My Third Fever Dream

8 March 2006. My fever tops 108F. My tonsils look like malformed mussels in a ruby-red tidepool. I roll into dreamland…

food pokerIt’s hotter than hot this time. I’m a crumb-topped cassoulet™. I shiver. I shake. Grandma leaves the room, puttering on woolen slippers. I blink twice and find self sitting with a handful of cards. I’m playing five-card poker at the Benev Society in Chinatown. Food poker. I glance about the place. Myself. Jgold. S Irene Verbila. Mair the Intern. Pete.

Yep. That Pete.

Here I sit. I glance at my hand again. I’m holding a full house. Nobody can beat this. I’m golden. Going all in. Three Kings, Two Jacks. Burrito King, King Torta, King Taco, Jack in the box, Jack’s classic.

Mair folds. She had a pair of Okis and scattered detritus filler.

Jgold has a Koreatown flush: Han Bat, HamJiPark, Ma Dang, Toad, Ham Kyung Do. Nothing cohesive, same family. Ktown flush. Strong hand but it doesn’t beat my full house.

Verbila draws a card and lays down a bust. Or so I assume. Is that Koffea? Was that Sushi Bar? And who cares anymore. She’s out of the game.

That leaves Pete. My nemesis? In theory. Palms Pete. I’ve dreaded this moment in dreams, even when my health was at its peak. I shiver. Then I see it. The tell. He’s holding the wild card. I just know it. Even through his Phil Hellmuth Smoakleys® I sense he’s holding.

“What say you?”

He say nothing. Cooler than cool, this one.

Unbeatable full house is beaten by four Tommy’s and a Fred 62. Mother fuck. He had the wild card. Five Tommy’s beats everything. Who would’ve guessed Five Tommy’s would beat anything. If I’d’ve taken the draw, I would’ve ended up with that Fred 62 card. I’d’ve had four Kings. Four Kings beats four Tommy’s, hands down.

Fuck this game. I splash some ice water onto my face and rise slowly. Pop the plastic on an antibiotic caplet the size of a horse suppository and dump the powder into my cold coffee. Time to dose up.


Outro:
First person to find the secret poker hand hidden in one of the links above wins $6.29 voucher for Maria’s Ramada, Little Armenia. Is it worth your time?

Is it worth your time. Have you been to Maria’s Ramada? Don’t ask me this.