So I’m in Las Vegas at the beginning of the decadent decade known as the 80’s. For some reason, I had it in my head that my mission as a fat little Bumblebee of Love, was to pollenate as many “flowers” in the valley as possible. And although I was not blessed with children, it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying.
So I am in Friendly Fergie’s, a bar just off Sahara Ave. on a Saturday night. This place was well-known as THE spot to go if you were looking for a money game of nine-ball or straight pool. I used to go there for a full year, playing, and losing to, some of the best pool shooters around, including a women’s World Champion and her husband, a well-known hustler from Philly.
So I paid my dues and now, I am one of the big boys shooting pool for money. I have my quarter up indicating I was “next.” The match was finishing up—they were playing 9-ball and from the looks on the loser’s face, it cost him some. In this same bar, I once saw a man lose his semi-truck on a missed combo shot that literally gave away the match and his source of livelihood.
As I am waiting to break, an absolutely gorgeous redhead walks up to me.
“You win this match, and you can take me home,” she offered, looking at me with the brightest blue eyes I had ever seen. Now I was a good player, winning most of my games (and making money), even finishing as the #2 Top Individual Shooter award in the city. So I clean out my opponent in a game of 100-ball Freezeout, put away my 3-piece Balabushka cue stick, and took Shannon’s hand. On a roll.
The rest of the night was pure magic. We talked on just about every subject, and the more we talked, the closer we felt to each other. This was it. I was totally consumed by this brilliant and beautiful woman. I took her to breakfast and dropped her at home. We made plans to see each other again on Monday, and I was overanxious with anticipation. So on Monday, I knock on the screen door of her house, and I can see an elderly couple sitting at a small kitchen table, a couple of coffee mugs in front of them. “Come on in,” they beckoned.
“Hi, I am”…. They didn’t give me a chance to finish, and the man says: “We know who you are, sonny. What can we do ya for?”
“I’m here to see Shannon. We have made plans for today.”
Right. Our lovely granddaughter. See, she isn’t here. Shannon, huh? Her real name is Brittany. Like I said, she is only with us on weekends.”
Strange, I thought. “Do you mind telling me how I can reach her? I’d really like to see her.” The man looked a bit amused and retorted. “Sure. Like I said she comes here for weekends. Her permanent residence is the State Mental Hospital. She has been there for 12 years.” Like minds? Holy shit.