I see that AZ is back in the news for wanting people who use their hospitals to provide some ID.
That reminded me of what my old bud Poker Player had to say about his last trip to Phoenix.
Reporter: Before we start let me thank you for doing this interview for the paper’s “Travel Guide” section.
Poker Player: Glad to. And it really ain’t nothing....
Reporter: Well, I personally appreciate it. I mean if I do one more story about the Best Westerns of the red neck Rivera I may just faint.
Poker Player: Uh, guys don’t faint..
Reporter: Yeah. I meant puke.
Poker Player: Gotcha. Now, whatca want to know?
Reporter: Just tell us everything.. Maybe you could start with why you went to Arizona. I mean didn’t the Junction’s town fathers pass a law telling everyone to boycott them?
Poker Player: Nope. They discussed it but then someone said that the US AG hadn’t even read it so they decided to wait for an actual opinion.
Poker Player: Surprised you didn’t know that.
Reporter: But racial profiling is just so bad. And demanding to see innocent people’s papers…. But back to the trip.
Poker Player: Well, there are a lot of casinos in the Phoenix area....
Reporter: And you went there to play poker?
Poker Player: Well, it’s what I do. And besides I won a free entry into a satellite tournament for the WSOP on the Internet..
Poker Player: Sorry. I forget you don’t speak the lingo.... WSOP means the World Series of Poker. I won a seat in a satellite tournament that, if I won that, would pay my $10,000 entry fee and some spending money.
Reporter: Tell us about the trip.
Poker Player: Well, I drove down to Presleyville and flew Delta. And that was an experience.....
Poker Player: Naw, Delta was okay. But when I bought my ticket I used cash. And then when I went through Security I couldn’t find my Driver’s License so they pulled me off to one side and when I finally found it I tripped something in the machine and when they found I had $8,000 dollars on me they took me in a little room and wanted to know if I was a terrorist....
Poker Player: Yeah. They said that terrorists pay for tickets with cash and carry lots of cash. And besides, they were supposed to confiscate everything above $5,000.
Poker Player: Me too. I mean we talked and talked. I showed my invite to the tournament and pointed out I needed the $8,000 for the side games…....
Reporter: Side games? And they let you go?
Poker Player: Yeah. Finally. They made a bunch of telephone calls and then one said that since my papers were in such good order I could go on.
Reporter: So you weren’t a terrorist suspect?
Poker Player: Nope. But I was so short on time I could only get one Jack and coke before I had to get on the plane. That was tough.
But the flight was okay. Slept most of it, even if I was one drink short.
When I got there I went over and rented me a car. Gave’em a credit card and guess what.
Reporter? The card was no good?
Poker Player: No, no. My credit is pure gold…. They wanted to see my driver’s license. I asked why they cared since if I was stopped without one I’d get the ticket not them. But they said I needed to have all the ID to prove who I was.
Reporter: Did you get a nice car?
Poker Player: Yeah, no problem until I got to the hotel.
Poker Player: When I checked in I had my credit card but they wanted some ID. Driver’s license or Passport… Only I couldn’t find my license.. Long about then my cell phone rang. It was the rent a car people telling me I had left it there.
Reporter: Well that was luck. And at least you got to check in and rest a bit before going back to pick up the license.
Poker Player: Nope. They said I had to have proper papers to check in. So I just turned around and went back and got the license and checked in.
I must admit that I was a bit ticked but they said they were just following the rules.
Reporter: How’d the games go?
Poker Player: Not bad. I did win $1100 in the tournament. And guess what?
Poker Player: When they went to pay me off they had to have my driver’s license and a credit card and filled out a IRS form that showed that they had withheld income tax.
Poker Player: Really. They even took out state income tax…said I could fill out a form and mail it, and the proper papers, and mail it to the state and ask for a refund as I was a non-resident.
Reporter: Well, that sounds good to me. I mean $1100…
Poker Player: Well, I did feel pretty good. So good I went out and had a big dinner and slept like a baby. Got up the next day and did some sightseeing and then played some more.
Poker Player: Got in a $5-$10 No Limit and won about $9000. Man I was hot.
Poker Player: Then I started thinking. I mean I got round $17,000 in cash and since I didn’t want to get all involved at the air port again I decided to just open me a bank account.
Reporter: How would that help?
Poker Player: Well, I figured I could use it as a checking account or just write a check on it one time and transfer the money into my account at Junction National…. I’m sure Robbie would let me do that… But she’d probably make me wait until the check cleared…
Anyhow, I went down to one of the local banks and they were all happy to see me until I told them what I wanted to do. They finally called some hoodoo in corporate and then decided they could take the money but I had to fill out all kinds of forms and show them my driver’s license. They said they would notify the government because of the size of the transaction.
Reporter: So that solved the problem?
Poker Player: Well, when I asked them why the feds wanted to know about it they got all huffy and I just said to heck with it and left. They said they’d have to advise Homeland Security of a suspicious event but I had the last word.
Reporter: Last word?
Poker Player: Yeah. Told’em to spell my name right.
Reporter: Well I bet that got’em.
Poker Player: Now don’t be going all snarky on me. I mean I had wore out my driver’s license…
Anyway I drove around a while to cool off. I stopped somewhere to fill up with gas.. Had to pay in advance and when I gave a $100 bill they marked it with a funny looking marker and then said it was okay but they couldn’t change anything higher than a $20.00. So I used my credit card at the pump..
Reporter: Let me guess, it was refused.
Poker Player: No, damnit. I’ve already told you my credit is good…. But what I had to do after I done the card trick was key in my Zip code….. The little lady behind the counter said it was for security…..
Reporter: Sounds good to me.
Poker Player: Me too. After that I went back to the hotel and went to bed. But before that I called Delta and told’em I was gonna be carrying a large amount of cash and could they help with Security…
Reporter: And they could?
Poker Player: Nope. Wasn’t their job. The guy did give a number in DC to call but I figured no one would be up in Disney Land East so I just told him I’d get home another way and get my money back on the return part of the ticket.
Poker Player: He said that worked so I decided to just drive back. I could drive up to Vegas for a day or two and then drive up to Denver and play some in the mountain casinos and then over to Kansas City and check them out and down to St Louis and play some…might even take in a Cardinals game or two and then on down to Preseleyville and home.
Reporter: How’d that work out?
Poker Player: Well, outside of having to show my ID every time I turned around it was fine… I did call the rent a car folks and get me a bigger car and find out what the cost would be to drop it in Elvistown… They said just come on by and they’d fix me up, so I got up the next morning and took off.
Reporter: Uneventful departure?
Poker Player: Well, I did drive by this school where the kids were demonstrating,
Poker Player: Yeah, waving Mexican flags and shouting Yankee go home…
Reporter: And what was their problem?
Player: I asked this policeman who was just standing there that question.
He said they were upset over people the police thought were illegal aliens having to show some ID.
Reporter: Well we wouldn’t want people to be profiled and have their civil rights violated….
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