Lee Haney used to say, "Last set, best set," whenever he was referring to the last exercise of his weightlifting workouts. The reason I bring it up is because most road trips start out with such high anticipation that you could say, "First part, best part," about most of them. Last weekend was no exception for me.
TheMark and Moutray pulled into my driveway at about 10:45 am on Friday. We were running behind - we had a 1:00pm flight to catch out of Charlotte, an easy 90 minutes up Route 85. Moutray's Cadillac would provide sufficient speed to make up some of the time, but it was still going to be close. No matter though. The first words out of TheMark's mouth was, "Cocktails?"
TheMark was host for my trip. His roulette playing degeneracy has earned him legendary status among both his friends in G-Vegas and his friends at Harrah's. Harrah's was footing the bill for the round trip airfare and accommodations. I was tagging along for the ride and the $13 in taxes I had to pay. Who would say no to that?
TheMark reached down into his carry-on luggage and pulled out a bottle of Grey Goose and graciously poured a generous helping over some already iced Sugar Free Red Bull. "RBV," he said as he handed me my cup. Moutray would remain dry at least until we hit the airport. Smart. With netbooks in hand and a mifi card, TheMark and I warmed up the bankrolls with some online poker at 80mph. I think I lost $15 before we lost our connection. Technology rules.
Once in the airport, we were able to check in without much hassle and I bought the first official round of drinks at the gate. We were off to a good trip.
If you've ever taken a gambling junket before, you know that the flight out is filled with drinking and gambling. Harrah's makes sure everyone is lubed up prior to landing so that there's no shortage of inhibition removal preventing anyone from making their favorite -EV bets. Even on the flight, there are wages to be made.
For anyone who wanted to participate, you could write your seat number on a $5 bill and place it into a huge plastic garbage bag. The hostess would then take the bag up the aisle and when she got to the front, another hostess would pull out the winning bill. The winner kept the entire contents of the bag. As you'd guess, you could enter as many times as you wanted.
We summarily lost the $5 pool, the $10 pool and the $20 pool. "It don't matter," said TheMark, "we're taking down the hundo bag." Before the $100 pool went off, the hostess first had to determine if it was even viable. There were degenerates on the plane, but the question remained, how many would be willing to make a $100 wager. When prompted via intercom, all three of us in seats 16A, B, and C shot up our hands. Unfortunately, we were the only ones. I was under the impression that nobody else was willing to gamble that high on the plane ride out, so I mentally bookkept my losses thus far.
We continued to two-fist the free drinks and then, to my surprise, the trash bag made its way around the plane. The game was on after all and in went our Benjamins. We weren't sure how many in all were there, so we ran a side bet on the over under. I set the line at 14 and both TheMark and Moutray took the over.
The drawing was suspenseful, and it got delayed. As soon as the hostess stood up to make the pick, a huge burst of turbulence hit the plane and she went sprawling into her seat. I have to say, it was the worst turbulence I've ever been in. And I didn't even care. I was lit up "good fashion" as one of my co-workers used to say. The turbulence died down and the drawing was made.
"Sixteen A," came over the intercom and our row erupted. "Ship the bag o' money!" we yelled at the top of our lungs. Nobody else was laughing though because another severe batch of turbulence hit right at that moment. I bounced out of my seat and started spraying my drinks everywhere. I doused TheMark in Bloody Mary, Moutray bathed in his own Jack Daniels and coke. My jeans were soaked with vodka. It was crazy. Those less inebriated were worried, and not just a little bit. The three of us continued high-fiving each other not even caring if we were going to crash. "We're goin' down winners!" we screamed. "Trash lady, bring us our money!"
When things finally died down, we were delivered our bag and counted out the money. It wasn't as huge as we hoped, but there was $1200 in the bag and we each split it as per our agreement beforehand. We were all up over $250 and we hadn't even landed yet. Stupid, stupid fun.