When we met The Pony at Downstream Casino on his way home for the Christmas holiday, we had a little time to kill before check-in. The Pony and I went one way, and Hick another. We had plans to meet in one hour to have lunch, and then check in.
Hick was sitting at a table waiting for us when time was up. He looked preoccupied. While waiting for our order, he told his tale.
"I was playing at this machine when a woman came up and said, 'Did you take my ticket?' I told her no, and kept playing. She asked if there was a ticket in my machine, and I said no. She left. I hit some bonuses. I looked at the amount on my machine, and figured it was showing in pennies. When I cashed out, I had $147. I'd only been playing on a twenty. I thought that seemed like a lot.
I went around, playing several other machines, using that ticket. On about the fifth one, I heard someone behind me talking on a radio. Like a casino employee. Then the guy stepped over to me, and said, 'Are you Hick Thevictorian?' I said yes. The guy wanted to see some ID.
He said, 'Did you put your card in on someone else's card?'
I said, 'Not that I know of. There was no card in there. A lady came up and asked if I took her ticket, and I said no. I didn't take anyone's ticket.'
He said, 'Was there money in the machine when you started playing it?'
I said, 'Not that I noticed. I don't look at that when I put my card in to play. I put in a twenty, and started playing. I didn't do anything wrong. I did think it seemed like a lot of money when I cashed out.'
He said, 'A lady said she forgot to cash out her ticket. There was $141.36. Can you have the money to pay this back today?'
I said, 'Sure I have it right here. Let me get it out of my pocket.'
He said, 'No. You have to cash out this ticket, and then give me the exact amount.'
I said, 'Okay. Let's go over to this cash machine.' I cashed out that ticket, and got the rest out of my pocket. I didn't have the 36 cents, but I had 30 cents. I said, 'Is this going to be a problem, over 6 cents?'
He said, 'No. That's good. I'll tell the lady you were very cooperative, and I believe you did not do this on purpose.'
I said, 'I didn't do anything wrong!'
He said, 'If you had been unable, or refused to pay back the money, you would be banned from this casino.'
I called my brother (who used to work in security at Circus Circus in Las Vegas), and he said they banned people all the time for stuff like that. I don't see how it's my problem that she walked off and left her money! I didn't even realize it was in there."
Well. Wouldnt' THAT have been a fine kettle of fish, if Hick had been banned from the casino where we were staying, on his birthday!
That darn Hick. He makes my weirdo encounters seem so tame...