Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Day in the Life: Two Tournaments, Lots of Shitty French Beer, and the Street Blowjob

By Pauly
London

When I went to bed on Thursday night (well actually it was around 5:30am on Friday morning), Nicky was still at work. Her assignment was running long. At that point it was closing in on 16 hours.

When I woke up, neither her or my flat mate Gloria were around. I assumed that the tournament they were covering ran super late and they went out for drinks and/or breakfast. I logged online and discovered that the tournament was still running. At that point it was reaching the 20 hour mark.

Gloria and Garry had early morning flight to head back to the States and missed both. Garry was on the verge of missing his rescheduled flight. That's when I offered up my services. Fresh troops. I was supposed to cover the EPT London at a casino across town around noon. I told my partner in crime Snoopy to cover for me and I headed down to Leicester Square.

I sort of felt a bit like Mo Rivera trotting out of the bullpen of Yankee Stadium. I even hummed Enter Sandman as I rushed down Charring Cross Road.

My buddy Owen likened me more to Flash Gordon than Mo. He might have been right. Maybe it was more like coming out of the bullpen to pitch the bottom of the 21st inning in a marathon of a baseball game. And then I get the win.

When I stepped inside the Empire Casino, everyone was dead tired. The audience. The poker players. The staff. The camera crew. And especially my fellow media reps. I bright eyed and busy tailed and ready to kick ass. I prepped for the long haul. Three hours? Five hours? Who knows with poker tournaments.

Garry left and about twenty minutes later, I invoked my cooler powers. Las Vegas pro John Juanda won a massive pot and minutes later he finished off his young Russian counterpart.

I walked Nicky back home to the flat. Rolled up a smoke for myself. Then headed back out. I hopped on the tube just at the same time I would have had I not rushed down to cover the other tournament. I arrived at work and spent 11 more hours or so at the Vic. We actually had an early night all things considered.

I only wanted one beer. My colleagues were hanging out at the bar by the exit. One turned into 8. Pinky and his wife stopped by and we had some very interesting chats about media, London, and episodes of The Office (UK version) that I never saw.

I had missed the last tube and I didn't want to ride the night bus because it would be filled with drunks and hooligans. I luckily found an available cab. I asked him to drop me off a block away from my apartment. There's a 24 hour Subway and a McD's open late. I craved fries and went inside McD's only to discover that 50+ drunks were waiting in line. I wandered over to the Subway which was empty. I ordered a six inch meatball sub for £3.50 or almost $7.

I ate it and crossed the street. There's a club in the ground floor of our apartment complex. I passed by and the music pumped out into the street as party people stood outside smoking cigarettes. Two old immigrant women attempt to sell everyone roses and other assorted flowers. One stopped me.

"£3 for one," she said.

I counter offered £1. She refused to budge. I walked away and she grabbed my arm.

"£2. I have five children to feed."

I repeated my counter offer. She refused to let me go. I took another bite of the meatball sub and ask her where she was from.

"Romania," she said.

"Ah, Romania.... Chauchescu?"

"Chauchescu is dead!" she screamed and then angrily spit on the ground.

I tried to walk away and she finally caved in. She handed me a rose and I gave her one quid.

I walked about forty feet when I saw two people. One guy leaned up against the wall while another figure pulled down the guy's pants. It was another guy and he began blowing him in few view of the smokers and the Romanian flower women. They were a few steps from the entrance to my flat. I had a few bites left in my meantball sandwich and finished it off as I stood in amazement as I watched one guy blow another guy.

Ah, just another glimpse into the streets of Soho at 3am on a Friday night.

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