Earlier this week I went to Brantford for night of limit poker. As usual, it was a mix of good fun, bad players, and loud slot machines in the background. I had a couple of fun hands, like holding 8-9 offsuit in an 8-way raised pot when the flop came 6-7-Ten…and the turn and river gave no help to the chasers. Or the very first hand I played when I was moved to my 5/10 table, where I was posted in behind the button with 7-4 offsuit, and the flop came 7-7-7. I fired out on the flop and turn with Quads, and had 2 non-believers. On the river, a confusing player (who looks like a combination of Burl Ives and the Leprechaun from the horror movie series) fired into me, and I obviously raised. Thanks for the extra $10, Burl.
We had a pretty fun table, and everyone was getting along, laughing and taking our beats in stride. We had a really good chemistry, including a player who I like to call Barney Rubble. He’s a stubby little Italian man who has to comment on everything that happens in every hand, whether he’s in the hand or not. He has this raspy voice and a thick accent, and he resembles the classic neighbour from the Flintstones. Everything was going swimmingly until a player who was waiting for his 10/20 table came and sat with us. I’ve played with him before, and he’s a maniac cannon who just keeps firing with anything. I was seated 2 seats to his left.
On one hand, he raised with Jack-Nine offsuit, flopped a straight and won a decent-sized pot. Then he proceeded to proudly tell us all how he likes to raise with bad cards, and on one occasion last week, raised with 7-4 offsuit, bluffed everyone out of the pot by betting, then showed them the bluff. He cackled as he told us how upset the table was at him.
So, on the very next hand, he raises and I look down to see ten-four of spades. Now, I normally wouldn’t play this hand for $5, but spite can be a powerful motivator, so I call the raise to see if I can make a hand on him after the speech he just gave. 5 people see the flop, and for the dramatic purpose of storytelling, I’ll tell you now that his cards were Ace-seven of diamonds. The flop is Ace-2-5 with two diamonds, and he leads out. I have nothing but a gutshot, I need a 3 that is not a diamond, but I raised him. One other caller calls, and he just calls.
It’s not a funny story if I don’t make my hand, so of course, the 3 of clubs hits the turn. He checks, I bet, and they both call. The river is a 7, and he now has top two pair. He checks, I bet…the player between us calls, and he checkraises me. I raise again, and the guy between us folds. He calls and says “If you have a 4, I’m going to kill you.”
I say, “Well, I guess you’re going to kill me, then” and turn over my straight. The table burst out into laughter and Brian, our dealer, confirms that there will be no killing at the table. Now the maniac goes off…freaking out that I called his raise preflop, and that I raised him on the flop. I said, “You just said you raise with 7-4…I thought I had you outkicked!”
But the thing that has stayed with me the most from that night isn’t the actual poker. I was down in the restaurant having dinner at the casino, and talking to Amy, who you may remember from a previous post on the wonders of a bacon-on-bacon sandwich. As usual, I ordered my sandwich, and when it arrived (with no condiments of course), Amy said to me, “I don’t know how you can eat it so dry like that.” It wasn’t accusatory or insulting, it was just a comment, but I asked her what she puts on something like a burger.
She tells me that her burger would have mayonnaise, ketchup, AND mustard, and then says that she ‘sometimes’ likes relish too. I was trying not to gag as I pictured a sloppy mess dripping out onto the plate looking like someone had just stepped on a caterpillar. I visibly shuddered and she laughed at me, but then we started talking about Condiments in general. (for those of you unaware with my aversion to condiments, please read my April 2 post.) So Amy tells me that she eats ketchup with ‘pretty much every meat’, as does her daughter. Again, I suppressed my inner gag reflex as I’m imagining it.
So the conversation turns to little eating idiosyncracies, like me not being able to have a pickle on the plate beside my sandwich. Then, she tells me that she can’t eat cereal with milk, because of how it softens the cereal and makes it soggy. Conversely, I can’t eat crunchy cereal…I have to leave it sitting in the milk for a few minutes before I start eating it. I can’t start until the sogginess starts to set in.
But then, Amy dropped this bombshell on me…and I still laugh as I think about it while I’m typing it. While she likes peanut butter, and enjoys eating it…she can’t have anyone else eating it around her. She was laughing herself as she was trying to explain to me that seeing someone else eating it at the table with her is just disgusting. She was talking about it and gave that full body shudder as if something just gave you a spine-tingling case of the heebie-jeebies. (Not sure if ‘heebie-jeebies’ is the technical term, but you get the point.)
Amy’s cereal and peanut-butter confessions made me realize that my hatred of condiments may not be the only interesting ‘food habit’ out there. Do you have anything similar? Let’s hear it in the Comments section below. Feel free to leave it anonymous if you want.
(Note: please see the post below regarding the Comments Section.)
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