Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Roulez! Roulette!

DH was out of town last week and, except for the brief visit of my uncle DB and his wife VM, margarita-expert and life saver of Prissy, I saw no one all week. No one human anyway. I did see the horrid little chihuahua belonging to the people who live behind us. I saw that because it dug a hole under the fence and was waiting for me when I took the dogs outside. Pippin immediately proceeded to chase it into the narrow gap between the pool and the fence -- a gap lined with prickley palm trees -- and engage it in battle. I had to climb in there after him to break up the dog-fight. I was not a happy camper, and if my toe wasn't still broken, I would have seriously considered drop-kicking the little rat-faced monster back over the wall. Instead I hauled Pip out by the tail and screamed curses at the rat till it was scared enough to go back on its own. I shoved a piece of stone into the gap, hoping it would be enough to prevent further incursions, but I have my doubts.

DH had another business trip this week, to Port Arthur, Texas. Since that only requires a drive of about 6 hours, rather than enduring another 5 days of stomach-hurting, toe-aching, dog-fighting solitude, I decided to go with him. We arrived last night, and thus far, accompanying him is turning out to be more entertaining than staying home. The drive itself would have been interminable, except DH was driving my new car and he obliged me with impressions of old-school race car driver Jackie Stewart about our "fine European touring sedan."

"Drive spectacular!" he said. I have to admit, DH does a remarkably funny version of a Scottish accent.

I, in turn, obliged him with shrieking harridan impressions about "Veering!" and "Speeding!" and, "Dammit if you don't slow down you are GOING to get a SPEEDING TICKET!" Yeah; I'm sure he was really amused by that.

Port Arthur, which was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Ike, has never had much in the way of hotels, but it's nearly impossible to get a room in those they have because FEMA, in their glorious ineptitude, hasn't, even after 6+ weeks, done much to help the victims repair their houses, so, naturally, the hotels are filled with storm victims. The nearest hotel room we found turned out to be 60 miles away, in our old home, Lake Charles, Louisiana. However unhappy DH is about driving 120 miles to and from the hotel to his meetings, staying in Lake Charles is not a problem for me.

What's also not a problem is that the hotel room we found is in L'Auberge du Lac, the fancy high-rise casino they were building here when we moved away. I'm not a fan of casinos, but this place is a completely different world to the other local casinos. For one thing, it's massive; according to the brochure, it's 26 stories tall. For another thing, unlike most other casinos on the Gulf Coast (except for Beau Rivage in Mississippi), rather than being a hotel next to a ridiculous little river-boat, it's land-based, and it has a golf course, a huge pool, bunches of restaurants, and tons of high-end shops.

DH knew someone who got us the special comp rate reserved for "members" (i.e., high rollers) and apparently we've been flagged as such because people keep asking me, "Do you feel lucky?" So far, I managed to stick to smiling vaguely and nodding rather than saying anything for fear that what would come out of my mouth would be along the lines of, "Actually, since you asked, I don't feel particularly lucky right now because I'm in heinous pain from a recent major surgery and a broken toe; my arms and legs are covered with scratches from breaking up a dog fight; I've paid a deposit to the phone company for a line that hasn't been turned on although it was supposed to be last Friday; and THIS HOTEL decided to test the fire alarm system at the break of dawn so there was NO chance of sleeping in. How about YOU? Do YOU feel lucky?" Ahem ... I'm afraid that might be construed as slightly threatening, so it seems prudent to smile and nod.

I'd intended to spend today in one of my favorite pursuits: drinking mai tais in a cabana by the pool, but alas, a cold front has come through and the high temperature is only supposed to reach 65F, so that's a non-starter. This leaves me with the choice of limping, Quaisimodo-like, down to the casino or the shops -- neither of which seems very intelligent considering the morning news headlines are all about the world economy circling the drain.

On second thought, perhaps I will hit the casino. I got to have one of my favorite Southern delicacies for breakfast this morning: grits. Maybe that means my luck is turning. Hell, it can't get much worse without someone (probably ME) actually being dead! I need to find my one-and-only pair of shoes that still fits; I think have a date with the one-armed bandit (and maybe, just maybe, an indoor mai tai).


Bon chance a moi -- laissez les bon temps roulez!

p.s. I find it annoying that I can't get accented characters to work on my keyboard. Just so's you know.


JB said...

Tam -- your luck is BOUND to change, isn't it? At least you still have a sense of humor about everything. Hope you win big!

Tess said...

Bonne chance, ma chère :) Hope your day in the casino goes well.

And that the car ride home is just as entertaining :) Sean too does a wicked Jackie Stewart impression. He and your DH together could be dangerous!

tamsaunt said...

You poor thing. I really feel for you having to rough it in that hotel.