Perhaps you've heard that Val enjoys a bit of gambling every now and then. What better time to hit the casino than when she's on a holding pattern in Oklahoma, waiting for The Pony to finish his freshman orientation camp? Especially when Riverwind Casino is just down the road, and Hick is here to drive her.
We dropped off The Pony with a fluffy pillow, and a full suitcase on wheels, and headed 15 minutes down I-35 to Riverwind Casino. Let the record show that Val did not have high hopes. No delusions of winning. After all, she rarely wins in Missouri casinos, and the Oklahoma casinos operated by the Indian Nations are unregulated. They can set their slots at zero payback if they so desire. The reviews left on various sites did nothing to pump Val with enthusiasm. Still! It's a CASINO!
Hick pulled into a the closest lot, with just a few cars, very near the door. I was sure it was the lot for valet parking, because there was a concrete barrier at the end closest to the door. AND about 60% of the parking spots were labeled with handicap signs. I was sure Hick needed to get out of that lot before security-in-a-Gator turned on their sirens.
Hick pointed out to poor simple Val that he was NOT in the wrong spot. As he backed up from the concrete barrier, he further pontificated that he was pretty sure valet parking would not let a man walk to his own car and back it out of the parking space Hick was now headed for. AND that space was one of three on that side of the lot that did not have a handicap sign.
"It's fine, Val. Nothing says we can't park here. And it's as close as we're going to get to the door."
Let the record show that the temperature was 99 degrees. And that Hick never once considered dropping Val off at the door. Off a cliff, maybe. But not off at the door. So we parked in that just-vacated spot, and headed inside. I was quite impressed with the bathrooms, so large and full of stalls and tastefully decorated with stone and tile. The free soda fountain was not so welcoming. There were several of them throughout the casino, in little alcove rooms, and they only dispensed PEPSI PRODUCTS! We fueled up on Diet Pepsi, and wandered off to scout the premises.
I did not see my regular slots, of course. Not that I have any regular slots, only having been to the casino twice in the last 5-6 years. We didn't see many appealing quarter machines, so I left Hick and found a penny machine. Of course to play max credits, it cost $1.80! That was 20 different win option payline thingies. Still a reel-to-reel, not a video machine. Wouldn't you know it? It kept hitting little jackpots, paying me back $1.00 for my $1.80. And when I was down to $11.00-and-something of my original $20 bill...it hit something kind of good. I don't know what it was, because I didn't understand the game. But I had two winning paylines, and something plus a 4X oval and a 2X oval. I was excited! It kept going and going, that WIN PAYS digital counter. Of course it was dinging and dinging, and people were looking, but then they would see it was a penny machine. The housekeeping lady came by 3 times to check the trash can right beside me. Huh. That was curious.
Because I was kind of a novelty for people to stare at, I sent Hick a text. "I just hit a good winner. I'm going to leave this machine if you want to try it." I knew he would come stand by me then. And he did. He sat down at the machine next to me and fed it a $20. He had lost that, not even playing max credits, before my machine quit dinging. We tried to figure it out. It was counting up the win in pennies. Hick thought I won $50, but it went right past that. After about 20 minutes (but who was counting), the jackpot was finished. Let the record show that I won a jackpot of $112.00 on that play!
Of course, because I'm Val, I did not take the money and run far, far away from those armless bandits. I tried a couple of quarter machines with no luck. Then found Hick again with a new kind of quarter machine that may or may not pay extra when some bingo numbers were hit. I tried reading the rules on another machine like that, but it got stuck and would not take me back to regular play, and I still had $17.00 in it! Also, no attendants came by. Nope. It's not like I was clanging a winner. They were scarce. Not even the housekeeping lady would come over. After about five minutes of inaction, with me poking various play buttons trying to get out of that rules screen, it went back to letting me play regular spins, and I lost my money quickly.
So, at this machine next to Hick, I was having some fun. Again, it paid off here and there, and those surprise bingo spins excited me. I hit a couple of good jackpots on it that I cashed out. I did not, however, use my regular system of keeping track in my head of all the smaller pays, and save that money from my pocket. I was ready to quit after a $45.00 payout, but Hick was still button-pushing. So of course, to keep him company, I kept feeding my machine. Once Hick finally lost every bit of the money I had given him from my gambling fund, we headed for a cashier to cash out my tickets, because we did not know where the automatic ticket-cashing machines were.
Let the record show that Val walked out the front door with $300 even from those tickets. Of course, it cost her $240 to win that $300. Still, Val profited $60 on her Oklahoma casino adventure. Not exactly a high roller.
Somehow, playing that last quarter machine, I earned an odd 1 cent. Must have been the bingo. I did not cash it out, but kept it for a souvenir. Hick also gave me HIS total winnings for the day. Which is not really a win, considering I gave him a considerably higher amount than that to play with.
Yeah. Hick should be called Crumpledstubskin. At least he was a good chauffeur. Who got a $149.92 tip.