the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: poker

Double Entendres and Croissants


I had the cold first.  Then, I went over to Sophia to get some TLC, and got her sick.  So, by the end of the week, we were both miserable.

Friday, I took some pills and ventured out, mostly because I was excited to meet two bloggers coming to town from San Francisco — Kristy of She Just Walks Around With It and Ish of The Original Pawns of Comedy.  I really enjoyed meeting them and talking about blogging, writing, comedy, and all sorts of things.  We had lunch in Hermosa Beach and then took a walk on the beach right up to the waves. 

Being with people new to the area helped me look at LA in a new way.  I complain about living in Los Angeles a lot, but there is something to be said for living right by the beach, even if I sometimes feel like a fish-out-of-water in the beach culture — with the surfer dudes, the professional volleyball girls, and the ubiquitous fish tacos.

On Saturday, Sophia and I, still under the weather, spent most of the day inside, watching TV.  We especially enjoyed watching old game shows on the Game Show Network.  The highlight of the day was "The Newlywed Game," especially when Bob Eubanks asked the "wives" this question:

"Which of the following game show titles best describes your husband’s behavior lately in the whoopie department?"

A)  Concentration
B)  Make Me Laugh
C)  Beat the Clock

I thought I would have some fun with Sophia and ask her to play along.

"So, what’s your answer?"

"Whoopie meaning sex, right?"

"Yes.  So, which game show title best describes your husband’s behavior?  Concentration?  Make Me Laugh? Or Beat the Clock?"

"I never heard of any of those shows."

"They’re old shows.  Just pick one."

"I don’t know them.  Can I pick one I do know?"


"Wheel of Fortune."

"Wheel of Fortune doesn’t make sense."

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

"Millionaire doesn’t really work either.  It only works if it’s a double entendre."

"Millionaire could be a double entendre.  Like "My husband is worth a million bucks in the sack, or should I phone a friend?.""

"But it’s supposed to be funny.  It should be something making fun of the man’s inadequacy."

"Ok, if you insist.  How about, "My husband’s lovemaking is so blah, that every time we make whoopie, there’s a "Family Feud.""  That’s not bad.  Or my husband is so boring in the bedroom, he’s the ultimate "Hollywood Square."  Or "Let’s just say that when I make whoopie with my husband, the words "Weakest Link" always come to mind."   Better now?"

"OK, OK, I get it.  Let’s watch something else."

On Sunday, Sophia and I spent most of the day like Saturday — watching TV.

At some point, I got lustful feelings and tried to get flirty with the sniffling Sophia, who responded by hitting me in the head with a tissue box.  Sophia promptly fell asleep and I started watching one of those poker shows on TV. 

It was a high-stakes tournament going on at the Aviation Club in Paris.  There was a lot of excitement in the air.  As the players battled each other with their cards and chips, some ordered drinks from an attractive waitress.   Not that this was unusual for a casino.  But I was very surprised when one player asked to be brought a croissant.

A croissant!

How French I thought!  He’s playing for a million dollars, but still has time for a croissant!  I’ve always been fascinated by the French.  Their culture.  Their art.  Their wine.  Their beautiful woman.  My all-time favorite movie director is Frenchman Eric Rohmer.   One of my greatest joys with this blog is that I actually have readers in France.  I’m not sure how they found me, but I’m glad they did.  Like a lot of Americans, I was pissed at the French government’s siding with the Iraqis a couple of years ago, but I never went so far as to change the name of my French toast to Freedom toast. 

And what is more French than a croissant? 

Suddenly, my lustful feelings became focused on French baked goods.  I had a deep yearning for a croissant that just had to be satisfied.  I threw on my clothes and headed for the supermarket. 

But Vons Supermarket proved to be a big disappointment.   Their store brand of croissants looked awful.   A true croissant is much like a perfect bagel — there must be a perfectly modulated juxtaposition between the toughness of the exterior and the softness of the interior.   Vons Supermarket’s croissants looked like cut pieces of cardboard.

But now I had a problem?  Where the hell am I going to find a good croissant in Redondo Beach — where Tito’s Taco Shack is considered fine cuisine?  Luckily, I was able to find a foodie friend at home, who directed me to a bakery in Hermosa Beach.

An hour later, I returned home, holding a bag with two croissants, one for me and one for Sophia.   I thought about the intense pleasure that eating this croissant would give me — like a night of passion in Paris with the most beautiful French woman.

"Why do you go out for croissants?" asked Sophia.

"It was like inspiration.  I heard player in a poker tournament in Paris ask to be brought a croissant."

"No one asks for a croissant in the middle of a poker tournament."

