People watching is the best show on earth...

Sep 22, 2007


. Sep 22, 2007


I made a day trip to a local Indian casino yesterday and once there, remembered why we don't do it more often. It's extremely crowded; navigating slot machine aisles proves difficult without constantly bumping into others searching for empty machines. Eager players stand behind those already seated, waiting for their credits to disappear. Finally, I find a machine and plop on the stool, still warm from the last person's rear end.

I begin playing and glance at my neighbors. A petite Asian lady plays to my left, repeatedly moving her hand across the screen with every spin. A big white guy plays to my right. He is about 25, with a shaved head covered with small beads of perspiration. A girl stands by his side, biting her fingernail. He bangs his fist on the spin button again and again. Suddenly, he stands to go. As he does, a short older Asian lady inserts her player's card into his machine before he cleared the chair:

Man: Hey! You fuckin' bitch! You greedy bitch! Wait!
(He snatches her card out of the slot and throws it on the floor)
Lady: I, I, sorry.
Man: I, I, I, I! Fuck you, you ugly chink bitch!
(He steps on her card and kicks it away. He puts his hands on either side of his face and stretches out his features.)
Man: I, I, I hate you fuckin' people!

The lady bows her head a little, glancing nervously at the floor and back at the man. She places her hands together, palms touching, and holds them out in front of her, gently shaking them up and down. Again, she says "I sorry". The man's girlfriend is wide-eyed. She pulls at her boyfriend's large bicep with both hands, urging him away. He looks back at the lady several times while his girlfriend pushes him down the aisle, repeatedly kissing his cheek. He turns and yells, "I HATE you!" one last time before disappearing from the aisle.

Someone has retrieved the lady's card and gives it back to her. She sits down slowly on the stool. She is quietly crying. Security arrives but she waves them away, shaking her head and repeating, "No trouble! No trouble!". They try again to speak with her. Someone brings her a bottle of water. She continues waving her hands and gets off the stool. Her knees buckle and she falls to the ground.

27 Whispers:

kml said...

He is one of the reasons this planet will never see peace.

If his girlfriend is wise she will leave before it's too late.

Creative Blogger said...

In response to your BC thread I would in this situation probably be so shocked I'd do nothing or I would try to usher the lady away from him. I would not tackle him as experience has taught me that people like this are nuts and likely to be violent. I am no match for a man so I would take the lady and leave.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with KML above. This must have been a horrible thing to see... He is so blind and so egotistical that he can't even see that he is the problem here and not her. How thoroughly depressing. I don't know that I could have witnessed that and not intervened.

Vienne said...

Hi Karen, along with hearing his hateful voice in my head, I am imagining what his girlfriend sees in him. How does he treat her if she angers him? What must he be like as a neighbor or a friend, a son? Perhaps his friends wouldn't believe this story. Maybe losing his money made him crack. Still, racial hatred like that can't stay under the surface too long. Beware, I say.

DrowseyMonkey said...

His girlfriend probably thinks along the same lines he does, and she probably thought he was justified.

Poor woman, the one he yelled at I mean.

Monday Morning Power said...

I have been to Vegas many, many times and unfortunately it can bring out the worst in people. The "winners" play the slots and games for entertainment, win or lose........they have fun. The "losers" play the games for the underlying need for "more" or better known as "greed." Both the man with the shaved head and the Asian women were "losers" but they manifested this in different ways.

I really like the way you described the event. Very well written....then, I think you know that.

Alan said...

I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed and appreciated your posts on this blog. A tin ear for dialog is my biggest weakness as a writer and I find your observations most helpful.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

It was best to let the casino handle this. I can hear your pounding heart.

I'm glad the Ox was handled by his girlfriend, who obviously was used to this type of behavior. Her biting her nails while he used the slot machine shows she was ready for an outburst.

And the Asian lady was used to getting verbally abused and knew not to make more trouble for herself later on, probably from experience.

I'm sorry you witnessed this and sorry the world has morons walking around in it.

Hugs, JJ

Incurable Insomniac said...

Reason #2568 why I'm becoming an expat next year.

Vienne said...

Monday Morning, I like your definitions of winners & losers in the gambling context. I, too, enjoy weekend trips to Vegas a few times a year. It truly is fantasy land and, so far, I can keep that perspective. I go expecting to lose all my spending money. Sure, it sucks when that invariably happens, but it's not like my expectation to hit a million bucks is shattered. Still, everyone has their addictions and from what I hear, gambling and rage are often bedfellows. Throw in some racial hatred and well, recipe for a human bomb, I think.

Vienne said...

