A weekend trip to a casino gets surprisingly costly.
|GAMBLING CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH|
“Let’s do something different this weekend,” my wife said.
Now if a clownfish in a dentist’s aquarium had just asked me for directions to the ocean, I would have handled it better.
My wife has a true phobia about change. (“Where’s the cat?! He was right here!”)
She lives in a constant state of fear and is continually opening the refrigerator to make sure nothing has moved.
But this time it was legitimate. She wanted to get away for the weekend at a nearby Indian resort/casino called Kahneeta. Kahneeta is an American Indian word meaning “stand in front of this machine and empty your pockets.”
We invited our friends Jane and John Doe (Not their real names. Really.) and they thought it would be fun too.
Jane and my wife are best friends. John and I get along as long as we are drinking. The group dynamic works well and we usually have a good time. Without pointing any fingers, when we don’t have a good time, it’s because John is being a jerk.
Kahneeta is about 65 miles north of our home town of Bend, Oregon. We took separate cars because Jane and John were going to have to come back earlier than us. For the trip up it was girls in one car, boys in the other.
Jane and my wife decided to stop in the town of Redmond, which is on the way, to do a “little” shopping. This usually involves trying on every article of clothing within the city limits. Although John and I LOVE to be with them on these trips, really, we thought we might just go on up and check to make sure Kahneeta had not been closed for the weekend or anything like that.
We got there about noon, went to the casino and looked at the people who were smoking and punching the buttons on the slot machines and headed for the bar. (Oregon law states that you must smoke or sit next to a smoker in a casino.) It’s against the law to actually win money at these places. Mostly they serve the purpose of creating a gambling “ambience” for those who are between trips to Nevada.
The lounge was strangely empty at noon. To avoid talking to each other we chatted up the good looking bartender. She was going through a divorce. It was a particularly difficult one because her husband had disappeared two months earlier so he was not available to sign some crucial papers.
She blew smoke on us as she talked, and was surprisingly forthcoming about the whole situation. I asked her if she suspected foul play and she looked at me as if I was an innocent child. A very stupid, innocent child and said “No, it’s not foul play.”
She went on to explain that she had caught him with another woman about two and a half months ago. Shortly after that, he disappeared. She said that, like her first husband, he had been a hopeless alcoholic who made poor choices. John and I sipped our drinks and looked at each other.
I was thinking “Maybe she is hooking up with the wrong type of guy.”
John was thinking “I knew it. Good looking women are attracted to heavy drinkers.”
We finished our drinks and went to the front desk to see if our wives had shown up. Nope.
We went back to the casino where, to our horror and astonishment the money magically floated out of our pockets and into the machines. No, our wives didn’t buy that explanation either.
We went back to the bar to wait for the ladies and after that things got a little fuzzy.
I know they eventually showed up because I remember riding home Sunday in a car full of new clothing.