Archive for the ‘Las Vegas’ Category

Tom Brady was in the middle of a story. One of those Tom Brady type of stories. You know the ones. Lots of name dropping and heroic feats. He finally took a breath. A toothy grin beamed on his otherwise expressionless face. His eyes were devoid of any thought or emotion.

Anyone else, and I might have considered it an impressive poker face. But we were playing blackjack, and Tom Brady was a moron.

“And then I said heck yeah I can act! Listen to this! Oi! Ows bout passing em sweet rolls, ya lovely bird! And that’s when Matt Damon passed me the bread.”

Tom Brady laughed triumphantly at the last part. As if Matt Damon handing him a basket of bread rolls was the greatest thing on Earth. And who knew, maybe it was.

Drew Brees cut in, “I don’t get it.”

His birthmark morphed like a Rorschach test as he spoke. Tom Brady eyed him impatiently.

“What don’t you get, DREW?”

“What you said. I don’t get it.”

“It’s an accent, DREW. An English accent, Dreeew. You know, like from England.”

Drew looked nervous. Real nervous. He shouldn’t have questioned Tom. We all knew that.

Hell, I was nervous too, but not because Drew Brees couldn’t understand Tom Brady’s terrible English accent. And it wasn’t because of Drew’s distracting birthmark (Although that was also becoming a problem).

No, I was nervous for one reason, and one reason alone. It was 1 a.m. on a Saturday night, in Las Vegas. And two of the three starting quarterbacks for my NFL parlay bet, were currently sharing drunken anecdotes at my blackjack table.

If I didn’t play my cards right (pun noted) I was going to lose a lot of money.

“Oh.” Drew finally sighed. “Yeah, okay.”

“Fucking right it’s okay.” Tom Brady shot back.

“It’s more than okay! I’m gonna be in Matt’s new movie. He said so himself… Me and Matt are boys.” Tom’s chest swelled with pride, as he proclaimed that last bit.

He really liked Matt Damon. And who could blame him?

We all nodded in agreement, and the game carried on. As is usual with the dealer, I was cleaning house. By my estimation, Drew Brees was down six grand. Tom Brady was down at least fifty.

Tom stared at his pair of kings, and then curiously glanced over at my nine of clubs. We locked eyes. I knew what he intended to do. And it was very dumb.

I softened my expression, trying to telepathically implore him to wave his hand. The same hand that had thrown a thousand touchdown passes. How was it possible that such a gifted hand could be connected to such a broken mind? Of course, his hand did not waver.

“I wanna split them.” Tom Brady barked.

“Sir, are you sure you—“

Tom cut me off. “Dude! I’m sure. Okay?!”

“Okay” I sighed, hoping he would comprehend the unspoken disappointment in my voice. The more this dummy lost, the longer he would play. The longer he played, the longer Drew Brees played. Because of course, Tom Brady made Drew Brees do stuff. All kinds of stuff. Everyone knew it.

And if I couldn’t get them out of here, and on a plane back to their respective cities, in the next couple of hours, I was going to lose a lot of money.

“Split em already, DUDE!” Screamed Tom.

Drew Brees and I both flinched hard.

He doubled his bet, and I split his kings. He nailed aces on both hands. Because he’s Tom Brady. And for the briefest of moments, I was actually happy for the dumb quarterback.

Just then, as part of his celebration, Tom Brady licked his finger and stuck it in Drew Brees’s ear. Drew squirmed away and wiped himself off. Tom laughed jovially, while Drew’s birthmark shapeshifted into a single tear. This was getting hard to watch.

Suddenly, the lights went bright. Too bright. I was blind.

I stepped back and rubbed my eyes. When my vision returned, I glanced at the area of the table that had blinded me. Where once there was only emptiness, now sat a glistening man. A man made of what seemed to be tiny silver lights.

My eyes further adjusted to the glare that beamed from the man. And now, I saw that it was just a shirt and top-hat made from a strange form of silver sequin, which apparently brought about temporary blindness.

