I love casinos. They’re giant, glowing, disorienting temples to the American Dream: fortunes attained through pure luck, dished out by smiling men in vests or busty semi-strippers in corsets (in the best ones). Thanks to the time I lived in the scenic Mojave Desert (official motto: Nothing Beats the Heat Like Crystallized Methamphetamine!) near Las Vegas, I’ve spent many weekends frolicking along the Strip, grin on my face and scotch in hand (Or a gin and tonic if the mood strikes me. Or if I already drank a bottle of scotch while watching an NCIS marathon in a bubble bath).
The twist to all this, surprisingly, isn’t the thought of me in the tub. It’s that I’ve never gambled a dime. It never appealed to me, spending hours staring at cards or cranking a lever or competing in sack races or whatever else people do. Pai gow? Is that a thing? What the hell is it? It involves dominoes, right? Don’t tell me, I don’t care.
The point is, I’ve never felt the sting of the gambling bug, probably because nobody under the age of sixty has said the phrase “gambling bug” since Sinatra opened at the Desert Inn. The last time I played cards was a game of King’s Cup that ended with my friend Brittany running naked around her and her husband’s house on Camp Pendleton. It was awesome. But I digress.
Plenty of my friends love it. Everybody I’ve ever been to a casino with has, understandably, laid down money to play. I even have a buddy who is a pretty successful amateur poker player in Vegas. Well, he’s had a bit of a rough year so far. Because he got drunk and pooled his poker budget with his hooker budget and, well, time makes fools of us all. As do hookers.
So what the crap am I doing in these palaces to high hopes and shattered dreams? Why, enjoying every other awesome thing casinos have. Endless alcohol, high-end food, gorgeous (occasionally corset-wearing) women, confused foreigners, overweight Midwestern couples screaming at each other over their losses, more alcohol, above-average buffets, colorful blinking lights, the piercing howl of madness within my mind as it draws closer every minute I spend there, etc. It’s like somebody put acid in the melting pot and I’m spooning myself a heaping bowlful.
Conversely, I must be the absolute worst kind of person an actual gambler wants to see in casino. Seeing me ambling around, drunk off my ass, looking for a bachelorette party without too many fatties? It must take all their will power not to pummel me to death with ashtrays. So, as a non-gambling casino lover, I would like to say to the true gamers out there: use the friggin’ Internet (like Mansion Casino or whatever) and leave the casinos to the assholes like me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my bathtub is as full as this bottle of scotch. And way bubblier.