“Come on Joe, I’m feelin’ lucky. Let’s go!”
Last weekend the wife and I decided to do some recreational gambling. So we planned to go wrestling with the one-armed bandits. The wife only likes the slots and we hang out together, so I like the slots too. We usually play the twenty-five-cent machines. Sometimes we play them using multiple options bringing each pull of the arm to cost as much as $1.25 a "pull". (That’s slots lingo ... pretty cool, huh?) To help make our money last, I watch her play, then she watches me play. If one of us is doing well, the other will get tired of watching so we occasionally split up. We bring our cell phones in case we lose each other. All those aisles of machines look so much alike and it’s easy to get lost. Problem is ... it’s difficult to distinguish a cell phone ring from all the game music coming from the slot machines (if you’ve ever been to a slots casino you’d know what I mean). We set our phones to vibrate after lessons learned.
So she’s winning ... I’m getting bored ... I wander off to play my own game ... twenty minutes go by ... suddenly I feel a pleasant sensation in my left pant-leg ... I answer my phone ...
“Joe, where are you?”
After many minutes of giving her directions when all the time I don’t even know where I am, she usually gets close enough that I can hear her panicky voice over the machine noise, easier than listening to her over the phone. “Just three more machines on your left dear, see, over here, I’m waving, good!”
We have played the slots in Vegas, at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos in Connecticut, in Atlantic City, on a cruise to Bermuda and even went out one time for a few hours on a gambling boat close to home. We enjoyed each time whether we won or lost. Our favorite games are the ones that look like this ...
Last weekend we stepped out of our comfort zone. We decided to try a place in Rhode Island called Twin Rivers. The website stated it only had slot machines and was just an hour away. It sounded good. But when we arrived we were not so happy. All of the games looked like this ...
First of all, what are we going to do with all these quarters?
Okay, so it’s been a while, I guess. Every machine took in bills only and would only spit back out … coupons! Where’s the fun gone? Where's the cha-ching cha-ching?
Then, another question. How the heck do you play these things?
It can’t be that difficult. I assume the more lines to play, the better the chance of winning, right?
My wife decided to break the ice and slipped a twenty into the slot. It was a 5-cent machine so what the hell, take a chance. Her look was one of disgust ... no friggin’ arm to pull. She selected the “maximum bet” button ... Let’s see ... twenty lines ... times 5-cents ... that’s one dollar ... give it a shot. Round and round went the colorful wheels ... about twenty- five different pictures of various sea creatures like crabs, sharks, mermaids, shells, fish, whales and such ... each with their own musical tune. Five seconds pass ... they all stop ... and ... nothing but silence.
After studying the results, we turned and looked at each other ... I don’t know which of us looked dumber ... then I said ... "Try it again."
“Joe, why does it say I only have three dollars left?”
I wanted to say “WTF”, but instead calmly asked, “What did you do? That just cost you seventeen dollars!” Even that didn’t go over very well.
So we searched and searched over the advertized 4,700 slot machines and couldn’t find one arm to pull. All the games were computerized, fancy-smancy musical bandits.
We observed others playing various machines while browsing the entire 300,000 square feet of modern technology and began to understand what we did wrong. We failed to travel the extra hour to Connecticut where the slot machines had arms.