Lucky Louie's casino bar & grille
Let's call him "Big Lou" because that's what everyone else around the small town of Carson City Nevada called him. He was sort of an overbearing soul always sporting a handlebar moustache & bushy
eyebrows on his rounded face set on a short neck and stout body with a
pretruding belly that made viewing of his own toes an impossibility.
He pretty much wore the same ill fitting light tan suit everyday with the
permanent wrinkles creased in behind his knees and the entire backside
of his suit like he had just awoke from a nap in a vinyl recliner chair.
His voice was boisterous but rather wimpy as he summoned the bartender
for a couple of cold beers. After I took a couple of big swigs
I thanked big Lou for the drink. "Lou, I think today is going to
finally be my lucky day on my machine", I casually commented
as I had done practically everyday for the past two years. Lou just
grinned and took a couple of big chugs himself and gazed around his establishment with an eagle like eye. |
The machine I was about to challenge for about the 600th time was named the "Oriental", a very functional piece of casino equiptment designed to make quick quarter extractions from all patron's pockets that dared to challenge it's intimidation. It was a beautiful machine that possessed a certain mystique look & sound that simply set it apart from the other dozens of typical slots that lined the room. It was an awesome structure of steel, chrome, glass, wood and plastic that captivated one's very soul and could reach out and hook an individual into believing he or she would walk away a winner if they would just play "one" more coin. The attraction? a mere 25 cents would open an opportunity to maybe hit the jackpot titled "The Big Chance". Yes, the Big Chance was indeed an intimidation for anyone who dared to try their luck, but today I had this hunch or feeling that I just might bring home some winnings. Of course, it's besides the point that I feel this way every time I face off with this machine. Today felt special and I pulled up the stool, cracked open the $10 quarter roll and dumped them into the Lucky Louie's plastic cup. I took a deep breath, and fed them all in quickly. The small digital credit window showed that I had forty credits. I quickly deposited three credits and pulled the lever. Nothing! a cherry, a lemon and a plum. I dropped another three and kept trying. Again and again I kept feeding this bandit with no luck. This machine had finally absorbed my $10 with not even as much as a token payoff or a thank you. This time I was mad and reached into my pocket and pulled out three more quarters with the intention that I would be out of here if I lost these. You see, in the gambling world, you must set up an affordable daily budget for yourself if you have any intentions of enjoying the pleasures of eating again or surviving. You can't keep feeding a machine more money that you simply don't have. Well, maybe just one more time, I felt lucky today. As the next hour and $50 rolled by I felt even more frustrated as the realization quickly came upon me that this machine was about to chalk up another victory to its list. I reached into my pocket to discover that I had exactly six quarters left to my name. I actually counted the six quarters over and over and even chuckled out loud.
I thought over the situation for a moment and then decided to proceed with the six quarters as my last hope of chance. I deposited three quickly into the belly of the bandit. I grabbed the handle firmly and gave it one of those rough pulls where the whole machine shakes. It seemed like it took a longer time for the blurry three wheels to stop spinning. My first alert that I had just done something out of the ordinary was the ringing of loud bells and the flashing of all kinds of red lights around the casino. As soon as my eyes caught a glimpse of the three neatly lined up chinese jackpot dragons I jumped off the ground about two or so feet. This is when things really started happening. I think I had everyone's attention in the casino at that point.
My good friend Chuck who had been lounging at the bar nursing a gin and tonic cocktail, dropped his drink on the floor and ran frantically over to my machine and informed me that I had just won $18,500 on that first round of the Oriental payoff of the "Big Chance" jackpot. I was totally amazed. Without a better phrase to describe the situation at the moment I simply said "I am absolutely and literally blown away, this is unbelievable, this can't be happening to me!" Chuck agreed and also quickly pointed out that I had an additional fourteen more pulls to determine the total jackpot winnings the machine still had to offer. This was awesome! It appeared like I had just won the national lottery or something and maybe I did! I was still bouncing on my feet at the total wonderment of the situation. Chuck told me to relax and concentrate wholeheartedly on what was happening so I could continue forward to the next phase of the guaranteed automatic (14)winning pulls. I was still very excited and just wanted to sit back and look at the machine for a minute.
After a deep breath, pause, swig of my beer, a gaze around at all the people standing behind me and a quick collar adjustment I pulled the lever again. This time the machine starting playing a catchy little toe tapping tune and when the three pretty sevens lined up all in a row the winnings window was flashing $38,762.00 to my astonishment. Some how in the midst of the cheering crowd I noticed Big Lou was blotting his forehead with a wrinkled hankerchief and staring a hole through the machine like he was in utter disbelief of the whole situation. He looked like he had the kangaroo in the headlights syndrome. He was going between tugging nervously on his top coat button, sipping his beer and whispering something to fast Eddie the pit boss. Fast Eddie was listening intently with a face of concern and rubbing his chin with his forefinger and thumb.
