Pennies from Heaven II
The best jokes can take an unexpected twist, and take on a life of their own. We had been playing at the Nugget in Reno for
two weeks, and Roger, our guitarist, had lost more money than he wanted to admit. Although he hadn't said much, he was
apparently pretty bitter towards the casino and gambling in general.
We had played the last show the night before, and were checking to be sure all of the equipment had been loaded into the
storage bins of the bus, which was parked on the street near the loading dock. Danny and I were out in the street, and
Roger was on the sidewalk, on the opposite side of the bus.
I winked at Danny, then took some loose change from my pocket and tossed it over the bus, trying to get a rise out of
Roger. At first, I didn't get a response, so I threw a few more. Danny tapped me on the arm and pointed. Roger was walking
out into the street, looking up at the side of the casino. There were office windows up there, and he was so upset about the
money he'd lost, that he actually imagined that the casino employees was taunting him by dropping nickels and pennies
down on him. He walked right by us, out to the yellow line in the middle of the street, and he was yelling, "You think that's
funny, do ya?! Well, why don't you come down here and try throwin' pennies at me!! You peckerwoods ever had a Cullman
County boy whup up on ya?!"
I said, "What's the matter, Rog?" He just kept yelling, "Yea, they think it's real funny, stealin' our money in those machines,
now they're sittin' up there in their office throwin' pennies at us! I'll whup their asses, if they'd jes come down here, the
COWARDS!!" Danny and I drifted down the sidewalk to a casino entrance, slipped through the door, and fell to our knees in
laughter. Through the door, we could still see him out in the street; shaking his fist and yelling up at the building like some
crazy homeless guy.