Friday, September 19, 2008

The Gambler


When Green Girl was a wee lass of about ten, she and her family lived in Wyoming--the Last Frontier. She spent 4 formative years of her life learning Important Things about Native American History, Strawberry Shortcake and Horses. She also learned about Gambling.

During a visit from her grandparents, her family went to the Holiday Inn where they waited in a dimly lit bar for the hostess to seat them at a table. Green Girl looked longingly at the jukebox in the corner with it's rainbow lights and Top Hits that could be played--5 for a quarter. A candy machine and 2 pinball machines also called out to her. If she could scam a dollar off her grandparents, she could play her favorite songs from the Grease soundtrack, including Hopelessly Devoted to You, AND get a Snickers bar AND play 2 games of pinball. More than enough fun to last the half hour until they were seated in the dining room.

She asked her grandpa for a dollar. Grandpa V was a cigar-smoking, bourbon-drinking, Playboy-subscribing, bolero-wearing ass of a man. He looked down at Green Girl and said, "I'll give you a dollar. Come here."

Green Girl followed her Grandpa to where a slot machine sat on the top of the bar. He boosted her up on a bar stool and gave her 2 quarters. "Put them in, Green Girl, and pull the lever." Green Girl followed his instructions and watched the numbers and symbols whiz past. Cherry, bar, orange. "You lost. Try again." He handed her 2 more quarters and Green Girl dutifully put them in the slot machine and pulled the lever again. Orange, lemon, bar. "You lost again. Oh well." Grandpa V set her back on the floor and returned to his cocktail. Green Girl stood there dismayed that they'd wasted a whole dollar on nothing.

Still, it was a good lesson about gambling and for this (and only this) Green Girl remains thankful to Grandpa V.

12 comments:

  1. Okay, I just have to say it: What an odd way for your grandfather to respond to your request for money.

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  2. Well, he did have a method to that madness, eh?

    ;-)

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  3. Maybe it's just my grim mood, but I thought about the lesson --wasting the dollar on nothing -- and thought of revising that novel with NO guarantee of real tangible end result. So all that time and nothing.

    Bad Matron! But I'm working on it . . .

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  4. Your way was more productive, but what a creative way to teach a child about gambling!

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  5. Sure doesn't sound like Grampa V. did too much spoiling of YOU! I'm going to have to report him to the Society of Grampas who should spoil their grandchildren. Shame on him!

    Say, where in Wyoming did you live, if I may ask? I lived at Devils Tower, and also in Lovell.

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  6. I don't know what is was that turned me off to gambling, but that's a bug I just never caught.

    He sounds like quite a character--I had a bourbon-drinking, cigar-smoking, flirt-with-all-the-waitresses grandpa.

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  7. Just goes to show that even the cracked pots can teach us something.

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  8. But DID you get to hear "Hopelessly Devoted To You"? I was a huge ONJ fan once upon a time!

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  9. I wonder what he would have done if you had won - would he have made you pay for dinner?

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  10. Little You and Thomas Paine figured it out long before everyone else!

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  11. I'm cracking up over that lesson!
    I tagged you on my blog today - play if you want to :)

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  12. I loved your description of Grampa V. I have a drinking, gambling Granny who always makes life interesting.

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Spill it, reader.