Mr. Know-It-All grabs the deck and shuffles it fourteen times before handing it back to me. More cash is piled on the table. With an unsettling aura of complete relaxation, I begin to slowly deal cards. I say contemptibly, “Watch very closely! Are you watching?”
Know-It-All only grunts, restraining himself from edging his face inches from the deck. The cards, he would swear, are apparently coming off the top. Everything seems fair and above board, yet half of my moves are not square. I make sure Know-It-All’s cards are unplayable. At the end of playing four hands, the ex-blow-hard wins nothing.
The other two are very polite and seemingly embarrassed with their host, yet they never give it a second thought when the jerk compels them to keep putting up cash.
Know-It-All’s voice has a stifled, underlying tone of fury. I scoop up the additional cash and say, “Thanks for an interesting evening. Next time you induce your friends to play, I suggest playing on your own dime.”