Riquelmy: Settling a bet with a brothel gift card, or why you shouldn’t make wagers with me | TheUnion.com

Riquelmy: Settling a bet with a brothel gift card, or why you shouldn’t make wagers with me

I knew things had grown serious when the madam approached me.

I sat behind a security door, in what appeared to be a very nice brothel, waiting for a gift certificate. It seemed to be the best way to spend a small amount of my Saturday morning. Quickly through the front doors, a no-fuss transaction to obtain the gift card and then on my way before you could recite the chorus to The Police's "Roxanne."

And then things went sideways.

Now, there's a simple explanation why I needed this gift card, which honestly was for a mere $20:

A really nice young woman wearing only lingerie then led me through the security door and to a more private area of the building. It was there that an employee took my payment and left me, sitting in a plush chair, all alone in the ambient-lighted halls of a Nevada brothel.

I'd lost a bet.

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I'd already lost one bet to an unnamed miscreant, and paid him in Vegas casino chips out of friendly spite. He lives in Georgia, and my form of payment produced an appropriate level of anguish on his part. Bet paid, $500 plane ticket required to use the funds, I'd call it a success.

But now I'd lost a second bet and the poker chip play wouldn't work twice. He explicitly noted that I should abstain from using them.

So I needed a new form of currency, a method to pay my debt and once again cause consternation.

Naturally, "brothel gift certificate" was the first thing to come to mind.

Fortunately, I was in Nevada for the first day of legal, recreational cannabis sales. I intended to write a story about it, seeing as how California would follow suit in a few months. As long as I was there, I might as well settle the little problem of this bet.

A short drive later and I stepped through the establishment's front doors while whistling The Police.

The lighting difference hit me immediately upon entering the brothel. A bright July morning turned into the never changing, subtle light of a brooding bar, which I quickly approached.

It was about 10:30 a.m. and, obviously, time for a gin martini. While sipping the drink (at a cost of $13, mind you) I discovered I'd become amazingly popular. I told one woman that the martini was a reward I gave myself for writing the cannabis story.

Did I need any other rewards, she wondered.

Ah, no. Just the gift certificate.

A really nice young woman wearing only lingerie then led me through the security door and to a more private area of the building. It was there that an employee took my payment and left me, sitting in a plush chair, all alone in the ambient-lighted halls of a Nevada brothel.

Through sheer willpower, I ensured no family member called my cell phone at that moment.

Another man wandered through at one point. A line-up of contract workers occurred, and I respectfully averted my gaze. I figured it was a private matter, like going to confession.

Finally, the room empty once again, the madam approached with the gift certificate. She was happy I'd inquired about them. Not many people purchase the certificates, she said.

But, she noted, $20 wasn't going to get the recipient much of anything. The starting price is $100.

Consternation achieved.

I assured her, $20 was exactly what I needed. A quick signature later and I was out the door and back in my car.

The ride back sadly failed to meet the same awkward level as my brothel experience. It contained little but the climb up one side of the Sierra and then a glide down the other.

Of course, my vehicle knew that climb was coming. About halfway up the car dash exhibited a warning about the engine.

I still need to do something about that red light.

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