Deadheads in Atlantic City

The following is an expunged scene from my Grateful Dead script Wave That Flag:

INT. TAJ MAHAL CASINO. NIGHT.

Davis, Skylar, Chig and Gomi enter the Trump Taj Mahal Casino, crowded with people, including some Deadheads. They walk down the carpeted passageway between hundreds of slot machines and gaming tables.

SKYLAR (Stopping at a Wheel of Fortune slot machine): Oh, Wheel of Fortune!

GOMI: You don’t want to do that. They’ll just steal your money.

SKYLAR: But I like Wheel of Fortune.

Skylar inserts a dollar bill and does a full dancing spin before pulling on the lever. She loses.

SKYLAR: Oh, spit and curses.

She does another dancing spin, pulls down the arm and loses again.

GOMI: What did I tell you?

Skylar puts in another dollar and does another spin.

CHIG (Nodding across the aisle): What about some Blackjack, man?

DAVIS: I’m game.

Chig, Gomi and Davis sit down at the Blackjack table, each putting out $40-60 dollars. DEALER, an older Chinese man, looks them over.

DEALER: IDs?

Each shows their identifications and sit down. Chig and Davis place down $20 bets, Gomi $5.

DEALER: $20 minimum, sir.

GOMI: $20?

DEALER: That is correct, sir.

Gomi puts out the $20. Dealer deal cards and beats all hands with a 20. Each place another $20 bet.

DEALER: Bets are in?

GOMI (Citing Grateful Dead’s Loser): I know a little something you will never know.

DEALER: Bets are in.

Dealer deals cards. Chig gets a 17, Davis gets an 18 and Gomi two Kings for 20.

GOMI: (Citing Loser): Last fair deal in the country.

Dealer reveals his own Blackjack.

GOMI: If I had a gun for every ace he’s drawn!

WAITRESS: Cocktails?

CHIG: Scotch, rocks.

GOMI: Make it two.

DAVIS (Laying out another $20 bill): Budweiser, thanks.

Dealer exchanges the money for a green chip, which Davis places on a bet. Dealer deals Chig a Blackjack.

DAVIS: Nice job, man!

Chig stacks his winnings, $30, on top of his original bet.

DEALER: Bets are in.

Chig is dealt another winning hand – a 19 – while Dealer goes bust. A group of people – some of them Deadheads – stop to watch. Davis places his money, now $100, on the next hand.

DEALER: Bets are in.

Chig is dealt a 17, facing Dealer’s King.

CHIG: Hit me.

DAVIS: No, man. You’ve got a 17.

CHIG: He’s a got a 20. (To Dealer) Am I right?

CHIG is dealt a 3, giving him 20. People in the crowd mutter exclamations, “Sweet!”, etc.

GOMI (High-fiving a Deadhead behind him): Nice hit!

CHIG (After a moment): Stay.

Dealer reveals an 18. Chig takes the money, hesitates before placing it all on his next bet.

DAVIS: All of it? No.

DEADHEAD IN CROWD: All of it, man!

DEALER: Bets are in.

Chig is dealt another Blackjack.

DAVIS: Blackjack! Holy shit!

DEALER: Sir. Language.

CHIG (Citing Loser, like Gomi): Last fair deal in the country!

Chig stacks the $500 in chips and pushes it all back out.

GOMI: Last fair deal in the town.

DEALER: Bets are in.

Chig is dealt a 16, facing Dealer’s 4.

CHIG: Stand.

Dealer flips his 4 to reveal a 7.

DAVIS: 11? Holy shit. No!

DEALER: Sir.

CHIG (Citing Loser again): Just a cup of cold coffee.

The crowd begins to break up just as Dealer places another 4 down, giving him 15.

GOMI: Gonna get up in the morning…

Dealer places a King down, busting.

CHIG: Bust!

The people return to watch, others joining.

CHIG (Giving him a hard high-five): Last fair deal in the country!

SKYLAR (Arriving): Spit and curses. You’re winning!

CHIG stacks his chips, the crowd of people leaning in anxiously.

DEALER: Color up, sir?

GOMI (Citing Grateful Dead’s Deal): Before you let his deal go down?

SKYLAR: You’re winning. Cool.

Waitress returns with the drinks. Chig gives her a $10 chip and pushes the rest back out as a bet.

GOMI: Like Lyle and his crazy mad weed, man.

DEADHEAD IN CROWD (Citing Loser): Come to daddy on an inside straight!

DEALER: Bets are in.

Chig drinks off half of his beer and looks down to see a pair of Aces.

GOMI: Can’t split those. (Pause) No money.

CHIG: You can look the wide world over…

Chig taps the table, indicating he would like a hit, and gets a Queen of Diamonds.

CHIG (Citing Loser again): I can tell the Queen of Diamonds–

Davis taps the table again and gets a Nine of Diamonds.

GOMI, CHIG, DAVIS (together): By the way she shines!

They watch as Dealer gets an 18.

CHIG (Pushing in chips): Color up.

DEALER: Yes, sir.

SKYLAR (Spinning around): Let’s go swimming!

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