Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Unconventional Bad Beats

Back in the hey day of The Depot, I used to arrive a bit early. Being a good friend of the proprietor allowed me certain benefits that I was happy to take advantage of. One such benefit was access to the good alcohol. Riding Dirty is always a precursor to a good night of poker, and I had no problem making myself (and Otis if he was there) a nice Grey Goose martini prior to the card slinging.

One night, I opened the cabinet under the bar to fish around for the tall bottle of Goose only to find that it had perhaps only a shot and a half left. Not to worry, that would be plenty. Of course I'd only be having one drink that night now; but often times, the first drink is the best drink.

I took a clean mixer from the side of the sink and filled it with ice. I poured the contents of the Goose bottle into the mixer along with an appropriate amount of olive brine. I find a two to one ratio works rather well.

I found a nice martini glass (The Depot was all class, baby!) and poured some Dry Vermouth into it. I swirled it around the inside of the glass, letting it coat its entire surface area and then dumped the remainder in the sink. It's a trick I once saw a bartender at Chang's perform.

I closed the mixer and shook, feeling the outside of it chill as the ice inside did its job. I opened the top and poured the contents into the martini glass.

And then I saw something unusual. Suds. Tons and tons of suds followed the alcohol out the top of the mixer into the glass. I am used to bubbles. Any time you shake something as vigorously as I do, there's going to be tiny air bubbles in the concoction. But suds? Something was amiss.

Undeterred, I tasted it anyway. Blech. I spit it out immediately afterwards. Sadly, the mixer, while clean, had not been rinsed. At all.

Grey Goose. Olive brine. Vermouth. And Palmolive. Riding Dirty became Riding Clean.

I had no martini that night. Poker bad beat equivalent: You've flopped two pair against someone's overpair. Turn and river are running 3's.


If you follow the rules of The Procedure and your poker game starts in the 8pm time frame, then you will find yourself a purveyor of "The Afternoon Shift." There's not much to say about it that hasn't already been expounded upon by the likes of the Good Doctor, but it's safe to say that it's a different environment than your average midnight scene.

Generally, the girls are the same group who day after day make what they can before they leave the premises as the more business-like ladies come in. Business-like. That's not a quality I enjoy in a female entertainer. "You want a dance?" "No." And they move on in rapid succession from one customer to the next. The afternoon shift will actually talk to you; and while the conversation is usually as meaningless as what they're wearing at the moment, it's at least a more friendly approach to doing business.

So, like I said, if you follow the rules of The Procedure, you're going to probably encounter the same people each time you go.

Perhaps you even have a favorite employee, one who's nicer than the rest, more willing to make the experience worthwhile. It had been a long time since I performed a Procedure. A very long time. I'm not sure what my problem was, but it had lost some luster. I got busy with life and neglected The Afternoon Shift.

Then one day, I went back. One of the more familiar faces approached me, lamenting my long absence, claiming to have missed me. I believed her, because seriously, who wouldn't miss me? I miss me sometimes. But that's neither here nor there.

For it was then, yet again, that I saw something unusual. Sure the hair color went from completely blonde to completely black. But that wasn't it. Certain body parts were bigger, but not in an unnatural way. Just as I figured it out, she blurted it out.

"I'm five months pregnant." She told me about the biological father and completely destroyed any chance of me further supporting her endeavors on The Afternoon Shift.

Poker bad beat equivalent: You flopped a set against a flush draw and it gets there.

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