All posts by Shirley Oldridge

About Shirley Oldridge

Published author, currently working as a Las Vegas casino dealer. Hoping to share the Las Vegas life through the eyes of the people who see it all! www.shirleyoldridge.com

Cocked Die Dilemma

It was dayshift in the craps pit. This guy had been at the table for a couple of hours. He was a nice enough guy, laughing and joking with the dealers, and other players. His wife had been to the table a couple of times to try and persuade him to go to the beach with herself and the kids, but to no avail. He was in for probably two grand, which he had dropped a couple of hundred at a time. The dice had been very cold.

He was the shooter. He had fifteen on the line with fifty odds. He had all the place bets pressed up to green and black, from an original fifty-two across. It was turning out to be a pretty good roll. Now all he had to do was start collecting money on the bets he’d pressed.

He threw the dice quite hard, one of them bouncing off the wall and landing in the place bet area at the other end of the table. One die was sitting in the field, showing a two  The other die was leaning up against some chips, what we call, a cocked die. From where he was standing all he could see was a four. It was a relatively new stick man, on the floor for just a couple of weeks. He wasn’t quite sure what to call, so he just stood there.

“Six!” The player shouted.

“Seven out!” I yelled, leaning to see the five, on the top surface of the dice.

The dealer on the end of the table where the dice had landed had already started clearing the layout. He was an experienced dealer, and didn’t need anyone to tell him it was a seven. The dealer on my end however, froze.

“It’s a six!” the shooter argued.

“Seven out!” I yelled again, back-handing the base dealer into action. He quickly picked up the pass line. “Dump the bowl!” I ordered the stick-man.

“That’s bullsh*t!” the shooter shouted. “It was a six!” He was red in the face.

I picked up a die, and balanced it against two chips to show him, that although he saw a four, when I pulled the chips from beneath the die, it actually fell flat and the five was on top. He was having none of it.

“That was a f**king six!” he screamed at me.

“Sir, it was a seven.”

“You’re a real f**king bitch! Ya know that?” he apparently did not like my decision.

“I’m just doing my job sir.” I held up my hands.

“You see this? You see this?” He yelled, pointing at his own face. “This is you!”

He then punched himself right in the face.

I’m going to repeat that.

He then punched himself right in the face. Hard!

What????

There have been very few times when I did not know what to say, and this was one of them. My jaw dropped open. This guy actually punched himself in the face, and made-believe it was me. Really?

“Sir you’re right!” the floorman interjected. “She is a real bitch! I’d punch her again if I were you!”

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Hormones a raging!

Nothing brings out the bitch in a woman quite like pregnancy. I was about seven months along, and a little irritable while at work. We worked ten hour shifts on a riverboat in Illinois. There was very little padding under the carpeting, which covered solid steel flooring. By the middle of my shift, my feet, legs, and back would be killing me. I was not a happy camper.

I came back from break to find the relief pit boss, my friend Ronnie, in a debate with a customer. The guy was playing two spots. On one he had a seventeen, on the other he had a sixteen against the dealer’s eight. The dealer said he had waved off, and so she had hit the next hand with a five. Surveillance didn’t have the game on camera, typical. Obviously, once he saw the five, he claimed he had wanted to hit. He wanted that five, it should have been his card. Ronnie was explaining to him that our gaming policy did not allow us to back the card up, and that he could take the next card from the shoe. Ronnie was one of those people who smiled with his whole face. He was probably the most laid back, East Coast Italian, I have ever met. This guy, on the other hand, was a wannabe wise guy, from Chicago. I stood back from the game while Ronnie dealt with the matter. This was his baby!

“I don’t want the next card!” He was raising his voice. “I want the f**king five!”

“Sir, I can’t do that” Ronnie smiled, “but if you want…” He was about to tell him that he could pick up his thirty dollar bet on the hand with the sixteen, when the abrasive customer cut him off.

“Get me the f**king Pit Boss!” he snarled.

“Certainly!” He said, with a huge smile. “Here she is.” He gestured toward me. You little shit!, I thought.

“Get me a real Pit Boss!” Guido spat. “I wanna talk to a man!”

Strike One!

“Well all the real Pit Bosses are off tonight.” I told him. “Sorry, I’m all ya got!” I smiled, but I wanted to spit in his eye.

