Let’s take a break for a quick second on my Australian trip and talk about something else very very important.
My first time to a casino.
Cause that’s important, right?
My first time gambling was similar to an experience of a newly blind person riding a bike. Sure, I felt confident in my abilities, who hasn’t ridden a bike before? I’ve played Monopoly and 21 all of the time but I’ve never actually bet real money before. What’s using real cash compared to the fake colorful kind anyways? So here I go, no helmet, full speed ahead down a tall hill.
What’s the worst that can happen?
I glance around the colorful, light flashing room and determine that now is my time. I must choose my poison. Since it was my first time ever, I decided to stay away from the blackjack tables. Those people looked serious and if I pranced on up there with my doe eyes, gripping tightly to my one hundred dollar bill, those people might shank me. Better to move my skills over to the slot machines.
One dollar slots… Five dollar slots… Twenty five cent slots…. Ahh yes, the penny slots.
So I take a seat and look down at the paper bill clutched in my palm. $100 is a lot for a 21 year old to lose, but maybe I’ll win the big bucks, I kept telling myself. So in went my money and I immediately got the same feeling I always get when I make a large purchase on a pair of shoes or make up at the store counter. You know, that tight feeling in your chest when you hand over your shiny plastic card and you know you shouldn’t have spent that much money, but there you go anyways.
I play my max credits and pull down the lever. Flashes of gold and red fill my eyes as I patiently await for all four slides to come to a complete stop. One by one the music slows and each slide showcases what I gambled.
I get four sevens straight across.
Beginners luck has never been such an understatement.
The rest of the game goes like that for a while. I win six rounds of free play and my money skyrockets. Before I know it I am up to $250 and feeling pretty big of myself. I order myself a drink and lean back. I mention to my dad over and over again that I am going to be at that machine all night and “I can officially say that this is easiest hundred bucks I’ve ever made in my life…”
To me this felt like a big deal. Every time the music would start up I would look around the room, wondering if people were noticing that hey, I just won 2000 credits. Granite, that’s not anything like winning $2000, but still, I felt as though it needed to be noticed. The guy next to me just kept pushing his buttons, seeming not to care at all. In movies, when people win big, people gather around and cheer, lifting the winner up into the air and handing them a large check. Why couldn’t they do that for my measly $150 victory?
Beginners luck has an expiration date that I obviously wasn’t aware of.
I kept telling myself that I was going to stop at $150 so at least I would make a few bucks… But I just saw my dad go from $120 to $250 and that looked rather tempting. So here I go, pressing buttons and pulling down levers. My money plummets back down to my original total of $100 and I look over to my dad nervously.
“Cash out if you want, but technically you haven’t even gambled any of your money yet…”
He was right. I could keep going. I want to keep going. The allure of winning the big bucks had gotten to me and the flashing lights had me in a daze.
I pull down the lever.
The lights flare.
The music sings.
The slides stop.
Down to $98
At this time I was pretty happy that all of the drinks were free and our waitress kept coming back to us to refill. Maybe she saw the nervous look in my eyes or maybe she just liked us cause we tipped well, either way, I was thankful for my liquid courage.
Thirty minutes later I was out $100 and I was sitting there like a kid that just got their ice cream stolen from them.
Moral of the story? I should probably never gamble again. Will I? Probably. But you better bet your top dollar that I’ll quit once I’m ahead next time.
Guess it’s toast and noodles until pay day.