Monday, June 30, 2008

Gambling is bad. Very bad.

I'm currently taking my aunt and cousin around scenic spots in currently very smoky (from the (originally) ~650 fires) California. We've spent several days in San Francisco (Alcatraz, cable cars, etc.), gone to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and toured Lassen Volcanic National Park where many of the spectacular views were only so-so or non-existent due to thick smoke. I should have some pictures later, after I can download them. Right now, we're at Lake Tahoe, where the smoke has cleared a little, staying on the Nevada side.

My aunt has never gambled before. Last year, she apparently bet on some horse races, but she's never been anywhere like Stateline, Nevada. You know. That den of iniquity. We got $10 off each room because we signed up for their Casino card, had a nice cheap prime rib dinner, went for a walk, and then left my cousin in the room with my computer (free wireless internet) while we went to the casino.

My aunt didn't want to play much. She lost £30 when she went to the horse races last year, and she didn't know how to work a one armed bandit. I lost $3 showing her how to use one, and then she lost $3 on the same machine and said she was done. I then put more money in a different machine, played for a couple of minutes and won $90. My aunt got so excited, she put money - in the same machine - and a few minutes later also won $90. We decided to quit while we were ahead. We were both shrieking with laughter. We took photos holding our winnings, and then realized that with all the giggling and waving money around, we were making ourselves easy marks, so (still with much giggling) went into the bar and had a celebratory drink.

I think this has been the highlight of her trip so far.

I hope we aren't contributing to the delinquency of my cousin. She turns 16 on Thursday. When we got back to the rooms we tried to tell her that gambling was bad, and that she should NEVER do it, but it was difficult through all the giggling. I don't think she believed us.


Barry Leiba said...

«Right now, we're at Lake Tahoe, where the smoke has cleared a little, staying on the Nevada side.»

Hm. My experience is that the smoke clears, in general, on the California side, but that the indoor air on the Nevada side is positively toxic. Of course, you're talking about a different sort of smoke. But the cigarette smoking on the Nevada side is just horrible.

I've never gotten the appeal of gambling. No moral objection, just... don't get it. You'll have to experiment more, and then write it up for peer review........

(Oh, and when you said your aunt lost 30 pounds, he-he-he, it took me a minute. Oh, right, she means auntie lost 30 quid, not that she dropped a couple of dress sizes.)

Laurie said...

Yes, the smoke in the casinos is definitely worse than the smoke outside. We did wander into Bill's Casino on our walk, which is non-smoking.

I've never understood how people can sit at a slot machine for hours, either. A few dollars occasionally is all I've ever done. I come up here all the time in the winter and don't gamble. Skiing is much more fun. She had to try it once, though.

I looked everywhere on this computer for the pound symbol. It has dollar and yen, but no quid. (I just found one on the internet and changed it)

Barry Leiba said...

If you edit the HTML, you can code the British currency symbol as
...and it comes out like this:

I used to love to ski at Tahoe, but I found that it's too hard to plan. The Rockies are always reliable. (Favourites, in no particular order, are Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Copper, A-Basin, Steamboat, Alta, and Taos.)

Kia said...

I never understood gambling either. When I worked at The Reservation, senior citizens would come by the bus load up from places like Grand Rapids just to go to the casino. Here they were in a place of spectacular natural beauty, and they would spend the day gambling in a dark, noisy, smoke-filled room. I did lose 4 dollars in quarters once at the tribal casino, and that was the beginning and end of my slot machine experience.