Freudian Slips: Tong Lashing

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 10, 2005

Tong Lashing

Passing through Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal casino floor last week, I stopped at the Money Wheel. It has long been rumored to be a sucker’s game but there is something about the flipping of that leather tong around the horn that I find both an irresistible lure and an insatiable fix. The clicking noise alone hooks me.
The big spender that I am, I laid a $5.00 bill on the table and the dealer let me play for exactly five spins. A scruffy man in his thirties immediately took my place front and center. I gave way. He threw his hooded winter jacket to the casino floor and laid down a one dollar bill on the table in exchange for a single chip. I stood immediately behind the newcomer to see if he would have any better luck. He paced and fidgeted. By chance, the wheel stopped on a number contrary to his desired outcome. He muttered a curse word, stepped over his jacket, then gave me a strange look. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted from me.
“Buddy, do a hurting guy a favor and pick my jacket off of the floor?”
I remarked. “You can’t pick up your own jacket?”
He nervously made jerky and exaggerated bodily movements before turning his back on me. He thrusted his shirt up to reveal bandages wrapped tightly around his skinny torso. He pointed to the middle of his back where I couldn’t help but notice a dried blood stain covered in gauze and mummy wrap. It looked like a red bull’s eye on sheepskin.
“Christ, can’t ya see I got stabbed this morning? I just got out of the emergency room.” he complained. “So are ya gonna help me or not?”
Talk about a tong lashing. His request did not fall on death ears but I wasn’t going to let him prey on my emotions either. I showed him that neither charity nor a wounded back was needed for the simple task. Using my foot, I picked up the jacket by the grab of the hood. He reclaimed his jacket and walked away fleet afoot.
I wondered if only addicted gamblers who escape death rush from the treating hospital to a casino floor to lay down their last dollar. Present company included, money wheels must really be for suckers.



Blogger Mel said...

Hey Joe, apologies for the picture - after reading your profile I almost want to change my pic now! But thought I better explain, my name actually means 'Honeybee' in Greek, I am neither Greek nor a Honeybee - :)
So here is hoping I can inspire you to happier thoughts of bees ... and thank you for stopping by and hope to see you again.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous et said...

No, don't tell me!!! You're still chasing that wheel???

8:38 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

you got your work cut out for you. lol.

wheel of misfortune.

10:21 PM  
Blogger steph said...

Hi there Joe-
Thanks for the comments on my blog.

You have an amazing story and very cool blog!!!!!

: )

10:25 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

We stopped off at a middle-of-nowhere bar in the pine barrens once (and only once). It was afternoon, and there were only a few patrons there. An older lady came in and everyone greeted her (sort of like Cheers...sort of). Apparently, she had just been discharged from the hospital. She had been told to go home and rest, but she had the cab drop her of at the bar. Talk about addiction...

5:21 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

hey whats up checken you out cuz you commented on my blog. Loved your post. Your close to me! I love Atlantic city and the casinos. You k ow im in philly so i try to get to ac as much as i can!!! and my favorite is the money wheel, that is te only thing i play! have a great weekend!

9:41 AM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

What happens in AC stays in AC...err, no wait, skip it, that's the other place...

10:24 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

thanks for visiting.

sounds like more SAPS are in the Pine Barrens!

See you at the Money Wheel. I'm the guy with the sucker sign taped to his back.

AC is just bloggable material.

1:24 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

I never tried the money wheel. Just those cheap immitation wheels at the county fair...I never won either. I'm afraid that I am not at all shocked about the erstwhile mugging victim. Some people just never learn.

4:34 AM  

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