I arrive at the casino Friday and head straight for the bar with Gina. We order a tequila shot and beers. The bartender - the smart, savvy businessman that he is - upsells us to a higher caliber of tequila.
Round #1: 1800 Tequila shot, Budweiser chaser
Gina and I toast to our luck and down the shot. It's so smooth that it goes down quickly and I don't even need the lime. The bartender gives us a "Good luck, ladies," and we're on our way to the slots. We decide to head to the cheap penny slots - to keep our money for booze. The slots are more like games in the penny section; if you hit a certain combo they bring up a bonus round where you make picks and play a mini-game. We find two machines next to each other and I stick in a 20 dollar bill.
Round #2: Jose Cuervo shot, Budweiser chaser
Gina is doing well - she's now up $20 total. I decide to cash out for a while and watch her. I realize that spending the money on alcohol is better than pumping it into slot machines: the payout is much better. After another half hour I try a new machine on the other side of Gina and order another round.
Round #3: Jose Cuervo shot, Budweiser chaser
A woman sits down near us and takes out her money. Perplexed, Gina and I stop and watch her as she rubs the entire machine up and down with the money. Then she proceeds to rub the bills all over herself. The woman finally puts the money in the slot machine and murmurs: "Bonusbonusbonusbonus bonusbonusbonus..." Then she takes a finger and traces the screen gently. It may take me more drinks to get to that point of superstition, so I signal the waitress and order another round.
Round #4: Well Tequila shot, Budweiser chaser
I just hit a bonus round that gives me 70 bucks. I scream, drawing in a couple gawkers who are now wanting my machine. There's no way in hell I'm giving this machine up now. Gina reasons with me that the likelihood of hitting another bonus round again is extremely slim. She tears me away from the machine, and I reluctantly leave the casino up $30 for the night.
It's day two of our casino trip, and after a huge and super late lunch (that included a few Bloody Mary's) we head to the bar and order the first round.
Round #1: Well Tequila shot, Margarita chaser
The bartender cards us, and I delight in showing him my ID. He looks at and says I look much better in person. I thank him, adding "Doesn't everyone look better than their driver's license?" And he says "Not this good." I tip him an extra couple bills and promise I'll return.
Gina and I head to the other side of the casino and try our luck on those slots. We find two machines next to each other and put in a 20 again. Immediately Gina hits a bonus round and we both scream. The man next to us covers his ears and says, "Ow, my ears." Gina replies, "Turn down your hearing aid next time." He grunts, cashes out, and leaves. Gina and I wonder if he realizes he's in the middle of a casino, not a library. Another hour later, she's up $20, I'm down $10. We decide it's time to take a break and hit the bar again.
Round #2: Well Tequila shot, Margarita chaser
After we do our shot a man sitting at the bar looks at my t-shirt that reads 'What's a nice girl like me doing in a place like this?' and says, "I give up, what are you doing here?" And I reply, "Losing badly." He shakes his head. "I just dropped $500 in 5 minutes." And I say, "Ooh, not that badly." He buys Gina and me another shot, hoping we'll bring him better luck.
Round #3: Free Tequila shot, Conona chaser
We do the shot with the man, thank him, and hit the slots again. Gina heads to another group of machines -- I go back to my lucky one from yesterday. I sit down and put in a 20, just as a man sits next to me. "You're at my machine," he tells me in broken English. I look at him to see if he's joking. "This seat was empty," I tell him. "That's my machine," he insists. I keep playing and ignore him. Minutes later, I hit a bonus round, which angers the man even more. He says, "That's my money" in his thick accent. "Then give me back the 20 bucks I put in the machine," I say. But once I complete my bonus round I cash out and get the hell outta there. I find Gina and we get one last drink before calling it a night.
Round #4: Well Tequila shot, Corona chaser
We toast to a great weekend and I fill her in on the strange foreign man. She says earlier she got into a fight with an old woman over her machine, too. We learn just how possessive some people can be with the slot machines. And superstitious.
Final total: 8 rounds of shots and chasers throughout the weekend, and a couple Bloody Mary's at brunch.
Major after effects: I pretty much broke even, leaving with about the same amount I came with including all the alcohol and food. And I depart the casino satisfied that this weekend my gambling vice has paid for my drinking vice.