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A long week and a few $30 Beers on Friday

What a long week, ten hour days, working in the hot Las Vegas sun, it’s finally Friday. With sweat pouring down my face, my clothes dirty and worn, I grabbed my stuff talked with the boss and got my check. After working all week I made $960.00 after taxes! Not bad, but I did have to work a 52 hour week. Driving home I decided to treat myself to a nice stiff drink. Since it was after banking hours, stopped by the Palms Casino Hotel, they provide a service of cashing people’s pay-checks for them. A service, not really, it’s more of a ploy to get me to stop by their money trap. I walk through the doors and wait in a long line with others looking to cash their hard earned paychecks. When I get up to the cashiers window, I sign the back of my check and give the young lady my license. She smiles at me, and asks how my week was, I reply that I am glad it’s over and I am looking forward to my one day off. She cheerfully replies she only has two hours left on her shift and she too is looking forward to a nice drink and a couple days off. She counts out my money, nine one hundred dollar bills and three twenties.

I grab my loot and walkway wishing her a nice weekend. I begin towards the door and stop briefly to watch a sports play in the sports book by the backdoor. THEN IT HAPPENS. I decide hell with getting back in the pickup and heading to my favorite watering hole I will have just one beer here, at the Palms in the Sportsbook. So I strut on up to the bar and plop my sore and tired body down. The bar-tender comes over and asks what he can get me, I reply: “a Bud Light Please, no never-mind I have had a tough week I could really use a Guiness…”, the bartender laughs and gets me a frosty smooth Guiness. He walks away. I look down and there it is, one of the in the bar video poker machines. I say what the heck and slip a twenty in, I begin to play 25 cents times five (so I can maybe win the most money), so really my “bets” are $1.25 per hand. I play for a short time about five minutes, going up and down, hitting some wins and slowly losing. I sit there for a minute and then decide, well I guess I will have a few beers right here. So here goes the big mistake, having now about $940 in my pocket, although I do not look at it as $940, it just feels like a big wad of hundred dollar bills, so I slip a C-Note into the machine and begin to play, this time I hit the dollar button and decide to play some virtual Black Jack. It starts off pretty good, then I lose track of time and am on my forth beer, now having switch to black and tans, I am feeling pretty good the air-conditioning and comfortable seat, cold beers, pretty ladies, and something to do playing the machine relaxes me and I forget about all my problems. Working long days, six days a week, the bills which are piled up at home, the truck which needs new brakes, the wife, who is just generally bitchy to me all the time and my daughter that needs everything. Well maybe I will hit a good run on this machine. About 40 minutes pass and I realize I am down to about $10 (ten dollars) of credit on the machine! 

Well I guess I lost, I told the boys I would meet up with them later tonight at the Road Runner, my favorite drinking hole, a locals dram shop with a cowboy theme. I hit cash-out and give the bartender the ten spot (ten dollars) and wish him a good weekend, (he comped all my drinks), comping is a way of life in Vegas, meaning I did not have to pay for the drinks because I played some on the machine. I walk out of the Palms and get into the truck squeeling away I remember the brakes need to be done. I go straight to the house, say hi to the wife, take a shower, sit down and watch the boob tube. Then Charles calls and says come on down to the RR (Road Runner) so I get up still sore and tired from the week and head on down to the Road Runner to meet up with the boys. I get there and Charles is not there yet, so I strut up to the bar and grab another black and tan, sitting in front of me is one of those machines again. I through another C-Note in the machine figuring my luck will be better here. They of course will comp me my beer. Now those beers at the Palms were not actually free they cost me about $30 each! But I do not look at it like that at this moment I am out to have a good time. 

I play BlackJack again but this time I play about five dollars per hand figuring I can make my money back, and pay to get the truck fixed and take the wife out for dinner, hopefully win big and be able to take a short vacation with the wife and my daughter. Or follow my dream and have a little small engine repair business out of the garage. About ten minutes later I am down to $30 so I switch games and play a little KENO, video Keno. At least with Keno playing a ten spot card I might really hit it big and have money for a small condo down payment or a new truck, well at least new to me, a used truck in a newer year. Keno goes fast as well I get down to eight dollars ($8.00) so I cash out and give it to the bartender, I see Charles in the Corner of the main room and strut on over. By this point in my Friday after work I have already GAMBLED, $220, my paycheck money is now down to $740, but again I do not think of it, because to me I am having a good time and I still have a wad of hundreds (benji’s) in my pocket! My problems with my wife and the wants of my daughter and the trucks brakes, and that pile of bills on the kitchen table fade into the background as I drink and laugh with my buddies. A couple of hours pass and our little party starts to break up before leaving I decide to chase my money once more, so I strut back up to the bar and slip another C-Note in the machine. I play for a while and then realize it’s not me I just picked a loser machine, my money disappears in a few minutes. I think to myself, well I have about $600 so what’s another hundred to maybe make back my losses, I will still walk out of here with at least five hundred and that’s exactly what I do walk out of there with about $500 even after blowing another hundred on the machine and about forty on some grub, cigs, and buying a couple of young ladies a drink or two and flirting with them.

