I’d never been to Atlantic City before this weekend. Even though I grew up in Jersey and made frequent trips down the shore, gambling isn’t my kinda debauchery. I was content to conjure the bright lights and smell of vomit in my imagination, leaving Bruce Springsteen to color in the details.
But my buddy Jon is getting hitched, and as ritual dictates we washed up on the shore like sea turtles, purely on instinct, to drink and gamble.
Well, I didn’t gamble much. I spent $5 on the penny slots, feeding a fiver into the machine without really grasping how it worked. My buddy Mike explained that I had to hit the button to select how many rows I’d bet on, and then another to choose how much I’d bet. I hovered between the buttons in the center, thinking them a safe middle ground.
After a dozen rounds or so, I had won $3.50. “Cash out!” Mike said.
I walked away up 70 percent. The groom, meanwhile, focused his attention on some higher stakes games.
This is the face of a man who just lost $40 at the tables. Don’t mourn for him too much; pretty sure he still finished the weekend up $30.