and lost all of that.
Don't tread on me.
Then I signed up for the Texas Hold 'Em tournament that was being held the following day. Or, technically, it was being held six hours later, and I was hammered and broke and scratched my name on a clipboard that I think was a sign up sheet. Common sense took over, and I crossed off my name ten minutes later. Fifteen minutes after that I was tottering back over to add my name again, only to find I was now operating sans pen. In the end, David signed up for the tournament and we unanimously agreed that I was no longer allowed to make my own gambling decisions. For the rest of my existence.
I put Leeska in charge of all Rassles gambling ventures, because she inherently owns those four traits that all good gamblers require: probable knowledge, decisiveness, a snappy wardrobe, and luck. Four things that go completely against my very nature. I am the anti-Leeska. She's the type of person that gets away with it even after she's caught. I'm the type of person that gets caught for shit I didn't even fucking do. Like, "I was just holding it for someone" is my mantra, and therefore my downfall, because not only is it the lamest excuse ever, but it's usually the truth.
So while David goes to play blackjack, Leeska and I hang around the craps tables again. I am not allowed to play anymore. Leeska wins about two hundred dollars in less than half an hour, and we gather up David and head back to the hotel room. It's nearly 6 am, I am exhausted, and have come to the realization that I'm the worst gambler of all time, and swear off all betting for the remainder of the trip.
And Saturday had just started.
That morning, I dreamt that I was swimming in a mile long pool with a felted floor, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get past the Pass Line. And there were sharks with rubber teeth that kept biting me, but it never hurt. I think they were sharks. Sometimes they were spiders, and sometimes they were chairs. So there you go.