"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal." -Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#RogueTripPlaylette - Blackjack in Madrid... three actlettes...

(BILL sits playing blackjack. He has had, hm, two beers. He is with two SPANIARDS who do not speak any English. He is in final position. The dealer, ALISA - Spanish, fair-haired, pretty, mid-30s, and as Bill has learned over the past couple of hours, speaks English pretty well - deals the Spaniards a 14 and a 13. She deals Bill a 16. Her face card is a 9. Both Spaniards stand on their hands.)
ALISA: (to Bill) What would you like to do, Bill?
BILL: (rubs his face) What is it with everyone standing on these hands?
ALISA: What do you mean?
BILL: (indicates Spaniards’ hands) You guys have been doing this all month. (to Alisa) They have 14 and 13. You have a 9. The way I play is, I start off assuming the next card turned over will be a 10 or a face card. That’s where I start off.
ALISA: This is a smart assumption, as there are more 10s and faces than any other card.
BILL: Right? I mean, that’s how I would start off teaching my nieces how to play blackjack.
ALISA: How old are your nieces?
BILL: Ten, seven, and four.
ALISA: (thinking) That would be a good way to teach them.
BILL: Right? But in Spain - it happened in Barcelona, too - everyone is so conservative. They stand on hands they’re losing.
(The Spaniards confer.)
SPANIARD: (to Bill, in halting English, re: his hand) If we stay, we are still alive.
BILL: You’ve already re-bought three times. (to Alisa) Right?
ALISA: (shrug, slight smile) This is true.
BILL: So you’ve been dying all day long.
BILL: I’d rather die on my feet than on my knees.
BILL: (pushes “hit” on his screen) Hit.
(Alisa deals him a face card.)
ALISA: And you are dead now too. (But she is smiling.)
BILL: And so are they. Watch.
(Alisa turns over a face card, she has 19. Everyone loses.)
BILL: See? Everyone in Spain, you guys play so conservatively.
ALISA: Ah. But, Bill.
BILL: Yes?
ALISA: You are in Spain now.
BILL: True.
ALISA: This is what I say.
BILL: What do you say?
ALISA: (mock shrug) “It is blackjack.”
BILL: True.
ALISA: And you should not teach your nieces to play blackjack.
BILL: Alisa.
ALISA: Yes, Bill?
BILL: I am in Spain now.
ALISA: True.

(Bill has had, maybe, four beers. New dealer - male, Spanish, late 20s, friendly but his English is not good. The other Spaniards have left - too many deaths - but another SPANIARD - nice guy, early 20s - sits in last position. A hand has just finished. Bill points over the dealer’s shoulder, where a soccer match involving Barcelona is playing.)
BILL: Messi scored again.
(The dealer and the Spaniard look over at the TV. They watch for a moment, then turn back.)
BILL: Messi, that guy is incredible.
SPANIARD: Si, yes.
BILL: I mean, he looks like he should be managing an Applebee’s, but he’s just unbelievable. You know why? ‘Cause he never stops working, he never stops trying. Other guys, someone touches them, they fall down, they give up on the play. But not Messi - he just keeps churning, keeps moving, boom, boom, boom, and then after that work, he’s open and he puts it away. He’s simply unbelievable. (Bill looks at the dealer and the Spaniard.) Right?
DEALER: You are in Madrid, Bill.

(Bill has had five beers. He is up 1900 euros. The young Spaniard is gone, replaced by two ITALIANS who sit in early position. These Italians speak no English. The same male dealer deals one a 13, the other a 12 - A TWELVE! - and Bill a 16. He deals himself a face card. Both Italians stand, and Bill rubs his face. He looks at the dealer, who with merely a slight expansion of his eyes says, “I hear you, brother. I hear you.”)
BILL: Hit.
(The dealer gives Bill a 9.)
BILL: Twelve plus nine is twenty-one.
DEALER: Si. (shrugs)
(Th dealer deals himself a four.)
BILL: Sixteen plus four is twenty.
(The dealer then deals himself a seven.)
DEALER: Veinte uno.
BILL: Ay! (smacks his forehead)
(The dealer gives Bill another milld expansion of his eyes - “I hear you, brother.” - and begins to collect the cards.)
DEALER: (to Bill) You have had a good day, sir.
BILL: Thanks.
DEALER: So. You should save yourself.
(Bill stands.)
BILL: Gracias.
DEALER: De nada.

(Bill leaves.)