Basically, it went something like this. I was a bit tired when it happened, and not really concentrating, when I suddenly thought I heard the words “Chocolate Welsh Cake” being spoken. A little further on, I thought I heard it again, but this time, as I was concentrating slightly better, I realised that what was in fact being said were the words “Stop Requested”. These are the words spoken by a machine when someone presses the button to stop the bus. Imagine it being said in a strong American accent – surely you can see the similarities! Well, it then occurred to me what a good idea that of a chocolate Welsh Cake would be, and I vowed to make some on my return (see page 40). It could also be a form of tongue twister I think – try saying “Chocolate Welsh Cake, stop requested” fast! Not easy!
Well anyway, eventually I made it to my next destination, only to discover that the door fee here, despite it being around 18 hours in to the 24 hour event, far from being free, was $80! The chances of me paying this were, like a typical American, fat. I had a quick go at blagging a guest-list place, to no avail, and despite being the person to encourage me to come over, Mr C had neglected to put me on his guest-list. So back I went to the motel!
I spent that evening in the company of another of the motel’s guests, a gentleman going by the name of Big Money Mike. Big Money was ex-military, and now, amongst other things, a drug dealer. He’d scared me slightly when I’d referred to him as a “chap” and taken offence while slightly stoned the day before, but he was harmless really, and in fact quite entertaining. He wore dark glasses constantly, as well as hat, chains, etc. He had a $100 bill chain, which he sold to one of Terry’s cousins, a chunky watch, and a silver bracelet, which I ended up buying. We played some cards – it turned out that despite definitely having the look, Big Money was not much of a poker player, and I beat him easily. We also played some pool at a bar down the road, and he wasn’t an especially good pool player either. We ordered some food, and I got an idea of how an American orders food. Basically, we ordered about 3 times as much as I might normally have ordered, including some tasty ribs, chicken and chips. Well, it was all good fun, I suppose.
On my final day, I vowed to try and win some of the money I’d spent on the trip back by playing poker at a nearby casino. I’d been told there was a tournament in the afternoon, but it turned out there were only cash games, but I still tried my luck. I started off playing limit hold-em, which is not really my game, as there is less skill involved and fewer opportunities to bluff. I lost a fair bit playing this. I was about to leave around $100 down, but I took out another $50, continued on to a no limit table, and ended up leaving the place around $40 up, after having won around $100 in one hand (slow playing a full house reaped rewards against a player who had pocket aces). I hadn’t made enough to cover the trip, exactly (!), but at least I didn’t lose, and it was quite fun to have a proper game in the game’s true home country.
So finally, the next day, I was due to return. It had been a funny week. I hadn’t really taken part in the WMC all that much, as had been the plan, but really, I just couldn’t afford it. I think if I’d properly researched how much it was all going to cost before pressing the “buy ticket” button, there’s no way I would’ve gone. I’d have probably been quite content staying in the UK that weekend, and going to watch Crystal Palace v Cardiff, and The School in London, as had been the original plan. Really, I regret not doing that now, but still, it was an adventure going to Miami. I would definitely return, in fact, I’d actually quite like to live there. Perhaps once I’ve made my money selling chocolate Welsh Cakes!….