“Should she even be here?” he asked, as though I couldn’t hear him. He pointed to my enlarged abdomen.

Strike Two!

“Like he just said, we can’t back up the cards Sir, but…” I tried to explain.

“Well that might be how they do it in Australia, or wherever the f**k you’re from!”

Strike Three! Yer out!

“I’m just gonna pick my f**king money up.” He informed me. “This is a f**king misdeal!” He reached for the thirty dollars on the hand that had the seventeen.

“Sir, that hand is not the issue here, put the chips back.” I said firmly. I glanced over to see Ronnie, leant up against the pit stand smiling, no, smirking.

“This is a f**king misdeal!” he shouted. “You have to give me my money back!” I love when players say that.

“This is not a misdeal.” I told him. “Now you can pick your money up…”I paused. He grabbed both his bets. “But if you do, you got no more action!” I leaned into the game grabbed his cards, and threw them in the discard rack. “Deal him out!” I yelled.

“You can’t do that!” He screamed. “That’s not how they do it in Vegas!”

“Well that’s how we do it in Australia, or wherever the f**k I’m from! Get off the game!” Like I’ve said before, my customer relation skills have improved greatly over the years.

“You walked him right into that!” Ronnie’s smile was gone.

“Yep!” I said. I wasn’t going to deny it.

Guido did complain to the shift manager Mike, who allowed him to play again, but only after he made a full apology to me, in front of the dealer and the other players. It killed him to have to eat sh*t pie, served by a female pit boss. Thanks Mike!

RIP Ronnie, miss that smile.

 

 

 

The Dice man cometh

So it’s ten o’clock in the morning, I’m just a little grumpy. I had worked a double shift the day before, finishing at about three-thirty in the morning, and here I am again at ten. I’d had about four hours sleep. They had done me the HUGE favor of allowing me to sit box, because I’d put in fifteen and a half hours the day before, on my feet. They were all heart.

The guys in the craps pit were all talking about some comedian a group of them had flown over to see in Miami.
Andrew Dice Somethingorother. I had never heard of him, meant nothing to me. I ran down the high limit checks in my bankroll, checked my dice, and set them in the bowl before me. I’d had coffee, but probably needed more. I was a little irritable, just plain tired.

My friend Naz, a Turkish born, London floorperson, was standing floor behind me. I’d heard him laughing and joking with a few of the other floormen. He was in a good mood, he’d just got back from Miami. He’d had two days off.

I was putting the high limit chips away, when Naz leaned over the game. He looked at the dice, ready to write the serial number on his paperwork. The normal question he would have asked was;

“What’s your dice number?”
That would normally illicit a quote of the dice number from me, as I picked one out of the bowl to show him. However, what he actually asked was;

“What’s in the bowl bitch?”

“What????”

Like I said, I was a little irritable, rather tired, and ready to rip someone’s face off. It was tough enough being a woman in the dice pit, so if you think you’re gonna call me a bitch and get away with it, think again sunbeam! I stood up from my game, pushed my chair back, and turned to face him.

“Who the f**k are you talking to?”

“Shirley!  It’s Andrew Dice Clay!” He held up his hands. “It’s Andrew Dice Clay! He’s comedian, he’s comedian!” He turned on his heels and grabbed the nearest floorperson he could find.

“Tell her! Tell her!” Naz ordered him.

“He does nursery rhymes.” the floorman informed me, and then quoted the whole “Little Miss Muffet” thing. I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced that I hadn’t been insulted, but I gave Naz the benefit of the doubt. I let him live!

Still luv ya Naz!

 

 

 

 

 

Maury to the rescue!

It was yet another,  morning after the night before, kind of day. I was feeling a little fragile, and was not happy with the rather loud, and extremely obnoxious group of Miami retirees that were seated around my roulette game. I don’t remember much about any of them, apart from Maury. He was one of those people that got overly excited when he won an eight piece payout, even if he had bet twenty to win it. Whenever he won, he would shout;

“Lucky Mo! Lucky Mo!”

As I pushed out the chips, I would smile lamely, thinking;

“F**k off Mo! F**k off Mo!”

His friends were equally loud and obnoxious. Well not really, but my morning after the night before head found them all totally obnoxious. There was one lady, who  would yell constantly. She resembled Bette Davis, in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  I think she had the hots for Maury. Every time he won, she would scream, and laugh in a horrible high pitched cackle.

