I sat down beside the Quad Queen and played $20. It didn’t work out very well, so I changed machines.
“A video poker machine is never happy until it is being played by a little boy or girl,” I said knowingly.
My pronouncement went mostly unacknowledged, so I plunked along, chasing a $2500 progressive Royal.
She was doing ok though, and get dealt our third straight flush of the trip.
I was down to 5 credits. One more play. I pressed Deal and the screen in front of me went completely fucked for about two seconds. It was as if the whole display had been put in a blender.
The image returned but no cards were dealt. And the machine was completely locked up.
I summoned a slot tech to have a look and if needs must, return my five credits to me. A rough, dusty-looking curly-headed woman wearing a tool belt dripping with enough gear to fix a jet fighter approached.
“I’m Royal Flusher - this machine is in trouble.”
“Curly” she rasped, ignoring my extended hand.
She opened up the machine and it was worst than we thought. Jimmy Poon later confirmed to me that the message about the EEPROM error etc. made complete sense to him - the machine was fucked.
But at the time, all I could think of was, we have to do something - anything!
And the next thing I knew, the screen went black. The slot tech had pulled the little machine’s plug. It would gamble no more.
“Why’d you do that?!!” I cried.
She straightened up and wiped a few spattered electrons off of her stubbly face with the back of a gnarled hand. Her hand. Not just some gnarled hand she had in her tool belt.
“She was dying. And she was suffering.”
“But… I’m on vacation!!!”
I was not expecting this kind of drama on what was supposed to be a carefree expedition to risk losing all my money.
“Ugh, I’ve killed it."
I hung my big round head as low as I possibly could.
"Everything I touch gets ruined”, I lamented, needlessly mixing popular culture references that were as different from each other as the orange of my sweater was from the black horizontal zig zag band around its waist.
“You owe me 5 credits.”
She had the nerve to balk.
“Five. Credits. Handpay.”
She knew I had photographic evidence.
She shrugged and headed off to the cage.
Minutes stretched into a couple more minutes and I heard distant hoof beats, and then sighted the Slot Tech coming around the corner of her pit. She leaned down off her mount and counted 10 shiny new quarters into my hand.
I had my credits back. But I would never, ever gamble again.
At this point, I needed to crash. I was exhausted and a nap was prescribed by Dr. Closed Eyes of the Sleepyflushypants Clinic in Braintown, My Head USA.
I told the Quad Queen that I was headed back to the Steampunk Suite. Nothing was going to keep me from the sanctity of my sweet side of the bed and its slumber party.
One minute later, I found myself veering off, as I headed to one of my favorite oddball machines to play some triple play deuces.
Ten minutes in, I was dealt that nemesis of mine, four to a royal. It was also a dealt flush, but that didn’t matter. Flushes aren’t worth shit anyway on Deuces Wild. I held the four royal cards and stared at it for twenty seconds, and next thing I knew, some yokel was creeping over my shoulder, gawking.
I took a peek and saw a guy that looked like he had starred in one of those late night news channel prison shows. The kind of guy that you check his forehead for insignia tattoos.
“So… what are you gonna do?...” he asked.
Twit. As if there was any question how this hand should be played.
I pulled out my phone and took a photo.
“Im gonna play it. Sooner or later.”
This was important to me. This was not a show I was putting on for someone else’s entertainment. I can’t stand looky-loos getting off on watching me succeed or fail. And besides, if I did hit, the last think I needed was Gawky McFentanyl high fiving me and then rolling me for the dough.
I got on the phone to the Quad Queen. “I have a situation.”
We chatted, and Slicey waited. I could see the reflection of his two foot mullet pony tailed head in the chrome trim of the machine.
After a couple of minutes of realizing that nothing was happening, he backed away. And then pretended to be interested in the machine nearest me, over my shoulder to the left, by the casino doors.
I waited some more and explained to QQ what was going on. Fucking creep.
Then he made a big show of walking away.
I wasn’t fooled.
He did a little loop around a few machines and ended up at his perch again, this time with a woman in tow who he undoubtedly referred to as ‘my bitch’ and who undoubtedly had a good-looking (read full set of teeth) friend named Jolene.
His bitch (with apologies to his bitch) had more sense than he did (read ‘some’ as opposed to ‘none’) saw what was going on and dragged him away. I mentally put a pin in my mental Jolene voodoo doll on her behalf.
This was about the least fun I’ve ever had trying for not one but three royals flush.