Further to this post, Three Suckers Are Born Every Second, the girl and the two boys were exuberant about their winnings, three big stuffed toys and an assortment of smaller toys, because they saw the opportunity that there were a lot of uncollected winning tokens in the children’s gaming machine. All they did were to push the button and out came a bunch of winning tokens.
We were onto the third night in Las Vegas. Calvin buggered me to go to The Excalibur Casino Hotel again, probably at the insistence of William.
“Hey Pop, we want to go to The Excalibur again.” He said.
“We have been there on the first night, why do you fellows want to go again?” I asked.
“We want to have another roll. We want one more of that big stuff toy.” Calvin said. He was almost pleading, subtly shifting his eyes onto William and of course I didn’t miss it.
“We already have 3 biggies and an assortment of smaller ones. I don’t know whether we can check in all that” I said. “Why do you want another biggie?”
“William saw a little girl at our hotel lobby and she was pointing to the Goofy I was holding. We wanted to do some charity and give the girl a gift. We saw her a couple of times and she was just having a lollipop stick, no toys,” Calvin replied. “So we want to win another one and give her a present.”
“Charity is something which you already have and you treasure it and you give it away to the less fortunate. It is not giving away something which you do not want or giving away something which is not yours yet and is dependent on a game of chance.” I said. That was a mouthful but I knew that these kids absorbed what I said like a sponge soaking up water.
I laughed inwardly at the naivety of their innocence and it was a good opportunity to dispel some of their myths about charity. A lot of people were dreaming of doing charity big-time contingent upon winning the Mega Jackpot. This never happened in real life.
Anyway, off we went to The Excalibur again. This time My Excellency and I wanted in on the action too.
We went into the main entrance of the Children’s Entertainment Center in full swing.
Two ladies in red with collars up to their necks and attired to the hilt immediately came up and greeted us. They were prim and proper, more like teachers in a high school. They were unlike those leggy Bunny Girls in the main casino area, wearing bunny brownish head gears with two pointy ears, vivid war paint on their faces and skimpily dressed-to-kill. The job of these Bunny Girls were to dish out drinks (on the house, of course) to players on the gaming tables, entice them to stay longer and to have a few more rolls, collect some tips and tuck them onto their highly visible cleft of their mighty bosoms.
This was glittering Las Vegas, remember, the Sin City and the Neon capital of the world where it never slept.
In a corner two Men in Black suddenly appeared. They wore dark reflective sun glasses as if there were suffering from photophobia, stood akimbo with straight faces, legs astride, unmoving and staring ahead and occasionally twitched their lips menacingly. They were more like statues on display, mean, lean and hard men ready to break a leg or two to anyone who was going to crap the casino.
This was too pat, too close for comfort, I thought. We were being watched.
I whispered to Calvin, “Hey boy, are you a lefty or righty?”
“I didn’t cheat, Pop,” Calvin replied curtly. Meantime, my eldest girl and the younger boy were puzzled and could not understand what we were talking about. Later Calvin would explain to them. Calvin was always the patient one.
I had already ‘invested’ another $30 with the three kids for tonight’s action. As we moved around there was not even one ticker coupon jutting out from any lips of the games machine. However, the girl and boys still fed some quarters in, just to maintain our stance or our innocence.
Good fellows, they knew it was very hard to win and they pulled back.
“Pop, let’s do a tactical retreat and re-group.” Calvin said. Wow, using some military jargon as I taught him. So the things I told him were never in vain, it went into both ears and were retained onto some grey or white matters in between. What about the wisdom from My Excellency to the three kids, probably it never goes into their ears, or it just went through their ear canals from one end and exit from the other end. Really, I didn’t know and it was better not to ask.
We left the Children’s Entertainment Center empty-handed, no biggie stuff toys and not even a kitchen magnetic sticker. We bought some drinks and sat on a bench outside the Excalibur. The air was still hot and sultry, Las Vegas being a desert in the middle of nowhere.
We were not disappointed with the turn of events. In fact, we were pretty much jolly and joked about the whole episode. Calvin started to narrate what had transpired between the two of us.
I was an avid reader. Whenever I came across items which were of interest I would tell Calvin. My favorites were his favorites too, like WWII, ‘Nam War or some adventure stories. It was a book I read by Nicholas Pileggi entitled ‘Casino’ in the era during the 60s and early 70s when Las Vegas was ruled by the Mafia Mob.
At one time a card cheat was caught at a table when he was winning big. A waitress spilled some hot coffee onto his shirt accidentally and the card cheat was quickly hustled away to a room behind the gaming tables. He was then strapped onto a metal table amidst his screaming and struggling to free himself from the two muscled men. One of the men clamped his burly hand over his mouth and the card cheat shut up. The pit boss walked in, probably he was also the enforcer.
“You bastard! Are you a lefty or righty?” the pit boss shouted at the card cheat.
“Righty” the card cheat was trembling and it took some time for him to answer.
The two muscled men forced open his mouth and gagged him with a dirty oil cloth. The pit boss took a hammer from a metal tool box, placed the hand of the card cheat onto a side iron table top and whacked hard. Blow by blow, he whacked and whacked until the right hand of the card cheat turned into a pulp of bloody tissues and small whitish bones, blood slowly dripping on the floor.
“Now you are a lefty!” the pit boss shouted. “Get the f*** outta here and don’t I see you no more!”
The two muscled men released the harness and the card cheat stumbled down. Groaning and taking short breadths, he covered his bloodied hand with a handkerchief and scampered out.
“If you ever come here again I gonna cut your balls off and hang ‘em on me Christmas tree!” The pit boss said vehemently and with a last sadistic gesture he hit the card cheat hard on his kidney with the hammer he was still holding. The card cheat made haste and quickly limped out.
That was the time when the Mob ruled Las Vegas, where cash of bill notes and coins were not counted but weighed in huge weighing machines simply because the volume was so huge. Turf wars between rivaling fractions of the Mafia for control saw many died by the guns or knives, knocked over by cars, crippled or just disappeared into the desert.
Well, something like that with some melodramatic spices, salt and pepper sprinkled generously. But Calvin always loved this story.
And the kids laughed and laughed. Good vacation when everyone would laugh and laugh.
Next Post: Charity is giving away something which you treasured.