You'll be proud of me, I think, for showing my assertiveness at the casino on Saturday.
Okay, maybe it wasn't so much assertiveness as shock. But still. I think you'll rally 'round me. Maybe start humming Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Take my photo off the wall of Spineless Jellyfish Bloggers, and move it halfway to the wall of Growing-a-Spine Bloggers.
Here's the scoop. Hick and I got a later start than normal, due to his large Saturday crowd at the Storage Unit Store. So I knew that we only had 1:45 of prime gambling time. Which included the long walk in, long walk out, and bathroom time. I was prepared. I knew which machines I wanted to play, and how much I was willing to spend on them. As soon as we entered the people-counter contraptions, Hick and I went our separate ways, with a time to meet for a burger. Then we were leaving, directly after the burger.
I made an immediate right turn, to get a free soda before sitting down to play. Complimentary Diet Coke in hand, I started towards the back of the casino, to play a Fu Dao Le slot at an .88 bet. I took a glance at the three Buffalo Gold slots as I walked by. I haven't been able to get on one for about the last five times we've been there. That's the problem with going on a Saturday. It's busy. I looked across the middle of the casino, to the other set of three Buffalo Golds.
ONE WAS OPEN!!!
Let the record show that I've had near-misses at snagging one of these prime bandits. Twice, I've been headed for one, only to have someone coming at me from the opposite direction, walking faster, sliding in about two steps ahead of me. Or coming around the kiosk while I was still wending my way through the old folks. Disappointing, but to the spryer go the Buffalos.
You can imagine my excitement at seeing this Buffalo Gold laying fallow. It was on the right side of the three on the opposite kiosk. I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had to get around the unused table games that go down the middle of the casino. You can bet I had my eyes peeled for interlopers. I was more aware of people entering my space than an NFL running back shooting through the line. NO! Old walker-lady coming! Whew! She didn't want it. A man coming up from the other side! Nope. He took a different game! Look out! Darn people, walking down the main aisle! Why do I have to stop and let them continue? Almost there...
I set my soda cup down on the shiny black console. Put my left hand on the back of the chair to spin it toward me for planting my ample rump. Had my right hand in my gambling purse, pulling out my player card.
"I WAS HEADED THERE!"
What in the Not-Heaven??? It was a tall gray-haired lady coming around the other side of the kiosk. She was even with the Buffalo slot on the left end of those three, while I was at the one on the right.
That's the look I gave her: ?
If there had been a camera filming the whole thing (heh, heh, as IF there weren't about 10 surveillance cameras surreptitiously recording me), I would have turned to look right into the lens, and raised my eyebrows.
"SHE (pointing to the lady playing at the middle Buffalo Gold) SENT ME A MESSAGE!"
Again. I gave her a blank look. What was I SUPPOSED to do, GIVE it to her? I THINK NOT! I shrugged, sat down, and started playing. The Interloper huffed a great sigh. I didn't turn to engage her. I didn't turn at all. I busied myself with playing Buffalo Gold. It's been a long time.
Let the record show that at no time did The Interloper's partner-in-not-very-good-crime say anything at all. Made no nods. Didn't engage. Kept playing her own Buffalo. Might have had a slight smirk on her face. Even though I had immediately turned my sound down to next-to-nothing, Pard craned her neck to see my machine at the slightest sound of a payoff or bonus. The Interloper showed up to my right, around the kiosk, on some kind of dragon game, I think, that my sister the ex-mayor's wife used to play. I could feel her goonin' at me (that's staring, in my former-student-speak). I didn't look up. Just played my Buffalo.
I hit THREE bonuses! They're hard to get on Buffalo. On the first two, I was betting the minimum of .60 when they hit. They weren't great bonuses, but they gave me money to keep playing. I had put in a second twenty, and was betting 1.20 a spin when the third bonus hit. I thought Pard was going to break her neck trying to see what I won. She started asking. And since she had been polite enough to me, and hadn't gotten involved in the almost-fracas, I told her. I had 43 free games, and won $150. I cashed it out and left. I'm pretty sure The Interloper almost broke her neck diving for that machine. But I didn't look back.
Seriously. Who did she think she was? I was clearly there ahead of her! My soda was already parked, claiming ownership. The machine wasn't saved. No card in it, no money in it, the chair not leaned up against it. Nothing. It was fair game, and I got there first. My hand was on the back of the chair. The Interloper was at least four steps away.
That disgruntled entitle-ist (she should have THAT painted on her probably-dimpled rump, like a golf ball) had absolutely no claim on that machine! I can't believe she thought I'd pick up my soda and let her have the Buffalo, just because she SAID that the other lady informed her it was open! If I'd been trying to hang onto a game until Hick could make his way there, I'd have put money in one machine, and my card in the other, along with the soda cup, and tilted the chair until he could walk over there. At the very least, I would have leaned over with my hand on the chair, and told anyone who asked, "My husband went to the bathroom. He'll be right back."
I wish I'd thought of something snappy to say to The Interloper. I was kind of like a deer in the headlights. A very brave deer! I couldn't believe what she was trying to pull!
What about you? How would you have handled it? Would you say something? Give up the slot machine to her? Ignore her? Start sing-songing, "Too bad, so sad..."
In case anyone has an inquiring mind...I left the casino with every penny I took in, plus an extra $31.02 after playing for an hour and 45 minutes. Sure, I could have cashed out and left right after my bonus. But where's the fun in THAT?
And here's a 3-minute YouTube video of some random guy hitting a better bonus than me, in case you want to know what Buffalo Gold is like.