Who wants to be a Millionaire? I do I do…
I sometimes fantasize about winning that million, I picture myself being casual or mildly surprised, none of this wildly jumping about.
One a month I make the Pilgrimage to the local casinos, Thunder Valley or Cache Creek, I enjoy the drive to Cache Creek through Woodland and the gentle hills of Capay Valley, I am sure the traffic to the massive casino complex has disrupted the lifestyle for many in the area. Occasionally you will see homemade signs that begs the government not to flatten the hillside to widen the roadway.
Much of the area is isolated. Having lived in a metro area all my life, I wonder what life must be like for the people who live there. . No movie theaters or malls or large stores for that matter. Do they travel to Woodland for a good time? and what do they think of thousands of people from the Bay Area and Sacramento polluting their area?
Without warning Cache Creek appears from around the bend. Its a massive complex that pushes its way up a large hill. Casino,hotel and golf course. Rows of buses congregate in the lower parking areas….Bringing treasure seekers..
On this day, I have a coupon which promises forty dollars in bonus play. I drive up hill into the casinos parking garage… only the upper levels seem full on this Wednesday.
If there was away to bring people in hosptial beds to the casinos they would.Casinos seem to draw a full range of people all sharing the same dream of the million dollar pull. The dress code is dingy(from the latin term dingetta).
From the garage at Cashe Creek you take an elevator to the first floor, you pass the hotels front desk (with a massive waterfall) before you enter the casino. To right is a members area, where you can get a card to earn points and qualify for drawing s and such. There is almost always a line here. In the line are elderly men and women, some in wheelchairs, some who seem nearly blind. One not so old man looked as he was from a homeless shelter, he was standing in very dirty (dingetta)pants, he had on old wooden crutch and some very worn sneakers. There were a couple of women pulling oxygen tanks….one would pull her mask off to take a puff from her cigarette.. I’m always amazed by that. Smokers and oxygen. (I am always aware of where they sit as I have a fear of exploding canisters.)
I’m not sure why but EVERY TIME I visit Cache Creek, someone is passed out,(is that a requirment?-perhaps extra bonus points or a trip to the buffet?) the ambulance is always there, I often wonder, did they lose the rent or medicine money? That would do me in… I am strictly low rent, if I blew my rent at the casino, I would be on the floor.
At Thunder Valley, near Sacramento, the patrons are younger. At night I notice a lot of meth users with scarred faces.
The Indian Casinos are the only places in California where one can smoke. I think people light up because they can,…. At Thunder Valley the have a tiny room for non smokers and for what ever the reason where ever I sit, a smoker will sit on either side of me.
When I was a younger , I remember seeing patrons dressed up at the casino’s. Where are those glamorus patrons that you see in the Bond movies? In formals, furs and tuxedo’s. It was a time when people dressed,my mother insisted that wore a suit when we traveled on airplane.
She dressed up when she went shopping, it was a time not long ago. Today its bulletproof polyester, tee shirts and shorts, flip flops and sneakers. So I cant relate to THOSE people who have no style. Those slot players with there lit cigaretts and streach pants. I thought to myself.
Today, I’m looking for the “HOT SHOT’ machine…. I like that machine, it makes a lot of noise. Speaking of noise, there was a lady behind me screaming her Wal Mart wearing top off. it has to be big money, I say to myself. as I turn around.. SIX DOLLARS was her take, perhaps she should give up red meat. Damm! (I say to myself) stop all that hollering!.
I move on to the other machine, I seem to get attached to the machines with the funny videos. Gone are the put your nickel in and pull business like machines. The new slots have puzzles and stories coming out to you in stereo on Bose speakes.
After about an hour I had gone through my bonus..and it was time to head home.As I went into the bathroom to wash the cigarette smoke off my skin, I was started by the image of a tacky man in a stained tee shirt, he was wearing converted shorts ,one leg longer than the other. He had very ashy legs and feet. IT very clear that that man didn’t own a mirror,.
On my drive back to Sacramento, I stopped at Wal Mart and bought myself a mirror and I tossed the shorts in the dumpster.