Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness

March Madness is a term for the time of year in Northern England when mystical mushrooms approach humans promising salvation.
Great crops of fungi approach the local English and sing a siren’s song of gold plated dreams and escape from boiled food.
To some, like late singer/songwriter Layne Staley, this was known as the Mad Season.
This is all according to a wiki on the interwebs that believes in oil futures and large pig-headed goats that roam the streets of New Orleans in search of “the best brunch around”.
Regardless, in America, it’s the time of year when St. Patrick’s Day and college basketball collide in an orgy of alcoholism and gambling.
Alcoholism and gambling go hand in hand like Democrats and Republicans. Everyone wants to get involved and everyone loses.
Here in the Western Washington, we have a number of Native American Indian casinos. It’s important to remember that in Washington our Indians are so hard core they are not only Native, they are also part of the West Indies. This involves lots of tax shelter information that I can’t explain right now – but our Native American Indians are LARGE. The casinos are a monument to Jack Nicholson suffering White Man’s Burden in a lodge somewhere in Colorado or Oregon, depending on your frame of mind.

It was early afternoon when we arrived with dumb smiles on our faces and printouts of brackets that would promise money.
You approach a casino like a new dog – with dog food.
And that’s the kind of money I brought with me – dog food.
That errant 300 that you can’t afford to lose, but figure you’re being good for leaving your debit card at home – which is a large mistake considering you will probably borrow money from your friends with the lame promise that “my cash card is back at my house”.

You start drinking coffee or coke and figure you’re not one of those diabetes riddled men in a wheelchair pushing your oxygen tank from machine to machine in the hope for just enough to be able to eat at Sizzler on Saturday.
And you aren’t. C’mon, you’re 35 and have plenty more life to waste.

Smart people play games with good odds, like craps. But, winners play machines.
From Dean Martin’s Wild Party to Lucky Lamps, there are plenty of animated games that scream WHEEL OF FORTUNE at you. And at first it’s funny. So ironic. And yet so dangerous. Pretty soon Pat Sayjack isn’t so funny.

Roulette is an ugly game. The type of people that play will sell you crack from the nearest homeless person’s pocket. They hang on the glass dividers around the table and slur insults at waitresses while drinking left behind Manhattans.

Blackjack is where you find junior high guidance counselors and other assorted pedophiles that enjoy hanging off furniture like dead fish as they tell you about that time they got a free room at the Flamingo and met Dolly Parton in a Chik Fil A.

Poker is where you find the degenerate gamblers that imagine they are gifted with a lethal dose of kickass to the point they spend their 401K loan on a pointless hours of trying to make their sunglasses more intimidating.

The rest of the games are things I can’t pronounce; ugly foreign version of Yahtzee and Sorry where everyone loses and they throw you down staircases taxi cabs away.

The handsome bar is where you learn to spend a little more for your drinks. Like when you order two glasses of absinthe and end up handing the waitress a 100. You think about it and there’s a perverse sense of satisfaction knowing you paid that much for drunky fuel and don’t realize that 2 + 2 equals you make 30 grand a year and don’t have a car.

There’s an ugly moment when you feel water fill your nose and you’re on your 18th beer and you’re rambling on to an old man about how a server works and how if you had been back there in 48 you’dve been just like him.

But then he starts coming on to you and threatening he’s the ex governer of the state and if you could put 1000 on black for him he’d be very happy. You turn and walk out of the bar and run into a Russian waitress with tits like Mt. Si. She offers you a drink, but you know better, you’ve awoke to that feeling of your kidneys not being there way too many times.
And you only had two.

It gets late and you decide to leave. Then you stare at your wallet and the contents and then figure it’s only 103 till you’ve lost a solid 300.

So, you go gamble some more. The whole time thinking about how well your brackets are you lose half the grand prize and then search around for an abandoned Manhattan at the nearest roulette table.

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