by Jeff Costello, August 16, 2017

Here in Colorado, both marijuana and casino gambling are legal. I have no moral judgment on this, other than pot was more fun back when. Speaking of drugs, a clear 40 year-old memory sticks with me... Sitting in a Sausalito houseboat waiting to score some dope, and looking at the others waiting, I wanted badly to think, "I am not one of these people." Denial is a strong mechanism. Just ask Donald Trump.

Now, all these years later and having given up drugs, legal or not, I find myself going "up the hill" occasionally to Black Hawk, a small town at 8537 ft. some 40 miles west of Denver. If you see casinos in places like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo in the movies, the gamblers are all elegantly dressed and behaved. That's the movies. The reality of gambling establishments as I know them is something else altogether.

In a sense, here I am back in that houseboat, denying the fact that I am indeed "one of these people." At 71, it is a struggle to grow old gracefully, and many of the people in the casinos have have not done so. I can still still walk upright - and look where I'm going, two basic faculties that an alarming number of casino goers lack. I've never seen so many people in my basic age range hobbling around in walkers or being pushed in wheelchairs - often with oxygen tanks to help them breathe. Altitude may have something to do with this, I suppose. As a "low roller," it's great to go home with a hundred dollars more than I came with, and at least equally bad to leave with a hundred dollars less. This is justifiable if one realizes that people will pay more than that to go hear some rock band loud enough to make them temporarily deaf.

Add to this walking wounded scenario some basic rudeness, an inconsiderate "get out of my way" factor in so many of the general crowd, although there are some who know to behave in a civil manner even when occupied with a form of selfishness. As an old ex-navy poker shark friend said, "I feel bad when I win, but worse when I lose." Human behavior, an odd thing at best.

3 Responses to Casino

  1. izzy Reply

    August 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    In a free society (which has in many ways disappeared, except the for the right to get ripped off) doing what you want should be a given. But I remember being a bit disturbed when the state lottery was introduced, and casinos began popping up everywhere. It all just seems to pander to an unfortunate aspect of human nature. There is a sort of desperate sadness evident. And like they say, the house always wins.

    • LouisBedrock Reply

      August 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Hi izzy,

      I couldn’t agree with you more strongly.

      In New Jersey, lottery tickets are sold everywhere: supermarkets, newsstands, pharmacies; I haven’t been to a whorehouse lately, but if they still exist, lottery tickets are undoubtedly sold there

      I resent having to wait on line while some fool wastes all her money on the infinitesimal chance that she will win a million dollars.

      The people who buy lottery tickets, judging by their appearance, are the ones who can least afford to throw away their money.

      • LouisBedrock Reply

        August 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Good piece by young Costello.

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