Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Side-Eyes

Last Sunday, Hick took me to the casino. It was way more crowded than usual, and extra smoky, but that doesn't stop Val. It's a casino, by cracky! Not a meditation retreat, nor an oxygen chamber.

For once, I had a really good session. I always have a good time, but I don't always win. This time, it was like every machine I sat down at wanted to pay me. Right away. Only two machines blatantly took my hard-won scratcher profits without giving anything back. We played for about three hours, then had our supper at Burger Brothers. It was tasty, and without incident.

The only damper on the afternoon was that I could not get on my favorite machine. There are six of them, three on one side of the casino, three on the other. They are part of a circular grouping of tall machines. I like to play Buffalo Gold. It has a minimum bet of 60 cents, and a maximum bet of $6.00. I usually low-roll at 60 cents, because the money is in the bonuses, and it takes a while to hit a bonus. But on this day, I was hitting them regularly. That's not to say that I was a big winner, but I had accumulated more money than I brought in.

Anyhoo...I finally got on one of those Buffalo Gold machines about 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave. I had camped out at a different machine, just around the carousel from a Buffalo Gold. I played, having decent luck on that game, too. But I wanted my Buffalo. An old man and lady were on it. Then the man left. The lady kept lingering. I could only see one side of her, not how much she had left. So I couldn't judge when she might get up so I could dart over there and claim the machine.

Finally, that lady got up. Wouldn't you know it? I was in the middle of a bonus on mine! I couldn't just leave it running. Anybody could step up and claim my ticket. I watched a vulture pounce on my rightful machine as a younger lady walked up and sat down. There went my chance! We'd be leaving soon. I played a little more. I'd put in a twenty, and was now up to $85. Hick wandered over. Watched a minute. Then said he was going to get a soda. I kept playing. Lost a little back. I'd just hit another bonus when the Buffalo lady got up! Crap! Another chance, and I was missing it!

Just then Hick reappeared! "Go! Now! Sit down in that chair! I'll be there as soon as my bonus stops! Get that machine for me!"

Hick looked puzzled, but he did what I said. I've trained him well. He sat down, I cashed out, and he gave me the Buffalo Gold game. He went to seek his fortune elsewhere, and I started playing. I kept hitting bonuses. They didn't pay very well, but the FUN is in the bonus, because you have the HOPE of winning big. Even betting 60 cents. Hick came back to check on me with about 15 minutes left before time to go.

"I only have a twenty in here. I'm either playing it up to $100, or playing it down to nothing. I've been waiting all day to get on this machine."

Hick stood a while watching me. I suggested he grab a chair from a machine people hadn't been playing. At that moment, the Buffalo game next to me opened up. Hick sat down on its chair.

"You can't sit there! People would kill to get that game! Get up. Somebody will want to play it."

Hick put in a twenty and started playing. As with mine, he got a bonus right off, betting 60 cents. He was soon up to $35, and kept playing. I'd hit a bonus too, and when the money counted up, I was at $99.99. Heh, heh! That's NOT $100! So I kept playing. Hick was too. He declared that we would stay only another half hour. I was having a great time, up and down, hitting bonuses. We had about ten minutes left when I sensed someone behind me.

I do NOT like people behind me. I guess it's my paranoia acting up. I've never liked it. I sit in the last row at the movies. When we had faculty meetings I sat at the last table, my back to the wall. I don't like T-Hoe to be tailgated. I just don't like it. Not even taking pictures with the kids, knowing somebody would give me bunny ears. Don't get in Val's space, and don't stand behind her.

To make matters worse, every time I tried to glance over a shoulder, that presence shifted. Moved out of my peripheral vision. I don't know what kind of fool they took me for, but Val is an ex-teacher, you know, and she does not suffer fools gladly. She most certainly does not tolerate creepers creepin' up behind her. There are ne'er-do-wells in casinos. Like that little lady in Oklahoma who came up and PUSHED MY BUTTONS IN THE MIDDLE OF A BONUS! You never know what might happen.

I leaned over to mutter my discontent to Hick. He glanced behind me, and said, "It's just a guy watching." INDEED! That wasn't happenin'! Seriously. You don't know if someone might push your Cash Out button and grab the ticket, or if he's just trying to intimidate you into getting off the machine. I'd waited all day. I wasn't giving it up until I hit $100 or $0. I started taking my time between spins. No excuse for anybody to stand and watch. I wasn't in a bonus. It was not entertaining. The only reason to stand there was intimidation, I think, to drive me away from that machine so he could have it. Too bad, so sad. I'd nabbed that machine fair and square, after waiting for several hours.

I wasn't so much afraid of foul play (Hick was right there beside me) as I was annoyed at the intrusion. The nosiness. The invasion of my personal space. Most people would get the hint if you were looking over both shoulders at them, and complaining to your husband.

Then I had the most scathingly brilliant idea! I took out my phone. You have to be careful. Casinos don't take kindly to recording. I acted like I was checking the time. I got my camera all ready. I'm not techy enough to switch the camera to the other side, like for taking a selfie. So I turned it around, where NOSY could plainly see the back of my phone, with the lens looking at him. I held it at my shoulder, and TOOK A PICTURE!

Yeah. That didn't turn out so well. I got a section of my shoulder. My ear. My purse strap. BUT NO CREEPER!

Let the record show that the flash is bright! And when it went off, Nosy hit the road. I saw him as he walked away. A portly fellow, in khaki shorts, a blue striped shirt, white ankle socks, and white tennis shoes.


Oh, I got that machine back up to $105 and cashed out. I got up off the machine and waited for Hick. I left the casino with a $200 profit over what I took in.


  1. You sure were on a roll. I don;t like those lurkers either. You're pretty safe at River City, but watch your back downtown. BuffaLOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    1. I was on a better roll this trip to see The Pony! Maybe I'll tell of it. I LOOOOOVE BuffaLOOOOOOOO!

      We don't go downtown because RC is so much closer. Never been to that fancy one, but my favorite gambling aunt went when it opened and was not impressed, because she didn't win. She also got lost one time trying to cross the river to the Queen, and stopped to ask a cab driver, who barely spoke English. We found our way.

      Hick and I used to go there all the time in our younger years, and never had a problem with lurkers or otherwise. Then there was that serious crime on the Metrolink or at its station, I think, and we haven't been back.

  2. Lucky you (for the money you won) and lucky you for getting rid of that creeper.

    1. I'm sure Even Steven is keeping a tally, and the crash is going to be hard!

  3. I'm glad you found a way to get rid of the intimidator. And yay for winning. I hate people standing behind me too, if I know they're not doing anything else but watching me.

    1. Yeah. As kids, we'd say, "Take a picture! It'll last longer!" to people staring at us. However...I didn't want that lurker taking a picture of me, either.