Slot Machine Craze

isabelle_icon.png paul_icon.png

Where: Corinthian Casino

When: April 19, 2012

What: Isabelle runs into Paul again, this time at the Corinthian Casino, and discovers the wonder of slot machines.

The Corinthian is noisy today, more so since this time of the night tends to have a great deal more people present in it. In a month or two, it might get noisier when the real tourist crowd, the families and the lovers, the vacationing couples take their summer breaks here and away from their everyday life.

THe servers go about with their trays of drinks, waiting on the people who have taken up spots at slot machines. Some tethered to them by a card and cord like some sort of gambling umbilical. Others with their plastic cups with coins inches deep. The clink of them going through the slots, hands slapping buttons. A recent showing of the resident illusionist must be out, because from the theatre near the back, people flow, talking about what they saw.

It's a thursday night in Vegas, one more day to the weekend.

Imagine a nerdy librarian. Then imagine her in a glitzy casino. Well wait, don't have to! It's happening right here tonight! And there she is, the nerdy librarian, wandering down the place like she's lost. As a matter of fact, she has her cellphone against her ear, and she looks like she's searching for someone, or something. "Grandma, this is a huge place! And it's packed. PACKED." She says into the phone, turning her head this way and that to scan the crowd. "She needs to be more specific than the $5 poker table." Beat. "There're like a billion poker tables here!"

Paul is settled into a chair, not actually at any of the slot machines, but within sight of them. Closer to the poker section, actually; he's parked at one of the not-quite-cheapest blackjack tables, where at least there's some semblance of skill involved, and you can lose your money slowly in return for the opportunity to crowd-watch. "No thank you," he says to the waitress trying to take his mostly empty glass, "still working on the ice. Burned my tongue on some coffee earlier."
"Sorry sir!" The waitress smiles, turning as someone at an adjacent table speaks up and touches her arm. He's left to his ice and the cards that are not in his favor tonight if the cards at the table mean anything.

Isabelle's conversation is soon interrupted as the phone is knocked from her hand by a well meaning older woman who's not paid attention to who was coming up behind her - That sterotype of being old and bad hearing you know. She bumps into the much younger woman with a gasp and an apology as coins go flying everywhere. A few even rolling to a stop at Pauls feet.

Izzy lets out a yelp as her phone goes flying, along with the old woman's bucket of coins. She even makes an attempt to recatch it, but it bounces off her fingertips and drops to the (thankfully) carpet. Abruptly she turns a glare at the old woman - and yes, now that she sees it's a poor old lady, whatever anger she manages to muster just drains away. "It's okay, it's okay." Isabelle holds a hand to the old hen, then crouches down to pick up the phone and presses it back to her ear. "I'll call you back, grandma." Switching it off, she proceeds to gather up the scattered treasure the old lady dropped.

Paul makes a face. "Double down," he tells the dealer— he was just going to take a regular hit, but that'll give him a chance to turn his attention away for a second. And he can afford to lose a bit more on /this/ round, even if it might be his last one for the night. With the game thus turned over to blind luck, he leans down to scoop up the handful of coins, looking up again and offering them back to the old woman. And who's that other person staring at her? "Oh, hello again," as he gets a better look at Isabelle. "Pretty fancy library you got here."

Isabelle glances up from her coin-search, when she hears the greeting. For a brief moment she squints behind her thick glasses, until Paul's features come into focus. "Oh, hey." She flashes him one of those brief and vague smiles, maybe even looking a bit embarrassed. "Library? Oh no. Nonono. This isn't…" She trails off when she realizes he's just teasing, and starts again. "It's like every time I drop something, you're around to pick them up." She resumes collecting the coins but spares occasional glances up at Paul, until she's gotten the rest of the lost treasure. Standing back up, she offers them to the old crone. "Here you go!" She tells her.

"Silly me, not looking where I'm going" The older woman smiles at Isabelle and then paul, patting him on the arm. "blessed, both of you, helping an old woman like that. "So sorry. Please" A handful of quarters are pressed into Isabelle's hand. "You go and play a few rounds on me" A gesture to the slot machine she just left. "So kind of you" SHe looks to paul, looking him up, then down. "And you behave young man" A wag of her finger at him and clutching her cup, she's off, moving through the people that play and work there.

Paul shakes his head. "Two times is just coincidence," he replies to Izzy. "Three times—" Wait, what? He turns back toward the old woman, opening his mouth as if to ask her what she was talking about, but she's already gone and disappeared into the crowd once again. "So, what brings you by?"

Look, free quarters! Though Isabelle blinks at the handful of quarters in her palm, unsure of what to do with them. "Uh, I don't play the slot…" She protests and looks up, and realizes the old woman has already moved on. With her obviously bad eyesight, searching is generally a real chore for her. "Where'd she go?" She asks, looking confused and lost, before turning back to Paul with a sigh. "Uhhh. My grandma asked me to come over cuz a friend of hers from L.A. is in town and give her a sweater and some books." She lifts her other hand, which in fact is carrying a shopping bag. "What about you?"

