Portland, OR – When Daryle Rico pays his monthly visit to the Knockin’ At Heaven’s Door retirement community this week, it won’t be to spread tidings of joy. Instead, more than likely, he’ll be packing his Uno deck and looking to take a few bucks from the home’s hapless residents.
Rico yells “Uno!” en route to another big pay day.
“That son-of-a-bitch shows up every month like clockwork,” said an irate Leslie Peterson, the community’s activity director. “No telling how much money he’s won off our residents, but I’m sure it’s in the thousands of dollars.”
Rico makes no apologies for his visits. “The way I see it, I’m performing a valuable service by providing those poor seniors pleasing company and stimulating conversation.”
“I wouldn’t exactly call ‘ante up, grandma’ stimulating conversation,” countered Peterson.
No senior is safe from Rico, as is evidenced by this special deck of Uno playing cards that are printed in Braille.
Rico flatly denies that he is out to rob anyone. “I don’t always play for money,” says Rico. “In fact, just last week I settled for a box of colostomy bags and a set of false teeth.”
The community’s certified nursing staff is appalled by Rico’s behavior. “Some of our residents don’t have the mental acuity to feed themselves, let alone play a competitive game of Uno,” said head nurse Kristi Lemos. And even Rico admits that he’s had some of his biggest pay days in the home’s Alzheimer’s wing.
Rico, who has no relatives living at the retirement community, has been a regular visitor for nearly 5 years. “He’s got his system down pat,” claims Peterson. “For example, he’s always here the day after the social security checks arrive, but is nowhere to be found during Murder She Wrote.”
The community’s management says Rico has long since worn out his welcome. But when asked if legal action might be taken to ban him from playing Uno on the premises, Peterson could only shake her head. “That’s not in the cards,” she said.