You want to talk numbers?! Then, you can’t get away without talking about…Las Vegas, the infamous American city BUILT on numbers. Numbers gained and numbers lost. Of course, numbers gained if you are a casino, hotel, restaurant or store owner on the strip especially, and usually numbers lost if you are a visitor there, like us. But, most people who go there seem to willingly know and accept this fact–some even calculating well in advance, the amount of hard-earned dollars that they are willing to part with upon leaving Sin City. For that reason, some folks hate it and after one visit of a ‘numbers’ realization, refuse to go back; whereas, others of us tend to commit to, at minimum, a once annual visit. I’ll let you guess which category I fit into:-)
In fact, if you would like more numbers, give me a second to try to calculate the number of times that I have actually gone to Vegas. Hmmm….my first visit was at the turn of the millenium, with a couple of return visits within a couple of years after. Then, I was hooked. I’ll admit it. So much to do, so much to see–too much to fit into ‘just one more trip’, if you know what I mean. Thus, my mom and I decided to make it an annual mother/daughter getaway; a mid-winter retreat to re-charge, take in some warm weather, shop, gamble, eat and escape daily responsibilities. Of course, Vegas is just the PERFECT place to do all of that and more. Since meeting and marrying my husband, he, too, has now become mesmerized by the whole allure of the southwestern desert city. Considering that he doesn’t drink a lick and gambles minimally is proof that it is a place that offers more than just the infamous adult partying scene that has become synonymous with it over the past few decades. Even he is surprised now at how readily he wants to book the next stay. So, add in a few trips that he and I have made together and all totalled, I’d guess that I am approaching the two dozen mark in trips taken, with another one around the corner. That being said, I don’t exactly care to calculate the number of losses that I have endured there since the turn of the new century. Afterall, in my twisted, but realistic way of thinking, the money that I have lost has really been an investment to my overall health through the years. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, anyway.
Yet another set of numbers? Based on the picture posted above, you might well have guessed that I am not a huge gambler. $40-$60 a day is pretty much my limit and I am very disciplined at sticking with it. I work too hard to lose more than that at one sitting, and gambling is just a small part of what I am interested in doing there. Truthfully, I am usually happy if I can simply win enough to keep playing for a little while, and I am *tickled pink (*story to follow at the end of this post) with any kind of win above $20. In fact, I am not sure I’ve ever really won anything much over a hundred dollars. For those of you who are also known to make wagers on slot machines, a one dollar bet is not a lot and as a result, it does not yield a lot. The thing is that nowadays, most ‘penny machines’ require a minimum bet of 50 cents, which really isn’t a penny machine then, is it? Hence, that leads to the ‘might as well play a quarter machine’ line of thinking ‘since it will be sure to land better odds’, except that then your wager goes up, as a two-quarter bet is rare on one of the 25-cent machines. And, so goes the story of how it is that the ‘house always wins’, right?! As for card games, with some tables starting at a $5 bet, they are off limits for my meager pocketbook. Not to mention that I don’t have the foggiest notion of how to play any of them, and would get eaten alive by the real sharks. I would be bait….BIG bait for them!!
Speaking of wagers, you have to be really careful when placing your bets on VLT’s, as we have since learned. The slots are clearly set up to be confusing and should you lose a little more than you had planned on….’Oh well!’, according to the Casino. Each time we are in Vegas, my husband and I try our luck on a dollar machine at least once before we leave. The past couple of times, we have actually done pretty well on our one dollar bets. While we haven’t ever come home ‘ahead’, we have certainly managed to win back an investment in next time’s trip (if you can call it that?). On the flip side, we have also unknowningly lost a considerable amount on a couple of dollar bets that were thought to have been on a penny machine, as we are used to playing…OOOPS! Oops for us…Yay for the Casino. Ah well! “All in a day’s work”, as they say.
Now to finish up this post, I HAVE to return to my earlier statement of being ‘tickled pink’ while playing the slots, as it goes along with the old adage of, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”. And you can’t have a post about Vegas, without a story like the following:
Whether or not you have gone to Sin City, it is common knowledge that pretty much anything goes there. That’s why some people insist on going back time and again, although that is not my personal rationale. Just the same, I have been known to do a few out-of-character type things there…at least, when re-told to my colleagues who tend to see only one side of me. Now, I will preface what I am about to say with the fact that I really am sane and that I am just a very ordinary type of gal. Put that same ‘ol me in front of a slot machine, along with a little rum (and I do mean just a little), and something magical happens. Well, with the help of this little guy, anyway.
So, how does he come into the picture, you might ask? Well, everyone who gambles knows that you have to have a good luck charm, right? And, well….a funky, pink troll doll just happens to be mine. So what is it that one should do with a fuzzy, pink-haired troll when playing VLT’s?! Why, rub him and his crazy hair across the screen between spins in the hopes of a MAJOR win– that’s what! And, that’s exacly what my mom and I have been known to do. I will NEVER forget the one time that we were seated next to a rather serious, quiet fella who shot more-than-questioning looks our way as we hooted and hollered, rubbing the little guy up and down and around the screen as we repeatedly hit the ‘play’ button. While all of that whoopla didn’t gain us a win, it certainly was a cheap source of entertainment for us and a sight to be seen by others who were watching. Well worth the $20 that we lost that night, I would say.
The sad part to the end of my little story is that my beloved pink troll ‘bit the biscuit’ so to speak, a couple of years ago. Maybe from overuse?! Since then, I have not been able to find one. That brings us back to numbers again. Should you happen to come across my favourite little good luck guy in your travels, please let me know where I can find him. He’s priceless in my books!!!