Monday, May 6, 2013

Bandits

This will be a two-part post (although TLC may have a surprise in between my two—I can never be sure…). And my subject is…drumroll…Gambling. Let’s-Go-To-Vegas-Or-Some-Casino-Somewhere-And-Give-Them-Our-Money kind o’ gambling.

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have been together 36 years. In that time, we’ve made a journey from Texas to Vegas, as a duo (he’s gone maybe three other times without me), approximately ten times. (Last jaunt to Vegas? About six years ago. He's experiencing withdrawal as I type.) Six of those trips involved a meeting or convention. We’ve made a couple of trips with friends or a group of friends. The two of us have gone about four times. Just because. Always for cheap airfares. Is there any other way to go to Vegas? (Note: I am not including our adventures to a casino, once, in South Dakota, and a few to casinos in Louisiana and Oklahoma over the years. Nor is this post about my horse-racing addiction. J/K. I meant my horse-racing passion. I'm not addicted. Infatuated, yes. Addicted, no. Going to The Kentucky Derby is on my Bucket List. Horse racing observations/confessions may come another time. Down the road that leads to the track. Perhaps.)

Although many, many years ago, MSH did enjoy blackjack and poker, he’s mostly, in the past twenty-five-ish years, played the slots. I do those one-armed bandits, too. I’m extremely intimidated by card dealers. They go so fast and make me feel totally stupid. They aren’t great for my self-esteem. Slot machines mock me—that’s true. But in an anonymous kind of way. I can always pretend I meant to lose that $20 in 9 minutes and laugh as I head to the next one.

Until about five years ago, our gambling “loss limits” would probably have surprised some of our friends and most of our family members. By this I mean we have, from the beginning, completely agreed to be VERY conservative about our willingness to give our moola away, willy-nilly, to casinos. Or maybe a better word for this philosophy might be “cheap.” In the past six years, whether it was on our last trip to Vegas or a visit to Louisiana or Oklahoma, we’ve upped this “loss limit.” Okay. Okay. We’ve actually doubled it. Whatever. Cost of living, etc., etc., etc. Still, all in all, we’re not going to bet our food money or lose our home. There is no way. Don’t get me wrong: We agree it’s important to support the travel industry, other towns and communities, and the overall U. S. economy. Yadayadayada. We shudder at the idea of being unnecessarily ridiculous—in an extravagant and idiotic way.

MSH typically breaks even. You see, fortunately, especially for me, MSH is usually darn lucky. (Not “I just won the Powerball!” kind of lucky. It's a more subtle and subdued kind of luck. You know that kind? The kind where you break even and are deeply and sincerely grateful?) I feel like he has some kind of cRaZy intuition that tells him when to walk away from a one-armed bandit and/or casino while he's ahead. An intuition I apparently have never possessed. I call it “luck.” He prefers I use the term “skill.” Or, as Kenny Rogers advised us many, many years ago—MSH knows “…when to run.” It’s confusing. Uncanny. Good. For our bottomline, basic existence and general well-being.

I normally go through my daily “loss limits’ allowance” by noon (Depending on what time I start, of course. It could be 8:19 a.m. And I started at 8:07 a.m.). As soon as I track him down, MSH is beyond kind about comping me a few more bucks. As long as I stay away from him. That’s the only condition. Me and my BAD luck often seem to be contagious. (You know what they say: If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.) When he feels like he should be done, he’s done. We're both done. Fini. Period. End of story. Showtime! Or Dinnertime. Or Naptime.

Now that MSH has officially retired, we’re pretty sure our gambling days are going to be even more few and far-between. However, we made a memorably fun trip to Durant, Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. Hence, my upcoming post will be about that adventure. Be ready! You won’t want to miss it—especially if you live anywhere near Oklahoma and you feel your own get-away calling your name…

to be continued…

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