Undercover Boss

Undercover Boss

I was in Las Vegas last weekend playing a lot of poker, mostly at the Wynn casino.  In one session I got involved in a running banter with a young, confident, smart-alecky kid after cracking his big pocket pair.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him Michael.  He was more than a little bit full of himself, and kept asking when a massage therapist would visit our table.

About the same time as the massage therapist arrived, I learned that the player on my immediate right was celebrating her 28th birthday starting at the stroke of midnight.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call her “Denise.”  She was plain and pudgy and very quiet and sweet and scared money.  Other than her age, Denise projected very much the opposite image of Michael.

I insisted that Denise let me buy her a 5-minute massage as a birthday gift, using some of the chips I had taken from Michael.  As Michael’s massage was about to start, I got the attention of the massage therapist and asked if she would walk around to my side of the table for just a moment, then explained that I was hijacking the first 5 minutes for Denise.  Michael objected that he had been waiting three hours for a massage and couldn’t wait any longer.  (Life must be hard when you’re 20-something, in Vegas, with discretionary cash.)

One of the benefits of middle age combined with white privilege is the ability to pull rank just by force of will, which occasionally gives me great pleasure.  And yes, Denise would like some lotion, please and thank you!

poker massageA few minutes later, Michael’s massage begins, and he makes some snarky comment to the massage therapist.

“You’d better be nice to her,” I tell Michael.  “Otherwise, I’ll have your ass thrown out of here.  I’m the Undercover Boss!”


I ask if he’s familiar with that TV show.

“Yeah, I’ve watched it several times,” says Michael.

As I confirm that I’m the Undercover Boss, he starts scrambling to search on his phone browser for some kind of confirmation.  He doesn’t look so confident anymore.  Denise leans towards me and whispers “that was awesome!”

Pranking the youngsters.  One of life’s middle aged joys.


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