“Oooh!!! Maury won again!” She’d wrap her arms around his neck, delivering a sloppy wet kiss to his cheek. “Go get ’em Maury!”

Maury was eating it all up, like a high school jock, with an adoring cheerleader. I guess it was kinda cute when you think about it.
Sadly, Maury’s lucky streak came to an end, and his money ran out. The group rose from the table, and headed toward the dice pit. Thank God! I breathed a heavy sigh of relief, as I returned the chips to the color banks. There were empty plastic drink cups all around the edge of the table.  I started collecting them, placing them at the end of the table for the cocktail waitress to grab. That was when I saw it.

Just a few inches from my left foot, was a small furry animal. I screamed at the top of my lungs.
“It’s a rat! It’s a rat!” I jumped back in sheer panic.

“Don’t stamp on it! Don’t stamp on it!” Maury came rushing back toward the table. He stopped right before the critter, scooped it up, and placed it on top of his head. It slid off. That was when I saw the adhesive tape strip stuck to his now bald dome. Realizing the sticky was gone from the tape, he shoved it into his pocket, and casually returned to the dice table.

“Go get ’em Mo!” You lady killer you!

 

Everyone has a Vegas Story

How many people remember the movie ‘Vegas Vacation’, and the character Marty, the blackjack dealer, played by Wallace Shawn? It’s amazing how many people actually believe that the dealer knows, what the next card will be, or which number the ball will drop in, or when it’s going to be a seven-out!

Just the other day on a craps table, after a point-seven, point-seven, point-seven, game, the player told us;
“Yeah, you guys are good!” He sneered at the dice crew.
“You threw the dice, asshole, not us!” I wanted to say, but what was the point? He really believed it was something we had done.

I’ve tried to explain to people, that although there are dealers out there who are just anti-social burn outs, most of us actually want to see the player win, unless of course, you’re a total dick! It’s hard to get tips out of someone who’s losing, and that is how we get paid, tips! Just like the cocktail waitresses, bartenders, food servers, and bellboys, we work for gratuities. It’s harder for dealers to actually make tips. We have no end product. We can’t serve you a drink, or place a meal before you, or carry your bags, or park your car, but we have the ability to make your gaming experience an enjoyable one. Ever had a dealer who started out smiling and chatting, and then an hour or so in, just came unplugged, stopped smiling, talking, lost interest in you? Chances are, he knows he’s not going to make a dime on that table and kinda wishes you’d piss off and let someone sit down that might put him up for the occasional bet. Nothing personal, just trying to make a buck people! 

The other week, I had a player on my blackjack table, who I considered to be a ‘nice’ guy. He was what we call a positive progressive player, which means that he increased his bets when he won, rather than when he lost. He had originally been playing green chips, ($25) but had managed to build up his bank roll, and was now playing black chips ($100). He was winning about four grand, and I was happy for him, he was betting the occasional green chip for me. See, we all happy!

After quite a good run, he had managed to get his bet up to seven black chips. Not bad for a guy who’s original bet was fifty bucks. I dealt him a pair of threes, I was showing a four.

“I’ve gotta split those right?”
“Absolutely.” I agreed, separating the cards. 

He matched his bet, fourteen hundred in play. I dealt another three to the first one.

“Shit.” He grinned up at me. “I gotta do it.” He placed another seven black chips, and I split his threes again, making three hands. Twenty-one hundred in play. I dealt a six to the first three.
“Shit. I’ve gotta double that right?” he said, looking at my four.
“That’s what the book says.” I told him. 
“Face down.”

He put up another seven hundred. Twenty-eight hundred in play. I slid a card face down under his nine double. I dealt another six to the next three. We both stared at it. He slid another seven chips beside the bet, for the double. I dealt another card face down. Thirty-five hundred in play. I dealt him another three to the third hand.

“Are you shitting me?” he asked laughing. He shook his head. He was starting to get nervous.
“Oh my God.” I didn’t know what else to say.
“So who wrote that book?” He was playing the hand exactly as he was supposed to.

He stared at my four. He knew he had to split them again. He pushed up seven more black. Forty-two hundred in play. I was getting nervous for him. 

