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Casino Stories - The Arkansas Blonde
Sam's Town is a casino near Tunica, Mississippi. We travel there occasionally when we feel like driving some and spending a few days playiing the games. We also stop if when travelling from north to south (or vice versa) we get anywhere near close by.
As with all of the casinos in that area, the casino is built on a boat generally on the Mississippi River and the hotel, restaurants, gift shop, and offices are built on the land connected by cleverly disguised entrances. In the past we'd get checked into the hotel and I'd wander over to the casino to play poker.
The poker room was on the second floor of the boat along with a myriad of slot machines. It was sort of isolated off in one corner so that it was almost like a separate room. Downstairs on the boat were the table games and another large grouping of slot machines and a bar that had video poker games and a stage where a band played at times..
Just outside the casino area on the ground floor was a large atrium that has a buffet and a snack bar, along with the gift shop and an entrance area to the hotel.
I got settled in the poker room and was playing Texas Hold 'Em from seat #8. The table was full. At the opposite end of the table in seat #3 was a slender, attractive blonde lady. Next to her in seat #2 was a robust good looking middle-aged man and to his right in seat #1 was a crusty looking, sort of timid old black man with a cane. He peered carefully at his cards before he reacted or bet. On her left side in seat #4 was a gray bearded fellow that played rather flamboyantly.
The cards had been average and no one was winning or losing a lot of money. When that happens in a casino, it seems like the rake - that is the amount the casino gets from each hand for supplying the game and drinks - although it isn't very large, slowly drains the money from the table and occasionally players have to dip into their pockets for money to replenish their chip stacks.
Did you know” she asked, “that Bill Clinton was from Arkansas?”
Gray beard responded. “Yep. And, so am I.”
“Really. That's where I'm from.” She sort of gushed. “Did you know they used to have signs up when you came into the state that proclaimed it to be 'The Birthplace of Bill Clinton' and that they took the signs down when he got into that mess?”
The old black man responded. “I read that. I'm from Arkansas, too, and that really made me unhappy. We elected him, warts and all, and even if he got into trouble, he is still ours.”
Arkansas was right across the Mississippi River from the casinos. There wasn't a really easy way to get there, though. A driver had to go to Memphis to cross the river on a major highway or so south for a few miles and wind around on some country roads to get across. Some people did it, but it was almost too much of a drive to come over for a one day casino trip without an overnight stay.
“I'm beginning to feel outnumbered” said the robust guy. “All these Arkansas people around me.”
The blonde sort of ignored him. “Well,” she said. “I'm glad Romney's running. He's going to win in a landslide and then maybe the country can get back on track. Can I get another drink?”
The dealer motioned to the floor manager who got on the telephone to call for a waitress. It usually took just a few minutes for the cocktail waitress to show up. If the casino was really crowded and busy, it sometimes took longer and then the thirsty person would get a little cranky.
“What are you drinking?” the gray beard asked.
She smiled. “It's called a 'Leg Spreader'.”
Everyone seemed a little shocked and either studied their cards assiduously or looked at one another with a sort of sheepish look. There was a silence at the table. Finally, the robust player reacted. “What's it got in it?” he asked.
“I don't know. It just tastes good.”
“You ought to have a couple more of them, then,” he told her. He grinned really big. “Do they work?”
“Ha! Ha! Ha!,” she said and turned to the gray beard. “Where bout's in Arkansas you from?”
“A little town just west of Little Rock. What makes you think Romney's going to win so easy?”
“He's the best man. He's got all that money and he's spendin' it like crazy. That'll get him elected. But, mainly, he's the best man.”
The game went on for a few minutes. The cocktail waitress came and took orders and a couple minutes later brought took the drinks. The blonde had something pink to drink. “What do you do over there?” she asked gray beard.
“Nothing much anymore,” he answered. “Sometimes I help out the sheriff if he gets a lot of notices and stuff to serve.”
“Are you a deputy?” she asked.
“Not really,” he responded. “Just help out sometimes.”
“Do you carry a gun, and everything?”
“Oh, yeah. I've got a weapons permit and can carry it most everywhere.”
Robust man spoke up. “In Nebraska, you couldn't wear it into a courthouse or any other government buildings.”
“Same way in Arkansas,” he said. He pulled out his wallet and dug through it. “Here's the permit to own it and here's the one to carry it concealed.”
The dealer spoke up. “You can't carry one into the casinos here, either.”
“Right,” said graybeard.
The blonde stirred her drink and then sipped at it. “Somebody ought to use one on some of these politicians.”
“That'd be pretty harsh,” said the robust man.
The dealer dealt another hand and only two people stayed in with the cards face down in front of them. The dealer dealt three cars up in the middle of the table. They wouldn't have been any help to me and so I didn't pay too much attention. The robust man and the old black fellow were the ones left. The robust man had first opportunity to bet and he did so. The old black fellow just called.
Another card was turned up in the middle of the table. It didn't look to me like it could have helped anybody. Both the players checked without betting.
The old black man stirred. He looked at his cards and then looked at the middle of the table. “I gave Obama $40,000,” he said.
Silence again descended on the table. Suddenly the blonde blurted out “YOU DID WHAT?”
He repeated himself. “I gave Obama $40,000”.
“What in the world did you do that for? Do you mean you just gave him that much money? Why would a person do that?”
The dealer dealt the last card face up in the center of the table and the robust man checked again without betting. The old black man made a bet and smiled. The robust man fiddled around with his cards, undecided about what to do.
The old black fellow paid no attention to the cards on the table. He relaxed in his seat and looked as if he had every confidence in the world. “I figured he could use it in the campaign,” he said.
The robust man called and the old black man showed a high pair. The robust man simply smiled and foldied his cards. The dealer pushed the small pile of chips to the winning player. The black fellow pushed his cards, face down, to the center and began stacking his chips.
The blonde was seething by this time. “You sure you don't have that gun on you?” she asked gray beard and gave the players a fierce look. She drained her drink. She didn't have a lot of chips left but she grabbed up what she had and stomped off.
“That's too bad,” said the robust man. “I kind of liked sittin' next to her.”