Happy Monday! I’m linking up with the lovely Stasha over at The Good Life for Monday Listicles. This week’s list is How to spend $1000. Since I live in lovely, Lost Wages, Nevada, I thought I'd put a Vegas spin on this baby and show you how the home folks spend a thousand bucks. For this assignment, I'm using a local celebrity, Gambler Gal. You can see her in every locals casino in Vegas, working those machines and cocktails, and doing it in style. So Gambler Gal, take it away!
Gambler Gal starts out by driving over to her favorite locals’ casino, Green Valley Ranch. As a local, she knows that she will be able to get the best bang for her bucks there. “Bang” in a gambling way, not that other way.
We need to stay on topic here people.
Gambler Gal enters through the big doors into the beautiful casino, and heads straight back to the restrooms. She makes sure to go to the restroom before she starts gambling because if she’s doing well on a certain machine, she sure doesn’t want to change her luck by having to go pee.
After the restroom, Gambler Gal stops by the bill changing machine and changes a twenty into smaller bills. This is so she can give the lovely cocktail waitress a tip when she brings her Baileys and coffee and bottled water in the morning. Or glass of merlot and bottled water in the afternoon. Or margarita on the rocks and bottled water in the evening.
Afterwards, Gambler Gal heads on over to her favorite bank of video poker machines. They are called Optimum Video Poker machines and when played strategically, are supposed to yield a better return than the other machines. The jury’s still out on that theory, though. They are probably called “optimum” because of the amount of stress and anxiety they bring forth in any given session.
Gambler Gal finds her perfect machine, sits down and makes herself comfortable, pulls out a hundred dollar bill and inserts it into the machine. She takes out her ‘player’s card’ and also inserts it into the machine. The player’s card is important. If Gambler Girl gets just 954,000 points, she’ll be able to redeem them for the lamp shaped like the Las Vegas welcome sign. Of course, she only earns about 100 points per session, so that lamp may have to wait a few years awhile.
Gambler Gal begins playing her favorite video poker game, Deuces Wild. She begins at the quarter level, playing five quarters each game. She plays fast, hitting the buttons at a lightening pace. She’s a real pro and knows all the correct moves by heart. Her reflexes are quick and her demeanor is calm and confident. She’s in the zone…until the machine wants more money. Five minutes into her session and our Gambler Gal has lost a hundred bucks.
Pulse rate slightly elevated and a patch of sweat glistening on her forehead, Gambler Gal hurriedly fumbles through her purse for more money. She retrieves another hundred dollar bill and inserts it into the machine. This time she plays just as fast, but with a bit more determination. Her competitive nature does not go unnoticed by her peers. Oh yeah, people notice her stealth professionalism and the fact that her wig has shifted slightly in all the excitement, so that her bangs are now side-burns. She doesn’t care though. Our vintage seasoned Gambler Gal can rock any look.
Another hundred down, Gambler Gal changes gears and moves on to her second-favorite game, Double Bonus Video Poker. She knows if she hits something fairly quickly, she’ll be able to ride the ups and downs until she reaches victory. Or in other words, the coveted prize of all prizes…The Royal Flush. Gambler Gal blows through three more hundred dollar bills and now is down to her last four bills, she weighs her options carefully. You can hear a pin drop in the room, which is quite a feat considering the floor is carpeted throughout. Her fans are barely able to contain themselves. What will the Great Gambler Gal do next?
Having broken her high heel on the toilet flushing mechanism in the restroom, trying to keep from touching germy things, Gambler Gal limps through the casino in a frenzy, desperately searching for another bank of Optimum Video Poker machines. She spots a bank approximately 20 yards down the left side, sheds her shoes and sprints. She only has four, hundred dollar bills and twenty minutes until her husband locates her on his damned GPS, so she has to make every second count.
Dripping in sweat glowing with anticipation, Gambler Gal throws caution to the wind and shoves all four bills into her selected machine, slumps down into the chair and flips on the light so the cocktail waitress will find her. Losing money makes a girl thirsty. Gambler Gal once again chooses to play Deuces Wild, only this time at the dollar level. She ain’t messing around; she’s on a mission. Playing with the same consistent, fast strokes as before, she plods her way through the money, five bucks at a whack. She’s down to her last twenty dollars, trembling like a wino without a drink, and yet not having lost all hope. Suddenly she spies her damned husband a few rows of machines away, and he’s closing in on her fast.
She has to make a play and make it now; otherwise she’s got a thousand dollars worth of explaining to do.
Down to fifteen bucks and nothing. He sees her and he waves. She ignores him.
Down to ten bucks. She almost had it that time. Just needed the Queen of Spades. Fuck.
Down to five bucks. Husband stopped a couple machines away to speak to someone. This buys Gambler Gal some time.
One more chance. One more pull.
The cards appear across the screen. She’s afraid to look, but look she does.
All in Hearts.
Four thousand dollars. The lights flash and the siren goes off.
Husband shows up just in time.
Gambler Gal and husband embrace.
The crowd goes wild.
The cashier brings her the money, counting it out in hundred dollar bills.
She gives the cashier a hundred for her trouble.
She gives Hubs a hundred so he’ll go away.
She sits down at the bar, adjusts her wig, wipes the sweat from her brow, and says, “This is Vegas baby, and that’s the way we spend a thousand bucks!”