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.

POOPER

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….

5 comments:

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...

Congrats!