“Eight!” I yelled as I hit his third three. Crap, another six?
“That’s f**ked up!” he said, cradling his head with both hands.

His cache was dwindling. He pushed in five black, and eight green chips. Forty-nine hundred in play. I dealt his third double down, face down. I was kinda scared to hit the last three. Another frickin’ six! Are you kidding me? He sighed heavily, as he counted out what was left in front of him. Three hundred in green.

“For less.” he said. I slid the double-down card in place. Fifty-two hundred in play.

I patted the layout in front of him, the dealers’ sign for good luck. I turned over my hole card, an Ace. I had a soft fifteen. I hit it with an eight, down to thirteen.

“Face!” I yelled, as I hit it with another ace, fourteen.
“Face!” we both yelled, as I hit it with a two, sixteen.
“Face!” we yelled again. He was on his feet now. I hit it with a four, twenty. Crap!

“What are the chances of them all being aces?” The color had drained from his face.

My heart sank as I turned over the first card, a ten, for a total of nineteen. I picked up the chips. I slapped the table hard in front of the next hand.

“Come on, Ace!”

I really wanted to see at least one, just to keep alive. Nope, a queen. The next hand revealed a Queen also, the final hand a Jack. I felt like an asshole, as I picked up the chips. Four hands of nineteen, and I had to draw to twenty. It wasn’t my fault, and he had played the hand perfectly. It just wasn’t to be.

“Well,” I smiled weakly, “I guess you’ve got your Vegas story.”

 

 

 

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep them doggies rollin’…

Growing up in the sixties in England, I remember being barraged with American western TV shows, and movies. My dad was a huge fan of westerns, and I can recall sitting with him, enraptured by episodes of Bonanza, The Virginian, Big Valley, Rawhide, High Chaparral, and many others. To this day, one of my favorite movies of all time is still, The Searchers.By the age of eight I knew the difference between a Comanche, and an Arapaho. Cherokees were assholes, and an Apache would scalp you in a frickin’ heartbeat, and don’t get me started on the Sioux! Of course my education was solely from these TV series, and movies, and I’ve since learned a lot about the history of the Native American people, but at the time, Jay Silverheels really was Tonto, and Jeff Chandler really was Cochise.

The influx of these shows and movies into England was so huge, they even wrote songs about them.

“It’s hard to be a Cowboy in Rochdale.
Coz they all laugh when I ride past on our Alsatian dog!”

So it’s no surprise that I was absolutely delighted when one of our Baccarat players incorporated the theme song from Lawman into his card drawing ritual. I was dealing Blackjack in the Baccarat pit when this guy took possession of the shoe, on the Baccarat table. The dealer turned the cards over for the Player.

“Player shows five, cards for the Bank.” He motioned to the guy with the shoe.

The player paused, looked around the table, and sang loudly;

“Drawman!
There was a job to be done!
Drawman!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

He threw the cards in. A natural eight.

“I am Drawman!” He yelled jubilantly.

Everyone smiled at this, it was funny, THE FIRST TIME! All the bets were paid, the cards dropped, and the dealer asked for the cards for the next hand. Once again he turned the Players cards over, and once again the player went through his routine.

“Drawman!
There was a job to be done!
Drawman!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

Really? Was he going to do this every frickin’ hand? Luckily it was a player hand, and the shoe moved. The Blackjack player on my table shook his head. He was playing big money, he didn’t want to listen to this idiot all night. There were only two other players seated at the Baccarat game, so it wasn’t long before the shoe was back in his possession.

“Drawman!
There was a job to be done!
Drawman!
They called the man who could draw, and who won,
Mr. Drawman!”

The song was getting old now, real old. After three Bank hands in a row, the dealer and the floor person started to get a little irritated.

“Drawman!” He sang.
“Sir, turn the cards over please.” The dealer asked.
“There was a job to be done!” he continued.
“Sir, throw the cards in please, you’re holding the game up” The floorperson instructed him.
“Drawman!”
“Sir if you insist on holding up the game, we’re going to have to pass you with the shoe.” The floorperson asserted his authority.
“They called the man who could draw, and who won” he sang louder, ignoring the floorperson.

“Just throw the f**king cards in, you asshole!” The player on my game bellowed.

“Mr. Drawman!” He defiantly finished his song.

