The Unbearable Banishment: No obligations

Monday, May 14, 2012

No obligations

For three strange days
I had no obligations
My mind was a blur
I didn't know what to do

 I think I lost myself
When I lost my motivation
Now I'm walking 'round the city
Just waiting to come to

From three strange days.
Three Strange Days
School of Fish

Greeting from Las Vegas. I hope you are all well.

*     *     *
Slot machines are for old ladies and people too lazy to apply some simple math. Everyone knows that! My friend and I, both sophisticated gamblers, were three sheets to the wind from several glasses of pretty good red wine and decided to prove, once and for all, just what a boring waste of time it is to play slot machines. We pooled our resources ($50 each) and bellied up to a $1 Wheel of Fortune slot machine. It's a silly device that allows for a bonus payout each time a "spin" icon appears. A wheel of fortune is automatically activated and spins round and round, usually paying out an additional $20 or $30 dollars. Don't make me laugh. You can do better than that on one simple roll of the dice.

After several eye-rolling, we-told-you-so pulls of the lever, feeling quite vindicated and proud of our prejudices, this came up:

That's $1,000. So, as you can clearly see, playing slots is a boring wast of time that never nets you any kind of real payout. Losers. Leave it to the professionals.

So I have to eat my words while on vacation, too? Don't I get enough of that at home?

*     *     *

I've seem some pretty tragic cases since landing here. We had a big guffaw over some kids who got in way over their heads at the bar and, literally, had to be carried down the aisle. This place is crawling with amateur drunks and people gambling with mortgage money. We had a long, interesting, conversation with an old guy who visits prostitutes on a regular basis (it's legal here). But here's what has to be the saddest thing I've seen so far:

Teach your children well, indeed. How extraordinarily selfish. Dad won't be denied his time playing slot machines so he plops his adorable, innocent young daughter in his lap and makes her play, too. What kind of imprint do you suppose is being made on this poor kid's mind? Gambling will forever trigger feelings of parental love and acceptance.

I should know. My dad used to play football pools with household funds, even though we were economically challenged. He started giving me football chits to play when I was a young teen. Filling out football pools were the only conversations we ever had. It certainly wasn't abusethat's not what I'm implying but if you ask Dr. Freud why I love gambling so much, what do you suppose he would hypothesize?

On the other hand, it got me $500 richer yesterday, so maybe I owe him.


Anonymous daisyfae said...

gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math. it is also, unfortunately, sort of fun and can be addictive. i don't gamble. well... not with cash. my motorcycle, and other dangerous hobbies are not gambling, right? not with anything important, anyway...

very sad to see a kid in a casino. i'd have been hard pressed not to slap that man in the head.

May 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Nana said...

I think that this is actually illegal ... no one under 18 (21?) allowed in any gaming area.

That said, LV is still the ugliest and most appalling city in the US

May 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

3 days was enough, sugar. you know the score and so do i for many of the same reasons you mentioned! one day, over a glass of something alcoholic, remind me to tell you the story of me and the MITM in harrah's NOLA.

May 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: They're about to open a gambling hall in Cleveland. A terrible, terrible idea. But nobody asked me.

Nana: How do you really feel? I can't stand it when you're vague. ;-)

sav: I am almost at the tipping point. Another 48 hours and I'll be ready for home sweet home.

May 14, 2012 at 4:36 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

oh, forgot to mention -- the bellagio fountain is my favorite thing in LV. you are a lucky boy to be able to put your feet up and watch that engineering marvel.

did you know that the jets don't rise when the show is about to start? the water level drops exposing the spigots. all that water goes into bigfuckingtanks that then shoot the water into the sky...

May 14, 2012 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: Yes, it's a hell of a show. You blind me with science!

May 14, 2012 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I'd like to think he was teaching her a lesson. Some parents let their kids get drunk in the hope it wil keep them off alc for life - but it doesn't always work and I doubt that was his motive.
Feet lookin'good Tootsie.

May 15, 2012 at 5:23 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

The first and second pic make me so envious. Just looks so relaxing.

Just before I jetted off to America last year, I considered popping in Vegas. But an American friend of mine was all, "Yuck. Vegas is disgusting!" And well, that was it.

May 15, 2012 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I discovered my ex husband teaching our youngest to play Liar's Poker when he was 9. I had an effective deterrent for that infringement though.....

No conjugal rights for a week. Ha! I think I even got flowers and an apology by day two ;-)

May 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: I know I sound cynical but I doubt he was thinking of her at all. As far as my feet are concerned, they are now a shade of scarlet.

Sid: your friend is correct. Vegas is vile. That's why you should have stopped here.

nurse: You fight dirty.

May 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

In some ways I envy you, but I can no longer gamble.
I used to love it, the crisp snap of the cards, the whizz and click of the slot machines.
I got hooked, and suddenly found i was spending everything I had, and some that wasn't mine on the machines.

I went cold turkey 25 years ago, and haven't played since.

I don't think I'd fall into the same trap again, but i just can't risk it.

It was a lot of fun though.

May 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a depressing picture... it's a bit like over here seeing utterly bored children sitting in pubs with a few crayons while Dad works his way though three or four pints (cough) not that I approve (cough) of that at all.

I'm so so glad I have missed the gambling gene. It doesn't appeal to me at all--the one vice which has passed me by.

Nursey withdrew her favours from her hubby for a week... blimey I must have done something DREADFUL then.

May 16, 2012 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Wait, i thought you were supposed to leave the kids in the car unattended when you went to the casino? and though i love to gamble and i do enjoy a trip to the casino now and then, nothing will ever take the place of standing at the track, form in hand and watching some pony come home at double digit odds, damn near better than sex... almost.

May 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow first of all why in the hell would they even let that kid in?
Second of all only you would hit $1,000 on a wheel of fortune! The first time Jim played that he won $750.00 came home with it and bought a power washer (we have since paid for it I'm sure). One of the other reasons were coming to NJ is he needs a lawn mower-hey can't hurt to wish :)See you soon!

May 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

Slot machines bore me stupid. I've only been in one casino in my life, and that was on a cruise ship. Come to think of it, the cruise ship bored us stupid too. I had a friend who wanted me to go to Las Vegas with her. "You can see the Eiffel Tower," she said. I begged off. :)

May 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

TSB: It is a slippery slope, that's for sure. It's the only time I play with fire but it's under control. But I guess part of the thrill is that it can all go to hell if I'm not careful.

looby: I saw a lot of kiddies roaming around the casinos. At one time, they were trying to market Las Vegas as a family fun destination. That didn't work out so now it's all "What happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas." Still, people bring the kids.

May 17, 2012 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

kono: We have a track not far from our house. Monmouth Park. We go once or twice a season. The kids pick their favorite silk to win. But it hasn't gotten under my skin the way craps has.

MT: Well, I didn't get the whole enchilada. I had to split it with C. Although, getting five hundy for not lifting a finger is okay, too.

HIF: I've spend my whole life disparaging slot machines. They are mindless money-suckers. Now I feel I owe slot manufacturers an apology. It delivered the thrill I never thought would come.

May 17, 2012 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Young at Heart said...

you won??? I'm probably the only person who went to Las Vagas and never got to gamble....not a dime....did get to wheel ADHD three year old round the deserted streets at 8am and then watch him throw up in the IHOP after drinking OJ and followed by milk despite my protests ....but that's a whole other story....!!

May 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


May 18, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

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