I used to play poker. A lot. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up til 6, 8, TEN in the morning playing half unconcious, Doc Holiday-style poker for a hundred dollar pot. Good times. I even had the coolest poker chips of any kid on my block-a custom load out of clay composite chips with very classy antique porn on them. Each denomination had a different painting of a different lady from the 1890s. Miss 25 was more beautiful in the classical sense but Miss 100 was my favorite–her bright red dress contrasted nicely with the black background of the chip. Also: Titties! These chips have, over the years, accumulated a great deal of good luck. No, I don’t actually believe in luck or fate, but I had won a lot of games and money and had a lot of fun, fun times with friends while using these chips. A hippy spiritualist would say that they possessed a strong positive energy.
I learned a great deal about people and life in general from the study of poker. And yes, I said study. It’s a simple game but it’s a complex subject, filled with many lessons and parables, which is why there are so many expressions in our common speech that are derived from poker (Ace up your sleeve, When the chips are down, etc). One valuable lesson I took away from poker is that luck is always a factor in everything. EVERYTHING. Pocket aces can lose to seven deuce off in any hand, no matter how well you play them. Trust me. I’ve seen it.
So for the past few years, just as a precaution, just because my luck has been so bad in some areas of my life, I’ve carried around one of my 100 chips as a good luck totem. There was nothing particularly special or lucky about this chip. I just randomly pulled one out of the case one day and started carrying around with me. I wouldn’t call myself superstitious or OCD but recently I misplaced my lucky poker chip, and ever since then my luck has been so bad I could fall face first into a barrel of tits and somehow come out sucking on a dick. The logical part of my brain tells me that this is merely the illogical part of my brain projecting a pattern of misfortune to unrelated events, but then it keeps happening. At work I’ll see my section buddy get sat with a Ballin! surgeon table and then I’ll get sat with a couple who just narrowly escaped a trailer fire and are looking forward to the tractor pull/wrasslin show at the forum that they won tickets to from a radio show. My section buddy will get the kindly elderly couple who sees their grandson or granddaughter in every server that waits on them and always slips them a twenty like it was their birthday. Then I’ll get the Ten Percent Millionaire (who tips just like you’d think he would, only worse). Section buddy gets a party full of alcoholic businessmen on an expense account, and I get Satan’s Ex, smoke slowly rising from her frizzy hair as she screams ‘SWATE TAY!’ at her menu in response to my opening salutation.
And this has been going on for weeks. Even when I see a normally great table get sat in my section I’ll think Sweet! At least I’ll have this ONE bright spot in my day. These people ALWAYS show the love and leave twenty and above! And then I’ll get six on sixty. And man is it getting on my last dick nerve. If you know anything about me you know I love my job. I really do work at an almost perfect place, but shitbiscuits and gravy it sure ain’t as fun when you’re doing it for half the pay! (Yes, I even allowed myself one of my semi-monthlyain’ts. Give me a break I’m from the south. I assure you that you won’t find many on this blog.)
So I got tired of the Table Gods saddling up and dropping a great big Cleaveland Steamer on me and frantically searched everywhere for my lucky chip. After scouring the house and work and the cars to no avail, I finally gave up looking for it. I opened up the chip case again and grabbed this stray chip Mrs. Bear brought back from a cruise she took with her mother. I remember she had called me crying that first night of the cruise because she had lost her buy-in at the poker table. I don’t know if she thought I’d be mad or something but I did what any reasonable man would do in that situation: I told her to quit her crying and go buy back in and take back all her money and more. You see, Mrs. Bear is a pretty decent poker player in her own right, and she’s raked in too many pots to worry about the level of competition on a cruise ship. And of course she went back the next night after the casino was open again and made an epic comeback. Along with her money she brought back a souvenir chip from the ship.
Figuring that this chip had a little bit of luck on it, I’ve been taking it to work with me since Monday. The end result so far: pretty much the same shitty luck. There was, however, one notable exception. One of my favorite regulars came in and when I went over to her table to say hello (of course she was in my section buddy’s section because she didn’t want to wait for a table in my section, which was chock full of dickholes at the time), she handed me this list she had made up and printed out for me of talent agents and agencies from Atlanta. For some reason she is under the impression that I’m some sort of talented individual whose talent and uniqueness is so great that I am in need of representation.
How cool is that?
Yeah, I might not have any confidence in my creative output, but some of my tables do. Several people actually give me encouragement in that area, asking me when I’m performing next and telling me I need to get on a stage. And I swear that some day soon I’m going to start listening to them. Though I realize it’s almost completely pointless to try to be an entertainer in my circumstance, I still think it’s important for the soul to at least put it out there.
So I guess the moral of the story is there’s different kinds of luck. Either that or don’t lose your lucky poker chip or you’ll be up to your nipples in raging hillbillies and high school kids until you find it.
Dignity and Respect
Me, The JerBear
UPDATE: Found it! The recliner ate it. Yay!