I wakeup mid day on Saturday, I stick three hundred of my five hundred in the drawer, make sure I give this to the wife to deposit to the bank I say to myself and I head out the door to the auto parts shop. There I see some nice mud flaps with Taz on them, I say I worked hard this week they should be perfect for the truck, even though I do need new brakes. I buy them that will give me something to do this afternoon. On my way back to the house I stop off to fill up with some gas and grab a pack of smokes, BIG MISTAKE, I walk through the door of the Terribles, after pumping my gas and grab a soda pop, some chips, my smokes, just then a wrinkly old lady jumps up and yells I won, she won $220 playing the video poker right there in the Terribles gas station. I turn my head and say to myself, these machines must be loose today so I throw a twenty in the machine I start winning, then the money goes down again, I through another twenty in…and I play for what seems quite sometime, I eventually lose that twenty too. An old man walks in and sits down next to me, he says the Royal Flush always pays when the prize gets up to $7,000 and it is there now, he is certain it will pay out today! I immediately think this is my lucky day I am going to win that seven grand, and my problems are over. At least temporarily. So I take that other C-Note in my pocket and put it in the machine. I play for a good solid hour winning and losing winning and losing believing my big win is the next hit of the button. Then it happens the FUN STOPS AGAIN. I have lost my C-Note, plus two twenties, this stop for gas, pop, and cigs just cost me another $140, plus the cigs and chips. Oh well at least I have the mud flaps I say to myself and grab my things and head out the door. Those mud flaps are a poor purchase as well considering I live in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas, Nevada, where every street is paved or cement, but they will make me look “cool” at the job site come Monday. I will get those brakes fixed eventually, if the rotors need turning Oh well I have a buddy that can do that cheap in the mean-time I will just drive “olde Betsy” the way she is, I have a FORD, hopefully it won’t be Found On Road Dead, because then I will certainly need some discounted auto parts and I don’t mean mud flaps.

I arrive back at the house, with about $23 dollars and some change in my pocket with I make the mistake of accidentally placing on the kitchen table that triggers the wife to say: “Honey you do have your paycheck, Right?” I bite my tongue thinking about how much might be left I have not even cashed my paycheck 24 hours ago yet. Then I remember I have three crisp, like new C-Notes in the drawer, which I cheerfully go and get and hand her two of them, LYING to her telling her I put twenty in a machine and won Two Hundred showing her the C-Notes with glee, while sticking the other C-Note in my pocket thinking I will make up for my losses with the C-Note, I have left. She hugs me and says congratulations. I then give her one of the C-Notes and say go buy yourself something nice, I will use the other hundred out with the boys tonight and I have to pickup some supplies for an “odd job”, some home repair gig I picked up on Sunday. Now I have two hundred left in my pocket and the wife has another hundred and that is my entire paycheck. I think I got out of that one pretty well. 

Then the wife says well just wanted to make sure you did not cash your paycheck, because our rent is due on Wednesday this week and we cannot afford another late payment of $50 (fifty bucks, boy would she be furious if she realized I spent fifty bucks like it was nothing at the bar with the boys or even alone on my first stop Friday night at the Palms). I say I know, I know, I have it taken care of, great now I have the anxiety of having to come up with $800 for rent on Wednesday. At least I am 25% of the way there, and the wife is happy with here hundred bucks to go blow, hopefully she buys a sexy outfit. I will probably make another hundred on Sunday doing that home repair gig. So I will have three hundred towards the eight hundred for rent, a while back I lent Charles a few hundred so worse case scenario I can hit him up for three hundred and another friend for two and have the rent taken care of. Is that borrowing money for gambling? Not really since I am not using the money I borrow to gamble with after all I already gambled my money and I am borrowing that money to pay the Rent on Wednesday when it is due and I will pay my buds back on Friday this coming week with my next check of about $900 bucks. But if I borrow, five hundred this week then I will have about $400 left of next weeks check, right? So I am all set I just need to temporarily “confront my addiction” and not gamble until then right? Yeah that’s it. So I have an easy night on Saturday and end up only spending sixty, forty of it gambling which I said I would not do and twenty on food. Sunday comes around and I go to the home repair gig picking up some supplies, then it happens and unexpected expense I need a new tool, the profit I would have made on the job goes away plus all the rest of my money I have to get the tool I need to finish the job. Sunday night I realize I have nothing towards rent and I need the full eight hundred dollars ($800.00) and I need it by Wednesday. Hmmm, then it dawns on me I will take my new tools and some other power tools I have and head down to the pawn store on the corner and get a temporary loan. I push it and I get $280 loaned to me on my tools, (which I will need back, so I will have to pay penalties and really high interest), that $280 loan will probably cost me $400 to get my tools back. But, hell I have to do it because rent is due on Wednesday. Is the Fun Stopping? Or has the Fun Already Stopped? Boy, that gambling short period of fun certainly was not worth it. When the Fun Stops, what do I do?

So I will still need to borrow $500 from friends and give the wife $780 telling her she needs to put twenty in from the hundred I gave her from my “fake winnings”, but she does not know I did not win. This hole is sure getting deep, but hey it’s not like this is the first time I have gotten myself in a little trouble trying to get myself out of trouble by risking a little dough, you know they say you have to risk money and time to make money, really that’s all I did right? The Fun Certainly has Stopped now, though. 
So I go and tell my buddy Charles I need to borrow $300 like I lent him a few months earlier, then trouble again he says he can give me two hundred. I LIE to him and tell him my daughter needed dental work and that’s why I spent my money for rent. 

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