This is ?let-off-steam? time because I?ve been bottling this up for years now and the time has come to let?er rip! Some craps players (though no craps players reading this, of course) are some of the most irritating, annoying and disgusting individuals I have ever laid eyes on. There were times in the past decade that I would have liked to say or do things to these irritants but I didn?t because I?m a gentleman and, yes, yes, okay, okay, I?m a coward and some of these guys, and ladies, looked mean. I have put in italics and parentheses what I would have liked to say even as I stood there mute.
There was this guy in Atlantic City who bitched and moaned after every roll - even when he won a bet. ?Oh, yeah, now you?ll seven out,? he?d say. ?You know, I?m just starting to win and now he?ll seven out!? (Will you shut up!) ?Watch this now, watch, here comes the seven!? (Listen, why are you playing the game if it?s so much misery for you?) ?See, see, it was the seven. %$*@!!? (Get me some soap so I can wash this guy?s mouth out!)
And the guy at Binions Horseshoe in Las Vegas on the 25-cent table who loved the way I rolled and made sure that he told me after each one. Of the half dozen teeth he had left in his mouth, only one was white (or whitish), the rest were black. ?Good roll, sonny!? (Please don?t speak into my nose again, mister.) ?That was another good one, sonny!? (Christ, what the hell crawled in and died in your mouth?) ?He, he, he, we?re kickin? their butts now, sonny.? (Anyone have a jar of Listerine or Lysol?) ?He, he, let her rip, boy!? (I think you just let one rip,whew!.)
There was the big, brawny bruiser who kept shoving me to get into the game as a hot shooter was rolling. ?There?s room for six people and there?s only five here. Move.? (Yeah, but you?re two people so that would make seven - get lost!) ?Hey, dealer, I want to get in.? (Cut off your ugly head and maybe we can squeeze you in!) ?Here?s my money, here, $320 across.? (It will be worth a seven-out to see you lose!)
Then there was this young guy, who had read too many gambling books, and was LOUDLY instructing this sweet, but obviously dim, little thing on the ins and outs of craps. He was displaying his knowledge trying to impress this gentle creature who wouldn?t be impressed by Einstein. Sitcoms would have been an intellectual reach for her. But he was also displaying his knowledge to all of us who were playing and to everyone within earshot of the casino and, at times, within a 400 mile radius of Las Vegas. ?NOW, THIS GUY IS ON THE PASS LINE!? (So are you.) ?CRAPS IS REALLY A VERY EASY GAME TO PLAY!? (So why don?t you shut up and play it?) ?HIS POINT IS FOUR AND HE WINS IF HE MAKES IT BUT HE LOSES IF THE SEVEN IS ROLLED. BUT YOU ARE TO NEVER SAY THE SEVEN AT A CRAPS TABLE! (So why did you say it? Hey, young lady, why don?t you tell him that you know what he?s after and as far as you?re concerned - he just sevened-out!!!) SEE HOW HE FIXES THE DICE? IT HAS NO BEARING ON HOW HE?LL SHOOT! THESE CRAPS PLAYERS ARE ALL SUPERSTITIOUS! (I?ll give a thousand dollars to anyone who will shoot this kid in the voicebox!)
Oh, this one really rankled me. It occurred at Caesars in Vegas. One of the few times I was recognized by someone who had read one of my books. ?That book was ridiculous! You take all the fun out of craps playing that way you suggest!? (Are you having a great deal of FUN losing on those hardways you keep betting on every roll?) ?Hey, everybody this guy thinks he?s an expert because he wrote a book!? (And this guy thinks he?s an expert because he didn?t!) ?I?ll bet you make more money signing autographs than you make playing craps.? (And I?ll bet you can?t sign your autograph because you don?t know how to spell ?X?.) ?I should write a book. So how do you get a book published? You have to know someone right?? (Well, first, you have to be literate, so that leaves you out.)
And may all the following players just be transported to another realm of existence where angels can minister to their needs and the rest of us can be spared them:
The drunk at Bally?s in Vegas, who was always berating the dealers, spilling drinks, and screwing up the game by taking other people?s payoffs, or arguing about bets he never made.
The don?t player at the Claridge in Atlantic City who had the nerve to cheer when the seven came up. ?Ha! Ha! You all lost and I won!?
The ?lady? at the casino in Mississippi who threw the dice and then threw up on the table.
The ?cowboy? at the Frontier in Vegas who kept slapping my back when he won. ?He haw! Yup! Yup!? When I got back to my room I looked like Kunta Kinte after he?d been whipped.
To the ?Vet? who kept telling all of us at the table what a rotten country America was and that he?d never fight for it again and then telling us what happened to him and his buddies in Nam. We were all so depressed that it ruined the experience of a 20 minute roll.
I could go on and on but thankfully a column has a word length. I feel a little better now. Thank you for listening.
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