As some of you know, I’m a gambler. Sometimes a good one, and sometimes I lose. And I’m admittedly addicted to the rush of winning. Friday night, I went to the casino with my neighbors. After an hour of chasing “my rush,” we met in the restaurant for dinner. I didn’t even look at menu, nor the specials, I ordered heart-attack food: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with sausage gravy, and corn. Delicious, though I only ate a third of it.
We returned to the gaming room. I’d been seated at a one-armed bandit for 30 minutes when the drink-cart girl came by. I ordered a $5 beer and handed her a $20. “I’ll be right back with your change and beer.” Forty-five minutes passed–no change, no beer. I went to the drink station and inquired. No one seemed to know the whereabouts of my server. Over an hour passed, and again I inquired. My server remained MIA.
I had just returned to the slot machine I was playing when the suits descended upon me. Walkie-talkies, ear wires, etc. Now, every gambler in my line of sight was staring at me, like I was a criminal! “We need to see your ID.” Really? I look under 21?
“Why? Almost two hours ago, I ordered a beer and was told….”
“Show us at which machine you were sitting when this allegedly took place.”
“Allegedly? Wait a minute.” I rose, walked three machines down and said, “Here.”
With that one of my casino friends declared, “And I was sitting over there and witnessed it.”
Suit number 1 spoke into his walkie-talkie, “Check video of Bank 98 for the last two hours and the drink server. Yes, I do have a witness. Yes, yes, yes.” He turned to me, “After we review the surveillance tape may get your beer and your change.”
Onlookers were surrounding me–probably awaiting my escort out of the casino. I was livid! I’ve watched and reported casino drifters who cash out tickets and steal others’ money. I’ve listened to victims be told: “Your ticket was cashed, and the thief left the casino, according to our video.” And now, I’m suspected of fabricating a story over one beer and a $20 bill.
“Gentlemen, don’t waste you time on your spy gear. I suspect you think I made up this story. I’m neither a liar, nor a thief. My life will go on without a $20 and a beer. Just forget it.” The crowd watched.
As the suits left, my friend stopped them, within my ear shot, “That was a dumbass thing you did to Sue. For God’s sakes, she’s a gazillionaire!” Oh, sweet baby Jesus! While I appreciated her defense of me, she just told an outrageous lie about me! Now, I was really a marked woman.
Shortly thereafter, my $20 and a beer was delivered. “That will be $5.”
What was I expecting? An apology? A bottle of champagne? I would have settled for people to stop staring at me. While I committed no crime, I felt dirty. My personal integrity called into question. And no, regardless of how I crave the heart-attack, chicken-fried steak, I will no longer donate part of my social security check there again.