Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Table Dancing

Now before you go thinking I was either a participant or witness, let me tell you I've never seen/been either. That I can remember.

This has to do with the tables at Charles Town Races & Slots in beautiful West Virginia. My Wife, Teresa, and 2 long lost friends, Rosie & Marty, headed to try our hands at gambling over the Labor Day weekend. Regardless of the outcome, I thought, a drive through some of the most beautiful country in the USA on a gorgeous day was just the thing to do. We packed up the cooler with some adult beverages and headed off to God's Country. And tried to bring some luck with us.

I had never been to any gambling establishment on the East Coast. Las Vegas has always been my favorite place to go--and when you live in LA, the trips get more frequent and addictive. But LV is a place where you can do a lot more than gamble--people watch, catch a lounge act or two, stuff your face for a reasonable price and people watch--and you feel the action even if you're not the one creating the vibe. Charles Town is NOT like that--no lounge acts, one casino, an OTB--and is a very different mix of people. So I still got to people watch. And watch them look/stare at me with my long hair and my group that looked a little out of place.

It used to be that if I was losing at the Black Jack tables, I would keep "paying the casino's rent" and chase good money after bad. Nothing where I'd lose the mortgage payment but thanks God I had Teresa with me to keep me in check--most of the time. This time, I was on my own as I circled the tables like a vulture looking for it's next meal. $50 tables. $25 tables. WTF? Where are the $5 and $10 tables? This is high stakes stuff. And I'm not going to play poker. No way, not in this small town with some locals who just wait for "tourists" like me to drain my pockets. So I looked for the best table. And finally, I found a $15 one. So I set my cash limit. And 15 minutes later, I was out of chips. Bad players, an extremely lucky dealer and the smell of smoke did me in.

I've posted before about "first" after cancer. This was my first time really gambling. And this was the first time I could remember not having a strong urge to keep doing it. Normally, I would keep hopping from table to table to find the right one. This time, I didn't. I didn't get the rush. Didn't get the urge to win it all back. I just hung out watching others. Waited for Teresa and Rosie & Marty--who were winners so at least SOMEONE walked away with more than they came with--and took it all in. I'll dance another day. Happily.

Maybe on a beer pong table.

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