Paul shrugs. "Well, you do now. Or you could just keep them." Sure, there's a chance she might hit it big— the same can be said of the lottery. "Oh, so they're meeting you here?" He missed the discussion earlier about the poker tables. "Me, I'm just fooling around with a little petty cash. Probably gone after this round." Except it isn't; as lousy as his hand was, the dealer ends up going bust on a 23, and fresh chips are handed out to all and sundry to go with the ones already piled up.

Isabelle leans slightly to the side and peers past Paul towards his table. "I think you won." She points out helpfully, lifting her quarters-filled fist up to push her glasses back up her nose. "Yeah, they're in town just for the weekend, so they're spending it in the casino." She rolls her eyes. "If only people understand the statistical probabilities of beating the house…" The nerd girl starts to say, but wait, Paul did just win a hand. Frowning, she peers down at her newfound quarters, then up and back at the slot machine the old lady was playing. "…what do I have to lose, right?"

"For once," Paul muses. A quick look over the other cards, then - still convinced that things are going downhill, overall - he collects his chips and rises to his feet, leaving the glass of mostly ice behind. "Well, as long as they don't bet their travel fare home." As for the slots? He just shrugs again. "Up to you."

Isabelle shrugs in return and heads for the slot machine. She stands in front of it for a few moments, as if uncertain how to play the thing, before hesitantly dropping a quarter in before pulling the lever. "Wow." She observes as the machine starts going, and turns a sidelong glance at Paul. "I don't, uh, usually do this." She feels compelled to explain herself, for some reason, then squints at the winning table printed on top of the slot machine. "So what do I need to win?"

Paul glances over the table, then points to one of the lines engraved into the glass, the symbols on the wheels blurring past underneath. "Any of those, here. The other lines are only if you put in more coins at once… not sure if that makes the odds better or worse."

Whether they make the odds worse or better, who really does know because even as Paul is pointing, the wheels stop to spin, landing on one symbol, then it's counterpart, then another and finally… a fourth. All in a pattern that sets off lights spinning above the machine, the ringing bell tone that indicates a winner and causes people around them to turn and look to see who's the lucky winner.

Izzy isn't even looking at the spinning wheels, so focused on the lines that tell the winning combos, and quite possibly trying to figure out her odds - when the lights-and-bells show suddenly goes off. She takes a startled step back, blinking at the row of identical symbols before her eyes. Really? She reaches up again to adjust her glasses and squints. While a normal person would start screaming and dancing at this point, Isabelle's reaction is a bewildered "What?"

Paul arches a brow. The odds on /that/ one— well, normally they must be pretty slim, because that is a good-sized payoff that Isabelle's got coming. "Well, take your winnings! Or someone else will, believe me. Did you know there are people who hang around these places just to wait for someone to accidentally leave a few chips behind?"

A confused look is given to Paul, before Isabelle turns back to the ringing, flashing machine. "What am I taking?" No coins? No money? What did she win? She bends down to peer up the chute that usually spits out the winnings. "Hello?" She calls at the chute. "Is this like one of those vending machines that just take my money?"

"You didn't win money" This from a suited man with another two behind him, offering his hand out to Isabelle. Dark haired, not more than 5'6 and smiling to the young woman. "You've won a car" He gestures across the way to the shiny red convertible mini-coop with black pinstripes. Lights flashing around it and an LED sign screaming winner winner winner. "If you'd like to come with us, we can see to the paperwork and make the arrangements?" He glances to Paul then back to Isabelle, unsure of whether he's with her or not.

Paul is just trying to figure it out himself, walking over to the other side - no long chain of paper tickets, like at some of the restaurants where the slots are just a casual sideline? - only to blink at the casino reps as they walk over. Oh, /that's/ why that row of the table just has a symbol at the end! He figured it must have been something big because it was close to the bottom. "Well! Hard to argue with that, isn't it?"

Straightening up, Isabelle's mouth hangs open dumbly when she's told - and subsequently shown her prize. Shopping bag with books and sweater? Unceremoniously dropped. "I won… a car?" *Blink*Blink*Stare*. Even at this point, the nerd girl is more overwhelmed than elated. With a hand on her chest, she looks like she's just trying to keep herself from hyperventilating, before it finally sinks in. "I won a car!" She exclaims incredulously, turning to Paul and hugs the poor guy excitedly! Does she remember she's only met him twice? Well, no.

The man just smiles, clearly used to this sort of thing and gives Isabelle some time, a little bit of time, before gesturing to the side. "If we could? Lets see to getting arrangements made for your new car."

Paul doesn't see the impromptu gesture coming, but he goes along with it and hugging the not-quite-stranger back, if only for a brief second. "Congrats! Well, yes, I guess you'd better get it taken care of." Read: no, they're not together. "So, library, right? At least I'll know for sure whether you're there or not…"

Ahem, yes. "Sorry. Yeah, uh, library. Sorry about that. I probably should. Get it taken care of, that is." Isabelle awkwardly releases Paul, quickly adjusting her glasses before picking up her dropped bag, then turns back to the casino trio. Is his hand still offered? If so, Isabelle takes it in a belated handshake. "I can't believe I won a car!" She tells him. "What do I do? When do I get the car?" A brief pause and she squints. "Is this taxable?"


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