Sunday, September 20, 2015

Scenes From Last Night - Shuffle Up and Squeal. #BB17

It's a quiet Saturday night in the Big Brother house.  Vanessa was still, probably having some wicked dreams from the muscle relaxers.

(I just remembered that I had a dream last night that I was at the mall with Frank Eudy, and he ended up telling Britney Haynes that he didn't need or want her "damn two votes". There was some sort of issue with a missing puppy and I was trying to find it.  I'm pretty sure this is related to the Hollywood Reporter Big Brother article that I read yesterday.)

Steve had asked Production for a deck of cards, and they gave it to him.  This isn't uncommon, but is especially interesting due to Vanessa's  (secret) profession.  They know that Vanessa "used to" play poker, but they have no idea of the magnitude of her success and fame in the gambling industry.

Vanessa taught them the basics about playing Gin Rummy, and Liz and Steve played the game over and over.

In between games they would take turns getting up to get a bowl of ice cream, using the freezer in the storage room since the freezer in the kitchen "is so gross-ah".  While Liz is gone, the camera men pay tribute to her, with a lingering close up.

Or maybe they are mocking her.  Who knows.  Surely she has been an interesting cast member for them to cover this year.

If you don't know, Gin Rummy is a game usually played by two people, who each get 10 cards.  The cards are arranged into "runs" or "sets" and you can either pick up a new, hidden card each round and discard your old one, or you can pick up the other person's discarded card (face up) and throw a card away.

The objective is to have as many cards in your hand be "runs"  (three or more cards of the same suit in numerical order) or a "set" (three or more of the same card, but of different suits) before you "knock" (leaving discards that the other player can choose to use to improve their score) or call "Gin Rummy" (have no unused cards left over to discard).  It's actually a fun game to play on vacation or something, particularly if you are drinking.  Not so much if you are stoned, because then the game takes FOREVER and can be very frustrating.

Vanessa woke up and got out of bed at 9:00 pm, perhaps urged by Production since BBAD was starting.  She went over to rummage in her feeders may know that this is where she keeps her pills.  She has been taking muscle relaxers every two hours for her injured neck---I doubt she is taking her ADD meds right now, since she isn't wanting to stay up for any length of time.

Vanessa doesn't need to stay up, really.  She is WELL AWARE that if Steve wins the Final HoH comp on Wednesday night, he will not take her to the end.  There is not much she can do about that, except to win on Wednesday.

Although, I think she might be playing up how "out of it" she is on her pills, so Steve MIGHT think her final speech might not be on point, IF he wins the Final HoH, and IF he is thinking about POSSIBLY evicting Liz instead of her.  It might be the only chance Vanessa has if that happens.

Vanessa washes whatever pills she took down with a swig of water before going into the dining area to check on the card game.  Steve asked her a question but she responded by saying that she was "really out of it" at the moment.

(Uh huh.  Okay.)

Vanessa: I don't even know if I'll be 100% by Wednesday.  Because either my neck is hurting, or my hip.

(From slamming into the wall over and over during the HoH Part 1 comp, you know.)

(Oh, and Steve won the HoH Part 2 comp, if you don't know.)

Vanessa:  I can teach you another game, if you want.

Steve:  No, maybe tomorrow.  Only one new game at a time please.  I can only handle so many rules.

Liz:  This is fun.  We're having fun.  I'm beating him.

Vanessa decided to get involved, correcting Liz's hand placement.

Vanessa:  Your shit is all upside down.  Look, hold them this way, so you can see everything.

Vanessa mentioned that she can tell when the other person has Gin Rummy, from the way they arrange their cards in their hands.  (Basically, to avoid this you should not arrange them in an obvious way, with gaps between your sets or runs.)

She watched Liz for a round, and then told her that she discarded the wrong card, because she had better options with this card, or that card.

Liz:  Oh!  Yes-ah!

Then Vanessa went over to look at Steve's hand, telling him that the way he's holding the cards is wrong, too.

Steve:  I know, but I'm not comfortable that way.

Liz:  I'm not either, but I changed it up because you told me too, Vanessa.

(Smart girl.)

Vanessa helped Steve arrange his cards.  Apparently he was missing some opportunities with his sets or runs and she set him straight.

Liz:  I've been trying to help him.  His problem is that he keeps discarding the little cards like the threes and the fours and I've been able to use them.

Steve: Yeah.  I know I wait too long, too. (to knock)

It's Liz's turn to shuffle, and Vanessa is scandalized by how rough she is with the deck of cards.

Vanessa told her in Italian (I think.) to be gentle, slow down, and shuffle nicely.

Vanessa:  There's another way to shuffle, too, like Steve does.

Liz finally got the deck shuffled and dealt out a hand of 10 cards each.

Vanessa:  You know what?  I'm going to do a card trick...just one...before I go back to bed. Let me have your cards.

Steve:  NO!  I like this hand.

