Addiction is a terrible thing

I’ve always said I don’t have an addictive personality.

As it turns out, this is false.

It all started on Saturday night on the original Vegas strip,  at the Golden Nugget – one of the original Vegas casinos. Shiznit is beautiful. Beautiful. Classic lights, all still done up in 1950’s era classy arrogance, just gorgeous – it feels like you’re stepping back in time, to when corporations and casinos actually cared about creating something that might last longer than 15 years.  (i heard someone on the airport shuttle later say it was cheesy and I totally judged her for having no taste and a bad hairdo)

There’s a huge golden nugget inside the casino. Literally. It looks like someone tried to shred a golden presidential bust. It’s huge. Also, across from the mangled golden bust, there is a vending machine.

Vending machine?, you ask. That doesn’t sound very Vegas-y.

Expand your mind, fellow readers. I’m not talking about corn-syrup based vending machines. I’m talking about a Vending Machine of Gold. YES. YOU CAN LITERALLY PURCHASE BARS OF GOLD FROM A VENDING MACHINE INSIDE A HOTEL NAMED THE GOLDEN NUGGET in Las Vegas.

So I sat down to play a little Blackjack, and while my friends lost somewhere around $3000 in thirty minutes, I made $15 bets and won 80 bucks! what! yeah! oh yeah! I stood up giddily a few times when I was up by $50, and then when I was up by $75, and ran around in circles muttering, “i need to stop while i’m ahead stop while i’m ahead,” and then I would run around the slots, trying to resist going back, but I always went back until I yelled at Peter to get up we needed to leave and he said okay okay okay, all in, then he pushed $400 worth of chips in and lost them all at once (OH MY GOD I DESPISE RICH PEOPLE) and then we left and went to this other place that I shall not speak of in a public forum such as this.

Meanwhile, the next morning, I woke up and everyone’s flights had left. I had about 8 hours to kill. I meandered by the blackjack tables on my way out to the pool, even though my room was on the 24th floor and the pool is on the 2nd floor and the casino is on the first floor (meaning i had to go out of my way to meander by the blackjack tables) and I felt that $80 begging to be turned into more, more, more! It was literally burning a hole in my pocket. So I swung by, and circled around, and peered over peoples shoulders, and resisted the call, and resisted, until the dealer started giving me the evil eye, and so finally i sat down. I was just gambling profits, right?

I pushed three red chips into the circle and waited. The card lands on my spot. It’s a 5. Terrible card.  Dealer comes back around, I get a 10. I’m at 15. Not good. Dealer shows a 10. Awful, awful, awful. I stay, out of pure intuition, even though all rules say hit. Dealer flips her other card, its a 2. Yes. Deals another card, its a 2, deals another card, it’s a 10! woo hoo! she busts! I win $15, and it’s all over.

Next thing you know, i’m up $75, and I’m breathing through my mouth because my nose can’t take how much Win Spice I’m breathing, my heart is going a million miles an hour, and I’m feeling SO much better than the old Korean dude sitting to my left who keeps religiously checking his pocket chart (which he is actually wearing on a string around his neck) every time he decides to hit or stay. I think Korean dude is down a few hundred dollars. I wonder if we’re cousins.I get up and leave. Too much is at stake here.

I walk around the casino in circles, feeling invincible, undefeatable, like the luckiest person in the world. I was Evil Knievel, I was that woman who’d won the lottery 20 times, I was the HOTTEST thing that Casino had ever seen!! (Which is hilarious because $155 is literally like the casino throwing pennies in the garbage dump and me diving in and scrounging around for the abe lincolns.) The right side of my mind was saying, go to the pool, go to the pool, go to the pool, and the other part was saying, go back to the table, go back to the table, you can pay for your whole trip! You can spring for Chinese at the airport on your way back! You could order a whole beer (beers are $16 at that hotel)! Reason warred with emotion. The dealers were looking at me strangely as I paced nervously back and forth in front of them, at 11:45 am, looking like a psycho who’d lost everything she owned, rather than a winner struggling to keep her winnings.

I went back.

And lost $135 of the $155 i’d so luckily won. Clutching my last $20 in profits, i went back to the pool.

I took a chair in the shade and hugged my knees and hid underneath a stack of complementary beach towels. I was a loser. Literally. I’d thrown away $135 to feed an addiction i didnt even know i’d had. i was a miserable failure. I had no luck. i was destined to fail at life. i was infertile. grad school was going to call me up and revoke my acceptance. Hell existed and i was going. Then I read the rest of Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour and i felt a little better. The lifeguard was staring at me. i was fully clothed. The day before, my friends and I had just had a conversation about how fully clothed people by the pool in las vegas are creepy. Now I was creepy.

I still had $20.

I went back.

I turned $20 into $350 in about forty five minutes. It was so unbelievably awesome. I tipped the dealer $10. He was annoyed with me because every time it was my turn I’d cry out, “wait wait wait i’m sorry sorry!! hang on!” and then change my bet by $5 or $10, depending on how lucky I felt (SO STUPID).

And then I had to leave to catch my plane. I am so thankful gambling is illegal in all other states. I would so not be able to resist. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so strongly about something so terrible before.

I vowed to myself that i’d never gamble again.

Except today at work, when i convinced my office mates to go in on an office pool for the $500 million lottery that is happening on Friday.  Yeah. I did that.

 

i need help.

