24 October 2007
Dear Kids, yesterday me and SWMBO — it was her birthday — went tooling on south down to Ioway and the Godawful little transborder casino of “Diamond Joe’s” in the Christawful little transborder casinotown, Northwood, on Interstate 35 and just across the MN stateline.
Sin it seems is just a bareass fifty miles away from us pre-retirees and more-or-less Lutherans on our rundown old hobby farm, and dog and cat ranch.
Anyhow — except for bingo Grandpa is NOT a sporting man! — I rode seven dollars on up to nineteen bucks or so on a computerized sort of postmodern slot-machine, and back on down again to my nut which I cashed out. This had taken an hour maybe and then I rounded up SWMBO who had won four hundred dollars for herself on a penny chance on some “Big Cow” gimmick:
“Happy Birthday!” said I in my best hundred-dollar bill tone of voice and away we went — to inspect the wheel….
This was my big idea at the advanced age of fifty-eight, because Grandpa has never played roulette in his life. Now his old Dad did in naughty schoolboy-outings from England to Dieppe or Le Toquet or someplace, in the ‘Thirties. And — I had NEVER said anything to SWMBO because it never came up before! — 17 was Pop’s lucky number….
So lo and behold, SWMBO put a counter on 17 — and I, not to be outdone, put down five dollars. I said to the young woman tending the pitch that I was now just going to “see the gerbil home….”
And, by God, I DID win — 36 to one!
Greed being American, I had to try another fiver, washed out and got screwed — and so we went home laughing it up to beat Hell and clutching our six hundred bucks between us [less tips!] I guess that for between twenty dollars for gas, forty for a pretty-average sort of buffet, and seven for a long ounce of gin, neat and no ice, and ten on the table, and twenty-one dollars tipping (by me anyway), one might as well say we blew a hundred dollars on this party.
I don’t suppose I’ll go back soon….
The gin WAS Tanqueray, but Iowa has some silly statutory objection to to neat beverages and so I had to fish out the damn ice with my fingers. From out of a plastic cup and NOT the seven-ounce highball glass I’d asked for. Not a class-act, that’s for sure!
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 5 November 2007]