All that folderol over my OLD gambling purse gave me two days of blog posts, by cracky! But I didn't actually need my OLD gambling purse. That's because on Sunday, I strapped on my new gambling purse and headed to the casino.
Oh, come on! It's not like I hopped in T-Hoe and drove myself up the highway for 50 minutes. I don't like to drive on the highway any more. I actually used to work in the city just past the turnoff to the casino. Which wasn't there back then. Good darn thing! Anyhoo...Hick dropped me off.
Hick had four tickets from work for the Cardinals game. So he took HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) and HOS's wife and their 7-year-old son. Don't go thinking Val got cheated out of a seat at the baseball game. I didn't want to go. I've been to plenty of Cardinals games, back when my knees didn't think to complain. But since I knew Hick would be driving right past that casino turn-off, I asked if he would drop me off. And pick me up afterwards! He agreed. I graciously forked over some cash so the baseball fans could eat, drink, and be merry.
Let me tell you, people, that the casino is not a friendly place on a Sunday night! We usually go on Sunday mornings. But I suppose Sunday nights are filled with people who are utilizing their free hotel night offers, good from Sunday through Thursday. Because that place was packed. At least the games I wanted to play were, anyway.
Normally, I dart into the high limit room for a couple of spins on a $5 machine. I only bet one credit. Last time, I gave my favorite Double Gold machine four spins, and won $225. This time, it gave me nothing. I usually walk around the high limit room, playing the dollar slots that are also in there. A few spins here, a few spins there. Last time, I won $80 on a Pink Diamonds machine. This time, I did not, because a man sat down at it right in front of me. Fair enough. He was faster.
Here's the part that annoys me. People sit at a machine NOT PLAYING, and won't even let you play the one next to it! It's not like I was going to sit next to them on a transatlantic flight, my blubbery rolls hanging over their armrest. I wasn't even going to sit down at all! I was going to slip a bill into that machine, give it 10 spins at most, and move on. It was on the aisle, too. I didn't even have to pull out the chair. I started to put my player's card in the slot, and the old lady sitting idle at the machine next to it said, "Oh, no. That lady over there is playing that." Huh. I didn't see a lady anywhere who looked like she was playing that machine. Everybody was sitting down at other machines. No card was in the slot. No money on the credit counter. I kind of think she was lying to me.
"Oh. Of COURSE she is." Uh huh. That's what I said to her. My eyes may or may not have rolled around in their sockets. I made sure to mutter unintelligibly as I left the high limit room. I swear, every time I headed for a favorite machine, somebody hopped onto the chair just ahead of me. I don't think it was premeditated. I think they just beat me to it.
I sat down at a Quick Hits machine and fed it a $20. I actually bet $1.50 a spin, since I figured at this rate, it would be hard to lose my money fast enough before Hick came back after the baseball game. I was about six spins in when I hit a bonus. I know the lady who had been down at the other end of that row playing when I sat down was not real happy for me. I won $45 and cashed out. Went wandering up that side of the casino, playing a dollar machine here, and a dollar machine there, all fruitlessly, on the way to get my burger for supper.
Here's the part that annoys me. The total for my burger and fries was ten dollars and change. So I handed the lady a twenty and a one. So I'd get back a ten. While I was paying, a cook set a tray there and announced the name of the person who ordered it. My cashier closed up the drawer, looked out into the dining area, then started jawing at the lady who walked up to claim her burgers.
Cashier: "I don't think that's yours, Ma'am."
Order Picker-Upper: "Yes. That's my order. That's my name. Here's my receipt. It's mine."
Cashier: "I don't really think it is."
Order Picker-Upper: "Yes. It's mine." The lady grabbed the tray.
I was still waiting. For my change. I saw no sign that it was forthcoming. "Excuse me. I paid you and I didn't get my change back."
Cashier: "I'm working on it!" She opened up the drawer and gave me a ten and some coins.
Heh, heh. I really think she was planning on keeping my ten dollars as a tip! I think that diversion over the "mistaken" tray was to distract me so that I'd walk off, thinking my transaction was done. It's not that easy to make Val forget about her money.
After ordering, I went to get a free soda from the soda fountain, and then sat just outside Burger Brothers playing a Timber Wolf machine. I'm such a sucker. Of course they put those no-paying machines there for people to waste their money in while waiting for a burger. My little disc thingy started to vibrate, signaling that my burger was ready. So I went back to the counter to pick it up. I must say, it was delicious this time, with no bitter white sauce, and only the pickles and onions that I asked for. And so medium that the juices ran down my wrist!
The Cardinals game was on the big TV over the table where I was eating. I didn't see Hick or HOS. They had seats for the Cardinal Club, so they may have been inside part of the time. Not that I cared. I had more money to lose!
I headed over to the penny slots side of the casino. I've been wanting to play Lightning Link, but they're usually busy. I'd walked by there when I first came in, and every seat was full. As they were now. Except for ONE! I went to it and saw that the chair was leaned against the machine. CRAP! I don't think that's fair. I could say I wanted to play a machine, and tip the chair, and then come back an hour or two later and still have it available. I could even leave my card in the slot. They'll give you another one if you lose it, you know. And even put in a couple dollars, so I could accuse anybody playing that game of stealing. But I don't. This one didn't have a card or money in it. It was just being saved. It probably saved me from losing a lot more money, though. Because I never have much success on Lightning Link. The two times I've been able to play it.
I played another Quick Hits, and won $65 on a bonus. I didn't like it, though, because the sound wouldn't turn up, and all I could hear was those Lightning Links. I went deeper into the casino to play my favorite, 88 Fortunes. Betting $.88. Then moving it up to $1.76 every now and then. I won back a lot of my losses with a couple of good bonuses.
Hick sent me a text that they were on the way to pick me up, so I cashed out and remembered that I had not taken my nightly aspirin and ibuprofen. So after a trip to the bathroom to count up my money, I popped those two pills in and dry-swallowed them, thinking that as I stepped out of that bathroom, I would get a free soda at the adjacent soda fountain.
It was closed. Roped off with a velvet rope. So I had to traipse across the casino floor and halfway back, to get a soda, all the while that medicine dissolving in the middle of my neck. AND there was an old lady with a walker, filling what looked like a Styrofoam soup container with ice and soda. It was wider than a 44 oz cup, but half as tall. With a lid. She finally got out of my way, carrying her walker with one hand and her bowl of soda with the other. So I chugged some Diet Coke, then headed back up front and outside, where Hick showed up in about 2 minutes.
Even Steven saw to it that I lost three dollars and change more than the big scratch-off winner I had cashed in the day before.
That's why they call it gambling. Not winning.