Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

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    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Thoughts Flitting Hither and Yon

    I've nothing to write about, but I have 30 minutes to kill, so let's see what happens. Oh, my 2nd article is up at I've been working on some poker-themed fiction that I haven't worked on recently, and I may shift my attention from playing poker to writing about it more.

    I did have a good night playing some limit last night, scoring a 20BB win, but alas I was only playing $.25/.50 in an attempt to cool my tilting mind and so I'm not out out buying a new suit or anything. Still, that won back to SNG buy-ins, making up in part for taking the worst beat possible in poker. I mean, if there are only 2 cards in the deck to beat you, and the other guy needs them runner-runner, and they can't get worse than that, right? Statistically speaking?

    I still feel lousy from the flu/cold whatever I had. I didn't do much since Thursday night, when I played volleyball. And forgot to take my kneepads and sweaty clothes out of the bag I left on the front seat of my car. Which I haven't driven since Thursday. Need I describe the odor that seemed to permeate every square inch of my car's interior? My kneepads STINK. I didn't know knees sweated so much, and the sweat they produce seems to be concentrated with the most noxious biochemicals. Yes, I wash them every so often, but even a double-run through the washer does nothing but free up stink-space for the next night's exercise.

    When I was in college I took a racquetball class, and as I'd played most of my life I was one of the better players. One of the other experienced players was a guy who, had he made the mistake of wandering around Iraq at the time of the invasion, would have been grabbed up by some strike team hunting WMD's and paraded before the UN as proof of Saddam's evil plans. Nice guy, good player, had body odor that could strip the paint off a pickup truck. Because we were pretty close in ability we usually ended up playing each other, and being cooped up with this guy, even in a space as large and high-ceilinged as a racquetball court, was like getting a sneak-preview of the gas chamber.

    He didn't look dirty, per se--he came to class looking like he'd showered during the last lunar cycle. Like I said, he was a nice guy, smart guy, majoring in some manner of engineering. And he stunk like a corpse. And for some reason, his was a stink that broadcast itself over a wide area. You didn't have to be standing next to him to get your eyes watering. I'm sure there were folks in the bowling alley down in the basement sniffing their shoes and wondering, "Maybe a yeti wore these last class..."

    I remember this one point, the guy hit a pinch shot in the frontcourt and I tried to pass him along the left wall. He got it and put the ball past me toward the back wall. I had to run past him to take the shot off the wall, and as I raced by I got hit with such a nauseating wave of BO that I whiffed when I swung. I swooned--the stink temporarily blinded me. I think that's the only time in my competitive sports career that I botched a play because I was overcome by another player's crippling stench.

    One class we played cutthroat (3-man) with another guy. We had ourselves a good time, and afterwards hit the showers. As I got my towel from my locker I noticed the third player looking at me, but I could tell he wasn't looking. He was smelling. Gingerly.

    "It wasn't me," I said.

    He tested the wind again and shook his head in agreement. "I didn't think so. How do you play with him every week?"

    "I try to stay upwind."

    He nodded and said, "I'm glad I didn't eat breakfast this morning."

    The only stink in recent memory that could compare to my old RB buddy is my nephew Bryce's shoes. Bryce is six, and he's in a phase where he hates to wear socks. Typical pain-in-the-ass little kid. Anyway, he comes over a month ago, it's like 13 degrees outside, we're going to dinner in an hour, and he takes of his shoes and he's not wearing any goddam socks.

    "Where are your goddam socks?" I ask, and he says he hates wearing them, and I ask he's learned how to spell "hypothermia" or "amputation" in his first-grade class yet. I look at his shoes. At the liners. They should be blue. They're black. My nostrils involuntarily flare. Why oh why did God wire us so that, when we KNOW we're about to be confronted with a really ghastly smell, we feel COMPELLED to lean it close and take a sniff? When I see a glowing crackly orangy thing in a fireplace I don't feel the need to shove my hand in the middle of it. Just a quirk of evolution, I guess. Or intelligent design, if that's your thing. Tho this doesn't seem to be too intelligent...

    I took in a thimbleful of the ambient air. And the world came to an end. I mean, it was like I was standing in the middle of some immense Gothic cathedral and someone slammed their hands down on every key of the hyper-amplified pipe organ. I reflexively pushed the shoe away from my face and twisted my head away. I was about to let loose a stream of expletives, but if I had I've no doubt that my lunch would've come pouring out instead of curses.

    "What's wrong?" my wife asked from the kitchen.

    "Smell this" I gasped through clenched teeth and esophagus.

    Hmm. I'm on my knees, green as pesto, with an expression on my face like I just french-kissed a zombie. Should I have been surprised when she said, "I don't think so," and went back about her business?

    I brought out my arsenal of chemical weapons. First I tried Febreeze. Ha! Febreeze! Like pouring a Dixie cup full of lemonade on an uncapped oil well. I can't use Febreeze without laughing because of a blurb that appeared on The Onion awhile back. They have these little teasers for the "articles" inside, and one read, "BLIND DATE REEKS OF FEBREEZE". I'm sorry, that probably doesn't seem funny to you, but I was on the floor.

    As I was after smelling that shoe. I trotted out the Lysols. Why we have 4 different flavors of Lysol in our house I cannot say, but I blame my cats. There are times you want a nice, fresh bathroom smell from your deodorizer, and then there are times when you gotta get that catboxy funk outta the game room in 17 seconds because company just showed up. Different tools for different jobs.

    I tried the smell neutralizer first. No good, as this was no neutral smell. I tried the industrial strength stuff, the one in the gleaming white can. For the first time we had results--I could get his shoe to within 12 inches of my nose without my gag reflex flexing. Then I tried the potpourri scented one--mistake. I needed to REDUCE the number of olfactory compounds at work, not add them, no matter how pleasing they might be on their own. The effect was like lighting a Yankee candle in a hole containing 500 recently exhumed trout.

    I find it odd that I've just wasted all this time writing about stuff that stinks. Then I remembered how I've been playing lately. About as bad as Bryce's shoes. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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