How I Accidentally Became a Drug Dealer
[Editor's Note: In his column Serrano Time, award-winning scribe and goofball Shea Serrano writes about his life and times.]
The biggest concern in my life recently is that every show on my DVR is the regular definition version, rather than the high definition version. As you can see, things have almost always been nice and easy for me. Which is why, as you might imagine, it was strange when I accidentally became a drug dealer in college.
It went like this: My college, located in Huntsville, Texas, had a billiards club, which I'm just now realizing is incredibly nerdy. I'd begun playing a lot of in high school, but in college I flourished. My brain just understood what was supposed to happen without anyone having to explain it to me. And so it became ALL that I did, for like two years straight. Gambling was a natural extension of that.
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I started out playing pool for $5 or $10 on campus, and eventually for money in different areas of town. I even began traveling to other cities in Texas to find new players. I'd usually go with two or three other people. We'd drive one or two or three hours to pool halls in Houston or Austin or Dallas or San Antonio and set up games. It was fun.
But back on campus, at one point they closed down the pool hall temporarily, to rebuild the student center or something. In the downtime, I took to cards and bowling and anything really that I could gamble on. That's when I started running a football board hustle.
This is something I'd seen my parents and uncles and aunts participate in. Basically it's a numbered grid that people use to wager on the outcomes of football games. (Note: People looooove betting on the Dallas Cowboys.) But what I learned is that if you ask people if they "Wanna buy a square?" some will think you're talking about marijuana.
On our dorm room phone system, if you had a message your dial tone went beep-beep-beep rather than the usual baaaaaaaaaaaaaah. After I started selling squares I constantly got the beep-beep-beep.