Cool under pressure.
Not everyone has it 100% of the time.
I’m probably in the high eighties if I am really being honest with myself.
I had to “beat” a polygraph test in order to land a major casino Executive Chef job in Las Vegas.
Answering truthfully all the questions set up to trap you into giving an indication of your level of honesty. I guess the reason I “beat” the lie detector was because I didn’t lie.
It ended up being a mere formality.
I was in the city during the last days of union bone-breaking and backroom deals by men with big cigars and Sicilian accents. It also seemed to be the safest city on Earth.
When any of the yet-to-be-unionized jobs like housekeeping, culinary, servers, dealers, et al, went on strike, it was free (paid) time off and bonuses usually to facilitate a fast return to the status quo of printing money by the fistful.
When the Teamsters joined in, the city was effectively shut down.
You can give all the stock reasons you want about living in Vegas like “I am here because I don’t have to pay state taxes.”
There are eight other states with no income tax.
What’s wrong with Alaska?
“I don’t gamble.”
That’s why your childhood sweetheart left you after ten years together. She was still living in an apartment, still scrambling to pay rent every month, still working as a tipped employee, still wearing the same clothes she couldn’t afford to replace, still watching the same small, crappy-reception TV they got for a wedding present, still eating fast food off of paper plates, and still wishing things were better.
What was her problem?
I was cool under pressure back in 1970 when I took a ride across the desert with my best friend and the drummer in our band Hot Twat.
Shows what a group of five dumbasses we were.
To top it off, our first paying gig was for a church summer festival. We were stoners who never did anything with any real thought behind it, and there up on the big stage was our big amps, our guitars on stands, mikes and stands and right smack dab in the middle was Danny’s over-sized double bass Ludwig Hollywood drums with HOT on the left one and TWAT on the other.
I shit you not.
There had to be a hundred churchgoers all there with kids and the priest nor anyone at all, even mentioned the drums.
I was dead drunk when we got pulled over by a Texas Ranger just across the New Mexico border.
As I eased the ’70 Barracuda over to the side of the road, I actually threw up all over my feet.
“License and registration”
I knew we were fucked.
After all these years have passed and no matter how hard I try to recall, I only remember driving away and jumping into a motel swimming pool before getting a little motel of our own in Amarillo. No earthly recollection of what I did or said to get off so easy.
And I didn’t even know it.