They don’t pay me to work at the carnival guessing people’s height/weight anymore. The carnies don’t like losing to the rubes. They find it unseemly to let more than a couple of people walk off with an oversized stuffed teddy bear. It doesn’t matter that in order to win the rube had to drop 12 times as much as the bear cost. It is the principle of the matter. Rubes are rubes. They’re suckers and every carnie knows that suckers deserve what they get.
At first the life of a carnie appealed to me. I enjoyed the hustle and bustle. I liked the variety, never did want to spend too much living in anyone place. For a while the carnival life suited me just fine. But the story of my life is that of someone with a restless spirit. I can only stay in one place for so long before I get that itch to wander again. That probably explains why I have been married so many times. For some reason wandering eyes are frowned upon. Each time I explain that it is biological. It is a genetic thing. I can’t help it, god made me this way and lord knows that I don’t pick fights that I can’t win.
You’ll forgive me if I skip around a bit. You’ll indulge my need to ramble because…I am going to do it anyway. You know, that is almost word for word how my second wife described me. She said that she wasn’t going to bother trying to work things out because she knew that I was just going to do it anyway. Sometimes I miss her. She had her good points. Cooked well, kept the house clean and even after the divorce was happy to help keep me and my pal feeling ok. Main problem with her was that she just couldn’t shut up.
The third wife was a mistake. Never get drunk with a broad you hardly know in Vegas because stupid shit happens. You know those stories about the wack jobs who meet someone and get married three hours later, well I can wear that hat too.
Here is what our wedding night was like. I was playing craps at one of the smaller casinos downtown. I like them better because they don’t have the crowds. The tourists don’t hang out here. It is a place for the locals. You don’t find the rubes down here. There is not enough glitter to catch their eye. Besides the rubes are too stupid to go somewhere that offers a better chance to win. Morons, all of them.
It wasn’t like I was winning, but I wasn’t losing either. I was in between shows and my cash was dwindling. The casino was the last place that I should have been but then again I thought that it might be the night that I could bust things open. I didn’t need to win all that much. I figured that if I could triple the $500 I had on me I’d have enough to pay rent. I hadn’t thought about anything beyond that.
I don’t know when she arrived at the table or who spoke to who first. It was probably her. I have a habit of ignoring women. That probably helps to explain why I have been married so many times. Did I mention that there were only about three of us there? It was late afternoon. Too early for the night owls and just about too late for the senior citizenry.
She was wearing a faded blue dress and her jet black hair smelled like the mountains. Our first conversation was a cross between flirting and a fight. That must of have done something for her because she didn’t leave the table. By this point we were in between shifts for the casino cocktail waitresses. Since there was no one around I was my normal charming self and asked her to go get me a beer.
If I close my eyes I can see the flames shoot out of her nose, or maybe it is the scar on my head acting up. Old number three showed her appreciation by flinging an ashtray at me. I never saw it coming. It knocked me right on my ass. I am not sure exactly what happened after that. I know that she hurried over to check on me. I told her to move a little close so that I could get a better view and she threatened to chuck that thing at me again.