Gut Rumbles

April 03, 2009

Poker, dogs and guns

Originally published November 17, 2003

I like to gamble. I couldn't believe that Bill Bennett was idoitic enough to gamble on video poker for large amounts of money. Only a goddam fool does something as stupid as that. You CAN'T WIN against a video poker machine, not in the long run at least. You may as well buy a fistfull of lottery tickets every week.

I prefer card games.

I watched rounds three and two of the World Series of Poker last night on ESPN. They play no-limit, Texas hold 'em, and that's a fascinating game. You basically bet your hole cards against the other guy's hole cards, with five common cards that you both share. It's a good game. I've played it some, but I don't claim to be ready to sit down at a table with people who do this shit for a living. But I would like to learn.

I like blackjack in a casino, because I believe that I am playing against the dealer, not trying to make 21 on every hand. The house has a 2% vigorish in that game because the dealer wins with Blackjack. That's about the best vigorish you're going to get in a casino except for the craps table, but I don't understand that game. So, I play blackjack in a casino and poker with my friends.

I win a lot more money than I lose.

Gambling makes me feel very alive sometimes. I never gamble with money that I can't afford to lose, and I've learned to look at dollars as tokens in a gambling situation. If you think of it as money, you're screwed. Those chips are nothing but tokens, something you need to play the game and a way to keep score. If you can safely say, "If I lose it all, it's no different than if the tokens blew out the window of my truck on the way here today. I'll miss it, but it won't cramp my lifestyle at all," then BET. Otherwise, DON'T.

I've started thinking about getting a dog. I like dogs and I've had some good ones in my life. I ALWAYS had one as a boy and as a young man. I have the time now to housebreak a puppy, teach him to behave and to be my friend. I might enjoy a nice fuzzball who liked riding in the truck and slobbering out the passenger window everywhere I go. I want one who will stay inside and bark when a stranger comes to the house when I'm not home. I want one that will love Quinton as much as the dog loves me.

I may have to fence my yard, but that's a small price to pay for what a dog brings to a house. I want that now. Quinton would like a dog in the Crackerbox as much as I would. I'm planning a trip to the animal shelter to rescue a doomed doggie. I'll pick a mutt, but I intend to pick a good 'un. I like mutts. I am one myself.

Tomorrow, I pick up the new 30.06 I bought at Mack's Gun Shop. I don't know why I wanted that rifle, but I did, so I bought it. I also intend to buy 500 rounds of ammunition for it, and that shit ain't cheap. I'll probably never shoot that many rounds in my LIFE, but Mack is cutting me some slack on the price. I'm a good customer. I'll probably buy a fucking scope, too, because I can't see both ends of iron sights anymore with my elderly eyes. I believe that Quinton, Jack and I will go shooting in the woods this weekend, up on Cop 3's 90 acres just down the road from where I live.

We'll take the BB guns, the .22 rifle and my new 30.06. We'll bring beer cans, coke bottles and a few home-made targets with us. I'm going to allow both boys to shoot the .22, and I might let Quinton shoot the big rifle. I wonder if he can handle it. Maybe I should put some bricks in his back pockets first, just to weigh his little butt down. That sumbitch gun may take his shoulder off and knock him ass over teakettle.

We'll see. Maybe we'll have a puppy to take with us, too.

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