pardon me?
· 24 February 2006 ·

A very disturbing thing was uttered to me about a week ago.
Two a.m.ish, Las Vegas Boulevard, when I wandered into a casino. Summoning the courage to frolic with the under-age gambling beast, I sit down affront a dollar slot machine. Going to Nevada and not even attempting is a lost cause.
The way I figure it, my chances don’t exactly rocket up over time. I’ll either win early or not at all. Sticking around would lead to someone wanting to see some ID and, well, by then you could call me mint jelly cause I’m on the lam.
I covertly slip a few bucks in and go for it all on the first shot, betting the limit….of three dollars. Yank the lever, watch the wheels and—-nothing. In fact, none of the red cherries or liberty bells lined up at all. I had no chance.
This wheezing voice next to me asks, “You wanna cigarette?” My eyes are met with the most degenerate gambler I’d ever seen: he looked 120 but could’ve been born that day. With electronic cards in two machines, he had only paused working both of them to talk to me.
“Nah, I don’t smoke,” I say. I began opening my wallet again Aaron Burr style, with the way I was dropping Hamiltons.
“Hey kid (sputter, cough). You pregnant?”
I freeze and quizically look back at him. “Pardon me?”
Pointing at my machine, “cause you just got fucked, sonny!”

It took me until the next day to realize that he’d been waiting all night to use that line. Why? Because he would have said the same thing if I’d taken the cigarette.

Written by Izak Elvrum