“Color me up!” my player ordered me. “I’m not listening to this moron all night.” He rose from the table. but before marching out of the Baccarat room, he turned to the guy with the shoe.
“You’re a real f**king asshole! You know that?” And he was gone.

Who was that masked man?

As it turned out, the guy with the shoe was also a big bettor, so the management decided, much to the chagrin of the dealers, to let him continue with his little ritual, for the length of his stay. Thank God I was in Dice for the rest of the week!

Wonder how many dealers from the Baccarat room will remember this guy!

Damn you Sousa!!

Did you ever get in the shower, in order to get ready for work, and suddenly realize, “Shit! I’m still drunk!”

Well, it happened to me once,… well a couple,… okay a few times. We worked six day weeks in the islands, with double shifts. It was nothing out of the ordinary to  work a sixty to eighty hour week during the season. So sometimes we went a little crazy on our one day off. I don’t know how it happened, but I was actually given a double shift after my day off, instead of the normal night shift they usually scheduled. Hey!, they had some heart!
I remember staring directly into the shower head, the water bouncing off my eyeballs, and not feeling a thing. I had had three hours sleep, not enough time to recover, but enough time to develop that lousy hangover headache, and nausea. I remember throwing my makeup in my purse, vowing to apply it the moment I could see. I had the staple night after ‘dealers’ breakfast of coffee, and three 222s, an over-the-counter pain medication, containing acetaminophen, caffeine, and Codeine. I waited anxiously for it to kick in, it didn’t. I went to work.

“Little hung over are we?” my mate Batesy teased from the podium. I ignored her and clung to my blackjack table for stability.

“Coz you’re not going home!” she told me. As much as I loved her, I wanted to wring her neck, bitch!

I was lucky, I was on a hundred dollar game. This was going to be an easy day, if I could just get through it. I knew by the end of my first shift I would be feeling better. I could do this!

Then things took a turn for the worse. Some a-hole on the slot bank ten feet from my game hit a jackpot. Good for him, you might think, but not for me. It played a rather loud rendition of a piece from the Washington Post, a marching band number,

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Oh my God! I thought my head was going to explode! Vomit encroached on the back of my throat.

Make it stop! Make it stop!

It did, for five seconds. Then off it went again.

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Those who worked with me in the islands will agree, that NOTHING is of any urgency down there. They get there, when they get there. Ordinarily, I kinda liked that philosophy, but right now I needed some sucka to shut that damn machine off! There had to be a slot tech somewhere right? Well yeah, but he was somewhere, not there! Off it went again.

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Fifteen minutes into this musical catastrophe, most of the players at the tables had cashed in their chips, They had to get away from the noise. The guy who had won the jackpot, sat there with his fingers in his ears. It was like Chinese water torture!

I, on the other hand, clung to my table, melting. I was in imminent danger of going down! Somebody please, for the love of God, shut that f**king thing off!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da diddl-a-DAH!

Da da da dah dah da dah dah DAH!

Da dah da rah da dah da rah da dah da raaah da!

Forty-five minutes! It took Forty-five minutes for a slot tech to appear. I could see him fumbling for the key to open the machine. I had tears in my eyes as I watched him, in slow motion, open the machine and hit the button that ended my misery.

I hate you John Philip Sousa!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOCxegQupMU&feature=kp  Listen 55 seconds in!!

 

Sweeping the layout, hands free!

He was a famous London nightclub owner, originally from Yorkshire. He had had two major clubs in Leeds, during the seventies, and was something of a celebrity. He was a very debonair individual, always with a pretty girl on his arm. His arm candy of the night was, let’s call her Fuzzy Fox, apparently a star of adult movies.

Breast augmentation was relatively unheard of in Britain, at the time. We were all in total shock when she walked onto the casino floor, her boobs entering thirty seconds before she did. She wore a short, black, strappy number, with a deep plunge. She was proud of those babies!

I was dealing roulette to an older Chinese gentleman. He methodically placed his bets in the exact location every spin, he had a system. One of those systems that allowed him to win one chip, practically every spin.  We didn’t get a break every hour, so I had been stuck on this table with him for nearly two. It was a monotonous, game. I awaited my break anxiously. Then Fuzzy turned up at my table.

