[Continues from: “Billy & Howard”]
© — As we pulled into Reno, one notable billboard read, “Steak and Egg Breakfast…$3.99”. It was an offer by a place called Cal-Neva, and we were directed to take the Virginia Street exit. So we did. Soon we were sent on a detour, because there was a big Italian festival right downtown, chock full of people wearing red and green, singing, dancing, and eating huge mounds of pasta. So I turned, parked about eight blocks away, and we walked back in search of this Cal-Neva. We never did find Cal-Neva, but Billy found the blackjack table at some swanky casino. He started losing right off, with my money, by the way. Howard walked up behind him and started cogitating on the cards. Howard could figure out what card would be dealt next about 2/3s of the time, which was enough to turn Billy’s losing streak into winning.
Soon we had a big stack of chips in front of us, and some neatly dressed employees wearing suits staring at us. This made Howard very nervous, and he asked if we could leave. Billy, on the other hand, was all-in. Then these guys in suits asked me for my ID. Me! I wasn’t even the one sitting at the table!!! So I refused…and they curtly asked us to leave. Billy just laughed and kept playing. This suit-dude introduced me to a security officer, so I turned to Billy and gave him the short version of the Kenny Rogers story about knowing when to fold the card table, and we left. Outside, Howard made a bee-line for the car, and Billy and I followed with me explaining to Billy that he would be happier if he just walked away sometimes and that his happiness was worth more than the chips he had left on the table. Billy didn’t buy the story, but I felt better for telling it.
(For your convenience, we offer…The Coddiwomplers Route Guide)
Copyright – Robert W. Hansen – 2017