The boys in the band

You know that when you frequent the same poker games every week, you get to know everyone — and their dog and cat, and family, and all those details you really would rather skip at times. Yuppers…we’re heading back to the past.

The boys weren’t in a band that played music or sang songs, they were a band without a leader that frequented the poker games — showing up at all hours, some as if they had a regular shift and punching in on the time clock was in their head.

Here’s a little history on a few of the boys in the band – and a picture even. In that post Eddie Appelt is part of the content.  Eddie had a nephew named Jimmie that played almost every night of the week.  Eddie was a grouchy old fart and Jimmie was just the opposite, he wasn’t too noisy but just the right amount of noisy tempered by I-can-be-silent-at-times.

Jimmie never met food he didn’t like. He usually spent the night when he came in to play, he worked at the Post Office and would leave the game about 5:30 AM.  I believe he worked in a department where his day was spent on a computer. Back to the food.

Once upon a time, anyone playing poker at the OX could order whatever they wanted from the menu.  There was a monstrous sized T-bone steak on the menu with all the trimmings…not only was it huge, it was a great cut of meat and very good. Jimmie could eat the whole damned steak, the baked potato, the garlic toast, the salad, and vegetable, and if you walked by with a doughnut or candy bar or were just getting your meal served at the table, he always asked for a bite.

No matter how much he ate, no matter what kind of food you had, he wanted a bite — never any more than a bite.  I suppose he thought it quite fair that we should all share our food with him because he wouldn’t mind if anyone had a bite of his food.  Someone, way back before fire was discovered, told me Jimmy had had a colectomy. True or not, I have no idea.

I often wondered how he made it through his day job after sitting at the poker table all night or trying to snooze on chairs lined up along the wall or on an empty poker table if there was one since he did sometimes play three nights in a week.

One night about 2:00 AM he decided he needed a nap. I can’t remember if he’d been waiting for a seat and hung out or because he was in the game and just wanted to take a short nap. He climbed up on the table and laid down on his back with his arm across his eyes.  We turned the light off on the poker table so he could snooze.

Everyone kept playing, Jimmie kept sleeping and started to shift a bit and groan, then the snuffle-snore started, and his mouth was open.

Linda Snyder was a regular in the game, heavily associated with Desert Don.  Linda worked for a professor or someone that was in control of the university book store. Linda is a story all by herself…no…not this one doing the writing…that one being written about.

While Jimmie was snoring, someone came in with a plate of cold cuts from the kitchen and set them down for the players.  Linda said we should give Jimmie a piece of the sliced ham to keep him from snoring.  She said we could just lay it over his mouth, she was already laughing at the thought.

No way!  I figured he’d try to eat it and choke to death in his sleep, having that ‘bite’ that he always wanted.

So we did!  Took a napkin and picked the ham up with it, went to the table, leaned over and laid the slab of ham on his cheek and across the side of his mouth and left the napkin laying on the ham.

He started snuffling-snoring-eating.

No shit!  He pulled the edge that was hanging over his mouth IN and started chewing.  Never moved his hands or any part of his body except his mouth. He ate the whole damned thing without once getting the napkin in his mouth or using his hands…while he was doing the snuffle-snore.

We laughed our asses off all the while. Of course we told The Eating Machine about it when he woke up to go to work. He didn’t appear to be shocked.

That’s where I’m headed, out!  Vegas trip tomorrow, going to be a long day.

 

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