It's rather hard to explain but at this point every sight, sound, person, movement or conversation seemed to be going in slow motion. Everything was like being in a dream world or in one of those movies where they portray a persons thoughts by slowing down the film or something. I was still very focused on my mission here even though I couldn't get over the fact that I just happened to be smack dab in the right place at the right time for once in my life.
I pulled the handle for the third time and again the machine responded in my favor. A new display of $72,582.00 was showing in the total. Without even stopping or taking a breath I pulled again and increased the jackpot to $108,435.00 which started the trouble that was about to change the course of history for Lucky Louie's casino and my life. I now had six figures showing to the good and had eleven more winning pulls to serve myself and I was on top of the world. It was now very evident that I was a huge winner, but I wasn't done by any means.
At this point, Louie and fast Eddie quickly made their way through the surrounding crowd and approached me as fast as they could but Chuck came over to me first and said "Hey hose (he always called me that for some reason) you better take your winnings and move on ok? I just don't have a good feelng about this whole thing for some reason so let's get out of here now with the money ok?" I responded, "well, I would love to do that buddy but I think I might finally have the upper hand here on our ole buddy Louie and his establishment at this point and believe I am going to just ride it out for awhile and watch everyone here sweat a little and I think I might just enjoy the vibrations." Just when I finished that statement and was going to explain to Chuck what I meant and elaborate on that point I felt a tap on my shoulder. Who should it be of course but Louie himself.
"Hey Jack O buddy ole pal ole customer!" Lucky Louie asked me with an unusual concerned voice I haven't heard from Louie, "How would you like to stop quickly right there and call it quits with your total winnings of $108,435. Okay? Let's stop here partner and everyone else involved and go home a winner, okay? I am willing to make you an irresistible offer right this second and you could just simply walk away a fairly rich man today and I am willing to give you a cool $125,000 in cash to take home immediately today and I am also ready to also throw in a big bonus and of course give your friend Chuck a cool $25,000 in cash to call it quits right now. I mean, he was only just sitting there giving you advice right?, So let's let him go away with a couple of bucks too. Okay? Jack, That's a cool $150,000 of american legal tender dollars that you didn't have before you walked in here. All you have to do my friend is just walk out of here with the cash in your pockets with no questions asked okay? Basically, I am offering you a chance of a lifetime ... $150 thousand total cash in hand to leave right now with absolutely no questions asked. Okay? Here's your $150,000 in cash in a gym bag to carry out of my casino right now. Do we have a gentleman's deal here?"
"Okay Louie, that is an extremely powerful offer" I said rather quickly but somehow I imagined a larger payout in my mind with the current success I was having with this machine. I was very curious at this point... was Louie trying to pay me off quickly knowing good and well that the Oriental machine was finally about to pay off? Was the machine about to pay off in big numbers that maybe Louie and company couldn't afford or support? I thought about this transaction for a long time before I made my decision to proceed forward with pulls of the slot machine.
Chuck on the other hand was trying to to convince me to take the immediate money offered and get the hell out of dodge. Chuck told me to stop right now so he could carry on and enjoy his $25,000 in cash and go on with his life. I said to him "Look at it this way, you had nothing when you arrived in this joint so take a big chance and leave with a lot more than you bargained for. I know $25,000 is in the bag for you right now but I think a whole lot of additional money is in store for you if you just hang in there and stick with me. "Trust me on this one and let's play some more, I think I have a strong feeling that our ole pal Louie is sweating right now. Are you ready to venture forward and rock and roll? Let's go for the gusto, okay?
Just as we were discussing rocking and rolling Chuck gets a call on his cell phone from Cincinnati. Chuck's whole demeanor changes as he listens intensely and then I over hear him say that he will immediately catch the next flight out and can't wait for the opportunity. After he hangs up he says "sorry dude I have to go, I just got offered the bass guitar position in a new oldies band in Cincinnati with an old lead player that came out of retirement". I told Chuck good luck in his new venture and he walked swiftly out of the casino heading for the airport. I thought to myself briefly that maybe it might have been a good idea to have waited around for his portion of the winnings but I could tell and knew he was really excited to get started with his new dream band as soon as possible.
With Chuck now gone I had to really scramble and fend for myself with no one giving me advice anymore or intelligent encouragement so I got back to the basic business at hand which was the slot machine equipment that I was securely and possessively seated in front of, which in a sense, made me the temporary owner of that machine. I liked that special status being the temporary owner of the machine especially when it is showing me on the LED readout that this machine will reap me $108,435.00 if I decide to cash in at this point. Yes sir, it was mine, all mine, and as long as positive numbers were displaying on the front of this bitch machine there was absolutely and positively nothing that anyone from the casino could do to stop my quest. I think we need to get back right now at the situation at hand so we can access exactly what we have here with this jackpot.
To be continued....
Sorry to keep you hanging. Lucky Louie's is a fictional place created solely for reader entertainment. Any similiarity to actual persons, places or events is coincidental and maybe even intentional. Return soon for the exciting conclusion.
- Jack Craig
- Jack Craig