Do you all realize how lucky you are to be reading Val's blog this week? She could have been cooling her heels in the hoosegow. Chillin' with villains and felons. A guest at the Crossbars Hilton. Locked up, with the key disposed of per environmentally-friendly trash service and landfill rules.
VAL COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR BATTERY AT THE CASINO!
"Oh, Val," you say. "Why must you be so dramatic? Everything you do is not a major incident. The world is not as Valcentric as you would like."
Seriously. I could have been arrested for battery at the casino. Here's how it went down.
I had just sat down to play a quarter slot machine called Lucky Duck. It was a 3-reel machine, with a bonus when you hit a Lucky Ducky anywhere visible, not just on the payline. Apparently there were three different kinds of Lucky Ducks, but I couldn't tell them apart in my spinning frenzy. Every now and then, that machine would go crazy and give free spins. I guess if you hit a special duck. AND, sometimes a screen popped up on top with little yellow rubber duckies swimming along.
Hick had told me about playing one of these games. He tried to pick a duck, like the screen said, but nothing happened. And a guy next to him said he had to push a button first. I don't know about Hick and his buddy, but I reached up to poke a duck, and it turned over, and some points wafted out of him. I got to pick three ducks, and their total was my bonus. Simple enough, but I didn't know why it was doing that. I figured I'd just keep spinning the reels (no crank on this machine) and poke the ducks when I got a chance.
I had only put one $20 bill in the machine, and was getting along swimmingly. I was a lucky duck! I was pushing the PLAY MAX CREDITS button, to play 3 credits, or three quarters per spin. All at once, a Lucky Duck appeared, and my machine took to spinning on its own. FIVE free spins! And then the swimming ducks showed up on the top display. Of course a slot machine makes noise when you win something, because the casino wants to trick other idiots into feeding their no-armed bandits money. During my free spins, quite a cacophony emanated from my Lucky Duck
A little old lady came up behind me, and said, "Oh, what you do?" She was short, with a round face and black hair, and either foreign (like perhaps Asian or Mexican) or Native American (which would make ME foreign, I suppose), because she talked with an accent, or some kind of inflection different than what flyover midwestern Val is accustomed to hearing in the heartland.
"I really don't know what I'm doing, but I think I'm doing pretty good!"
Let the record show that the majority of people playing in casinos don't want to make chit-chat. It's one thing if you're filling your free soda (the horror--Oklahoma seems to be in cahoots with PEPSI instead of Coke) or waiting in line, or eating at the food court. But when you're playing, you don't want to be bothered. Maybe you're counting losing spins, so you know when to up your bet to max when the odds are in favor of a payoff. So you don't just walk up to people and start blathering. But Val is a people person, as you well know! So she was polite and responded to Little Lady.
WELL! The thanks I got for being nice was that Little Lady reached around my shoulder and HIT THE 'SPIN REELS' BUTTON ON MY MACHINE!!!
I reacted by flinging up my arm. Kind of like my mom used to do if she had to slam on the brakes when I was a toddler riding in our pink and white 1956 Chevy Bel Air sedan, standing on the front seat beside her. It's a reflex. So when Little Lady pushed my button, my arm automatically raised up quickly without my conscious thought, and knocked her arm and hand off my button.
"Don't touch my machine!"
I didn't scream at her. But I wanted her to know that I did not appreciate her touch. You can't have people walking up all willy-nilly in a casino and pushing your buttons. That is a really bad casino faux pas. I share this tale to educate you on proper casinoquette.
Little Lady looked at me kind of quizzically. But I had made my point. I chatted with her a bit more, just to show that there were no hard feelings.
She said, "I think that what you do. To pick ducks."
"But mine were already turning over when I touched them."
Problem was, she pushed that SPIN REELS button, which was for playing 1 credit. I was afraid that would negate my 3-credit play that had landed me in the bonus. She could have cut my profit by TWO-THIRDS! I don't think she did. I happened to win $150 on that spin. So everything was good.
I'm surprised that security didn't see my actions on the spy cams, and come to escort me out into the 99-degree heat while Hick continued to lose the money I gave him, while sipping free Diet Pepsi all the live-long day.
Let the record show that even after Hick met up with me right before leaving time, and I told him about Little Lady's transgression, I'll be ding-dang-donged if he didn't do the exact same thing! I was trying to finish up at a penny machine, and Hick reached over my shoulder and PUSHED THE PLAY 5 CREDITS BUTTON!!! Of course my arm did the exact same thing it did to Little Lady, only this time it was my left arm.
"Don't you hit my hand off your button!" Hick actually thought HE was in the right! What is wrong with people? If security had come, I would have denied knowing Hick, and complained the he put his hands where they didn't belong (technically true) and let them tote him away to their lock-up.
So there's my gambling tale of almost hitting an old lady (who was probably younger than me), and violently fending off Hick's unwanted touch.
It's a good thing Val carries her lawyer's card with her at all times.