Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Sasha's Dad: The Gambler and His Hair Colour
Here's a little more info on Sasha's dad Jack Jackson.
His real name is Jedediah Jackson, but everyone's been calling him Jack since he was a teenager (about 173 years ago).
Jack's a bit of a nerd. He's had a calculator attached to his wrist since he was in diapers. His love of statistics and probabilities led to a career as a math professor. Sounds dull, so far, right? Just wait...
What Jack really loves is gambling. He taught Sasha and her brother Shane how to handicap the ponies when they were still in grade school. "Family Time" at the Jackson house usually meant scanning through listings in the Daily Double and then screaming at the televised horse races. Sasha used to sneak out of the house to go and watch Sesame Street at the neighbour's place.
Since retiring from academe, Jack has been gambling full time, trying out his card counting strategies in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and other gambling milieux. Jack's game of choice is Blackjack and some of his card counting theories have been published in various gambling magazines.
Once when he was at a casino on the Las Vegas strip, Jack got nailed for being a professional card counter. The casino manager, who looked like a side of beef, told Jack he was permanently barred from said casino. Jack was then escorted out of the premises by four security guards... none of whom had necks.
Jack decided to outsmart the casinos, and began wearing a disguise. He let his short grey hair grow longer and dyed it dark brown; he started sporting facial hair. His goatee (also dyed brown) was bad enough, but he also grew a mustache. Not just a normal mustache, no no no. Jack grew a big long handlebar mustache (also coloured by Clairol's #623 'Chestnut Charm') and waxed the tips. To complete the ruse, Jack got some coloured contact lenses, thus chaging his eyes from blue to brown, and he accentuated these with a pair of oooversized horn-rimmed glasses.
Privately, the family accepts Jack as he is and they understand why he does what he does. But it's a little embarrassing trying to explain Jack to others. For instance, a couple of months before Sasha's college graduation, she had the following exchange with her father:
"What colour would you like my hair to be when we go to the convocation ceremony?" Jack said, stroking the tufts of his beard.
"Um, plaid?" Sasha replied as she reached for a bottle of vodka.
"There's going to be a photographer there, right?"
"Um, I was thinking, maybe, skipping the graduation ceremony..." Sasha said, knocking back a double shot of Smirnoff.
"What? Miss your own graduation? Over my dead body."
"That can be arranged," Sasha replied with a shit-eating grin.
"We're going to take lots of graduation photos. Would you rather have pictures of me with dark brown hair, or would you prefer pictures with my natural colour? I need time the let the dye grow out and the grey to grow back in."
"Are you sure I wasn't adopted?" Sasha asked, pouring yet another stiff shot of vodka. "Do we really share the same DNA?"