Val has been remiss in keeping you up-to-date with her casino excursions. We'll gloss over (meaning only a couple of pages of Val-type) the previous two, because they were not favorable for Val.
Okay. I'll give you a bargain. I won't even talk about the middle trip, because it was just Hick and me, and I lost $30, and HE WON almost $100.
Early last month, Genius and a friend/housemate who had turned 21 came to take me to the casino. As luck (for them) would have it, they could only come on a Saturday, and Hick was off that particular day, so he became the main driver, and a sucker-up of more of Val's set-aside scratch-off winnings for a gambling stake. Let the record show that I had already planned to bankroll Genius and Friend, since I would never invite a student to go on a recreational outing and pay his own way. That's like inviting a kid to Six Flags, and at the entrance, asking him if he's got money for his ticket. Hick is another matter, since I would just as soon leave him in the Six Flags parking lot all day. But since I might want another gambling trip in the future, I had to fund him as well.
When I gave the boys their money, I told them I did not require a cut of their winnings (such as the deal I have with Genius on his weekly scratch-off tickets). If they wanted to pocket their bankroll and wander around watching others, or save half and gamble half, or blow it on a high stakes machine, it made me no nevermind.
When we walked up to the entrance, the burly attendant squared up and looked past Hick and me. Genius and Friend already had their IDs out. The only other time Genius had been there was last Christmas break, right after he turned 21, and a security guard had followed him around inside and asked for ID.
I though we would split up and meet for lunch, but Genius stuck closer to me (and Friend to him) than he ever had in all his toddler years of Walmart shopping. He played the machine next to me, and one around the corner, and one behind me. All quarter slots. Genius was having fun, hitting small jackpots and free plays, staying about even, and Friend wasn't losing his shirt. Genius walked by and said they was going to walk around and look for the penny machines.
Hick found me and plopped down at the machine next to me. No sooner had he put money in that machine than the bells started going off. NOT on either of our machines! It was the machine behind me that Genius had just left. Of course I was too busy playing to watch the attendant show up to verify and pay the jackpot, but Hick was not.
"That woman just hit 5000 credits. That's $1250."
"Too bad. That's the machine Genius just left. Not even five minutes ago. Right before you sat down here."
Genius was not too disappointed to hear that. He came back to take me to a machine that he said was great. I sat down at it and lost $20 within two minutes. And I even know what I'm doing! "Oh. Sorry. It worked for me." Off he went again in search of the penny machines. I joined him there about a half hour later. He and Friend persuaded me to sit down and play one with them. I don't like penny machines. You spend more than you do on the quarters if you bet max. Which you have to do, in order to win more than you lose. Of course I lost another $20, this time in about 5 minutes. I told them the pennies were too rich for me, and left them there. A man was walking away from the cashier, and he stopped by Genius and handed him a ticket. "Here, bud. You can use this." It had a few cents on it, so Genius stuck it in his machine. Maybe THAT'S how he was staying ahead!
We met for lunch at Burger Brothers. Everybody had burgers. What did you think, that we were like my favorite gambling aunt, and ordered Italian sausages, and then complained because they had peppers and onions all over them? Anyhoo...I said I wanted to share fries with somebody. It's a lot of fries. A whole carboard basket like you get the chicken strips in at Dairy Queen. Not crinkle fries, and not shoestring fries, but bigger than a pencil thickness. Like a fat kindergarten pencil. So...Hick goes up to get the order, and there are four burgers and one onion ring and one fry. I said, "Who's sharing the fries with me?" And Genius said, "I asked for fries." And Hick said, "You're sharing them with you mom." Of course, Hick had an order of onion rings all to himself.
Genius was not too happy. I told him I only wanted a few. Maybe a third. Then he was griping at Friend because he took one, and Genius said, "I just GAVE you a whole bunch." Yet the basket was still about 3/4 full in front of Genius. Anyhoo...I ended up giving about half my meager share back to Genius, because of course everybody got done before me. And Genius gave them to Friend. Oh, and Hick and Genius started eating each other's burgers in the beginning, because they couldn't tell the difference between pepper jack and provolone. Finally Hick switched with Genius, after he'd already taken a bite. I got my burger with only a pickle on the side, one of those spears, and mine was the thinnest and limpest of all four of our pickles. Which hardly seems fair, what with me giving up the fries. But nobody volunteered to trade the purveyor of their bankroll a plump pickle. The burger itself was delicious.
"They asked if we wanted soda when we ordered, Mom, but we said no like you told us." Yeah. Because you can bring them in FOR FREE from the casino floor, and they cost $2.40 apiece in the restaurant. We saved $9.60 right there on sodas! Which is important when you're spending millions (okay, not quite that much) of dollars gambling!
After lunch we spent another couple of hours losing our money. Well. Hick did. He lost every penny, like he always does (except for that very next trip). I lost $60, which is more than usual. Friend had about half of his bankroll left. And Genius came out ahead by about $100, plus his entire gambling stake that I gave him. He took his housemates out for dinner than night. Nothing extravagant, I'm sure. He knows a Chinese restaurant where he eats for $6, tax and drink included.
On the way home, Hick made us all go to Goodwill. He didn't actually force us to go, but unless we wanted to get out and walk from the city to Backroads, we had to go. Goodwill was packed. No parking spaces in front, so Hick went down the strip mall a ways and parked in front of a Chinese restaurant. I doubt they had a $6 special. We waited, the boys on their phones, me sitting like an old lady, listening to classic country (driver chooses the radio station) while Hick shopped. He wasn't gone long. He bought a pot. Not to be confused with just pot. It was white with a lid. He put it in the trunk after holding it up for us to admire, so he might have sneaked something else in there for all I know.
Funny how Hick had money to shop at Goodwill, right after I gave him gambling money...