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7:59 a.m. - 2002-07-26


I’m typing this from my hotel bed, while watching the sun come up over the Gulf of Mexico.

Yeeeeah…I could get used to this.

I’m here in Biloxi, Mississippi … home of … well … several flashy casinos with big huge colorful neon lights decorating them. And from what I can see … that’s about it.

Granted, I haven’t gone out and ventured around the city yet. Mainly because I got an AWESOME parking spot as soon as I pulled in to the complex, which are apparently hard to come by. So I’ve been here ever since I got here. Which…I guess would make sense, huh?

What really sucks poo-poo is the fact that it’s been raining off and on since I got here. Which means my beach time has been nil. The hotel pool is right outside my hotel room door … but I haven’t been out there to swim. I went out there several times yesterday to take pictures of chicks in their bikinis but there was a small problem with that.

You see … I’ve learned that when the big draw at a resort area are casinos … you’re dealing with a majority of retired people who are gambling their pensions away.

I feel like I’m the baby in an extremely nice nursing home.

I got here about 12:30 yesterday and was almost knocked out by the smell. A strong combination of mothballs and cigarettes insulted my sinuses as several elderly people shoved me out of their way as I was keeping them from the slot machines.

I got to my room…nice…big…decent view which I may share with you on Monday if I can remember to do so.

I went and did my interview with the PR lady of the casino. A nice, pretty young lady…very articulate … wonderful personality.

….And the last nice young lady I’d run into throughout my stay.

After the interview, I took my tape recorder and bag back to the room and went back to the casino to try my hand at wooing Lady Luck.

I decided that I would only gamble $30 during this stay. I had brought $100 along with me to gamble, but I had to stretch that as long as possible as I’m here for 24 hours.

…It took me less than five minutes to lose that $30.

The good news is that I had WON $40 with that $30!!

All together now….GO ME!!

Now, I shared with you guys my method of gambling. I gamble $100. That’s it. If I win $1,000….I take that $1,000 home with me…I don’t gamble it away.

Granted…I haven’t been in a casino in 20 years. I was a college student the last time I graced the doorstep of the Playboy casino in Atlantic City. My method of saving everything I won was based on the fact that I had bags of marijuana to buy with my winnings back then. Every dollar I won 20 years ago meant one more joint.

I don’t smoke weed anymore. Although I strongly am thinking of joining NORML and being an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. But I don’t smoke it myself.

So anyway….there I am with $40 worth of winnings in my hand. It was time to leave the casino. My five minutes of fun were up.

Five minutes.

It was 4:10 in the afternoon.

There’s nothing else to do in this hotel BUT gamble. The gift shop is as big as my closet. It’s raining outside. There are no whores hanging around the hotel lobby waiting to go up to a room with a guy who just lucked into winning a whopping $40.

Sooooo…five minutes later, that $40 was gone. My winnings were right back in the damned slot machine that I had extracted it from earlier.

Oooooo…you’re an evil bitch, Lady Luck. You giveth and you taketh away.

I walked out of the casino after a total of ten minutes in there. I was depressed for not holding on to my earnings like I said I would.

I sat down in the lobby and listened to some Polynesian people play Caribbean music. I debated on getting up and dancing a jig by myself to entertain the other depressed people who had just lost their paychecks in the casino. Just as I stood up and began to wiggle my hips, I changed my mind and walked over to one of the restaurants in the hotel.

One of the girls at work had told me to make sure that I ate their dinner buffet here. She said it was fantastic.

It was.

I had broiled fish, baked chicken, mahi mahi, boiled shrimp, tons of different veggies, salad, chicken salad, beef brisket, a slice of pizza, two ribs and some ham.

…I skipped lunch…cut me some slack.

For dessert, I defied every diabetic rule out there and had a slice of turtle cheesecake, a brownie and banana pudding.

I’m still full 14 hours later.

I was sitting there at my table and doing some people watching while I ate. There was one guy…small build…eating HUGE plates full of food. I know it sounds like I ate a lot, but I just had a small sample of everything. THIS GUY ate TONS of everything. And he ate it quickly. He was like one of those professional speed eaters. It was fun watching him, but slightly disturbing.

Then a guy with one arm came in. I’m not about to rag on people with one arm…well…yes I am.

His arm had been cut off right at the big tattoo. It was odd, I couldn’t really make out what the tattoo used to be, but it was big and colorful. And then his arm was cut off and the tattoo just kinda folded over his nub and shrunk. It was really unique and I wanted to ask him if he got the tattoo before or after the arm yanking incident. Alas, I just ate my banana pudding and watched the guy peel shrimp with his nub, which was really cool.

Once again, I wanted to lead a round of applause when the guy finally got his first shrimp unpeeled. Alas…I just watched in awe of his nub wielding techniques.

I waddled back to my room, turned on the TV and read the newspaper.

Then I surfed the web. On my whopping 56K dial-up modem. Which is quite a change from the T1 line at work. I was getting tired of waiting five minutes for each page to load, so I shut off the computer.

I watched TV.

I decided on how to stick with my “winnings” plan of pocketing all the money I won.

Since I spent $30…won $40 … blew that $40…then technically, I’ve already spent $70…right?

Soooo…with absolutely nothing else to do…I went back to the casino at 10 p.m. last night.

I was going to spend $20. That was it. $20. What I won…I pocketed.

I went back to my room five minutes later…with empty pockets.

I began thinking what all I could have done with that $20.

I could have bought four beers, got a good buzz on and left some bartender a decent tip.

I could have bought my son a new Wiggles video since Playhouse Disney is now showing old episodes of the show which COMPLETELY SUCK because they’re removed about 75 percent of the songs from the show which was the only reason my kid watched the damned thing in the first place.

I could have bought one of those cool foam Parrot hats in the gift shop.

Instead, I pissed that 20 bucks away in the spirit of “fun”.

Sorry…but that’s not “fun” to me.

So I’ve now spent $90 and walking home with $50. It would have been a whole lot more “fun” if I was walking out of here with hundreds of dollars.

One thing I’ve learned…you can sit there at a slot machine and pray as hard as you want for God’s help to win some money. But God’s not all that keen on helping people win at the slots. He’s out there helping little kids recover from pneumonia and assisting people trying to recover from auto accidents. He doesn’t have time to make sure you walk away with ten big coins from a slot machine.

So I came back to the room, watched the local news who promised more rain for today and went to sleep.

Today…my sole interview that was supposed to take place at 8 a.m. has been pushed back to 1:30.

It’s overcast outside.

I refuse to walk back in the casino because it’s just not fun for me.

Morning TV sucks.

56K modems suck harder.

I’m bored.

And apparently, I have six more hours of boredom before a boring interview then a boring four hour drive home in the rain.

But my son and my wife and my (hopefully) new drywalled home are waiting for me at the end of the drive.


And an apartment full of in-laws.


Finally, I’ve got to say…I just saw Samantha Runnion’s mother on television….the mother of the little five year-old girl who was killed last week.

That woman is amazing.

Listening to her speak made me tear up.

Hug your kids.

If you don’t have kids…go hug a strange kid.

Just make sure you don’t hug them too long and you get their parents’ permission first.

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