Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thoughts That Popped into My Head

  • When Ginny and I were in Denver on business for a month (the same trip during which I took her to see a stripper and to see the movie Carrie) we drove down to Las Vegas for a weekend. (No, no, separate rooms, you swine). Ginny had never been there and had never gambled. I promised to teach her to gamble at craps.

    You need to know that Ginny was thrifty. She could pinch a penny until Old Abe begged for mercy.

    I took her to a table somewhere where she could make two dollar bets, and taught her the basics. As chance would have it, the dice were very cold and soon she was down six or eight dollars. Now even though that was perhaps one meal on her expense report, she became very crabby over it.

    "I don't like this. I don't feel good. My stomach hurts. I've got cramps."


    "OK, let's go somewhere else."

    We walked to another casino, and as I guided us to another craps table she asked grumpily "Craps again?"

    I told her "I'll teach you a little system. Unless we get very unlucky, you'll win a few dollars."

    Please understand that there are no betting systems which will win at casino craps over the long run. There are, however betting systems with different approaches and goals, which make profits at varying paces until disaster strikes. Knowing that Ginny was never gonna let enough money slip through her fingers to qualify as a disaster, I taught her a little system that might bring in a few dollars.

    Fifteen minutes later she had recouped her losses, was perhaps ten dollars ahead, and was all smiles. "Oh, I like this, Donnie. Where are we going next?"

  • BTW, that was a *long* drive, and we left late one Friday afternoon. Ginny asked if she might drive the first leg (we had a rental car, courtesy of our employer) and she drove until perhaps 9:00 PM.

    She made me crazy.

    The details are hazy now, as this happened more than thirty years ago, but in my mind I see three or four lanes on our side of the Interstate, and virtually no traffic.

    And Ginny driving at fifty miles an hour.

    Unless we came up on another vehicle going even slower, in which case she would pull in behind it and go slower still, until I reached over and turned the steering wheel about five degrees to start getting her into the next lane on the left.

    It was probably 8:30 or so, and pitch black in the Rockies. We were the only vehicle on either side of the Interstate. Doing fifty. This would be about a 750 mile drive and I was wondering whether we would get to Las Vegas in time for my funeral when Ginny saw headlights in her rear view mirror. Immediately she slowed down. Can you imagine?

    The headlights closed rapidly, as they would have if they were being carried by a pedestrian. Soon enough Ginny said in a panic "It's a police car!"

    He stayed behind us for a minute or two, then lit her up and she pulled over. A Colorado State Trooper walked up to the window and said "Good evening. Would you tell me why you're driving so slowly?"

    My body jerked slightly as I fought to contain the laughter, and the trooper looked at me suspiciously.

    Ginny, indignantly: "Well you made me NERVOUS, following me like that!"

    Now there were two of us struggling to contain ourselves.

    For the sake of the drill he asked a question or two - "Where are you going?" type questions, then smiled and said "You have a good time," and walked back to his vehicle.

    He probably thinks we're still on the way to Las Vegas.

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