"In France, they do.  You just don’t understand the French.  They have a lust for life.  When they want a croissant, they get a croissant."

"Let me see."

The game was still on Sophia’s Tivo.  She zoomed back to the exact moment I was talking about.   She started laughing.

"He didn’t say "croissant!"" said Sophia, who happens to speak French.   "He said "troi cents!"  He was asking another player if he had "troi cents" — three hundred [thousand] in chips."

"Oh," I said, feeling like an idiot.

We ate the croissants anyway.  Sophia loved hers, but it just wasn’t the same for me.

Man and Woman: Morning



"You were amazing last night," she said, stretching in my bed.

"I was?"

"I love it when a man is so masterful.  When he takes charge.   Why don’t you do that more often?"

"You liked it?"

"I loved it.  I want you to do it again tonight."

"I really wanted to please you so much.  So, I took those chances."

"The way you took your time… everything so slow… and then you went "all in.""

"It’s how you win in a Texas Hold ’em game.  I took a hundred bucks from all those women.  Woo-hoo!  The second time in two weeks.  Maybe I’ll win tonight, too." 

"I was so impressed.  But you’re giving me back my twenty dollars, right?  Right?"

"Sure," he said, bluffing.

Viva La iPod


I was playing Texas Hold-em Poker with Sophia and my mother when we got a little confused over what the dealer button meant.

"Go check out the ‘World Series of Poker’ I have recorded on TV," Sophia said.  "They explain it prety well."

I went to the living room to check out Sophia’s Tivo, which is not really a Tivo, but a Replay TV, but I always call it a Tivo, like some people always call a Pepsi a Coke, which must annoy the hell out of executives at Pepsico.  In fact, I sometimes go to Burger King and specifically ask for a Coke just to hear the beleaguered girl taking the order say for the thousandth time that day "We don’t have Coke.  Is Pepsi OK?"  So, yes, I do have a passive-aggressive streak.

When I got to the Tivo — I mean Replay TV, I noticed that Sophia had been taping every Texas Hold ’em show on TV. These poker shows have clearly taken over from the designing shows as the new flavor of the day.  There are poker games on Bravo, GSN, ESPN, and even the Travel Channel.  If there’s an excuse for a poker series, they’ll find one.  "Next on CSPAN:  Congressmen who love Texas Hold ’em Poker."

Now I understood why Sophia was winning every game.   At first, I thought she had just looked stupid wearing those sunglasses and that hooded sweatshirt, but now I see she was imitating the poker "masters"  — and intimidating us.

"Sophia, I’m having some trouble finding the show you wanted me to look at."

"It’s called ‘World Series of Poker."

"You have 2005, 2004, 2002, and 1998."

"Just pick any one."

I couldn’t figure out this Replay TV box.  I had to call Sophia for her assistance.

"What’s the matter with you?  You used to be so good with electronic things."

She was right.  After we started playing poker again, I lost interest.  I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said.  I quickly went "all in" and lost all my chips.   I started to head upstairs.

"Where are you going?" asked my mother.

"To the bedroom to sulk and ponder my life."

I sat on the bed and thought about the past.   At one time, people used to come to me to fix their computers.  But no more.  Now they always go to some fifteen year old cousin. 

Somewhere along the line, I lost interest in technology.  Perhaps it was the time several years ago when I started having sex on a regular basis.  Honestly, if you have a woman to play with, isn’t that enough to occupy you for the rest of your life?  Do you really need a Blackberry? 

I still use an old-fashioned CRT monitor.  My cellphone is clunky.  I do not own an iPod.  I’ve never touched an X-Box

But blogging has changed everything.   Many of my readers depend on me to keep them in touch with the latest and greatest, the hottest and the trendiest.  Some of you get all of your news from blogs, some of you are shut-ins on medication.  I have a responsibility to the community. 

So later this week, from Thursday to Sunday, rather than blabbing on about my usual mundane subjects, I will be attending The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  This is an enormous show that takes over the city as companies showcase the coolest gadgets coming out in 2006.   And Citizen of the Month will be blogging from the show floor.  There will be other bloggers there, including many from big time blogs. But only at Citizen of the Month will you get a unique perspective — from someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject. 

If you have any questions on what’s hot in consumer electronics, please ask me and I’ll be sure to get you a wrong answer.

Oh, by the way, I will be doing other things in Las Vegas other than attending this fascinating conference.  I will try my hand — for the very first time — playing real life Texas Hold ’em Poker.  Sophia even gave me this Hanukkah gift for me to wear at the table, so I can look like all the other professionals.   

(photo taken by Sophia on her cool, gadgety Nokia phone)

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