Today was Val's trip to the casino! Next to Diet Coke and gas station chicken and scratch-off lottery tickets, Val LOVES her a trip to the casino!
I could hardly sleep last night. The eve of a trip to the casino for a retiree is like Christmas Eve to a child. I tossed and turned, helped by Hick's elbow jabbing between my shoulder blades. At the stroke of 6:10 a.m. I was up and at 'em. I had to take my old-lady medicines twice, an hour apart. Then I needed time to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes for two hours. Then there was showering, and finding pants that wouldn't fall down, and a shirt with a big front pocket for stashing ID (for when I won a big jackpot) and player's card (in case this place ever decides to mail me comps) and insurance cards (in case I fell and broke a hip).
I arrived at the agreed-upon pickup place a scant 30 seconds before I saw Auntie coming down the exit ramp. She was 10 minutes early! That meant 10 minutes more gambling time! Auntie has traded in her old Lincoln that looked and rode like a state highway patrol cruiser. She now has a mid-size Lincoln SUV. We took off at the speed of Auntie. I only had to close my eyes twice.
Auntie decided on valet parking. The young guy rushed out to take the car, and Auntie said, "You're going to have to wait a minute. We're old. It takes us a while to get out of the car." We entered through the handicap doors (because Auntie CAN, what with her double hip replacement) just so Auntie could push that big button on the wall, I think. We split up, she going to play the pennies, I headed for the 25-cent reel-to-reel old-timey slots.
If only I had stopped after the first 20 minutes! IF ONLY!!! The first machine paid me $60 on the first spin. Of course I played a little bit more. The second machine paid me $100 on the second spin. Huh. Who says you can't win at a casino? VAL, that's who! Because the longer I played, the more I spent. I gained back a bit of money on the Jacks or Better video poker. But then I went back to my second slot machine, the one I LOVE because it gives you bonus spins when it's hot. Which it wasn't. Any more. Still, at lunch time, I was $40 up.
Auntie and I had hamburgers. No big buffet for Val, even though as SENIORS, we could have had BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE. But Val has been cutting back, you know, and Auntie gave me the choice of where to eat. So we picked the burger joint. It smelled really good. It's probably just a scent they pump through the vents. I told Auntie I would buy her lunch, since she drove, and since she bought my Personal Pan at Pizza Hut last week.
The order-taker spoke English with a heavy accent. She kept pointing to a placard that touted a QUARTER POUND hamburger. Which was actually $3.00 cheaper than the regular hamburger. Auntie said, "You're getting that, aren't you?"
"No. I hadn't thought of it. Is that what you want?"
"Well, it's a bigger burger."
The order-taker kept talking to us. Sheesh! Can't we debate for five or ten minutes? It's not like there was anyone behind us! Anyhoo...I asked for my burger medium rare, and Auntie asked for hers medium. But the order-taker said, "Well-done! Yours well-done!" Which is the first inkling I got that Auntie ordered the regular burger, after making me take the big one to keep her company! I asked for the fries, which we were going to split. But the order-taker said both fries AND onion rings. NO! They did not come with the burger! We did not need TWO sides!
After a while, our remote-control thingy buzzed, and I went to get our tray. I handed Auntie her smaller burger. She took of the top bun, and said, "See how big this LITTLE burger is!" So I took off the bun of my burger, and saw that it was smaller than the little one. They had apparently switched up the buns. So we traded the burgers, mine having been ordered without lettuce. Auntie sliced off half the top bun, because she has to watch her carbs. I divvied up the fries, Auntie having been adamant that the order-taker give us TWO cardboard bowls, since we were splitting them.
"I always get something on my shirt. I'm wrapping up my burger." I proceeded to fold the waxed-paper wrapper around the bottom of it.
"You know, at Pasta House, they'll give you a bib!"
That's well and good, but we were not at Pasta House. We mustarded and ketchuped, and daintily wolfed down our burgers while gossiping about former work-mates and family. We had brought in sodas from the gambling floor (more on that later). I stopped to take a sip, and looked down to see FOUR QUARTER-SIZED SPOTS on my solid color shirt. I almost said a word that kind of sounds like shirt.
"LOOK at that! I KNEW I'd make a mess! How in the world...that's GREASE! From my burger! And it didn't even taste all that medium! But look! There it is in the crease of that wrapper--meat juice! I can tell, because it's kind of red...and greasy. Now I have to go back with four spots on my shirt. WAIT A MINUTE!"
I dabbed my finger in my Diet Coke (oh, come on, like you didn't know what beverage Val would have) and rubbed it on each spot. Auntie was gaping at me, open-mouthed. Even she is not talented enough to gape with a closed mouth. "What are you doing?"
"Diet Coke. It'll take out the stain. Except now I look like my left boob is leaking. But this shirt dries quick." I fanned it back and forth with a grip on the collar. Sure enough, in five minutes, it was dry.
"I can't believe that! I can't even see the stains!"
"Uh huh. I've known that for a long time. I saw it on the internet. Diet Coke will take out a grease spot. I used to use it on the kids' clothes all the time. I'd put my finger on top of the straw, hold it over their stain, and dribble a little Diet Coke on there to rub in. Don't use REAL Coke, though. Just Diet. It's better than a Tide Pen!"
Once I was dry, we headed back to the gaming floor. Auntie is sprier than I thought with those two fake hips. You should have seen her jump out of the way to avoid being flattened by an old man on a scooter. There really should be speed limit signs.
We split up again, agreeing to meet at 3:15 to start home. I filled up another Diet Coke. That stuff was SO good! I'd drive all the way up there every day to fill my 44 oz cup, except they probably don't allow refills in a used cup, and the cost of gas would be prohibitive, and I'd have to gamble a bit while I was there, and...oh, yeah...I don't drive on the highway.
I was all set to win that big jackpot before it was time to leave. I even got a haircut yesterday so I would look good when they took my picture for promotional purposes. Darn that old man on a scooter playing my bonus machine! I had to play some more poker, then a slot kind of like Double Diamond (which probably isn't even made anymore) with COWS in the ovals. It paid me quite a bit up front, but then I kept feeding it when I shouldn't have.
All in all, I was down for the day, but only by half as much as I usually lose.
I can't wait to go back!!!