She was trashed. Loud, and obnoxiously giggly. She was very attractive, with Frizzy, dyed red hair, although nobody was really looking at her head. She had a fist full of £1 chips. I had already spun the ball, the Chinese gentleman had finished placing his extremely precise bet, when Fuzzy began to place her chips on the layout. Unfortunately, when she did, her oversize mammaries hit the layout before anything else. They swept up and down, dragging all of the Chinese gentleman’s meticulously placed chips out of place. He jumped up and down, frantically waving his arms, at the end of the table. She seemed totally oblivious to this fact, either due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed, or the lack of sensitivity in her triple Ds? Es? Fs?

“Miss, Miss, your er…” I tried to think of a way to tell her what she was doing. The Chinese gentleman was about to have a coronary.

“No spin!” The supervisor yelled. I dutifully picked the ball out of the wheel.

“What? What did I do?” She asked in bafflement. The supervisor whispered into her ear, and she giggled, and then apologized.

We invited Fuzzy to make her bet first, which she did while holding up her girls with her left arm, and then allowed the Chinese gentleman to make his bet. All’s well that ends well.

No midgets were tossed in the making of this Blog!!!

So Frick and Frack walked into a bar!

Actually it wasn’t a bar, it was the daytime pool area at an undisclosed casino, and their names weren’t Frick and Frack, but for the purpose of the story we’ll go with it.
Frick was a Vanilla Ice wannabe. Puny looking white dude, with a backwards ball cap, lots of tattoos, a heavy gold chain, and jeans that sat an inch below his butt. He walked in a way that used the forward projection of his shoulders, while his arms hung limp by his sides. Hey! This is hard to describe!
Frack was the mirror image of Frick, down to the exaggerated gait, tattoos, and gold chain, apart from the fact, that Frack was a midget, er… sorry, little person, er… extremely height challenged individual. He walked roughly three feet behind Frick. They were a force to be reckoned with.

They walked up to the bar and ordered a drink. Frick casually leant up against the bar, Frack underneath it. They scoped the area, nodding their heads to the music, like those little dogs people used to put in the back windows of their cars.
“Yeah, we bad!”

I looked at the dealer to my right. He was smiling and shaking his head. The floorperson walked up behind me.

“What the f**k?” He asked in disbelief.

“Shhhh!” I told him. “They’re looking this way!”

“What’s he gonna do? Nutbutt me?” He walked off.

It was then, that an extremely tall, say six foot-five, muscular black youth approached them. He high-fived, knuckle-bumped, did that wrist-wrappy-hand-shaky thing, and then bro hugged Frick. He apparently didn’t know Frack, as Frick then introduced them. He kind of squatted in front of Frack and held out his hand to shake.

“You dissin’ me motherf**ker?” Frack yelled. “You dissin’ me?” Frack was doing a lot of head bobbing and index finger throwing.

If he’d wanted to, he could have hurled Frack a couple of hundred feet, but instead he took the high road. Well to Frack it was high!

“Nah bro, we cool!” He said.

It was hilarious to see this huge guy put his hands up in submission, while the midg…er… little… er… Frack, jumped up and down yelling at him. Kudos to the big guy.

 

I loved working in the Bahamas. So different from England. The warm balmy weather, the beaches, the tropical vegetation, the bugs.

I was dealing Blackjack in the main pit, when a young couple approached the table, They had just come from one of the many patio restaurants. She sat down on third base, while he stood beside her.  I smiled at them both, and took in their appearance. I took a step to my left, putting a little distance between us.

“Er sir…” I muttered. “You can stay, but your friend’s gonna have to wait outside.” I pointed to his arm, just below the shoulder. There was probably the biggest cockroach I have ever seen in my life. It had to be at least four inches long.

Now this guy was about six-two, six three, and had quite a build on him. He looked at his sleeve and screamed like a girl, and frantically brushed the bug from his sleeve. It landed in the middle of the pit, where it began running around the floor. My floor person ran as far as she could screaming like a lunatic, to the far end of the pit. When it looked like it was coming in my direction, I too screamed, and began jumping up and down. One of the floormen tried to stomp on it, but missed. It changed direction. A pit clerk, and another floorlady began screaming and dancing, trying to get out of its way, as it ran around their feet. Soon the pit resembled a poor rendition of The Mexican Hat dance, as dealers, floor people, pit clerks, and players, jumped up and down screaming. Finally one of the floorpeople threw a clipboard at it.

