Ted (merovingian) wrote,

Strip Poker

After-work social gatherings have an incredible potential to be awkward. There's a man at my work, very handsome and suave, in his mid-forties. You could imagine him in a tuxedo, no matter what he was actually wearing. His name is Peter, and he invited a few of us to go to his favorite casino after work today.

I can't remember what it was called. There was a fountain at the front, which looked like a plastic thing trying to imititate something grandiose, but which looked grandiose anyway. Though it was called a casino, you couldn't bet against the house - that's illegal in California. They just rented tables for private use.

Also, nobody gambled for money. Well, a few people did, who just walked in off the street, but the regluars, the high-profile gamblers who everyone could immediately recognize as the folks who really belonged there - people like Peter - would gamble for names.

After watching a few rounds and eating the house's mediocre chow mein, I sat in on a three-person game of five-card card. Twos wild.

I dealt. The woman to my left bet the secret name for this age. The man to my right, John Boring, wanted to bet his dog's name. When a pit boss warned him that a name like that would be upping the bid past the agreed table limit, he instead bet the name of the dog he had for a few months six years ago before giving the dog away.

I don't mean to brag, but I won with a three of a kind. Fours. Well, two fours and a wild card.

The dog's name was Rusty. "Or at least," the man joked ruefully, "It used to have been."

The secret name for this age is the Age of Clever Poisons. The woman explained that in six hundred years, what we (as a species) will be remembering about 2002 is all the various poisons we use and live in, and our amazing ability to thrive in them.

Thta was my only hand. A few other co-workers ended up playing as well. Most lost, but Peter (now Peter Matthew Amanda) did the best he had done in a long time, at the high stakes table.

Poll #36712 Pop Quiz: How Much Did You Learn?

What name did I bid?


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