Poker Faces

The team missed the final match of the national rounds last Saturday, mostly because we were drowning our sorrows. Despite our much better showing, it still wasn’t enough to score any points – the Jessup uses a winner-take-all system to decide who goes to Washington DC. To cut to the chase, the team’s inexperience was clear to the judges and we lost to better teams.

Fair enough.

Those results sure were a long time in coming. Before we got them the next day, we were in “limbo” – we weren’t competing on the final day and we had no idea why, exactly. The kids had stumbled in a few places, but not that badly as to produce a convincing loss. From that perspective there was nothing left to do but drown our sorrows in alcohol.

Instead of moping about, I thought it best to just relax and have fun. So it was late Friday night that the troop trudged back the one office block or so back to the hotel – and into the casino’s poker room. We sit at the P10 and P20 table.

In the poker room, one meets a lot of strange (and often drunk) individuals. In particular, a drunk Swede started an interesting conversation while betting thousands in chips.

“So, is she your wife?” he gestured, pointing at Ina.
“Hell, no.”
“Well, then. Are they jer jer?” By this time he was pointing at Ina and Rob.

By this time the casino staff was laughing themselves something fierce. Man, the staff there was good if they knew how to speak Swedish. Turns out “jer jer” isn’t Swedish; it’s Cebuano slang for carnal knowledge. The Swedish guy was asking me if my kids were fucking each other.

“No!” was Rob’s emphatic reply. “We’re not like that.”
“We’re just friends,” says Ina. It sounds so showbiz, and the Swede picks up quickly.

“You know that boom tarat tarat girl? You sound just like her.” He’s way too drunk.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know who she is.” Ina’s socialite self is beginning to tune this guy out.
“Is it my turn? I raise you ten thousand.”

Screw me. I know when I’m being taken for a ride.


As play continues, we stand and leave. The staff is friendly enough to shield us from further harassment. Halfway through the exit, the players on the table all stand up. Someone’s taken the drunken Swede’s bait. It isn’t long before we hear howls of anguish ringing through the casino corridor. Someone got jer jer that night, I suppose, but it wasn’t us.

Suits me just fine.


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