Good humor

Robroy has not always been the steely eyed card shark you see standing before you today.

At 23, I was about as far from that as you can get.  Emotional, insecure and a lousy liar, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be okay in life.  This was back in Chicago.  I was teaching creative writing by day while earning my MFA by night.  At the same time I was trying to fit in with a talented group of very funny writers and actors I’d met at Columbia College.

One night, they invited me to a game of Texas Hold’em.  The five players were:

  • Tom Bell, future writer for “Storm Chasers”
  • Dino Stamatopoulos, future writer for Conan O’Brien
  • Andy Dick, future actor on “NewsRadio”
  • Mike Stoyanov, future actor on “Blossom”
  • And me.

The pressure was on.  Tom dealt, and we all peeked at our cards.  While the guys frowned around their cigars and squinted at the board, I tried to follow suit, so to speak.  Tom glanced at me.  “Your action, sir.”  I was up.

“Raise!” I said.  Everyone stared at me.  Play stopped.

“Does that mean you want to, like, raise?” Andy said.  Dino giggled.

“Oh.”  I put in three white chips, blushing.

Mike looked at me from under his green visor.  I could feel him trying to size me up.  “Let me ask you something, Rob,” he said.  “Are you a poker man?”

“Heck, no,” I said.  “I’m an ice cream man.”

What that means, I don’t know, but everyone laughed.  So I was okay.

Read ’em and weep, gentlemen!

(Read my column, “Working Life,” in the Baltimore Business Journal)

· Andy Dick, future actor on the TV show “NewsRadio”

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2 Responses to “Good humor”

  1. Eric Rommel says:

    Good save, man.

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