The other night, my good friend, Mr. C hosted one of his bimonthly poker events. He recently moved from Gainesville to Lake City, a small town about thirty miles to the north, so he’s had some problems developing a steady crowd of regulars. Setting up a house game is no easy task, despite his valiant efforts. I generally coax some of my crew for a roadie up from the ‘Ville to support his cause, which is fine, since my boys will play cards ‘til they’re broke or ‘til their eyes bleed, whichever comes first. Besides, what seasoned poker player isn’t down for scavenging chips away from those less fluent in the game.
So this past weekend, we made the trek to Mr. C’s, who despite his shortcomings as a Tennessee grad, is always an hospitable host. And yes, he had some moonshine stashed away. His Vols had lost earlier that afternoon to Oklahoma State, so he was already in an ornery mood as we walked in the door. To make matters worse, his cable had gone out so we had to check our March Madness updates online.
As a fledgling poker player, Mr. C generally looks to my crew to help establish his house rules, set up blinds, buy-ins, etc. Despite having difficulty grasping the fact that blinds should correspond to the initial buy-in, he has a good early feel for the game. He even made some nice plays on the poker veterans I brought up, Martina and Damion 2.0. Except it still took about four full hours and three different conversations to explain to him why a $100 minimum buy-in warrants more than $0.25-$0.50 blinds.
About a third of the way through our poker marathon, Mr. C announced that he needed to break from the game to visit his neighbor’s karaoke party. Now, pulling Damion 2.0 away from a poker game is like trying to take steak out of a lion’s mouth, yet we sold him on the fact that there might be food, liquor and women there, which was enough to get him out of his seat for maybe ten minutes. Besides, he had always boasted about his La Bamba rendition.
Once we got next door, around midnight, still respectably early for Saturday night partygoers, we found about eight people, which is fewer than we had at the beginning of our poker shindig. With neither women, food, nor booze there, and certainly no cards, Damion 2.0 instantly started to get huffy, despite the fact that I took a collection from the crowd to see his Lake City karaoke debut.
The disc jockey seemed friendly enough and was spinning some Eagles, although I think neither spinning nor disc jockey should be appropriate terms for those who simply press a mouse button to select their next tune. The not so peaceful, easy feeling coming through the speakers was clearly bringing the party down (sorry, Eagles fans), so I asked the DJ if he had any old school hip-hop to liven the mood. Hip-hop just happens to be the musical preference of Damion 2.0 and I thought some funk… might just bring him out of his funk.
Watching Damion 2.0 edge closer towards the door, I immediately asked the DJ if he had any Tribe Called Quest and encountered a somewhat bewildered look on his face. The DJ was in his mid- to late-50’s, so Tribe was understandably out of his wheelhouse. I asked to look at his catalog, which he pulled online from his laptop. He asked me to mention another artist, as if to test his repertoire. So I asked for something a little more common place, a little more well-known. I asked if he had any Snoop Dogg.
He asked “Who?”
I was shocked. I mean, I know one doesn’t need an extensive musical background to own a karaoke machine, or to even know a Snoop song by name. But to not have heard of him altogether? One would think that someone who deals in music for a living would at least have heard of arguably the most recognizable artist that hip-hop has produced. Look, we don’t have to like Snoop, his music or the genre at all, but we know who he is, right?
Immediately recognizing that I should have just requested some Sinatra and been done with it, I asked him to pull up some Notorious B.I.G and as expected, he asked “Notorious who?” So I just asked him to type in Notorious and do a search. “Hypnotize” came up, he hit the play button and…. Slicker than your average! The people at the party immediately started nodding their heads, but it was too late as Damion 2.0 had already sulked back to the house, Snoop-less, impatiently awaiting our return. Patience is not his strong suit, particularly at the poker table.
The DJ looked at me and asked “Wow, you know a lot about music, huh?” I didn’t quite know how to respond to that, still amazed that he had never heard of Snoop. I muttered “Yeah, thanks” as I walked away. I mean, my mom knows who Snoop is. Heck, my stepfather wanted to see him in concert!
As my own poker urges started to act back up, and with Damion 2.0 probably shuffling the cards eagerly back at Chez C, we decided to bail on the karaoke and rejoin the cash game already in progress. The party was dead anyway. I never got to see Damion 2.0 perform his Ritchie Valens but I did see one woman at the party break into “Hello, Dolly” which was maybe the first time in history “Hello, Dolly” followed “Hypnotize” on a playlist.
The poker continued until the sun came up, with unexpected full houses beating straights, ill-advised all-ins running into pocket aces and further explanations of how Mr. C’s proposed $100 buy-in game would have to have proportionate blinds.
Anybody interested in his next event? I’ll bring the Snoop.