I was in Reno last night with five of my coworkers, for our semi-annual night of bonding, blackjack, and boozing.
Al kicked off the gambling festivities by suggesting that perhaps we should adopt made-up personas for the evening. Often when we engage the dealers and fellow gamblers in chit-chat, they ask what we do for a living. The answer "computer programmer" either brings all conversation to a grinding halt, or it opens the floodgates for people to ask questions like, "Why is my computer slow?" or "Have you seen that dancing hamster web site?"
People, I'm in Reno to get AWAY from dancing hamsters. Besides, if I found out that a fellow gambler was a proctologist, I wouldn't be waving my ass in his face, asking for a free exam. My momma didn't raise no proctology-moochers.
So, Al pretended to be a horse whisperer, Pablo was a masseuse, and I became an importer-exporter. Naturally, this was the first trip on record when no one actually bothered to ask us what we did for a living. Too bad. I mean, the comedic possibilities with the importer-exporter thing are practically endless, or maybe beginningless. I get those two confused some times.
I was still able to do one of my favorite blackjack activities though: relentless faux flirting with the dealers. This is satisfying for a number of reasons:
1) Unlike all the other women I've tried to flirt with in my life, dealers are being paid to put up with me. This increases their tolerance of my inane behavior tremendously
2) Almost every single sentence that comes out of my mouth at a blackjack table is a joke. This makes my flirting as harmless as it is annoying.
3) Everyone at the table, including me and the dealer, knows that I'm going to my room alone at the end of the night. Hell, everyone in the casino knows it: the pit bosses, the janitors, and certainly the eye-in-the-sky monitors. I put out that I'm-not-getting-laid-tonight vibe.
When I wasn't busy enthralling the ladies, I was eating a ridiculous amount of food at the buffet. After eating two heaping platefuls of food I was completely stuffed. Only then did I numbly realize that I hadn't had any dessert yet.
I grimaced, contracted my stomach, farted a few times, and made the tiniest amount of space, just enough to cram in two chocolate chip cookies, a slice of chocolate cake, and some weird dense bar with M&Ms in it. None of those were terribly good.
We stumbled back to the table and I moaned about how full I was to everyone who would listen. "Ohhhhhhhh, would you please rub my belly?" I mewed pitifully at an off-duty cocktail waitress. It was a near highlight of my night when she grudgingly agreed, giving my engorged stomach a couple quick rubs.
I still got it.
Our final dealer of the night was the best of the bunch. She was a sassy, smart, and statuesque blonde, who gave us advice on drinks, blackjack, and bears. One day she will either be running that casino, or maybe an astronaut. Her only flaw? Man hands.
Final tally? I won $58! (not including room charges, car rental, gas, or meals).