That was when it got real interesting. It was not your common cockroach, it was a Palmetto bug. Those suckers can fly! It took off, looking like a German helmet on wings. Now people were screaming, dancing and ducking! It headed in the direction of the Baccarat pit, an enclosed area.

Within five seconds, half the occupants of the Baccarat pit were out on the casino floor. Screams could be heard from inside. The bug flew out of the room and toward the craps pit. As it flew over one of the tables, the players scattered. We could hears the cries of grown men;

“WTF is that?”

While others around him panicked, one of the Bahamian floormen, used to seeing insects of this proportion, simply whacked it midair with his clipboard, and then deftly brought his heel down on it, when it hit the floor. He picked it up with a tissue, threw it in a trash can, and carried on as though nothing had happened.

Even Paradise has its down side.

Wet and warm!

I had just started my 10am day shift, in the dice pit. Not much happening, just two players on my end of the craps table. The residue of the graveyard shift. One guy stood next to the stick man, the other on the hook. Both had just a line bet with odds, nothing really to think about. I had no bets to pay, so I just stood there, waiting for either the point to roll, or a seven.

Suddenly, I felt a warm damp feeling in my right shoe. I looked down. My right pant leg was wet, as was my right foot. I looked at the rail, (the shelf beneath the table, for drinks, purses, and anything else not allowed on the actual table.) Someone had spilt something, and it had run the length of the rail, and was dripping into my shoe.

“What the…?” I notified the boxman of my dilemma. The floorman scanned the rail for the offending liquid.

“You dirty son-of-abitch!” He yelled.”Give him his bet back!” He ordered, waving his arm for a security guard.”Get the f^^k off the game!”

It suddenly dawned on me, that the guy on the hook had peed into the rail, and the warming sensation between my toes was urine!

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

 

Round and round…part deux

So there we are with a horrible sticky roulette table. Nobody knew what the hell to do.

So Charlie, acting shift manager, Made a managerial decision. He yanked Naseem out of the kitchen station, and brought her armed with rubber gloves and a bucket of hot, soapy, bleach water to the table. I watched as she gagged, while picking up all the offensive wheel chips and then, dropped them in the bucket.

They were made of Bakelite, back in the day, not sure what they use now. We watched open mouthed, as all the brightly colored wheel chips turned to white in the bleach. Apparently the coloring of the chips was added after the making, and did not go all the way through. I’m sure they were never intended to be thrown in a bucket of bleach. Not sure it was the right call, but then what the hell else could Charlie have done?

Thank God, the next day, there was a brand new layout, and a new bank of wheel chips on the game. Given the price of a Huxley wheel I’m sure it was just cleaned and put back out there. Pity the guy  who had to clean the frets out!

Round and round and round she goes…

As glamorous as people might think the casino industry might be, it’s not always glitz and glamour. Sometimes it is a long way from the sophisticated atmosphere the brochures suggest.

I was dealing roulette one night, or should I say the early hours of the morning. It was probably a weekend night, as there was still a good crowd around. It was a pretty heavy game, and so I had given the wheel an extra sturdy turn, to ensure it didn’t slow to a stop while I made my payouts. It was spinning rather rapidly.

I glanced over to see a very red in the face gentleman, his face directly over the wheel, watching it go round and round. He was obviously three sheets to the wind. I saw his eyes close and open a couple of times, and I saw his chest rise and fall.

“He’s going to be…” I called out. Too late. He hurled directly into the center of my roulette wheel.

Centrifugal force is a son of a bitch!

As the wheel spun, the deposited matter was thrown outward, spraying everything, and everyone. My players scattered. I, on the other hand, had nowhere to go. I ran to the end of the table, my back to the wheel. Soft warm bullets hitting my bare back. I was screaming uncontrollably.

“Stop your wheel!” The floor person hollered.

“You stop it!” I hollered back. There was no way in hell I was going to actually turn around and face it!

Someone finally did stop it. The layout was an absolute mess, the glass wheel surround looked like a windshield after driving through a swarm of insects without wipers, and I could only be described, as a sticky mess.

Very glamorous.

