I would gladly give up my powerful pull that brings any weirdo within a half mile radius to my elbow. Gladly, I say!
On our night in Oklahoma to return The Pony to OU, we made a short jaunt to an Indian casino. In Oklahoma, you can play slots at 18 years old. The Pony said he wouldn't mind to accompany us. He's been once before. This makes steam come out Genius's ears, because he didn't get a casino trip until he was 21.
Even though it was New Year's Eve, I didn't figure a lot of folks would be hanging out on the gaming floor at 5:00 p.m. While there was quite a crowd, I imagine this is what a typical Saturday night is like there. We were dropped off by Hick, and found my favorite penny machines open for our gaming pleasure. I sat down an was up $18.00 pretty quick. That's good for a penny machine. The Pony tried his luck at the one next to me. Then moved down the row of penny machines after limited success.
That's when she appeared. The Weirdoess. She was probably in her mid-to-late 40s, blond hair most likely from a box, dressed in jeans and a knit shirt with a blazer over it. Somebody who seemed to be of the same social caste as Thevictorians. Kind of hick-y. But then again, it WAS Oklahoma. She stepped up to a penny slot and sat down on the stool. She did not, however, appear to be playing. She was next to The Pony, with a machine between me and her. She started chatting with him, and I heard him telling her that he was actually from Missouri.
"Are you 18?"
"Yes. You can play slots in Oklahoma at 18, but not the table games."
"They're not real strict on that here. You'd be surprised at the number of kids who lie about their age. Right to their faces. And then walk on in."
Whoa there, Weirdoess! Who are YOU, undercover security? I kept one ear on their conversation.
"I've been here once before, when I first came to move in at college."
"Oh, you go to school here? Which one?"
"What are you studying?"
I hit a small jackpot and hollered at The Pony to come see, while my machine was making the ding-ding noises counting up my cents. You know, just to establish who was who, before Weirdoess got weird.
"Oh, you two are here together?"
"Uh huh. She's my mom. My parents drove out with me to make sure I made it okay."
"So you're both from Missouri?"
"Uh huh. They're going back tomorrow."
It was taking Hick an awfully long time to park the car. I had already sent him a text telling him where we were, with no response. And no Hick.
"I'm a homeless woman. This is what I do all day. For $20 I can sit here and play the pennies. I like watching people and their systems, and what they win."
Yep. My weirdo feelers were out, and they had been right on the money. Weirdoess had moved a seat closer to me. She looked at the machine, but didn't put anything in it. I took out my phone to see if there was any word from Hick. Nope.
"I don't know WHAT'S taking my husband so long!"
"My husband? I don't have a husband. I'm a single lady."
"No, I meant MY husband. He dropped us off and went to park the car, and he hasn't answered my text."
"Oh." Weirdoess moved back to the row of slots behind us, some video kind, and turned her stool around so that she was looking over our shoulders. "You don't mind, do you? If I watch you play?"
Not-Heaven YES I minded! But I didn't want to be rude. Even to a weird stranger in an Indian casino who I would never see again.
"No. That's okay." I took my phone out again and called Hick. He answered. He was playing nickels on the other side of the casino! He said he hadn't checked his phone, and that it was loud, and that he was watching a guy get a $2000 hand pay from the machine that HOS played and won $90 on when they went to the OU football game.
Let the record show that while Weirdoess had been chatting up The Pony and telling me her brief life story, security had walked by no less than three times, stopping at the end of our row right by my machine. I thought maybe they were scoping out The Pony, but he's never been ID'd there, even though Genius has been every time he was in a Missouri casino.
Hick showed up and sat down next to me. Weirdoess started chatting with The Pony some more, and briefly said something to Hick about him being from Missouri. The longer he sat there, the less she talked. Finally she wandered on down the side aisle toward the dollar machines.
After The Pony went to his dorm, I told Hick about Weirdoess. He said she mentioned something to him about making $50 that night. "I think she said she was there to make fifty dollars. I don't know what she was getting at."
"Ha! She was probably a prostitute! At first I just thought she might be hinting at me to give her money, saying she was homeless and spent her days there. I guess to be inside and out of the cold. But now I think she was a prostitute out to make some cash on New Year's Eve. She was probably trying to scope out The Pony. That's why she was so interested if he was 18."
"Heh, heh. Maybe I should have bought her for him."
That Hick. I swear he could make a weirdo look normal.