The Card Player cruise to the Mediterranean returned a few weeks ago,
and what a grand cruise it was. It had been my wife Debbie's and my
dream for several years to go on that particular cruise, and we were not
disappointed in the least. It was a fabulous trip during which we saw
sights that you dream about the Coliseum in Rome, St. Peter's Basilica at
the Vatican, and the ruins of ancient Pompeii. They were all magnificent.
There was one site not mentioned above that I must comment on. It was
one of the most unbelievable sites that I have ever witnessed. Maybe
unbelievable is not a strong enough description. Perhaps I should be
saying astonishing, amazing, and even beyond your wildest imagination.
Nothing is quite adequate enough to describe it, but I'm going to try.
Before I divulge the site, a little groundwork is in order. Every night or so
on the cruise, midway through dinner, the lights were turned up and
down to signify that a little show was about to begin. Then, the waiters
and busboys, dressed in the theme of the evening, came out dancing.
Everyone was in the spirit with singing and dancing, and the wine and
assorted beverages were taking effect. You get the picture.
Now, let me set the stage for you. We were in the middle of the
Mediterranean, the lights were going up and down, and out came all of
the waiters and busboys to the music "Hot, Hot, Hot." We were singing,
clapping, and having great fun. The next song was "The Macarena."
What happened next is now a legend on the high seas. "Oklahoma
Johnny" Hale decided to give 1,800 passengers and 100 crew members
his version of the Macarena. It was certainly a site to remember. Forget
Rome, Pompeii, and Tunisia they weren't even close to this.
In my life, I have seen Ted Williams hit a baseball, Magic Johnson show
his talent on the basketball court, and Joe Montana lead a last-second
touchdown drive. None of them, however, compares with Johnny's
performance of the Macarena. It was truly beyond description.
Naturally, Johnny got a standing ovation from everyone except those
who were rolling over with laughter. I'm not even sure that Johnny
himself, the great showman that he is, completely grasped the enormity
of the situation. It was like a Picasso and Michelangelo all rolled into one.
Wow, and I was actually there!
When all had quieted down, I cornered Johnny and told him that I would
be attending his upcoming Seniors V World Championship of Poker
tournament. I told him that I would play all of the events, and that I
would even give him a plug in my column if I could just see his Macarena
dance one more time.
Johnny said, "Well, pardner, if you'll play in all of my tournaments and will
give me a nice plug in your column, I'll not only do my dance for you, I'll
do it for everyone who's at my opening event."
I told Johnny that he had a deal.
"There's one more thing," Johnny added, "I need a couple of good
bottles of wine to get my rhythm."
I told him, "No problem."
Now, there is one problem. I am paid to write about poker, and so far in
this column, I've written nothing about poker. So, here is my proposition.
If my bosses let me run this column even though it is pokerless -- my
hand is now on the Holy Book -- I promise that in my next column, I will
write about poker, and maybe even poker strategy. I swear.
I'll see you at the 1998 Seniors V tournament.
For what it's worth...
A Site to Behold
By Vince Burgio