We, in Security, at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada, used to amuse each other by telling “Edwin stories.” There were only five or six of them, and I was present for three of the best ones. Edwin Swisher, his real name, was a flaming fag who loved to gross people out. He was an assistant cashier supervisor, whose room-mate was named Judy. Judy liked girls, of all colors, and black guys, roomed with Edwin, and was his supervisor in the cashier’s department. Judy and I were pretty tight; I gave her neck and shoulder massages, and she gave me drink tokes. It was a very symbiotic relationship.
The first of my Edwin stories happened on a day I was working on my tan and drinking lots of beer. It was my day off, the temperature was about 75 degrees, and it was about October 12, 1980. The very next day, we got TWO FEET of snow. My supervisor, Roland, called me on the phone and asked me if I could come in to work. I told him I’d be there in one hour. Exactly one hour later, I walked onto the casino floor, in my uniform. I spotted Roland standing in front of the Baccarat Room, and walked over to him. I said, “Here I am, Roland,” and stepped right over and on his right size 14 wing-tip. “Oh, shit man, I’m sorry.” He immediately knew I was drunk, but he didn’t care; I was the warm body he needed. Several hours later, I was backed up to the main cashier’s counter, with my elbows on the counter. Judy walked over, on the other side of the counter, and said, “Rock (she called me Rock), what’s the matter with you?” “Oh, Judy, I’m so fucked up; it’s my day off and Roland called me in to work. I’ve been drinking Henry Weinhard all afternoon and, now that the buzz has worn off, I’m hung over, bad.” “What’s Henry Weinhard?” “It’s a new beer, from Oregon. It’s pretty good. It tastes like it’s imported.” Edwin was counting about $200,000 dollars, on the back counter. Judy turned and asked him, “Have you ever had Henry Weinhard, Edwin?” In his lisping, faggy voice, he said, “Let me see, now, I’ve had a lot of Henrys, but never Henry Weinhard.” I was too fucked up to laugh.
The second story involved a new girl, on her first night, I believe. She was working the chip window, where pit bosses and security officers get chips to take out and put on a table. She had two buttons, under her counter, to buzz people in and out of the cashier’s cage, and through a door to the coin room, which the cashiers used as a shortcut to the employee’s cafeteria. Edwin was swishing by, behind her, as I was getting a chip fill from her. He said, “Give me a buzz, please.” He was very polite. The new girl said, “Are you going down, Edwin?” She was asking him if he was in need of a second buzz, on a different door, to go down into the coin room. He said, “Every chance I get.” I went to hysterical city, laughing my ass off. The poor girl quit that night.
The third, and last Edwin story I have, also took place at the chip-fill window. One of the senior pit-bosses, a guy named Jerry, who was just as queer, and almost as outrageous, as Edwin, had bungled writing up a pit fill. The security officer should have questioned him about it, but he was a new guy, and kind of slow. Edwin should have caught the mistake, though, because NOBODY would EVER write a pit fill that goofy. I was walking by the pit and heard Jerry going ballistic about the fill, saying that Edwin should have known it was a mistake. I cruised up and apprised Jerry of the new rules, regarding returning a bogus pit fill. As I was instructing Jerry, another pit boss walked by and said, “Listen to him, Jerry, he knows what he’s talking about.” Jerry, now, understood what he had to do; which involved a long, time-consuming process, to return the bogus chips. There were two new pit fills, filled out by other pit bosses, sitting on the little counter, in the middle of the pit. I grabbed them, handed one to the new guy, let him go first and, when he got his filled, started filling out the paperwork for my fill. Right beside me was a pit boss from another pit, who was stroking and schmoozing two high rollers. They were preparing to do some transactions involving thousands of dollars. Edwin had just given me the trays full of chips, for my fill, and I was making sure that there weren’t any missing chips, when Jerry approached the window. From about 15 feet away, he spotted Edwin and said, in a VERY loud voice, “Edwin, you miserable motherfucker.” I do a great imitation of Jerry, but just imagine Gilbert Gottfried, and you’ve got it. High, whiny and nasal. I started going nuts, laughing like crazy, while the other pit boss and the two high rollers were having cardiac infarctions. As he got closer to the window, he said, “Edwin, I’m out in that pit, just WORKING MY TITS OFF, and you make me go through this bullshit. You know that I would never write a stupid fill like that.” At “working my tits off,” I slid down to the floor. My knees were both on the floor, while my hands were still above me, on the counter, protecting my chips. That was the most fun job that I’ve ever had.