so i was escorting my folks and son to atlantic city, "america's playground", one sunny day.
ma (a high school degree in cash registering and marriaging) said, so i play ‘50 lions’. i get 50 lines for 25 cents. i play one credit per line. and when the lions show up, i make a killing. why, it’s almost criminal.
my son (a masters degree in stats) said, grandma you need to play texas hold’em. it’s not really gambling. it’s skill.
ma said, so are the slots, if you know what you’re doing.
then i thought, what am i doing driving these insane people to the mecca of lost earnings. anyone worth their wagering salt knows roulette is the way to go.
i looked into the rearview mirror for an indication that dad might be in lock step with my line of thinking.
if he was, he disguised it by silently pointing at a low flying plane passing over the car.
we were three generations, contained in a honda accord, anticipating the great wins that were certain to come our way at the cost of the others' losses.
each with our own little story.
and for my son and me, it was as good as it would get.
the zenith of the day.
the night before christmas.
the last school bell before summer vacation.
the friday night drive home from work.
a world of wild, delusional optimism, when pecuniary practicality was what was called for.
because at the end of the day, there was only one smiling face.
ma and her penny system reaped $295.
she was right, it was criminal.