 

When I want your opinion…

She was a makeup and wardrobe artist, working on the new Huey Lewis and The News video, being filmed on the island. She was a tall slender thirty-something year old, with long thick blonde hair, which she tossed out of her face nonstop, Her makeup and clothes were impeccable, and she had an air of confidence about her. She was a very attractive woman, until she opened her mouth.

“God, I hate cigarettes!” she said, wafting imaginary smoke from in front of her face.

The lady on third base looked at me as if to say “WTF?” She had been playing there for at least an hour, and was smoking when Blondie sat down. She could easily have chosen another table.

“There are no-smoking tables over there.” She pointed way across the other side of the casino. I smiled. It was the late eighties. I don’t think there was a no-smoking area on the whole island.

“Whatever.” Blondie said, without even looking in that general direction. She turned her attention toward me. “You know, all this cigarette smoke is so bad for your skin. You don’t have to smoke you know, you absorb it through your pores.It’s going to age you way before your time.” She smiled sweetly at the lady on third base, who defiantly took another drag. “You don’t smoke do you Shirley?”

Part of me wanted to deny my habit, but at the same time I felt a certain camaraderie with the lady on third base.

“Yeah, I do.” I shrugged my shoulders.

“Oh my God.” she looked disgusted. “You have such fair skin too! I hope you don’t go out in the sun.” Was she nuts? It was the Bahamas! Of course I went out in the sun!

“I try not to.” I lied.

“Good, because you have the kind of skin that’s prone to wrinkling.” She was studying my face. “You’re not a natural redhead are you?”

“Er… yes I am.” I was always a little insulted when people asked me that, as though they were going to ask me to prove it!

“Its just your eyebrows are darker than your hair.” she stated.

“I use an eyebrow pencil.” I explained. The lady on third base rolled her eyes.

“Oh my God! That’s even worse. You’re a redhead with blue eyes. People with light eyes shouldn’t go in the sun. They tend to squint more. You’re going to have horrible crow’s feet!”

“Thanks.” I was starting to feel depressed about my impending doom. I was going to be a white, wrinkly, dried up, old prune.

“You need to exfoliate, and use a really rich cream at night.” She told me. “That will stop the dullness in your skin.”

Dullness? Are you shittin’ me? Where did this lady get off? She had managed, in ten minutes, to totally rip my face apart. I was used to players sometimes asking personal questions, but this lady was completely out of line. She was a very attractive woman, but she was no Aphrodite!  Cheeky bitch! She had a few lines herself! She was no spring chicken!

“How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?” I inquired with a smile.

“I’m thirty six!” she declared proudly. “I don’t look it though, huh?” She tossed her hair again. The lady on third base shook her head.

“Oh my God!” I mimicked her So-Cal accent, as well as I could. “You look amazing! I thought you were waaaay younger than me!”

“Why? How old are you?”

“I’m thirty-eight.” She stared at my face again. Despite my inevitable demise, I looked pretty damn good. There was not one line on my face, and I had a youthful glow, even with my dull patches. Maybe I could give her a few tips!

“Really?” she stared harder.

“Really.” I smiled back at her.

“No way!” she said in disbelief.

“Jeanette!” I called the floor person over. “Tell this lady I’m thirty-eight.” Jeanette looked at me, shrugged her shoulders, and said,

“She’s thirty-eight.”

Blondie, cooed a little about how young I looked for my age. She didn’t realize I was that old. She played another few hands and then left for the Baccarat room. The lady on third base sighed loudly.

“Thank God!” she leaned into the table. “Don’t listen to her, you look gorgeous. I can’t believe you’re thirty-eight!”

“That’s ’cause I’m twenty-five!” I confessed.

“Awesome! I love it!” She high-fived me.

 

 

 

Not a pool table!!

I won’t name names. Let’s just call him Beasley!

“What  is this asshole doing?”

I looked up from chipping. My Chipper Champ was down. A  man was at the end of my roulette table, carefully trying to feed a twenty dollar bill into the drop box slot. We used to pull the paddle, so we could sweep the chips in smoothly. (Totally lost on you non casino people!)

“Sir…” I began.

“Shut up.” Beasley told me. “I wanna watch this!”

We stood, arms folded, while this guy painstakingly fed the bill into the slot. Then watched as he took a few steps back from the table, and looked underneath it. He had a puzzled look on his face.

“Can I help you?” I asked smiling.

“Where do the chips come out?” he  asked.