(A Random Post)

Skills To Pay The Bills

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

Anyone who is friends with Caesar will tell you that he’s not a hard guy to get along with. Keep the bullshit to a minimum, mind your business, listen to the occasional poker metaphor and everything should be fine. Now impressing Caesar, that is a whole other thing. Not that he needs to be impressed, but there’s always some gratification to be taken when you can show one of your friends that you can roll with them on their terms.

On Saturday night, I had my first taste of poker winnings. $20 to be exact. It’s not the money that was important, but the way everything went down.

In the first game, there were six people playing and I was doing my usual, Well, shucks, golly gee I sure do like to play the cards, hyuk hyuk! routine. It’s not an act, though I do tend to oversell it a bit. The fact is that I have to warn people what a clod I can be because I hate to be the guy slowing things down at the table everytime he has to decide between a check and a call. I didn’t do to well this time around (I finished fifth, I think), but there was one highlight. I actually managed to outplay Caesar on one hand. That might not sound like a big deal, but since I rarely win a decent pot without having four-of-a-kind, it was quite an achievement. This is a guy who’s helped teach me to play and I actually caught him for once. He graciously acknowledged that he was outwitted and I sensed that he might have been a little proud of me. I was eliminated shortly thereafter.

The next game was even more satisfying because I didn’t do much besides win one big pot early on and then steal a few here and there over the next few hours. From 1:30 in the morning until about 3:30, I might have played ten hands. That probably doesn’t sound like a smart way to win it all, but I was just trying to survive. I’m used to staying up late, so while everyone else was struggling to stay awake, I was biding my time. Eventually, we decided to split the pot between the remaining players if nobody had won by 4:00. It was down to Caesar, myself and one of my cousin’s friends, Said. Said wanted to win it all (and was probably hallucinating at this point) so he went all-in against Caesar and got taken out. Now it was down to just Caesar and I. It wasn’t quite 4:00 yet, but Caesar said, Hey, let’s just split it now. He had a slight chip lead and this game would likely have lasted another hour and I think his girlfriend was getting restless (thank you Kat!) so quickly agreed. I’m not going head-to-head with the man just yet.

He took $80 and I took $60 and that was that. I was happy to make a profit. Hell, I’m happy to play and learn. It was really satisfying to be in the final two with Caesar though. As we shook hands, I felt that rare, wonderful feeling that is mutual respect.

That feeling was soon trumped by the realization that nobody got tickets for parking on the street.


The next day, William, Caesar, Jonathan (Caesar’s brother) and I were all involved in our softball league’s “Skills Day”. What this is comprised of is several events (fastest around the bases, most accurate throw, home run competition, etc.) preceded by a Skills Game. Now I prefer to call the Skills Game the “Sunday Night Slo-Pitch All-Star Game 2008”, especially when you consider the fact that you had to make sure to checkmark a box on their website to get in. A box! ON THEIR WEBSITE!


William and I both participated in SNSPASG08 and for the sake of parity, we were placed on opposite teams. I can honestly say that we did not embarass ourselves and in fact, we did the Seppuku Squeeze colours proud. I had two solid hits and scored twice, while William also recorded two hits including a game tying bomb out to centre field. We also both struck out, though that was only due to a bizarre strike-out rule they implemented that day that isn’t even worth explaining.

After I came in to score a second time, I nodded my head to Caesar who was watching in the stands. He had a look on his face like I’d just taken a poker hand from him.

The skills competitions themselves were okay. William did a really good job rounding the bases, coming in second if I recall correctly. We were both non-factors in the fastest to first base competition and I went 1 for 5 in the most accurate throw competition, which is actually better than it sounds. I did air mail one over the fence though…eeeeeh…

Caesar and Jon did the home run competition and it was undoubtedly the WORST home run derby ever. It was nobody’s fault. Torrential rain began to come down around the time the derby started and it was impossible for any of the balls to fly more than 30 or 40 feet. They were soaked, so even the sweetest swings sounded like someone was smacking a sponge. Even if you had the juice to put one in the air, the ball would quickly be grabbed by the wind and thrown back to the grass. It was ugly. Not a single ball cleared the fence.

In my infinite wisdom, I volunteered to gather fly balls because I didn’t want to just stand around and get wet. Well, since there was nothing to catch, I just stood around and got wet. Still, it was actually a comfortable day aside from the rain and as I stood in the drenched outfield grass watching the worst home run derby ever, I had the kind of experience that only I could find cathartic.

Now the funny story. Since the parking lot was all the way on the other side of the park, most of the softball participants parked on the side of the road by the diamond. An accident waiting to happen, right? Right. Shortly after William left, the van that was parked behind him got hit by someone going through a light too quickly. Witnesses say he skidded about twenty feet (the rain, remember?). Thankfully, everyone was fine, though the driver probably wishes that he was knocked unconscious because the owners of the van gave him a good cussing out I’m sure.

Here’s the crazy part: About an hour and a half later, the driver of the offending car gets a call from his mother. It turns out she got into an accident herself and was now calling her son to come and help her out. What a day, eh?


When I read this story about Vince Young

…it immediately brought this infamous scene to mind.

Of course, Billy Cole is a wide receiver and Vince Young is a quarterback, but that’s semantics. Who wouldn’t be scared of playing with this guy right now? Seriously, if I’m a defensive back and I see Vince Young scramble out of the pocket and charge in my direction, I’m just going to get out of the way. Ain’t life a bitch, indeed.

On a kind of related to football note, if you caught monday night’s Eagles-Cowboys matchup, you would have had front row seats to a young pop star’s career going down in flames. The otherwise comely “20 year old pop sensation Kat DeLuna” (that’s the PA guy’s words, not mine) straight up murders The Star Spangled Banner. Once the diva hand motions began, I got the most sour look on my face. This is going to be bad, I thought. By the end, she was even doing the “point upwards while modulating her voice” schtick. Classic! I normally don’t enjoy the failure of others, especially someone so young, but the pretentious, arrogant way that she performed the song deserved the violent response that the crowd gave her. The national anthem is not about you, DeLuna! On a cold summer’s night, the venom spewed by these noble Texans warmed this one’s belly.

I got you a present.
You’re kidding.
Yeah, for fixing things up with me and Ricky. I know that he can be really rough.
That was completely unnecessary. Very sweet, but completely unnecessary.
You didn’t want a blowjob so the least I could do is get you a tie.



Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.



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