Hi Alan, 'tin ear' - I love that! My weakness is plot, a rather essential element wouldn't you say? I am comfortable developing almost all aspects of characters, dialogue, behavior, personality, etc. But to fit them all together in the bigger picture sometimes leaves me stumped. We all have our specialties, I guess. Glad you find these windows on the world helpful!

Vienne said...

Hi JJ, pounding heart and gaping mouth, that's for sure. The whole scene was disturbing, but I think what really struck me was when she sort of collapsed to the ground. She was really afraid and maybe this treatment brought back some horrible memories. Maybe she was Cambodian - the Khmer Rouge? I don't know...anyway, beware the morons, eh? It would be fun to have a "beware of the moron" sticker to slap on people's backs.

Vienne said...

Incurable Insomniac, where are you moving to, or am I taking that too literally! I read an amusing post on my friend Cat's blog a while back called "Los Angeles Expat". You might find it funny. You can find it by clicking the "Ultra Jam" link on my blogroll, if you like.

Anonymous said...

Yes. All those same thoughts and questions came to me as well. Alan's comment about your "tin ear" was great. It is a gift that you have and we are so fortunate that you share it. Thanks for all your posts.

Getty72 said...

Thanks you for writing such a moving post. Anybody with any true sence of compasion will feel anger against the guy.

We have a problem in the UK, where the law is so stupidly unbalanced that you could end up in trouble if you got involved. All you are allowed to do is phone the police if you see somebody being bulied or beaten.... the trouble is, the police don't do anyting when you do phone them.

I just hope his girlfriend sees sense and finds a better guy.

Once again, thanks for a very important and moving post.

Vienne said...

Hello getty72,
Yes, that is certainly frustrating. I do think it's dangerous to interfere sometimes, but to completely forbid it, well, that sounds extreme. Sometimes the crooks are more protected than we are. Thanks for your compliments. I appreciate the comment!

To Karen: *blush* I'm flattered.

Happily Anonymous said...

Very sad. Racist and apparently he felt the need to lash out at someone over the fact that he lost money as well. Casino's usually have great cameras and hopefully they can view the tape and ban him from coming back again.

Steven said...

Scary! My heart was racing after reading that. You certainly have a talent for descriptive and emotional writing. I was sucked right into that scene...felt the adrenalin.

I wish you could tell me it was fiction.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Being as this is a blog for turning overheard life into fiction I'd say the encounter, while uncomfortable, gave you good material.

Vienne said...

Thanks, Steven. My heart was racing, too.

Hello Glenn, good material indeed. I've been working on a villian who everyone's "Mr. Nice Guy" and struggling with outlets I can give him to reveal some of his rage. I just might give him some racial undertones.

Agnes Mildew said...

I found reading this very disturbing. It's when you hear of things like this that you realise some of us haven't climbed up the evolutionary chain very far. There is way too much ignorance and bigotry in this world, which lies mainly in the Western World. It is shameful. I wish I knew a solution.


That's really saddening. If I were there, I would have kicked his ass...but wait, I have to be careful as I am also Asian...really hard to cope when you are off your territory. I would have guessed the woman was Korean, Koreans usually bow their head as a form of respect and submission...That guy was really a loser..His attitude stinks to the bone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vienne, I read some of your blog posts. I know I am an incredibly slow blog commentor since you commented on my blog a week ago. I hope you understand. Anyway, this is a great idea and I will be adding you to my list so I can check back every so often. You're story that you requested is number 2, I still have to write the one about the buzzards. I appreciate you coming by and participating in my project.

Vienne said...

Hello! I'm going to try combining my replies to readers so you don't get sick of my avatar in my own comments area.

Agnes, it was truly disturbing. I even found recounting it in writing was more unsettling, it that makes any sense. It somehow makes it a more permanent memory for me.

Lord Manila, I would have enjoyed watching you do that! Thank you for shedding some light on that Korean custom. I now understand her gesture, which actually makes me feel even worse for her.

J.Scott, no problem at alll! I totally understand how time gets away from us. I am really looking forward to my story! Thank you for visiting.

The Writing Nag said...

I was thinking the same thing about the girlfriend, if she stays with him watch out! very disturbed individual.

deathsweep said...

Vienne, you hit the nail right on the head with your term "human bomb". I wonder if he would have been so quick to voice his ugly opinions if the shoe were on the other foot. It's easy to flex your "weak" muscles when dealing with an obviously frailer person. I would have liked to see her kick the shit out of that guy and put him in his place. But that's me.


Vienne said...

Hi Deathsweep, I've imagined some pleasing endings myself. A good number involve him meeting with physical violence and slinking away with his tail between his legs. One can only dream.


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