Sunday, September 11, 2005

Gamblin' Granny Strikes Again

yesterday, mom, granny and i went to the casinos. granny is a hardcore slot machine addict and we go every couple of months. my granny even learned how to play slot games on my computer. watching my 75 year old granny learn to work a mouse was one of the funniest things i have ever seen. but she did it and now has her own computer at home. i am scared to see what will happen if she ever gets internet. i know she won't gamble online for money, but she will become a walking encyclopedia of free gaming sites within weeks. if she starts her own gambling blog i would not be all that surprised.

granny got her first taste of slot fever sometime in the early 1960's when grandpa took her to las vegas for the first time. they were at one of the western themed casinos and granny was playing a penny slot machine. the machine itseld was shaped like a cowboy and when granny hit her first jackpot, the cowboy's arm shot down and pennies started coming out of it. she thought she had broken the machine and was trying to shove the pennies back into the arm. she stage whispered to grandpa, "Louie! Louie! I broke it!" he explained to her that she had just won. she's been on a tear ever since.

nowadays, the slots are much more complex. on some there are 20 paylines and bonus rounds and all kinds of other bells and whistles. i just dump my money in, hit "spin" and hope for the best. not granny. no, she understands all the paylines and winning combos. one day she was explaining them to me in great detail and i looked at her and said, "other grannies teach you how to make cookies and sweaters. you are teaching me how to gamble."

her response was to look at me say, "you can BUY cookies and sweaters. THIS is fun. now, if you hit payline 14, that means....."

so, yesterday at the casino, we are all doing our own thing and we check in with each other every hour or so to see if anyone won. i play video poker, mostly. that's my game. i even have my own favorite machine at this particular casino. everytime i play it, i win a nice chunk of change (anywhere from $70 to the most i ever won which was $1200). i love this machine so much i have named it "Baby." i get very possessive and upset if i see anyone playing it and i lurk until they leave. hey, Baby is MY machine, dammit.

sometimes i take a break and go play the regular slots. but i usually end up getting so irritated at the people around me that i leave and going back to video poker. you see, some of the neanderthals that play the slots seem to think their hands contain magic powers. while the reels are spinning, they run their hands over the video screen. back and forth, back and forth. and i can see this from the corner of my eye and it just irritates the fuck out of me. i don't know what kind of voodoo bullshit they think they are doing. and honestly, we are playing penny slots here, people. no one has ever won BIG MONEY on a freakin' penny machine. save the santeria hocus pocus for something that matters. like the Lotto.

and speaking of the people at the casino.... oh dear lord, "trashy" doesn't even begin to describe some of these assholes. i desperately wanted to take pics, but i was afraid they would kick me out. and my granny would NOT take kindly to being kicked out of a casino. that's like ex-communication for her. and she wouldn't leave with me, either. oh no, she would deny knowing me and would stay and make me sit in the hot car until she was damn good and ready to leave. i would be like one of those dogs left in the car on a hot summer's day and i would get brain damage from the heat and no one would even come break a window on the car to rescue me. needless to say, i didn't take any pics. but if i had, i would have had material for Fat Girls in Skinny Clothes for weeks! i saw enough size 24 girls crammed into size 14 pants to last me lifetime, thank you very much. *shudder*

the people that really scare me are the gambling addicts. you can always spot them by the sweat on their brow and their shaking hands. and if you can't see them, you can smell them. they reek of Eau D'desperation. you KNOW that they have just put this month's rent into that slot machine and if it doesn't pay off they are going to have to sell Junior off into white slavery.

my favorite are the people who learned everything they know about poker from Celebrity Poker Tournament on tv. once, while playing video poker, i overheard a lady ask her husband, "is that the river?" what the fuck, lady? this is VIDEO poker! there is no "river" and there is no "turn" - go back to playing keno and leave us serious players alone.

i won a little, i lost a little, but i made my money back at the buffet. i probably ate my body weight in guacamole. and given the price of avocados today, i think i came out ahead in that deal.