My wife enjoys playing video slot machines. She loves to gamble. She says it is in her Spanish Moroccan blood, coursing through her veins, much like her temperament. It makes her happy, so she says, so we go. She is a VIP, at our local casino. In effect, she has spent more money, win or lose, than the average non Spanish Moroccan , and so is entitled to certain perks and privileges reserved for the most exclusive of guests. She has become a member. She gets a black card now, only for VIP club members, and she carries it proudly among the white card carrying general public. This black card, is the pathway to the perks.
She collects points for every dollar wagered, and these points can, in turn, be converted into meals, event tickets, and VIP members only galas. We have been to no gala, and while we have dined at the facility’s restaurant, the food is far from appealing. “It’s free.”, she says, justifying the garbage we are about to consume.
“Really?”, I ask. “You understand that you are about to eat an overcooked, over seasoned $500 steak, right?”
Interesting that this doesn’t concern my minimalist, frugal wife.
I do not play the slot machines. Often times she will give me $100 or so, and ask me if I want to play. “Of course.”, I tell her, and take the money. I put it in my pocket. Why not? She has questioned me several times about whether I really played or not. “What difference does it make if I put the money in the machine and lose it, or just put it in my pocket? It doesn’t cost you any more.”
So there we were, at the local slot emporium, ready to roll, when I noticed a sign at the VIP room entrance offering a VIP Toronto Maple Leafs event. It seemed that for a significant amount of points, we could get 2 tickets which would gain us access to an executive suite at the Air Canada Centre for an upcoming hockey game. Free food. Free beer. Free Hockey. “We should grab a couple of tickets.”, I told her.
“I don’t know if I have enough points.”, she replied. She checked, and yes she did. More than enough. In fact there were enough points for the tickets, and another culinary adventure in the hall of disappointing dinners. We scooped the tickets. “Happy are you?”, she asked.
“You have no idea.”, I replied.
As she entered the very special room in which you can lose very special money, I wandered off to watch others enjoy the art of casino gaming, with $100 in my pocket.
On the way home, she suggested that we give the hockey tickets to one of my daughters and her boyfriend. “Are you kidding?”, I asked her.
“No. They never go anywhere. They have no money. It would be nice for them to go somewhere nice.” I thought about this for almost no time at all.
“How about we send them to the movies.”, I suggested.
“I think we should give them the tickets.”, she repeated. “Neither one of us can sit there that long. We can’t eat most of the food, and how much beer can you really drink?”
“But its an executive suite.”, I reminded her.
Practical and logical as ever my wife added that there would be no smoking, and I would not be permitted to cuss or curse.
“I’m not happy about this.”, I told her.
“I know.”, she said. “I know.”
On the day of the game, my daughter and her boyfriend arrived at the house to pick up my tickets. “Are you sure?”, the boyfriend asked, alternately looking at me and the tickets.
“Not at all.”, I told him, “But you go and have a good time.” The little guy couldn’t thank me enough. I still don’t think he did. After they left, I retired to the bedroom, feeling somewhat dejected. No, pissed off. I was feeling pissed off. I put on my Detroit Red Wings Jersey, and sat on the bed waiting for the game to begin. My wife entered the room. “Here.”, she said. “Help me with this.” I looked up, and she was carrying a 6 pack of beer, an order of wings, and a small, thin crust veggie pizza, with extra olives.
“Much better than the executive box.”, she said as I helped her with the delivery. She got up on the bed, and sat beside me.
“Much better.”, I said.
“Who’s playing?”, she asked.
“It really doesn’t matter, anymore.”, I said.