by Jake Jacobs
10 September 2014
Thirty years ago while living in Las Vegas I had a series of roommates. My brother owned a three-bedroom condo; besides the two of us the third bedroom was occupied by Timmy Wisecarver, famed as the discoverer of the Wisecarver Paradox. It was a typical bachelor pad, if typical bachelors keep stacks of computer printouts listing cube equities in the kitchen cabinets, and have nothing in the fridge except half empty Heinekens, Junior Mints boxes, and jugs of water. The beer and candy, and once in a while a favorite pen, belonged to Timmy; the water was shared by me and Munch.
A year after I arrived Munchkin was finally ready to make his move to Hollywood and stardom, while Timmy figured that at age forty it was time to finish school. But before either of them departed we acquired a fourth roommate, courtesy of Craig Chellstorp. Craig dreamt of making his fortune backing blackjack players. He had an investment in my bankroll, and doubled down by convincing a young player from California to move to Vegas, where he would teach him how to strike terror in the hearts of casino bosses.
Peter the young player arrived, and slept on our sofa until Timmy moved out. Responsibility for training him devolved upon me; meanwhile, Timmy taught him how to dress. Then Cathy, Craig's girlfriend, fixed the fashion damage done by Timmy. Peter was an entertaining roommate. In the first month he lost the house key seven times, and blew up his car with most of his belongings (one of the reasons he needed new clothes). Coming from San Francisco, he brought Timmy's bridge books from storage, and after Timmy aired them out on every surface in the living room they joined the backgammon printouts in the kitchen cabinets.
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