When it’s 110…

 It’s a reality you must face relatively quickly if you move to Arizona:  it’s hot.  I’ll subscribe to the common rebuttal now:  Yes, it’s a dry heat.  But that doesn’t negate the fact 10 minutes outside will dehydrate you, or 3 minutes in the sun will give you a nasty burn.

Most people know this, and that makes indoor activities all the more important.  Movie theaters, malls, pet stores, etc, all fill to the brim on warm Arizona days.  Another option for those who like to wager, is the casino.

I’m not a “whale,”  casino lingo for someone with lots of money to blow.  Heck, I’m not even a tuna.  But I do like to play cards with my meager spending cash.  But the real story is my wife’s run on two games.  She sat at a game called 50 dragons.  If you get three bowls it sends you to the bonus, and if you get white eggs or pearls, they act as wilds.  She played a spin or two and got the bonus.  And then came the pearl/egg/oval/wild things.  The credits kept going…and didn’t stop until 22000.  At 2 cents a credit, my wife paid for dinner.

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If you get three lighthouses, you go to the bonus. If you get a pelican, he stays for your free spins.

At the advice of my mom we found Pelican Pete.  This game allows the pelican to “stick” in the bonus round, meaning you’ll always have a wild if you see one.  My wife ended up with 10 pelicans, and through her 10 free spins, the credits kept coming.  She ended up with 5000 credits or so.

These are meager winnings.  A few hundred dollars are nice, but they’re not life changing.  We give a sizable chunk to the church on Sunday, and we use another chunk to play games we’ve never played, or to live like “whales” for a few MINUTES.

That which gives us our perspective is missing from some other addicted players. One woman is at the casino nearly every time my wife and I go…she sits in a motorized wheel chair.  She’s not a small woman, always eating a meal from the casino deli.  She plays the same slot machine…dollars.  And if my wife and I stay for an hour or two…that woman is still there…at the same machine…

I can’t know her situation.  Perhaps she’s rich, and that’s how she spends her time.  Or perhaps she has a problem with limits.

Most recently that woman was not at the casino, on our last trip.  I’d like to think she found something better to do.  Or maybe she finally hit it big, and won’t need to come to the casino anymore.

But even if I never see her again, seeing her once has ground into my mind an image of what I don’t wish to become…and I’ll stick to my budget.  I know I’m not a whale.  But with my wife’s pelicans, we can pretend to be high-rollers, if only for a minute or two.

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