I disappointed my wife, I think, by being on the poker machine when she got home from work Friday night. I hadn’t intended to be, although my reasoning was a bit shortsighted. I’d entered a fairly large buy-in tournament at ten o’clock. As I’ve told other players: don’t enter a tournament of such a size unless you intend to finish it five hours later. If you don’t have that intention, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Either you bust out early, meaning you finish by the time you need to be finished. Or, you’re still playing when you didn’t want to be and you’re ill-equipped to be playing because you wish you hadn’t started in the first place.

The latter was my problem when my wife stumbled in from work at 12:30am, I was still playing and getting desperately close to the money. Good sense and the financial realities of a tournament in which the first prize was $29,000 required I continue to play. Good manners indicated I should give up and spend some QT with Mrs. Otis.

The reason I love this woman is because rather than bitch about me starting a poker tournament two hours before she was due home (against all better judgment), she curled up next to me on the couch, watched me play, and indulged my ramblings about what is required of a short-stacked player who is very close to the money-bubble.

Before all was said and done, I busted out in 79th place out of 600-something players. Nine short of the money. I think it was karma suggesting that I shouldn’t have been playing anyway. A sort of, “take that three and half hours of wasted time and shove it down your neck, you heartless, addicted bastard.”

Verily, verily, though, I vowed that Mrs. Otis would get my full attention for the rest of the weekend. I’d abandoned her too many times in the past month. She deserved a weekend of devotion.

I crawled into bed with her and fell asleep, planning for a Saturday of two-hand tag football, grilling, and L’il Otis time.


Normally when I wake up at three in the morning with an odd feeling in my gut, it has something to do with a boys’ night out. Too many of what an old football coach used to call, “brown sodies.”

However, just an hour into sleep, not quite to the REM stage, my eyes popped open.

This isn’t right, I thought.

Wait. Maybe it is right. We’ll get back to considering that after I…

Oh, jesus.


Earlier in the night, just about six hours before I’d fallen asleep, I’d found msyelf a little hungry and investigated the fridge for something to nibble on. I’d found some egg dish that my mom had made while she was in town.

Eggs, I thought. Can’t be too bad.

Eggs don’t go bad, right?


I was puking so hard and so loud that my back muscles were straining against my spine. My wife who has loved me through so many disgusting moments went to sleep in the guest room. The dog monitored my condition from a safe distance. I may have woken the baby at a couple of points.

I puked on a bath mat.

And on my own underwear.


Six hours later, the vomitting stopped and the incredible sense that I might have died and gone to hell for my indiscretions began. I slipped into a fugue state and buried my head under a pillow.

At 5pm, I rolled out of bed with the intention of watching the Steelers game with the wife. It was part of our plan for a good husband-wife weekend. She’d ordered pizza.

One slice of pizza and I was back in bed by 6:30. Later, Mrs. Otis told me the Steelers won in OT after the Jets kicker missed two field goals.

I didn’t get out of bed again until Sunday morning. Turns out the Rams lost. We’re now destined to a birds vs. humans Super Bowl.


It’s now lunchtime on Monday and I still don’t feel right. I’m using my lunch hour to blog because eating sounds like the worse possible thing I could do to my body.

And while it is an uneventful blog post, it’s about all I can think about right now.

So, you get a little taste of the eggs, too.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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