Friday, February 14, 2014


  I've been too sick, sore and cold to think twice about keeping up on my blog postings. Add to the sad fact that aside from a Danish zoo killing, and butchering a baby giraffe in front of school children, then feeding him to the lions, as a "teaching moment", there hasn't been much to write about. So my absence should be understandable. We've been getting hammered with the cold. Then when it finally warms up..... it snows. Thirty inches are on the ground as of this morning. More's coming. A post holidays cold settled in my neck and I haven't slept a full night in weeks. Luckily I have a Doc with one of those head stretching, decompression racks and very strong thumbs. She always works me back in shape eventually. But it takes time.
   In the depths of my neck aching, cabin fever Wed. night, I answered the phone. It was Diamond Dave. He had an idea for a road trip. We were expecting a nor'easter dumping snow the next day. Why not go on an adventure involving driving, alcohol and gambling? He proposed an overnight at the Indian Casino about 3 hours to the north. DD and Pigpen would gamble and snow mobile while GNJohn and I hit the ass waxing and hydrotherapy spa. "When?" I asked. "Now." he answered. No time to back out.
   If I was in my right mind I would've politely begged off and grabbed another beer. As it was, I loaded up the woodstove, threw the well switch, grabbed my homburg and Mr. Coat, and jumped in the truck. Off to the casino. The snow hadn't started yet, so we took the back roads, stopping only for gas, coffee and strap checks on the two snow machines. We were in the casino by 10 pm.
    Casinos look just like they do in all the movies and TV ads you've ever seen, except for the people. Portrayed on film as dapper gentleman and lithe, sophisticates in slinky dresses and furs, heads tilted back in delightful ecstasy, at being winners......the reality is somewhat less. Atlantic City caters more to the retired set in scooters with big plastic cups of quarters for the slots. Turning Stone Indian Casino was filled with a crowd that looked like a combo of rehab and those two weeks before they admitted they needed rehab. Stone washed, bedazzled skinny jeans with fuzzy topped boots for the girls. Hoodies, sock hats and and over sized baseball hats for the gentlemen. Black and white, equally beaten down and simultaneously optimistic, packed the place on a Wed. night. A Breaking Bad costumer and casting agent would've been in heaven. I had left my gun at home, so I made sure not to make eye contact with anyone. Oh yeah, everyone was smoking and probably on Oxy. So much for truth in advertising.

DD and PP headed right for the blackjack table. GNJ and I held back. Neither of us liked winning more than we reviled losing, not making us very good gamblers.  DD is a natural. He can schmooze the pit boss, order a drink, text Irish Liz, light a cigarette, bet $300, hit or pass and guide PP's bet, all without blinking an eye. In Vegas he'd be considered a casual player. At Turning Stone DD is a whale. By the time the young Asian girl dropped off our dreamcatcher, around 1 am, DD had won thousands. You heard me right. The other thing he's got going for him is knowing when to walk away.

   The next morning I took multiple baths, drank multiple Bloody Marys, hit the pool and hot tub, smoked weed, turned up the thermostat, ordered room service multiple times, watched the Swedes and Nords battle it out on the curling court and fell into a boozy sleep on the couch. I didn't put my pants on all day long. DD and Pigpen went riding, and bought a new snowmobile trailer with the winnings, as GNJ and I went the spa route.  When the girl delivered our lunch she eyeballed GNJ, fully dressed in the chair and me in my robe and slippers....guess we know who the bottom is in this relationship. A couple more bloody Marys.....and who knows? What happens at Turning Stone.......
  We drove home in a helluva snow storm. But, what with the brand new snowmobile trailer and DD's lear jet FORD 4x4, we safely blasted past everyone. Even my seat was heated. My ass....I mean my neck is still a little sore, but all in all I think my water therapy worked. I'm back in my filthy, cold shack, shoveling 3 foot of snow, running out of propane, bailing the kitchen sink, huddled up the woodstove, wishing I had taken the dreamcatcher. I'm not a gambling man. But I'll bet the next time DD calls with a road trip in mind, I just may double down.          


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