 

 

(On a totally tangential note, I used to work for this really awful human being until I figured out I wasn’t a slave and I quit. There was this guy who used to work for him before I did, let’s call him Lee, and my boss, let’s call him Jeb, still contacted Lee every once in a while to talk to him about papers and stuff. When Lee quit, he told Jeb that he was going back to China to take the Civil Service exams so he could work for the government, and so Jeb thought he was in China. When Jeb scheduled phone calls with Lee, he always had to work around Lee’s schedule since Lee said he was in CHINA which is approximately 15 hours ahead of us, depending on where you are. So you can imagine there is a very tight window to contact. And every time Jeb got off the phone with Lee, Jeb’d sigh and say, oh it’s too bad that Lee hasn’t passed his civil service exams yet; his parents must be upset, blah blah blah. Everyone thought he was in China. Well, turns out the guy is still in Durham, and has been in Durham since the day he quit!!!! bahahahahha! He was so scared of Jeb that he lied and said he was moving to CHINA, and continued to lie, so that he forced Jeb to schedule phone calls around the fact that he was in China! hahahaha! I love knowing that other people hated Jeb as much as I did.)

God needs to come back and stop abandoning the Jews

you guys, you guys. (first of all, nothin against Jews, i love jews. Their curly hair and delicious…uh…delicious…uh…food….ummm….OH I KNOW, their awesome little hats! make them okay in my book!)

Evan has always told me that circumcision is weird. But I never really bought it until I was driving home from work yesterday and I was listening to an NPR conversation about hardcore modern-day-leftist Jewish people from California wondering if they really and truly wanted to mutilate their baby boy’s genitals for some crazy forgotten promise made by God a billion years ago.

So basically some schizophrenic prophet-type thought that God said, “Genesis 17:9-10 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

For those of you not properly versed in God-Speak, essentially God said, “You can be my people and be saved and shiznit, as long as you CUT THE FORESKINS OFF OF ALL OF YOUR MALE BABIES on the 8th day after their birth. Right after you stone all the gays and the divorcees. With big, jagged rocks.”

When I heard that on NPR, I just started giggling uncontrollably. I mean, I’m all about free religion and believe-whatever-you-want, but just the thought that in order to go to Heaven the tip of your foreskin has to be missing was just hilarious to me. I’m pretty sure that Abraham, or whoever it was, had a hearing problem. Seriously: Abraham also thought that God wanted him to sacrifice his first born son on the mountaintop, so he brought him up there, all ready with a crazy sharp knife and some rope, and then God was all, “JK, LULZ, HAHA, SUCKA!!!!!! Just a test! Go back down the mountain and write a poem about this.”

So, pretty sure God didn’t do that. I mean, LOL wasn’t even invented until 1992 A.D., and then LULZ wasn’t invented until 2008 sometime. Must have been Abraham misinterpreting his voices. I bet God actually said, “I’ll save all y’all, as long as you are CIRCUMSPECT in your decisions regarding your penii.”

If you don’t get that, please go to http://www.dictionary.com and draw your own conclusions.

But, since Abraham was a crazy motha, he heard what he wanted to hear, and then wrote it down in his personal diary, and somehow it made it into the history books, and as a result, billions of poor Jewish baby boys had their foreskins removed for the next several thousands of years.

Let’s just engage in some modern-day comparisons for a moment, shall we?

So, let’s say there was some psycho cult in western Iowa. And, let’s say that one of them really and truly believed that God came and spoke to them. And then let’s say, that God told them they were all saved, as long as they cut off their female babies’ labia on the 5th day after they were born. And let’s say that all of these people started doing this.

Okay.

I am pretty sure the NAACP, the ACLU, slate.com, and women in general would all be like, “OH HELL NAH,” and then they would descend like a crazy hornets nest on the cult and denounce them for the psycho crazies that they were.

And it would be called GENITAL MUTILATION and they would be ordered to stop doing it. So. How is penile circumcision any different (other than the fact that it is an effective preventive against the transmission of HIV/AIDS, but thats another story)? Well, penile circumcision does happen to be a million years old or whatever, whilst labial mutilation would only be like, two weeks old. Still. Does the age of something make it okay?

People. Everyone needs to rethink why the mutilate their child’s penii. CIRCUMCISION IS WEIRD. WE DO IT BECAUSE SOME CRAZY DUDE THINKS GOD TOLD HIM TO DO IT A BAZILLION YEARS AGO.

This is not okay.

Also, while we’re discussing Jews, wasn’t what happened in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s way worse than what happened in Egypt in, like, 2000 B.C. ? Isn’t it time that God reappeared again and renewed the covenant, with something like, “oh hay Guys, sorry I abandoned yall for that decade, I was on vacay on Galaxy 91350EXYTI, IT WAS DA BOMB, falling stars all OVER the place! but my homies in the New World saved yall, so we cool? we cool! be fruitful and multiply, amigos! Oh, P.S., I really didn’t intend for anyone to cut off anyone’s penis, SORRY BOUT THAT.”

That’s what should happen. srsly. If God exists, he should really first apologize for abandoning his people in the mid 20th century, and then he should stick around to clarify a bunch of stuff. Like, what was the point of turning that poor woman into a pillar of salt? Why was Jesus so nice, but everyone in the Old Testament was such a freakin a-hole? How come he invented McDonalds? Why do Jewish people wear those silly little hats?

i have a million other questions for God. If he shows up, you let me know. I’m gonna go Alex Trebec on his ass.