Vanessa:  You'll live.  I'll shuffle again and deal you out when I'm finished.

The camera closes in on Vanessa handling the deck of cards.  The camera crew is probably very excited now.  This is what they have been waiting for.

Liz:  You can do card tricks?  What?

Vanessa:  I have skills you don't even know about.

Liz guffaws, maybe trying to make it a sexual innuendo.  But it's not, of course.  Liz has NO IDEA what Vanessa is capable of, really.

The trick was long and involved, with Liz picking her card and Vanessa going through an elaborate ritual to "read Liz's face" in order to guess the card she picked.  Steve said he knew about card tricks and Vanessa made him promise not to spoil it for Liz.

Vanessa:  That is one of my pet peeves..people who spoil magic tricks.

When it was over, Liz loved it and said she wanted Vanessa to teach her how she did it.

Steve:  Yeah, can you do that again for us?

Vanessa:  NO!  I'm a one trick wonder!  I'll only do it once!  But I know a few other tricks...maybe tomorrow I'll do a few more.

She explained that her father was a magician as a child, and traveled throughout Brazil (I think.) putting on magic shows.  Even after he became a (successful) business man he would do card tricks at family gatherings and holidays.  She says his hands are big and he can do sleight-of-hand tricks, like pulling cards from your ear.  He learned the tricks from a French guy that he met hanging around a magic shop as a child.

Liz  Oh, that's so cute-ah.

Liz and Steve started another hand of cards, with Vanessa watching over, lurking.

I wonder if Vanessa would consider spilling the beans about her wealth to Steve, implying that the Jury wouldn't award her the grand prize if they knew about it.   Probably not, but it's a thought.  Might be something to consider.  If he does win the Final HoH it will be too late to do anything about it, although I think they will have a commercial break before the eviction.

Steve went in the DR and came out with a present from POP TV, a cute little tote bag with all the fixin's to make some S'mores.  Steve read the card but then Liz snatched it from him and read it again, but louder and with an echo-ah.

Vanessa:  How are we going to make S'mores with no flame?

Liz read the instructions, which told them to preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow in there to heat up.

(I will share my feelings about these (shitty) instructions in a few minutes.)

Liz waives the card at us and thanks POP TV, and "Orwell" for the gift.  They've never heard of POP TV, and I'm surprised Steve doesn't know that it used to be TVGN, like, just last year.  Duh.  It's just a new name because the TV Guide magazine is a badly outdated product.

Vanessa hopes that the POP TV people know she is injured and can't really turn her head right now.  (We know, we know.)  Liz wants three POP TV bags so they can each take one home and not have to fight over it.

There was some debate over "Orwell", the cartoon owl "mascot" for the POP TV show.  I don't know what Steve's answer was, but Vanessa disagreed with it.

Vanessa:  I thought they got that name because George Orwell wrote the book about Big Brother. ("1984")

Steve: No, that's just a co-incidence.


Vanessa sits and waits for the oven to come to temperature while Steve and Liz resume their game of cards.  Maybe she's watching for ants.  Maybe she is starting to get a little stoned from those pills.

Steve told them that he used to have a "S'mores business" as a kid and he earned enough money to buy some sort of Nintendo contraption.

Liz:  What?  You went up and down the street knocking on doors?

Steve: No!  I made them at holidays and celebrations for my family.  There were long S'mores, double decker S'mores, ones with sprinkles, etc.

(So, these were Mercy Purchases from his family, much like a lemonade stand.  Okay.)

As they cooked, Liz kept commenting on how good they smelled-ah.

Vanessa took them out and was the first one to serve herself.

To her credit, she took the two wonky S'mores, using a spatula to slide the marshmallow over on the cracker before putting them on a paper towel.  She ate them open-faced, while Steve said it is not really a S'more unless you put another graham cracker on top..

(Finally Steve is correct about something.)

Vanessa got right down to business and said they were good, but later Liz and Steve said that the graham cracker tasted burned.  Vanessa admitted that was the case, but said the marshmallows weren't really melted all the way through.

Duh.  Of course that preparation method was a disaster..


1.  Okay.  They should have put the oven on "broil", and put only the marshmallows on the foil to start toasting, particularly since they had Vanessa watching things so closely.  Even though she is admittedly pilled out, she could have pulled them out of the oven before they caught fire, I think.  Then they would scoop up the marshmallow with a spatula and put it on the chocolate-covered graham cracker and then push down with the top cracker so that the chocolate would soften.

2.  Or, if you have a gas stove, you can toast the marshmallows like you would over an open fire using a wooden skewer or part of a wire coat hanger over one of the lit burners.  You have to be semi-sober for that, though, because once the marshmallows catch a flame someone can get hurt.  Trust me on that.

3. And....a little peanut butter smeared on the bottom graham cracker, under the chocolate is a tasty addition, and will add a little protein to keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing.  Because marshmallows are all sugar, you know.