The Billings Outpost

Gamblers learned fast

People are funny. They strive to put a bunch of money in one place. Then see how thin they can spread it.

Old Pop Ving, Carlo Mascre and the gang pinched their pennies, put them in Band-Aid or Prince Albert cans and brought them out to play pinochle or buy a Coke or a sack of Durham. After the chores were done, the ducats went back into the owner’s pocket and were kept sequestered for the rest of the day.

The rummy gang never played with money. They played FOR money but never WITH money. Cowboys and tycoons of any stripe might stand a stack of dollars on edge, then splay them out with a rapid series of clicks.

But a gentleman would restrain himself and never pull such a trick - at least not in view of the whole bar. SHOW OFF! It would be the same as tucking your jeans into your boots - instead of pulling the cuffs of your Levis down over your boot tops.

Only a Texan would do that.

Pinochle is not a terribly difficult game to learn. I drink. I started drinking before I was old enough to drive. I do not consider any of these early starts a crowning achievement.

The first thing I learned was that old men cheat. They cheat and chuckle. In my own defense, I must say I was only trying to build a stake that would allow me to graduate to poker.

I never did acquire the poker skills that would allow me to go home with both my pants and my boots on. I wasn’t kidding when I said people are funny.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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