Strange Brouhaha

Monday, December 06, 2004

Casinos and Compulsion

It's become a sort of mini-tradition, when my parents are visiting, for them and me to take a little trip over to Ho-Chunk Casino in the greater Wisconsin Dells-Baraboo metropolitan area. It's a short drive assuming good weather (more of which anon), and it's a good time whether you win or lose. Sure it's smoky and you come home smelling of cigarettes, loose change, and desperation, but it's a fun way to spend an evening. Especially if, you know, your father is footing the bill. Hehe.

I tend to play pretty conservatively--after all, if you walk in with some money in your pocket, the easiest way to walk out with money in your pocket is not to take it out at all. There's really no such thing as slot machine strategy, books to the contrary notwithstanding, and your money disappears even faster at blackjack than it does in a slot machine, so I mostly just wander around with one of my parents and watch them. There are a lot of different machines, but they all boil down to "hit a button and let the computer tell you whether you've won."

It's fun, but as I was complaining (a little bit) to my mom, I like games of skill and knowledge. I'd rather put money down on, say, my ability to answer trivia questions or shoot things or stop a timer. When you can blow twenty dollars in literally two minutes, it kind of takes the wind out of your sails!

So there I was, down to my last twenty dollars, having made some bad decisions (like not cashing out after doubling my money), and I decided to play some machine or other. Of course, casinos being designed the way they are, I fought my way back to even money. Then up a little, then way down again. By dinner time, I had almost $200 in my pocket.

At dinner, I had caffeine. I want to blame the caffeine. I can't blame the caffeine for my idiocy.

A few minutes after dinner, I was way, way down again. You'd think I would stop. I didn't stop. I was at $200 AGAIN when I said "Okay, that's it," and put it all in my wallet. You know, where it was safe.


I think you know how this story ends. Hint: after I returned the original stake, my wallet is empty.

Still, a lot of fun. And the buffet was good! If you can, find someone who has John Pinette's "Show Me The Buffet" for some good buffet-related humor.


  • Oh, about the weather: when we drove out there, the weather was clear and mild. When we left to come home, it was snowing really hard. It wasn't white-out or anything, but tons of really fat snowflakes were falling and everything was slippery. Highway 12 is dark and twisty under good conditions; I was driving and I basically couldn't see anything. At times, even 20mph was too fast. Fortunately, the further east we went, the less snow there was, until it finally turned into rain. It took twice as long to get home as it did to get out there. Fun!

    By Blogger Robert, at 10:00 AM  

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