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Monday, May 19, 2003


I Fear Calvin Klein's Stopped Calling

A blackjack table, Las Vegas, NV

"Marky" Mark Wahlberg sits down next to me after I bust my second hand in a row.

Bunsen: Oh. You.

"Marky" Mark: Whatup. Mind if I sit here?

Bunsen: Whatever.

"Marky" Mark: Thanks.

[He puts down a grand in chips. I'm playing twenty bucks.]

"Marky" Mark: High roller, huh.

Bunsen: Not all of us can be in Planet of the Apes, "Marky."

[I push the rest of my chips into the bet circle. I won't tell you exactly how much I bet, but it's somewhere between forty-six and forty-four dollars.
The dealer deals. I'm showing 19. "Marky" Mark has a 20. The dealer shows 10.]

Bunsen: Stay. Nice.

"Marky" Mark: Hit me.

Bunsen: Are you kidding?

["Marky" Mark gestures a hit to the dealer. An ace. 21. The dealer hits, a five. 21.]

Bunsen: Hit me, too.

[The dealer raises an eyebrow.]

Bunsen: Just do it.

[The dealer hits me. A ten. I bust. She turns over her hole card. A seven, 17.]

Bunsen: Shit.

"Marky" Mark: That's right.

[He pulls his big stack of chips off the table.]

Bunsen: Quitting already?

"Marky" Mark: I just thought it would be funny if you lost all your money.

Bunsen: You just know you're going to win, don't you?

"Marky" Mark: Look at my life, Of course I know.

Bunsen: I know a little something about my life. Sit-up contest. Right now.

"Marky" Mark: Not again.

[I strip off my shirt. I have not been working out lately.]

Dealer: Sir, please put your shirt back on...unless he's joining you.

Bunsen: There are muscles underneath here, trust me.

[I lay down on the casino floor. A crowd starts to gather.]

"Marky" Mark: I can't believe this.

["Marky" Mark takes his shirt off. You know what that looks like. Tourist flashbulbs pop all around us, perhaps more of them in the direction of a certain underwear model's abdominal area.]

Bunsen: Go.

[The dealer counts off the sit-ups as we begin. I won't bore you with the events occurring between numbers one and five hundred, other than to assure you that it is totally within the rules to periodically vomit as long as you continue.]

Dealer: Five hundred and one...five hundred and two...

["Marky" Mark reaches over to receive his third gin and tonic from a cute cocktail waitress in a pirate wench outfit.]

"Marky" Mark: You want one? They're easy to keep down.

Bunsen: [incomprehensible groan, roughly translated as "Fuck you, underwear model. The buzz on your new movie is shit"]

Dealer: Five hundred and ten...maybe you should stop, sir...five hundred and eleven...isn't your stomach empty by now?

"Marky" Mark: Really, dude, I think it's time you stop.

Bunsen: [incomprehensible groan, roughly translated as "I'll stop once I throw up the memory of what I did to your mother last night."]

"Marky" Mark: [to cocktail waitress] If I stop, will you bring four of your best friends up to my suite so I can celebrate second place in this sit-up contest?

Waitress: I'll call them right now.

[He reaches into his pocket and tosses her a room key.]

"Marky" Mark: [stands up] I'm out.

Dealer: Five hundred twenty-five...five hundred twenty-six. [To me] Looks like you win.

"Mark" Mark: Same as last time?

Bunsen: [incomprehensible groan, roughly translated as "yes"]

[He flips me a ten dollar chip. It lands on my heaving chest.]

"Marky" Mark: Give me a chance to win it back. Flip for it?

Bunsen: OK.

[He flips a quarter and slaps it onto the back of his hand.]

Bunsen: Heads.

[He shows the quarter to the dealer.]

Dealer: Sorry. Tails.

[He leans over and picks the chip off my chest.]

"Marky" Mark: Better luck next time, Good job on the sit-ups, though.

[He leaves with the cocktail waitress.]

[A pit boss walks over to where I lay on the casino floor.]

Pit boss: Here's a coupon for 1/2 off our $3.99 steak and eggs breakfast. But we ask that you clean yourself up before redeeming it.

Bunsen: Thank you, I will.

[He helps me to my feet.]

Pit boss: You realize you still have to tip the waitress when you use that.

Bunsen: Of course.

[He helps me to my feet.

On the way back to my room, I trade the coupon for two quarters, which I instantly lose in one pull on a gigantic slot machine. I go back to my room and fall asleep, dreaming of half a steak, five cocktail waitresses, and the bad reviews and box office disappointment that was "Rock Star," and, for some reason, a washboard.]

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
If You Like Bunsen, Then You'll Love Bunsen