Monday, January 21, 2008


To help my son ward off exaggerators, I told him at a young age: I have complete faith in anything your mother says to me. However, I would have to draw the line if she told me that she was abducted by aliens. That my dear boy--is something I would have to see for myself !

I understand the third grade exaggerator mentality because I once pulled out my omnipresent stack of baseball cards and told Stuart Weiner that my father was a major league baseball player and he believed me.

Bespectacled Stuart (Stuie) Weiner and I met in kindergarten and became friends in third grade. The school districts changed and he went to another school until we were re-united in junior high. By then he was wearing thick glasses. We remained close through college and just prior to me moving to Las Vegas, he re-located to a suburb of San Francisco. While I lived in Nevada, I visited him up there three times and on a fourth occasion attended his wedding. Somewhere after 1981 we became estranged until the advent of personal computers. Around 2000, we exchanged some E-Mails and once again went our separate ways.

Stu as he now prefers to be called, is best know for his antics during eye-test day in third grade. Other than this episode, our teacher Miss Lauffer, didn't leave a profound educational mark on me. However, she was a petite brunette hottie who looked sharp in tight black skirts, (that's another story but thanks David Schatten for bringing it to my attention at the tender age of eight).

When Stuie was called to be tested, Miss Lauffer pointed to a bunch of letters on the eye-chart and he correctly identified them. She then told him to remove his glasses. This time around he couldn't answer. Instead of going lower on the chart, she pointed higher, to the bigger letters.

After pointing to the giant "E" at the top she said, "What letters CAN you see?"
He said, "Where?"
She said, "On the chart."
He said, "What chart?"
She said, "On the wall."
And he said, "What wall?"

Sometime during college days, Stuie and I went out to Atlantic Beach on Long Island to a bar called Porthole. Stuie's depth perception was so awful (even with his glasses) that he got into several accidents in his early years of driving. So, I always insisted on driving.

At Porthole, we had a few too many tequila sunrises (thanks for your influence RBOY). On the way out, Stu asks for my keys and tells me I'm too wasted to drive. I tell him that there was no way he was driving my dad's car--even if he was sober. At that point he made a lame statement about perception and difference between seeing and understanding.

I really had no idea what he was talking about and said, "I KNOW you can't see...and what could you possibly understand, you thought my father was Jake Gibbs."

That incident came to mind a few days ago when a player at work told me that a filthy homeless man positioned himself in one of my casino's restrooms and was handing paper towels to the men washing their the hope of getting a tip.

This particular men's room is off the beaten path and is usually only used when a show lets out or by poker players. Sometimes when my breaks are boring or if they are televising poker games, I venture over. But there is so much abuse of the NO SMOKING LAW in that hall--I don't go there much any more.

In my quest for truth, I braved the smokiness and marched through the plethora of whining poker players to that restroom. To my surprise a stinking yet enterprising man, in layered tatters was indeed dispensing paper towels. On the sink next to him was an opaque plastic cup that was about one third filled with change.

Like I said, "There are some things you have to see for yourself."

No comments: