Friday, 5 April 2013

Bunny on a Bike

Excerpt from 'Bunny on a Bike' (humorous memoir of a Playboy croupier).

So, croupiers were not allowed to accept tips or fraternise with the clients.  By fraternise, I assumed the management meant that we should not swap saliva and/or other bodily fluids with the punters.  I can tell you that this was not something I would have been tempted to do in the first place, preferring to keep myself (metaphorically speaking) at the other end of a very long barge pole, whatever that was. Being me, though, I occasionally imagined snogging some of the men at my table, despite the fact that I didn’t want to.  Once a thought got inside my head it took a long time to get it out.  I would look at a pair of dry scaly lips, sometimes with an opaque pearl of spittle nestling at one corner of the mouth, and notice a white carpeted tongue flicking around in a presumably foul smelling orifice.  Then, I would not be able to stop myself imagining kissing that mouth, clamping myself to it and investigating its festering cavities and receding gums, reaching for its swollen tonsils.  No matter how much I concentrated on the cards, my daydream would run its circular course and leave me with an expression of profound disgust on my face that rarely escaped my supervisor’s eagle eye.  I can only assume that she had done the same thing herself.  I wondered whether there might be a cure for it and whether she might know what it was. 
Carol said that I was a twisted pervert.

So, as I might have mentioned, we were not allowed to accept tips.  Ah, yes, you may say that I am repeating myself and you would be right.  You may also think this simple fact would not have bothered us all that much after a while and you would be right, most of the time.  But, just consider for a moment, a rich punter riding his luck and winning hand over fist.  Imagine the good will amassing around him like candy floss, sweet and fluffy, too sickly-sticky to keep to himself.  Picture his confident fingers caressing the mounting pile of chips in front of him and then put yourself in the position of the quietly salivating croupier, dreaming for a moment of such sweetness.  Oh, to be on the other side of the table!  Just for once.  Gathering her treasure and scarpering with her windfall.  And then, in the midst of her bitter-sweet dream of wealth, shopping sprees and breast augmentation, visualise the slow-motion smile of the conspiratorial punter and the wink of his gluey eye as he places a separate bet, which, he says, is for her. Yes, for her.  She will share in his good luck and bonhomie.  She deals the cards, suddenly implicated in the drama of his game, hoping for a blackjack or even a split, and she finds that the cards in her box have beaten the house and will receive that wonderfully brittle kiss of chips, worth more than she earns in a week, a month, a lifetime… And then, as Lady Luck’s smile starts to fade, she feels the breath stop in her throat as her supervisor leans forward, as she knows she must, and graciously thanks her generous, affable punter, but points out that tips are not allowed.  That, I can tell you, is when you are bothered.  You are so bothered that your smile freezes and you stare distractedly at what might have been, whilst picturing your hands closing around the neck of your supervisor, who is not allowed to accept tips either.  You are very bothered.  Life seems cruel and unfair.  You want to put your case, defend the right of the client to offer a small gift.  And then, to make things worse, you observe a strategically placed waitress stepping nimbly forward with a tray of premeditated beverages, for which she receives a large part of your winnings, just for the briefest of moments catching your eye and knowing that you would like to do her harm.  

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