The Triple Trey machine wheels spin to a slow stop just one numbered slot before the progressive payoff combination teasing me out of another twenty dollars for a chance to become the next instant millionaire at The Majestic, newest, all inclusive, casino on the Las Vegas strip.
Slightly concerned about finding my cash pocket empty already, I quickly forget that thought upon my visual discovery of The Majestic Cash-a-Plenty ATM with no waiting line just three rows down on the green velvet wall within sight of my red hot quarter machine.
The full figured blonde black lady wearing yellow pedal pushers and a darker yellow “I Saw Elvis” T-shirt says she’ll save my lucky seat and puffs a smoky, “Hurry Back” smile from her blue leather stool next to mine.
In my wallet beside the visa debit card is a well-worn $50 cash card, a gift from my daughter a Christmas or two ago. I figure I may as well give it a try and insert it into the “Insert Card Here” slot.
The window reads:
Welcome to The Majestic Cash-a-Plenty ATM
Key in your PIN and press Enter
PIN? Do I have a PIN?
Looking for the eject button, I spot a small paper maintenance sticker:
ACME ATM “Got Problems?”
So I chance entering 4014.
The window now reads:
Key in your desired amount and press Enter.
I remember using the card a couple of times before, but don’t have a clue as to how much is left.
What the hell.
I tap in 50 bucks and push Enter.
The window shows:
Thank you and Good Luck.
It doesn’t take long for my hot slot to cool off and my cash pocket to become empty once again. I’m hungry anyway, so I pull out my 50% discount Majestic Buffet coupon from my “Welcome to The Majestic” welcome packet. I may as well use it now before going someplace else to try my luck.
I inadvertently hand the cashier my $50 cash card with the coupon rather than my debit card. She slides it through and asks if I want cash back?
“Yes sir, up to $300”
Didn’t she notice that it’s only a $50 card?
“Sure, $300 will be fine”.
Now I’m starting to feel like a thief, but that doesn’t stop me from going over to the Majestic Automated Chip Kiosk to try my card there.
Thank you for using the Majestic Automated Chip Kiosk the computerized voice says. Your limit is $1000 per transaction.
With nothing to lose, I don’t, at least not all at once. I win for a while, then lose it back and then visit the kiosk.
What fun! I could do this forever!
But, by now, the free drinks and excitement are starting to wear me down.
I need to call it a night.
“We’ll get you a room, Mr. Palmer. Jennifer, round up Marlene and Darla, show Mr. Palmer to his room.”
Heaven, I have arrived!
I wake up smiling, night or day, I don’t know. I don’t care.
Was that all a dream? Did that really happen? May as well enjoy it while I can, I’ll be getting tossed out anytime, anyway.
After a long shower, assisted by my three dream maidens, I find a brand new blue suit lying out on the bed, new shoes and new clothes in the closet, all my size, all compliments from The Majestic.
Life is nice.
Decked out in my new threads, I enter the Majestic game room floor to continue my Majestic adventure.
Each day is more of the same. Each day with no ending, no beginning, has turned now in to many days, and weeks, has it been months?
I think I’ll just step out, take a look around, watch the water ballet, see the fire volcano, get a little fresh air…
“Where are you going, Mr. Palmer? You can see all that from your new, top floor Majestic Pent House while enjoying your rooftop pool and private Majestic spa. No need to go anywhere. Lila, come here, honey. Mr. Palmer needs your special Majestic Massage.”
He’s right. Actually, there really is no real need to go anywhere, no need to leave the Majestic. I have everything here.
However, I wonder, if I really wanted to, would they let me leave? Could I just up and go?
Will I be here forever?
All this I ponder and more, as I pull out my worn cash card and start a Majestic new day.
*Carl “Papa” Palmer, retired Army, retired FAA, now just plain retired, lives in University Place, WA. He has seven chapbooks and the contest winning poem riding a bus somewhere in Seattle. MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever www.authorsden.com/carlpalmer*