Spin the Wheel (part one)

Pastel drawing of prize wheel



If you don’t mind has to count as a question. By rights, you’d have to have a reason for minding… So then you’d have to know what was in it for you, or figure out if the other guy was setting you up.

Cause sometimes you get a foot in, doing a favor.

But try thinking all that without looking like you mind. I said, “Nah, go ahead. I’m listening.”

And that right there’s the thing. I feel like I got positioned.


Most times with these shows, they would hold a raffle. So whenever you got called out to fill a seat, you were not supposed to let on you were not, like, organic.

And you were really not supposed to play for prizes.

But it depended. If they walked up and down the rows with a bucket, you had to throw your ticket stub in. Delaney’s rule was you could eat the food, but you better hand over anything you won. His clients wanted the stuff back, so it’d be good for the next event.

I saw a lady I knew worked for Delaney…a colleague, I could say, cept his people got nothing to do with each other…put a little crimp in hers. She got called for an iPhone, and man, could she shriek!

So, I gotta figure, I’m not actor enough to play the bigtime. Why they didn’t teach me the crimp. This time, I should have said to the guy talking, who I didn’t otherwise know, what’s the game? I mean, why you want me to play? Even the idea some of us are more inside than others is a little weird. How come Delaney doesn’t ever wanna say, stick around for a while…

Come see me downtown?

I’d go wrong, though, I could work out that much, if I talked like I knew what was up, when I didn’t know what was up. I’d look like a spy.

So I said: “What’s your name?”


And I said, cause he wasn’t talking: “Oh, yeah?”

“Try it again.” He gave me the scenario the second time. He showed me what he had in his hand, a stick that was like the handle of a hammer, with a table-leg thing on the tip.

I mean like a rubber skid…

Maybe you don’t get me. But it was a stick.

“It’s real easy, chump. The money squares are all gonna show from behind, with the light shining through, bright red, easy. And if it slows down, looks like it might stop, you just nudge it along. Suspenseful. Everybody’s gonna go, ooooh-whoooah!”

He smacked his forehead, making this noise, acting it.

“And nobody sees me?”

“Don’t hop around too much.”

It was always like that, you couldn’t tell when someone was joking. How would they pull this kind of stunt, less they had it down already how to light the stage?

I ended up having to crouch low back of the wheel, wearing what Butch told me, black. Sweats, tee, shoes and socks. Cause as it turned out, they had these strobe lights either side…from sitting in the audience, you’d think the noise and lights was just a lotta razzmatazz.

They had four people to come up and play. There were yellow squares with prizes that were junk they were unloading anyhow. There were two loser squares, blue ones, and I was supposed to let a blue one go. I mean stop.

But not the red ones. Don’t let a red get by.






Spin the Wheel

Pastel drawing of prize wheelSpin the Wheel (part two)
















(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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