My novel is entitled,
"IF IT AIN'T NAILED DOWN"
(see Synopsis of my novel)
My screenplay is entitled,
(see Synopsis of my screenplay)
A synopsis of my twenty short stories from the STANDING DEAD series.
"THE HEAT IS ON"
January 1979 at the Slots-A-Fun casino . I live the definitive definition of casino "heat." While others wither and fall around me, my indomitable spirit can't be broken as I endure the hardships of breaking-in at one of the worst craps dealing jobs in Las Vegas.
"SANCTUARY OF THE LUNATIC FRINGE"
I learn that Las Vegas, in April 1979 is still the Wild West. My nineteen shift career at the Western Casino downtown is the ultimate vantage point to watch the town's transient nature chew up and spit out two of my lesser acquaintances.
The imaginary line that separates the quality of the jobs in Vegas is examined. My first two casinos were strictly break-in houses but in May 1979, I crossed into the mainstream...albeit the bottom of the mainstream. When nearly all the table game personnel at the Holiday International are washouts (retreads) from other casinos...who do you gravitate to, when everyone is greatly flawed.
"AMOS 'N ARCHIE"
In September 1979, fate leads me to Hotel Fremont, one of the premiere jobs downtown. There I meet the ultimate odd-couple...two "half-men" who live together as one. This job is different from my three others because each four man craps crew split their own tokes (tips). This "table-for-table" method relies on each dealer pulling his weight and soliciting tokes. But such solicitation is a fireable offense. Therefore, for someone new to the game like myself, the stress of performing and the fear of the consequences, take their toll as I tip-toe through the daily minefield of work.
"RIDEOUT, WHITE-OUT & RIGHT OUT"
People, equipment, and commands--when used properly, in conjunction with luck, can lead to employment success in Vegas. In March 1980, my parallel promotion with Eric "The Great" Norcross to the Stardust is examined. We have nearly identical credentials, however, one of us doesn't handle the people, equipment and commands as well as the other.
Towards the end of my Fremont days, I move into a hip apartment complex with a married couple, Stu and Toby Frobel. The new environment opens my eyes as I experience a maturity growth spurt and learn a greater tolerance towards wider varieties of people.
An indirect sequel to "PETER PARTY." A void is left in the Frobel's after Peter leaves. Toby then becomes restless when she realizes that she still has time to get what she wants out of life.
I win the negative lottery! When my idiot coworkers draw-up a ridiculous to plot to simultaneously "blow-up" the Stardust's least desirable player as well as the world's worst supervisor, it's up to me to light the fuse .
"A TALE OF THREE CITIES"
I'm taken under the wing of the most universally beloved coworker that I would ever work with. But how can I put his name and the word respect in the same sentence?
"FREDDY THE FINGER"
I never thought I'd have a friend named Freddy the Finger...and wished I never had. I'm on top of world dealing on the fabulous Las Vegas strip at the Stardust and my coworkers aren't happy with my association with an outcast. I do remain loyal until I see how flimsy our relationship is and then its every man for himself.
"A LUSH FOR LIFE"
Being called a "clerk" means someone is an elite craps dealer. To call Vincienzo "Milo" Vesuvio merely a clerk, was a grave injustice. Because, he was the best I've ever seen. But he also led a double life and when he was mistakenly proclaimed a hero, both aspects of his life caved in on him.
"MEN IN WHITE"
Jake Gerritsen, a Stardust craps dealer wants to make an impression on his new crew. In so doing, he bangs heads with a player, an influential curmudgeon named Steinmetz. Gerritsen is fired and his life spirals out of control. He vows revenge but complications continually delay this realization. A second powerful player named Figaro also frequents the casino. Unlike Steinmetz, he is fun-loving, generous, and the darling of all the craps dealers. On a night that Gerritsen comes in to get drunk for free, we learn that Figaro is terminally ill. That same night Figaro and Steinmetz meet and have a personality clash...and Steinmetz is asked to leave.
My friend Frank meets two new people separately on the same day. Through his influence, their lives are intensely affected. One person crashes and burns from the highest height while the other's wasted life is resurrected. Oddly, Frank's life remained the same.
"BLESSING IN DISGUISE"
Carl "The Mole" Blessing has kept a skeleton in his closet for quite some time. At the Stardust, a serious on-the-job transgression got him demoted from his lead-floorman position on day-shift. Rather than fire him, he is sent to my shift at night and is reduced to a zero-seniority floorman. This leniency is due to the casino's investment, as well as their cultivation of him, as a spy. They recognize his spineless nature and expect him to continue toeing the company line. Being so insecure, Blessing would have; even for less money and status, until unforeseeable circumstances caused his big secret to unravel.
"LOOKING DOWN AT LAS VEGAS"
Jeff Holland, a high-rise window washer from New Hampshire lands in Vegas for some R&R after a near fatal fall. Overwhelmed by good fortune, unprepared Jeff decides to relocate.
"WHITE SAUCE ON LINGUINI"
Its Halloween at the Stardust and my crew and I are gawking at the sexy costumes our cocktail waitresses are wearing. But somewhere hidden in the crowd of revelers two thieves lay-in-wait. Guided by my libido, I go to where the waitresses are going after work. At a bar, I learn of the robbery at the Stardust while becoming the fourth side in a love triangle.
"AGNES CARMICHAEL OF THE CARMICHAEL CALIFORNIA CARMICHAEL'S"
Agnes has a lot of problems. When she throws herself at my friend Frank, he thinks she's just a desperate tourist in search of a wild fling. But I discover that she is my coworker, a keno writer, at the Las Vegas Club. Soon thereafter, she starts seeing another one of my friends. His personal demons are nearly as profound as hers; they are a perfectly suited codependent couple. Yet despite treating her far better than she's ever been treated, his personality flaws are no match for her neurosis.
A modern day "ROMEO AND JULIET." Fillmore is a Renaissance man and Ariel is an artistic prodigy. Their parents, pressed by politics and self-righteousness, try to drive a wedge a between them. Instead the couple accept being disowned, leave Washington D. C. and become intellectually over-qualified casino dealers. After a few years at the Golden Nugget, their shangra-la bubble is burst and their parents are rushed back into their lives.
"NO HELP'S HALL"
I once introduced Nick Tucker as, "One of the few gentlemen I ever met in the casino industry." Our friendship began at the New York School of Gambling. After a gap of several years, we resumed with a stronger relationship while working at the Golden Nugget. Suddenly Nick disappeared. Fifteen years later, via a chance internet meeting with a mutual acquaintance, I found out that Nick was no gentleman...and he wasn't even Nick Tucker.
"A GUMMY CONSPIRACY"
In 1982, at the same time that my Las Vegas casino career was winding down, my employer, the Golden Nugget, declared that it was not only going to become the centerpiece of downtown but that it also intended to become a worldwide gaming destination. At the time, the idea seemed preposterous but the transition from a flea-bitten "saw dust joint" to one of the most desirable dealing jobs in town was incredibly fast..perhaps too fast. In addition to sweeping policy and procedural changes that weren't clearly defined or addressed, the less than qualified management team concentrated their efforts into "juicing" their own people in. When the glut of special interest wasn't fulfilled, a blood bath of random firings took place to make room for them.