Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to steam things up a little.
What happens when congenial poker nights among a group of six friends take a turn into dark territory? Someone suggests an alternative payout. Everyone consents to the new stakes. They are all excited – but before long, repressed thoughts and even sinister emotions begin to emerge.
With me in the studio today is Katie Kelly. She and her husband, Steve, were one of three couples who participated in this fateful poker affair, and she’s here to dish all the dirt for our listeners. “Welcome to the show, Katie.”
“Thank you so much for having me, Lisa! I’m happy to be here.”
“Let’s start off with some background. Tell us about you and Steve.”
“So, Steve and I were college sweethearts – then he went on to law school and I went to grad school to become a psychotherapist. But fate had something else in mind, at least for me. I got pregnant with our oldest daughter, Jamie, and well, career took a backseat. But Steve’s got a great job in New York City with a big, important law firm and we also have another daughter, Anna. Life’s pretty sweet, I’d say. We have a nice house in New Fairfield, Connecticut. I spend most of my time keeping up the family duties and doing a little part-time teaching at the local college while Steve brings home the proverbial bacon. I’m hoping to eventually go back to finish my counseling licensure hours at some point, though. Oh, and I’m writing a self-help book, – gotta keep busy, you know. There are only so many floors to sweep and loads of laundry to wash.”
“And how long had this couples’ poker night been going on before the rules changed?”
“Well, my hubby and I hang out – maybe too much – with two other couples who live nearby. They all trudged to our house one night in the middle of a snowstorm and we ended up playing a pretty feisty game of drunk poker. We had so much fun, though, that we decided to keep it going every other weekend.
“Some nights we play at our house, but it can get so loud and inappropriate we send the girls to babysit for one of the other couple’s twin sons. That’s Erin and Marty. Erin is a doll. We’ve known each other, God, forever it seems – BFFs and we share everything. I actually never had such a close girlfriend until I met her. Marty, on the other hand, is an ass. Can I say that on the radio? – I really have no idea why they’re together. Anyway, when we’re not playing at our house we rotate – sometimes it’s at Erin and Marty’s house. And other nights we play at Scarlett and C. Thomas’s house. Boy, they’re a pair – hot as hell but neither of them is the sharpest knife in the drawer if you know what I mean. Scarlett is three Bs – busty, beautiful, and brainless. Nice alliteration, huh? and C. Thomas – well, he looks like he was just carved out of butter.
“I know it probably doesn’t sound like it, but we’re all really good friends.”
“Blackjack is my game, and I’m pretty successful at it. My computer memory lets me count the cards. Poker is new to me, so tell us, Katie, are you good at poker?”
“Poker…hmm…Texas Hold’em, actually. Yes…and no, I guess! I’m still learning, you know. Steve is really the best player hands down – beats the pants off everyone most nights. Sometimes I don’t know why we keep playing.”
“Tell us what caused the change in the stakes.”
“God. We really had fun at first. Booze, snacks, lots of laughs…But as the hubby likes to say, familiarity breeds contempt. I guess it was just too much time together and well, the game simply started getting boring. And to be honest, how many times can anyone deal with Marty’s gross, drunken bumbling – or steer clear of his accidental groping? Or worse, have to see Scarlett’s silicone-injected boobs popping out of her skin-tight tank tops? And those nipples! Not that it bothers the guys.
“So out of the blue, C. Thomas suggests we raise the stakes. Instead of getting a few bucks from the pot, why not get something more valuable? he says. A one-night sexual hall pass with anyone we choose, except our own spouses! I think we all choked on our tortilla chips – Marty probably swallowed his tongue. I mean, what C. Thomas was suggesting wasn’t anything I’d ever thought I’d do – in my entire life! Or that Steve would do, or the rest of us for that matter. A fling! A one-night stand! An extra-marital affair! Anyway, you see, C. Thomas has this empire he inherited from his dad. That includes a cute cabin on the lake. He suggested we take another player’s spouse to the cabin if we won…to do with whatever we choose. What happens there, stays there, you know. Granted, it wasn’t great odds for me. Like I said, I’m far from the best player. And I only had one real choice – C. Thomas. If I EVER had to sleep with Marty I think I’d rather poke out my eyeballs.”
