Author Topic: An Immortal Night in Macau - by Chrisg  (Read 1044 times)

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An Immortal Night in Macau - by Chrisg
« on: July 14, 2009, 03:43:46 AM »
An Immortal night in Macau

by

chrisg


Macau, 1977, a hot night in a hot town, and a hard day's work just finished.

I was there on a contract job, to inspect an aircraft for sale, a Grumman Albatross amphibian, demobbed and fitted out for charter work.

Just what it was doing in Macau was somewhat moot but the papers were in order, and a day spent crawling through and around the not particularly good-looking, but functional, aircraft, had persuaded me it was a good buy. The test flght late afternoon had reinforced that opinion, and I was somewhat pleased that not having flown off water in an age, and not being rated on the Albatross, I had completed several smooth take-offs and landings with the owner's pilot keeping an eye on me.

The deal would be completed the next day, down to money now, and even there the opening price was not unreasonable, although the boss would talk it down.

Then it was over to Hong Kong, get a rating and fly the lady back to Australia in a series of rather pleasant hops and collect my fee.

But tonight was for fun. The boss wanted to play, we were standing at the doors to the Casino, dressed in our finery and checking out the hot ladies swirling around the place.

The boss was obviously well pleased with the day's work, he bought a stack of chips and handed me US$200 worth before heading off to his beloved Roulette table.

A mugs game if you ask me, those were my heavy gambling days, but for me it was usually cards or dice, betting on the bouncing ball had never appealed.

I secured a drink and went for a wander around, checking out the action, both on the tables and in the mini-skirts.

Several games of Blackjack were in progress but the shoes felt cold, there was a game of poker in progress but it looked to be high stakes amateurs, not much fun.

Then I came around a corner and the sound of clacking ivory came to me.

Craps, a busy little table, and after a few minutes watching the players seemed to know what they were doing, cultural exchange by R&R servicemen from the not long ended Vietnam war probably.

I moved in and watched a shooter who was rolling nicely, making his numbers and attracting a lot of side bets.

Its a funny feeling, but when you play dice a lot you can feel those bones, know when they are hot and when they are about to bite.

I felt the energy flow out of them as they came back to the shooter and placed a bet against him.

He crapped out.

I pulled in my winnings and watched the new shooter come out. He rolled a six the hard way and then settled down to rolling meaningless stuff as my pile continued to grow.

Again I felt the change in the bones and went against him, the only bet on the table that way, and again a shooter sevened out.

The play went on with more shooters and with a few careful places and propositions my pile kept growing. I think I dropped two bets in a dozen, all the rest paid well and my pile was looking to be several thousand dollars, not that I was counting.

It was funny money anyway, nothing of mine on the table, that's when my luck usually runs best.

I began attracting an audience. The firm thigh of a rather striking chinese girl was resting against mine and unwanted
suggestions were coming from other equally gorgeous women, probably in the pay of the Casino and ignored as I concentrated on the play, feeling those dice and the confidence of the shooter.

Confidence is all in craps, you steer those bones with your mind to drop the numbers you want.

Someone handed me a drink, a Rusty Nail, and I sipped it as another pile of chips were pushed my way.

At a guess I was now sitting on about $15k, a lot of money in those days.

The latest shooter crapped out, again I was betting on that, and the dice were pushed my way.

I let them sit in my hand for a few seconds, warming them up, having a little chat about who was in charge here, then flicked them underhand down the table to bounce back and reveal....

Four the hard way.....

I must have rolled for five minutes on that point, but the die were listening, no sevens and finally my point.

The pile was looking pretty impressive by now, but still funny money, you have to think that way.

The new come out was a natural, I'd never rolled one before, but the dice were talking to me and I was listening, the pile grew...

Another point, another few minutes of rolling and they were still alive as I made that one.

Suddenly the dialogue stopped, cold cubes in my hand, back in the lap of the Gods.

I pushed a pile of chips, probably about $10k, to bet on me....and crapped out...

I'd already turned away, I knew that was going to be a loser, Lady Luck had flirted off to sit on someone else's shoulder.

But, you give something back, always, that was my last bet, a little back for the very large pile still sitting there.

I tossed some chips down the table to thank the boxman, stickman and dealers and picked up the pile.

Pulling a mini-harem of scantily clad women, several entreating me to come back, "you lucky Joe!" etc I headed over and cashed out.

A little over US$25k, and no way to take it except as cash, which the expressionless cashier passed to me.

I headed for the bar and ordered a double old fashioned, the most profitable and exciting gambling night I had ever experienced demanded my favorite drink.

The ladies slowly drifted away as they realised I was not coming back to the tables, but happy to buy a round of drinks.

With a bulging pocket I went looking for the boss. He was at the same wheel, looked to be betting about even, he looked up as I came alongside him.

"Blown it? Want some more?"

"Um, not exactly, I'm $25k up, heading back to the hotel."

The look on his face was priceless. Well, he'd never been gambling with me before, I had a long lucky streak, but somehow I knew that night that Lady Luck had handed me a parting gift and was gone.

Which, in a cowboy town like Macau, had me a little concerned.

The hotel wasn't far away, so I walked.

I guess I was half way when I became aware of the footsteps matching mine behind me. There was an alley ahead, taking it
casual I turned into it, span around a few paces in and reached for the other pocket...

The three seedy looking youths that came squeezing into the alley stopped shot in the flickering light of an old street lamp, looking down the cavernous barrel of the .45ACP. I'm not inclined to travel in the wilder parts of the world unarmed.

"Lost something boys? Probably out on the street, it's behind you..."

They knew in an instant that that was the only quarter I was going to give, with a few hisses and curses they were gone, just how far I didn't know...

The alley led to a parallel street, I took it, then doubled around a few times before approaching the hotel from a different direction and into the lobby, through to the bar.

I was settling into another excellent Old Fashioned when a vision in silk glided onto the stool next to me. Chinese, perhaps twenty years old, and gorgeous.

I'll draw a veil over the rest of the night, lets just say I woke up feeling immortal, just as I do now actually :-)

It was interesting getting the cash back into Hong Kong, I probably should have declared it, but gambling money to me is not tax-subject. I walked off the ferry, found a taxi for the boss and headed for the nearest bank, amazing how nice people are in banks when you open a new account with cash.....

I still have that account, rarely used and mostly empty now, but that little windfall funded a lot of fun over the years, and I have never gambled again for money since that magical night.... :-)

The trip back to Australia was uneventful, but fun, I came to quite like the Albatross, a little sad when I passed it over to the pilot employed to fly it a couple of weeks later, didn't want the job myself, but was tempted.

There ya go, promised that story a while back, not balls to the wall combat, just a coda in my life, but seemed appropriate today.. :-)

Cheers
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