Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hillbilly Mom's Excellent Adventure


Oh, yeah. It was spur of the moment decision, made Friday during my 6th hour plan time. As you recall, the last time this excursion was anticipated, I got a call 30 minutes before time to leave because my aunt had contracted pneumonia or the plague or monkeypox or some such debilitating illness. Thank the Gummi Mary, the ol' gal has been taking vitamin D, and is fit as a fiddle.

HH and the #1 son are gone to a bowling tournament in Lee's Summit, so The Pony and I are having a heyday. My mom agreed to mind The Pony so I could have a day out. It began with a trip to Hardee's to await the Old People Gambling Bus. The Pony spied a short white van-bus thingy pulling out, and was afraid that it was my bus. I told him mine was not a short bus. After loading The Pony and his Lappy and a GameBoy and The Water Horse into my mom's small SUV, I called my aunt to make sure she was up and bus-bound. She gets on a stop earlier than me. All systems were GO. Shortly, a big black and red Husky bus pulled up and swept me away to a day of money-losing. I had an excellent time.

My aunt had told me that I would be the youngest one on the bus. She was right. She also bragged that when she went last week, SHE was the youngest. At 65. We all had seats to ourselves. There were three other old ladies on the bus when I boarded, plus Auntie. We tooled along the interstate for about 20 miles, then cut over to Bloody Numbered Highway. We picked up 7 more people in the next two stops, then the white-haired driver put the pedal to the metal and wove us through some Frogger-like traffic on I-270 to Harrah's. THE place to be from 12:00 to 4:00 on a Saturday when you're old. We took our little green laminated scannable bus tour thingies and raced to the bus check-in area. There, we scanned them and our player's cards for a coupon for FIVE free dollars after we gambled a bit. I also had a $20 and a $10 coupon of my own. Harrah's wants me back. Bad. Because I ignored the $12 coupon, and the insulting $7 coupon over the past couple months. Harrah's marketing director, be advised: Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will not leave her Mansion for such paltry amounts.

We scattered like Skittles dropped on a speckled-tile classroom floor, and went off to seek our fortunes. When 1:30 rolled around, I was only down $15, which was pretty good for me. I cashed out tickets for $135, $55, and $10. As you can see, my losses could have been much greater. I met Auntie for a lunch of California Club and potato soup. She was 10 minutes late, and the soup was OH SO HOT, and lunch ended up taking 45 minutes instead of the 20 I had hoped for. I had to hustle to get back to my Triple Cherry fifty-cent machine. The gosh-darn thing must have overheated, because with 15 minutes left before I had to board the bus, it jammed up good and tight with a 'communication error' message after gobbling up a $20 and giving me one spin. The fixer gal showed up quite timely, like in 20 seconds, and tickled its guts until it agreed to play with me some more. It seemed to work much better, not making me pound those buttons two or three times before spinning. Wouldn't you know...five minutes before I had to high-tail it to the big red/black Husky, it started paying again like pre-lunch. I cashed out $80 and $15, and rushed to the ticket-redeemer thingy. It didn't want to pay me. It only wanted to make change, and spit out my ticket three times. I rushed up front by the leaving chutes, where a brief wait in line netted my cash. But then I noticed that my player's card was AWOL, so I rushed back to fetch it from the jaws of Mr. Triple Cherry. I was OH SO SAD that we could not spend more quality time together. I know he wanted to give me that $21, 835 progressive jackpot. But I settled for losing less than 10 percent of my gambling stake, and I shall live to play again.

Auntie did not appear in the big rotunda area where we were to meet. The driver said he would bring up the bus at 3:45, and we would be leaving at 4:00 SHARP. At 3:50, after calling her 6 times with no answer and leaving a message, I boarded the bus. We were only missing two people. I finally got her to answer the phone. She said, "Oh. I'm inside waiting for you." Duh. She and the other MIA golden oldie hopped on, and we were off. The ride back was filled with more gossip, and our excellent adventure drew to a close.

I can't wait to go again.

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