“So did you?”
“Did I what?”
“You know, were you the prize or the winner at any point? Did your husband win? Who did he choose? We want some dirt here–.
“Hold that thought, we seem to have a caller today. Hello caller, you’re on the air with Lisa and Katie. Do you have a question for our guest?”
“Yes, um, hi, Lisa. And hey, Katie! Sorry, this isn’t really a question, but, well, Katie – this game thing is really bringing out the worst in everyone. I don’t know what’s going on but you’ll never believe what I found on Marty’s computer.”
“Hey, Erin. What’s the matter? Ha, ha. Remember we’re on the radio! Keep it PG – if I know Marty, it could be anything!”
“You’re right – but this is worse, I mean, worse to me. To you – Scarlett, too! Remember the day we decided we were going to GO ALL IN? You know, that day we were drunk and skinny dipping in your pool?”
“I found pictures of us! On some social media site! Who the hell could have taken them? How did they get there? Marty was working that day!”
“Oh, my God!”
“I know! I’m not sitting back anymore and taking this – or losing the games. I’ve got a plan for us to win.”
“Hey – we don’t know if the guys could be listening. I’ll call you later. I’ve got to know because I’m tired of losing, too.”
“Okay, talk to you later. Thanks, Lisa, Bye, Katie.”
“Thanks for calling, Erin.
“So back to you, Katie. Wow – so your misadventures wound up online. On the one hand, who really cares, but on the other, it could have some social and even employment fallout. I mean, Steve a prominent attorney, your college position, a self-help book. These things could be at risk. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. Do you have any last thoughts for our listeners today?”
“Well, we’re really in the thick of this now, you know. And I guess we’re just going to have to see how all this plays out, pun intended. I’ll tell you, though, I’m not sure we made the right decision sometimes. Part of me thinks there could be some serious fallout, you know” Everything has consequences. But then again, we all agreed to it, so how bad could it be? It’s not like we’re talking life and death stuff here. And it’s not cheating if everyone says it’s okay, right?
“Hey, I have an idea! Maybe you can have me back on after a few more games – I’ll probably have a lot more juicy stuff to report.”
“You can read all about Katie, Erin, and the rest in the book, Going All In, by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley. I’ll post all the pertinent details on the website.
“You can help everyone out today by using those sharing buttons at the end of this post. Stephanie & Wayne would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
A tale of three suburban couples who, during a pummeling Connecticut Nor’Easter, start up a friendly game of Texas Hold’em. The impromptu get-together leads to the institution of rousing, alcohol-driven, bi-weekly poker nights. One evening on a lark, someone suggests an alternate payout – instead of playing for pocket change, the winner may choose a different player with whom to spend the night. Before long, everyone’s Going All In.
All too quickly, friendships are strained and relationships crumble. Lies are told, truths are exposed, and feelings are hurt. In the end, can anyone bear the weight of this wanton self-indulgence? They are six fully consenting adults, and this was supposed to be just for fun. No one could possibly get hurt; after all, it was only a game. Or was it?
GOING ALL IN IS AVAILABLE AT:
Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley
Stephanie and Wayne are award-winning writers, directors, and producers as well as bloggers, who have other “day jobs” as well. Stephanie has an MA in counseling psychology and is a psychotherapist and professor of psychology. In addition to being a four-time Emmy-nominated and two-time winning writer and producer, who also is the author of the legal thriller Mahogany Row, Wayne is a media attorney and a part-time professor of communications.
Together the married duo (who are parents to a blended brood of seven children, two dogs, and three ferrets) pen “he-said/she-said” entertainment reviews and conduct interviews on their website, Pillow Talking.
Stephanie and Wayne have combined their creative talents on myriad works for film, theatre, and TV which are in various stages of development.
Read about Stephanie and Wayne’s projects here: