In this post I will relate the card table demeanor of the shat man himself. I think this picture is a pretty good encapsulation of it…
So just to recap. It is the early nineties and my mom is at the Taj in Atlantic City playing poker. William Shatner and a small cadre arrive consisting of his wife, Vince Van Patten, and one or two bodyguards. They sit down at a table where she proceeds to join them. As bored celebrities without work are known to do, he is looking for hobbies to fill his considerable amount of free time. There is a sizable tournament that weekend and he is trying to get into poker as a serious hobby.
Now it is important to note that at this time I doubt my mom knows anything or cares in the least about star trek. All she knows is that she is sitting directly across from Captain Kirk and that she is not going to leave until she has an autograph for her Trekkie son (me!). she learns very quickly however that this will be no easy task.
Being friendly and uninhibited by nature, she itroduces herself to everyone at the table. Patten and Mrs. Shatner are very nice. Bill is not. In fact he is drunk on top of being unfriendly. He only proceeds to become moreso as the night goes on. He is a sloppy fat faced drunk who is rude to everyone; from his friends, to the other players, to even the waitresses.
To make matters worse, he is terrible at poker. My mom, through the course of the night does two things; she strips several hundred dollars from the enebriated starship captain and becomes quite chummy with his very pleasent wife. After a while she asks her if there’s any chance for an autograph. She quickly shoots down any possibility.
She says that there would be no point in asking if he were in a good mood let alone his current belligerent state. She leaves the table with one hand filled with shatners money, but the other devoid of his John Hancock.
This story is a lot longer than I thought it would be. I promise to deliver the grand finale next week.
Live Long and Prosper.