Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Snake Eyes and light starch, please.

Today I went to pick up my dry cleaning (several suits I brought from the east coast which lay balled-up in a pile on my closet floor since July- no weddings or funerals this year.)

The middle-aged, bespectacled Korean proprietor took my order stubs and turned to search for the matching receipts. He murmured something and gestured to the far side of the room.

"Oh dah dies."

"Huh?", I replied

I looked over to other side of the room, to an empty counter and figured he was talking to himself.

He looked back over his shoulder to me, this time making sure that dense white kid heard him as he gestured to the far side of the room.

"Oh dah dies, peas."

Only wishing to placate him, I began to slowly slide down the counter to the far side of the room, but unsure why.
When I got to the end I spotted a small craps table:

"Oooh! Roll the dice" I exclaimed.

I picked up the dice and tossed them, not knowing what was a good roll or a bad roll. I'm not a gambler at all.

Once I went to Atlantic City for my friend Jeff''s bachelor party. It was basically me and a bunch of lawyers. I brought $100 to lose for a weekend of..err, fun. After the first hour at a roulette wheel, I was down $60 , so I walked away and never gambled the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile the high-rolling barristers were losing and winning $500 at a time.

A year later when I was in Cambodia shooting "Apsara", I took some of my crew to the Naga , a floating 24-hour casino on a ship docked off Phnom Penh's harbor. I started at the roulette wheel again and suddenly began winning $10 bets. The chain-smoking Chinese gamblers around me sensed a lucky streak and began to place their bets next to my chips. Unfortunately for them, once I reached $70, I figured in the karmic scheme of things I was ahead $10, so I walked away.
(of course one could argue I was already gambling heavily with the tens of thousands in personal savings which I was sinking into my film).

Back at the dry cleaners, the dice landed

"What you get?", he asked.

"Eleven?" I offered. It felt good but I had no idea.

"Ah, very good discount"

"Discount?" I countered, before discovering this sign on the wall next to the table :
Twenty percent off.
Not bad.
Somebody should let the Chinese chain-smoking gamblers where the real action in town is.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the discount!

Jeff (a/k/a the person whose bachelor party you attended, but was not fortunate to win the amounts the high rollers were able to).

Khanh said...

Hey--that's the drycleaner I go to near my office! It felt a little weird for me, too, when I rolled the dice for the first time. But then you become addicted to it. Sometimes I drop off clothes just so that I can roll the dice.