He told me to read what it said on his jacket.
“Big Winner,” I said.
On the right breast was embroidered, “Big Winner.”
“Yeah,” he said. “But I tell the women Big Weiner.”
On the left breast was embroidered the name and logo of a local casino.
“You want to know how I got this jacket?” he asked.
“You won big,” I said.
“No,” he said.
He went on to explain how he was with his daughter and son-in-law at the casino when his son-in-law hit it big on the slots. They were all playing slots when the son-in-law won $15,000. And part of winning $15,000 on slots was the jacket with the name of the casino on it, as well as the embroidered declaration of “Big Winner.”
He said his daughter didn’t think it was such a good idea that her husband wear that jacket declaring he was a big winner while carrying around all that cash. After all, it does get reported how known big winners get targeted and robbed in parking lots or followed all the way to their homes and robbed.
“Let me guess,” I said. “Since they didn’t want it, you asked for the jacket.”
“No,” he said. “I didn’t ask for it. My daughter said to give it to Dad. So here you go.”
“Oh,” I said.
“You get what it means?” he asked. “You get what that says?”
“I think so.”
“It’s a true story,” he said. “Totally true.”
He took another swig.
“But that’s family,” he shrugged.
Maybe he was reading too much into it. Maybe he wasn’t. Problem is, it’s so damned hard to tell.