There before me sat Cam Newton. The quarterback for the third team in my NFL parlay. Lady Luck was a heartless femme fatale.

Tom and Cam exchanged cold head nods, as Cam patted Drew on the back.

“Nice shirt.” Tom snarked.

“Sorry if it’s deflated your game.” Cam shot back.

Drew chuckled, but Tom shot him a look and he quickly quieted down.

It was too much. I had to say something. They needed to listen to reason.

“I, uh, I thought you guys were all playing tomorrow. Shouldn’t you get some rest or something? You know, for your big games?”

Judging from the stone-faced silence that sat across from me. I had spoken out of turn.

“Who the hell do you think you are, dude?!” Tom asked.

“I, um, was just—“

“No.” Tom said, cutting me off. “No. I don’t need an explanation from you, okay? So shut it. I’m Tom fucking Brady. I’m gonna be in a Matt Damon movie. So don’t you fucking lecture me.”

“Yeah.” added Drew, chiming in like one of Biff’s buddies from Back to the Future. Maybe the one with those weird sunglasses.

Cam just shook his head, nonchalantly. “As long as I don’t hurt myself making shitloads of money at this table, we gonna win no matter what.”

He flexed and kissed each bicep.

It was a little weird, but I smiled at the gesture. Sure, Cam was wearing the ugliest hat and shirt I had ever seen, but the man was confident. And that counted for something.

Maybe this was just business as usual for these three. Maybe I was looking too much into it. Maybe even, that hat and shirt actually worked when paired together.

And that’s when I noticed Sarah, our table’s waitress.

It was too late though, she had already looked directly at Cam’s shirt. Her eyes glossed over, like a doomed lover turned into stone, in one of those old Greek myths about really ugly outfits that turned lovers into stone.

She stumbled forward, uncontrollably. Her drink tray flew from her hands, as she braced herself for the fall. The tray now spun through the air, heading toward a seated, and still unaware Cam Newton.

In that same moment, as if the change in the air pressure was enough to alert him, Cam jumped to his feet, and spun to face the flying tray of glasses. With cat-like agility, he hurtled sideways and dodged the tray.

Drew turned as well, but it was too late, and the tray of glasses smashed into his face.

The table was silent for a long second, before Tom broke that silence by laughing maniacally and pointing at Drew.

“YES! That was in your FACE, Brees!”

Cam’s eyes lit up, and he stared at me expectantly.

“Did you see me dodge that shit, bro?! Did you?!”

He reenacted the move, with a quick juke step to his left… the move was followed by a strange popping noise. Cam Newton had blown out his knee in celebration.

He instantly clutched at his ruined joint, and crumpled to the floor in pain. Meanwhile, Drew Brees wiped the beer and blood from his face. His birthmark was now a bloody smear and it was growing.

Amidst the chaos, Tom Brady had moved onto the slot machines. He began chatting with Linda, at the Pirates of the Caribbean machine. This was Linda’s favorite slot machine, when she wasn’t turning tricks on the strip.

Cam crawled toward the exit. The blinding illumination from his outfit lit the way, but also blinded any good-hearted bystander who tried to get close enough to help him up.

Drew Brees stood from the table, and shot me a hard look. He was a man transformed. His birthmark had somehow continued to grow, and now covered his entire face. Drew was angry. And I liked him even less when he was angry.

With one tiny hand, he clutched the blackjack table and flipped it over. Brees threw his head back and let out a guttural roar.

He was promptly tackled by security and repeatedly tazed. It took four three-hundred pound Samoans to keep him down. Saints fans everywhere would have been proud.

Tom Brady had disappeared. So had Linda. I quietly pondered who out of the two had the more exotic STDs. But in my heart of hearts, I knew Tom was a heavy favorite on that bet.

My parlay was as broken as the blackjack table that laid before me.

It was true, the NFL was a cruel sport. Crueler still, was the fate handed out to those foolish enough to try and profit from its unforgiving nature.

And somewhere out in that steaming Las Vegas night, walked Tom Brady, in a warm pair of Ugg boots. Without a care in the world.