Sunday, July 2, 2006

The highlight of this Fourth of July weekend is definitely going to be the $200 donation I made to the Mohegan Tribal Council in Connecticut: I went up to Mohegan Sun for the free They Might Be Giants concert and stayed for the hot Spanish 21 dealer who took all my money, and also because the bus home didn't leave till 11:30. "Free" concert my ass...

The concert was expectedly cool, even though — prepare to be shocked — the acoustics in a mid-casino ampitheater surrounded by the sounds of people's numbers coming up in roulette and slot machines paying off (not my slot machine, though) and paying off and paying off and paying off (but of course, not my slot machine) and still paying off.... oh, sorry, the acoustics in the middle of the casino suck harder than the buffet food. But on the plus side, the crowd in a casino is over-21, so the band replaced the sappy children's songs that usually satisfy the soccer mom element of the audience with more of their classics, satisfying, well, me. I guess that's the theory anyway, but there were plenty of kids (with their adult guardians, I suppose) on the casino floor, at the concert. I guess on one hand, there probably aren't all that many big venues in south-central Connecticut so if you want to take your kids to see a family-friendly but relatively popular band, they'll probably be performing at Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods. Mohegan Sun even has the mispunctuated "Kids Zone," a toy store and a Jersey Shore style arcade — apparently, dumping quarters in a slot machine for the chance to win useless trinkets is healthy family fun but dumping quarters in a slot machine for the chance to win something of value, such as money, ruins America's morals — so I guess they've got a pretty popular family destination there.... But then again, if you're taking your three-year-old on a fun-filled vacation to a casino, you might have some sort of gambling problem. Just something to consider.

We arrived at Mohegan Sun around five, five-thirty, after four freaking hours of crawling along on the interstate — and did I mention that the bus had no air conditioning? Yeah, the bus had no A/C, but we did have a woman who thought an unventilated bus would be a great place to do her nails, so the fumes kind of took our minds off of... well... everything. Even though I left the casino with a lot less money in my wallet and a lot more secondhand smoke in my lungs, I really enjoyed the place. Mohegan Sun is absolutely beautiful, with an understated (for the most part) Native American motif that comes off more nightclub and less natural history museum, although I did spend some time in the food court sitting on a fakey-fake plastic rock. Like I'm sure there aren't any real rocks in Connecticut, so they had to go and mold one. Or several. The place is huge, and I pretty much needed a sherpa to keep me from getting lost. I wasn't the only one — every few minutes there'd be an announcement on the P.A. system — "So-and-so, come meet your party at Lost Guest Assistance." Thankfully, in the near future, we won't be having this problem because the Bush administration will implant GPS locators in each of our brains.

So for the most part, I enjoy casino gambling, and I even tolerate relatively well the people getting lucky on sucker bets, or the guy bitching to the dealer when he busts, or the craps shooters who think that aligning the dice a certain way will keep them from rolling seven, but I spent an hour at a Spanish 21 table with two people who insisted that the mathematically derived strategy charts I was using were worthless and that there's no teacher like experience, and I was just overcome with despair for mankind. I mean, the one guy wasn't even playing, just handing out bad advice condescendingly, and the other woman who kept telling me to ignore the basic strategy had already lost all her money! I swear, I wanted to strangle the living shit out of their ignorant little brains. But, no, like a rational person, I had to try explaining to them the concept of the house advantage and expected value, and like the slime that grows on the middle school locker room floors and winds up handing its Social Security checks over to Pat Robertson, they were calling me naive. Grrrr..... this is why I think it would just be easier to eat the stupid rather than educate them.