Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sometimes It Pays Not To Write

Every weekend, I start out with plans to make huge advances on the writing front.

And every weekend, I end up with a couple sentences of drivel.

Don’t know why exactly. Except maybe the words look different on the screen during the day than they do at night which is when I do most of my writing. (Hey, when you’re a writer, any excuse will do…)

So yesterday I decided screw it. Everyone's out of town, summer’s almost gone, and I haven’t taken a nice, scenic drive in a long time.

In other words, even though I woke up tired (okay, make that slightly hung over from the three, no four, glasses of wine the night before) I headed for the Chumash Indian Casino in Santa Ynez, ninety miles away. Even as I pulled out of the driveway, I was praying the impulse wouldn’t turn into one of those “what was I thinking” ideas halfway there.

Well, it sorta did since an hour later I wasn’t even halfway there. But I figured, what the hell, I’m this far…

With all the traffic, instead of arriving around 1 o’clock I get there at 2:30. I trudge up the escalator into the smoke-filled room pulsing with the cacophony of competing video slot themes and park myself in front of a nickel machine. Something to do with dolphins, I think. I lose about twenty dollars there so I move around to others. Barrel Blaster. Bandito Woman. Paris Nights. I go up fifty, down fifty…mostly I’m staying even.

Move into the quarter area. Pick a machine, insert the paper script, spin twice. Ding-ding-ding. $150. Okay, not bad. This is working. I decide to cash it in so I’m not tempted to put the whole thing back in, and make my way to the cashier. Only, on the way, I stop at a 50 cent machine. Third spin, $250. YES.

At this point, I decide to go back to nickel slots and just play for fun. After all, I’ve already got a good stash for the afternoon, and hell…I drove all this way…

I piddle around here and there, not going up, not going down. Finally, decide to make a pit stop in the ladies room and, well…on the way, I pause at this really stupid nickel slot with a lifeguard theme. I end up there for TWENTY MINUTES playing on one spin. That’s right. A HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN free games−and $60.

This is simply ridiculous, I think. Sixty dollars for such an idiotic game?

I must take this to the high limit room, I decide.

There I spy a machine called “Money To Burn” −and, I mean, how funny is that? So, I put my $60 in. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Sixty dollars gone in sixty seconds. Money to burn indeed.

Then I see next to it one of my fave machines: Jackpot Party. Only, I’m use to playing the nickel version (as in…45 cents a spin) not the dollar (as in NINE DOLLARS a spin). And I’ve already used up the $60. I reaaaaallllly shouldn’t go into the stash, should I?

Well, I did drive ALL this way…

So I feed it a $100 bill.

Now, the bonus feature on Jackpot Party works like this: if you get three noise blowers, you go to the “party” which means the screen fills with gaily wrapped presents in a variety of colors, pulsing to the beat of the music. Your mission is to choose as many as possible without getting the “pooper”−and your reward is the dollar amount revealed beneath each one as you choose it.

I press a purple package in the bottom right corner.


Damn. I’m so disappointed, ‘cuz−as everyone knows−you don’t get to “go to the party” too often.

But I did drive such a LONG way…

So I decide to spin some more…and not three spins later, I get to go to the party AGAIN! This time, my first package reveals $18. Then $45. Then a circle pops up notifying me that my next pick is a bonus−the amount will be multiplied by $5! I search and search−where is that damned pooper hiding?−and I choose another purple one. EIGHTY! Multiplied by 5….Woo Hoo! I pick a few more, get the pooper, but then am invited to choose a “consolation prize.” My consolation prize turns out to be: Choose another package! Wheeeeee!!!!

Anyway, I cash out of the machine with $650.

And get the hell out of there.

So, let’s recap. I walked in around 2:30 with $200. Left at 5:15 with $1050. Not bad for a couple hour’s work…and so much more than I’ll ever make on any of the books I slave over a year to finish.

Yep, the decision to get out of the house instead of staying home to write was definitely a good one.

And well worth the long drive….


John said...

So, how is your love scene coming? With an extra dollar in your life, you should have happy love scene writing thoughts.

Larissa said...

OMG--I'm SO jealous! :) I only lose when I gamble.

Congrats, though!!!!

randy said...

John: Love scene? What love scene?? :)

Larissa: Don't worry, I've lost my fair share!

John said...

The love scene you just blogged about today. That love scene.

Brooke said...

Woo Hoo!!!!! Way to go!!!!!!! Sounds like a wonderfully relaxing way to spen the day...long drive and all...