On Monday night, The Pony feasted at Steak N Shake, on a garlic cheeseburger, a delicacy of which he cannot partake in Norman, Oklahoma. Hick drove him a few miles into Joplin for that dinner, while Genius and I stayed at Downstream Casino, eating separately at the snack bar restaurant when the mood struck. Genius persuaded me to join him on the Money Wheel games. There were three side by side by side. Penny machines. We were betting 60 cents a spin, hoping to hit three wheels and get the bonus.
Unfortunately for Genius, he hit it quite often, and his bonus was a spin of the wheel, and it kept giving him the Mini Jackpot. Which was $3.00. Heh, heh! There was a lady on the machine between us, and she was hitting bonuses like crazy. Her machine was a little different version, and she was betting $2.40, I think. Anyhoo...she got the money-picking bonus where you touch the screen and pick flying bills. She won $277.00 on her last bonus. And sensibly gave up her machine. Finally. So I moved over next to Genius, and started playing that one, but at 60 cents, and promptly got that bonus. I only won $14, but it was better than $3.00!
So...those machines are popular. The one I vacated was not empty long. An old man and a kid walked by behind me. I assumed they were heading for the buffet. Kids can stay at the hotel, of course. And use the indoor and outdoor pool. And they can walk through the casino to get to the restaurants. That's what I figured was happening. But then the old man and little boy stopped and looked at that money wheel.
"Play this one, Grandpa!" said Little Boy.
"I don't know...how does it work?" said Gramps.
"Sit down. Here. Put your money in there. Then hit this to bet," said Little Boy.
"You do it," said Gramps.
"Can I sit on your lap?" said Little Boy.
"No," said Gramps.
You know kids these days. So savvy with electronics. Little Boy was only trying to help Gramps. But the situation rankled my nerves. This was not right! Kids are not allowed to gamble! I made sure my posture showed my disapproval, although I did not turn to look at them. I am, after all, not a confrontational person. I prefer to stew quietly in my own juices.
I did, however, lean to my right to whisper in Genius's ear. Not to be all sneaky or anything. But because those machines were SO VERY LOUD that he would not have heard me while one of his $3.00 bonuses was playing out. Even though I could hear Little Boy and Gramps, because they had not yet started playing.
"This is SO wrong! A kid shouldn't be here!"
"What? Where? What kid?"
"Don't look now. But on the other side of me. That old man and the little boy. He TOLD that man what to play, and now he's pushing the buttons and explaining the game! A kid is GAMBLING on that slot machine!"
"Uh. That's a little Asian woman."
WHAT? I tried to use my peripheral vision. I couldn't see very well. But it was, indeed, a little woman. Not a little woman in the sense of a dwarf or little person. Just a small woman. Really small. Like actress Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. Only a woman, not playing a man. Gambling with a man she referred to as 'Grandpa.'
Oh, and then I doubled my bet to $1.20 a spin, and hit the money-grabbing bonus for a $47 win. And cashed out, leaving Genius there playing with Gramps and Little