Saturday, January 6, 2007

Life's Simple Pleasures

Okay, I tried to keep this to myself but its too good to pass up. I gotta share.

My mum called me the other night and wanted to see if I’d like to sneak off to the boat, as in riverboat gambling. Our code word is brashopping. When Bear hears the words bra shopping, he tunes out. He thinks gambling is stupid and thinks I should spend any extra money I have (my money) on him, not wasting it. And to be honest, I don't want to hear his crap anymore about it, so mum and I developed our own code language to circumvent any snooping ears.

The talk went kinda like this:

“So what did your mom want?” He calls her my mom and not mum since he refuses to bow to her wishes. Mostly though, he calls her Endorra or crazy biddy–just not within her hearing. No love lost there. She gets the reference and calls him Durwood when she is peeved. When she is good and pissed, she refers to him as "The stupid thing my daughter did." LOL.

“Oh, she called to see if I’d take her brashopp–”

“Okay. Just be careful. When are you taking her?”


“Great. Have fun.”

“Yeah, brashopp–”

And he runs out of the room before I can finish. You see, the delicate male eardrum reacts violently to the word bra when combined with the equally fearsome word–shopping. Add that I'm going bra shopping with my elderly mum and he can't run out of earshot fast enough! lol

So, we manage our escape to the riverboat, with it’s blue-haired gamblers and smoke-filled clanging on that most auspicious of times—seniors day at the casino.

Mum and I have a technique. She likes to warm up her throwing arm by way of dropping about $100 on the one arm bandits soon as she hits the gaming floor. I stand by and watch her wheelchair, so no one steals it. She just knows that someone there will take it from her while she’s sitting on the swivel seat provided by the casino.

Oh, and they will totally disregard the bucket of quarters resting just to the right of the machine and in full view. Or her half open purse stuffed with chips from our last foray across the river.

After she feels sufficiently warmed up, we pass the blackjack and poker, and head straight for the craps tables. Seven come eleven–WooYAW!

There is this guy standing just to mum’s left. He is so hot, I can feel my fingers burning just from the need to touch that fine muscled, tanned and tatooed flesh. Chinese characters run down his bicep. I have to know what it means. Not being the shy sort, I lean over and simply ask. Without looking up from the table, he tells me. Love is Freedom. Ooh, my kinda guy. He believes in love, real love, and he’s buff as hell. Plus he likes craps. Too bad I'm not available. After all, I'm still with Durwood, lol.

I look over at mum. She is actually eyeing him. OMG! My elderly mum nudges me as she says, get this–”nice butt.” I kid you not! I almost choke on my Breathsavers mint.


“Well, it is. Most men’s butts are so flat you can’t get a good grip. Just like a pancake. Syrup would slide right off!”

OMG! I am now helplessly picturing my mother holding a shaky grip on Mrs. Butterworth’s and pouring it over this guy’s backside! Surely the floor will open up now, take pity on me and swallow me whole. I need clorox to scrub my brain, STAT!

I send a fervent prayer that no one else heard her comment. And then I look up at the hot guy and he is grinning at me.

Seven Out! New shooter coming out.

I realize it’s my turn to be the dice wielder. Mum, being ever so helpful, tells me to have the “guy” blow on them for me for good luck! Odder still, he leans across and does! Oh mercy!

I throw the dice and one of them hits the end of the table and rolls to a stop, five dots facing up. The other riccochets off a stack of chips at the far end of the table, smacks the stick man’s stick, then rolls to the floor.

My second attempt, and “the guy” blows his warm breath across the palm of my hand and the dice. This time the dice land squarely on the table. Shame it wasn’t the craps table I played at, but the one next to it. I see this as a sign I need to quit. But the guy encourages me to try one last time before they give the dice to a new shooter. I manage to keep them on my table. And miracle of miracles, I roll an eleven. Pay the lady!

I’m doing okay, holding my own and building a rhythm. I have a nice little nest egg of chips in front of me by the time I seven out. Mum is the next shooter, and she is amazing. Sevens, elevens, Horns, Points, Big 8, Big 6, Boxcars, Hard 8–you name it, she did it. Wow.

Even Mr. Biceps is impressed. Mum is excited, but also tired. I can tell by the way she’s getting pale and a little unsteady as she leans out from her wheelchair to grip the table.

She finally sevens out and we leave so I can take her out for a late lunch to celebrate. But before we go, the guy with the tats congratulates us and passes me his business card. On it is his work number…and his personal number. And he leans in and says, “Next time you plan to bring your mom to the boat, call me and I can help you.”

I don’t think we have a code word to cover this. Oh boy…

Now I gotta ask, was he flirting with me, or just sincerely trying to be nice, since he saw me struggle to wheel mum around?

I mean, I don’t have to call him, right? But I can still fantasize…oh yeah, I feel a new project coming on… :D

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Year That Was 2006

So much happened in 2006, some good, some bad, and some absolutely freakin’ fantastic! :)
My first time out to bat as a fiction writer and I won the Amber Quill Heat Wave contest, starting me on a journey which has been exhilarating, but also coming with a steep learning curve. I’ve made so many friends, readers and fellow writers alike, and cherish each and every one of them. Ya’ll have been the best part of being published. For those who bought my books and entered my contests, I want to say thank you!