A jackpot and a lesson

An interaction I had Thursday night with a Trump supporter I think is the perfect encapsulation of the issues we face as a nation even if Joe Biden wins the election and Trumpism is temporarily turned back. 

In short, they have no respect for laws, no respect for rules, no respect for authority, no respect for anything other than “fuck you, I do what I want”. 

I was sitting in the high limit room at The D casino and had just hit a $4,000 jackpot. (I was playing $5 video poker, a limit at which you can expect to hit a taxable jackpot roughly every half hour or so, hopefully more, so this is not a rare occurrence especially in the high limit room.)

You get a lot of what I call “looky-loos” in there, 99 percent of which are harmless. Some people just want to see what kinds of limits there are on the high-limit machines. A lot of people just want to watch someone play a few hands and then move on. That doesn’t bother me. Every now and then you’ll get some kind of a scammer or pest that you have to get security to deal with. It’s a fact of life in downtown casinos especially.

I was the only person seated at a row of about 10 or so machines, not all the same — some were video poker, some were video slots, some were VP multi-play machines, but there were four video poker machines identical to the one I was playing. 

Since COVID, Nevada state laws dictate that players have to be seated apart from each other by one machine unless they are a part of the same group — anyone who has been inside a casino would know this because half of the chairs in the casino have been removed so that only every other machine has a chair in front it. 

As soon as I hit the jackpot, an older guy, maybe late 50s looks at me, looks at the jackpot and drags a chair over to sit down next to me. Even pre-COVID my antenna would be up at this point since you are always attuned to protect yourself at all times and someone sitting right next to you with so many other open machines would be odd, but honestly pre-COVID if the guy wanted to play that particular machine I wouldn’t have said anything. Gamblers are superstitious and some have “lucky” machines.

I very calmly and not unkindly explained that it’s against state law to sit next to people you don’t know and pointed out an empty machine identical to the one he sat down at that was two seats over on my left if he wanted to play.

His response was an immediate blank look and then a few seconds later – “What are you gonna do about it?” 

Fortunately just then a slot tech happened to walk over to start the paperwork on my W2-G and I asked her to explain to him the law and then I helpfully pointed out to her that the machine two spots over was identical and available. 

His response was “I don’t have to listen to your made-up laws” and he proceeded to give both of us what was meant to be an intimidating look. 

The slot tech immediately called for security at which point, this guy decided he apparently didn’t want to be forcibly 86ed from the casino, got up and started to walk out of the high limit room.

I couldn’t help myself and asked as he walked out, “You’re a Trump supporter, aren’t you?” 

His response — “Four more years, asshole.” 

These people aren’t going anywhere no matter what happens in November. They’ve been weaponized by an endless stream of lies, grievance and hate. They’re hear to stay. 

Published by Brian

Your humble narrator on a hopefully epic journey.

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