June 23, 2005


By Bob Respert © 2005

Timmy always rolled out of the rack early on Mondays. Most people will tell you they hate Mondays, but not Timmy. Mondays meant cash. Monday was collection day.

This wasn't an ordinary Monday though, today would be tough. So tough, in fact, that he’d told that bitch Jennifer to leave as soon as he was done boning her last night. He needed the time alone to think.

Normally in a situation like this, Timmy would fire off a phone call or email to his longtime mentor Pauly.

He always counted on Pauly for advice. He thought back to a few of the more memorable replies he’d gotten from his buddy. Pissed off at his dad for trying to send him to baseball camp, Pauly convinced him to confront his dad's desire to live vicariously through him, and demand he be allowed to "chase muff," as he had so succinctly put it. There was also that time his asshole principal had caught him running a March Madness pool and wanted a 50% cut. Fucking prick. Pauly was dead on when he suggested finding some dirt on that douche bag to level the playing field. Who knew anybody liked fucking donkeys?

He’d be calling this morning, but not for advice. This time it was business.

Becoming the largest bookie in a state where sports betting was illegal wasn't easy. If you start at a young age and immerse yourself in the degenerate lifestyle it helps. More importantly though, you need to make nice-nice with plenty of unsavory people. That’s how you get your connections. That’s how you become known.

That’s how you find yourself collecting a debt from your mentor when you know he can’t pay.

Seriously, who bets a hundred grand on a WNBA game? Fucking Pauly, man. How did he let this happen? Normally, he was a good judge of when to cut his friends off before they hurt themselves. Normally, it worked. Normally, shmormally. Where was the rest of that fucking whiskey?

Knowing full well he couldn’t pay the bet off, the numbers were dialed. No answer. Now he had to find him. That would take time. Time would favor someone before it was all said and done. Maybe time would allow Pauly to win the fucking lottery. Maybe time would cool off a conflicted, degenerate bookie. Things weren’t looking good for Pauly.

There were only a few spots Pauly would be. He might be exactly 100 yards from the front door of some chick in Brooklyn. She was an heiress to some elevator button company that he had dated some 15 years ago. That was one of three restraining orders that Timmy knew about. Another spot you could find him was down in Chinatown trying to hawk his paintings and novels. If he wasn’t at his apartment, or either of the other two spots, he was in Vegas.

A quick search of each spot confirmed for Timmy what his gut was already telling him. He was in Vegas spending more money that he didn’t have. Money that he owed. Looked like time was going to give Pauly about five hours to come up with a jackpot. Timmy was heading for the airport.

As a 6'5" monster of a man, Timmy always flew first class. He always used the same carrier as well, and they knew him by name. There’s something comforting about being able to just smile and nod your way quickly through what should be a slow, and annoying process.

Almost to Vegas, Timmy was strangely compelled to buy something from the Sky Mall catalog. Who knows why the fuck it happened. Maybe it was just to be able say he did it.

Taxi to Excalibur. Beeline to the poker room. Beating of a lifetime. That was the plan.

Plans are just plans for a reason. You follow them as closely as possible, but sometimes plans change. When Pauly wasn’t there, and Timmy overhead that the World Series of Poker was going on at Binion’s, he knew right where Pauly would be.

The crowd was huge, but Timmy was bigger. He pushed his way through to the front of the spectator area, all the while scanning the crowd for his mentor. His left fist was having a hard time not balling up, preparing for the inevitable beating it would help deliver.

Scan. Push. Scan. Shove. Scan.

And there he was. Sitting with one two other guys at a poker table, right at the center of this madhouse. Not being much of a poker guy, he asked some kid in a pair of sunglasses what the deal was. The weird fucker wearing sunglasses indoors told him it was a heads up battle for the WSOP title.

"What the fuck is that," asked Timmy

"The biggest poker tournament in the world, man. The winner gets $4 million dollars."

"What about the loser?"

"Around $2 million."

Timmy grinned like a 15-year old boy seeing real live titties for the first time. He couldn’t help it, he was given an out. There would be no beatings, there would be no awkwardness, and most importantly, there would be one hundred grand. He noticed Pauly finding him in the crowd, and he smiled.

Pauly smiled back as he pushed all the chips he had into the center of the table. The announcer was yelling something, but you couldn’t hear it over the screaming from the audience gathered close.


What the fuck was that? Some sort of fire alarm? A weight limit like in an elevator? There were a lot of fat people scattered around the second floor of this casino.


Pauly woke up in a cold sweat. FUCK! Was it Monday fucking morning already?

Damn, Pauly hated Mondays. Mondays were collection days, and that was one weird fucking dream to start off the week.

Bob Respert is a drugs salesman from Michigan.

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