So then…I cast a furtive glance at my young kids, hoping the dealer doesn’t spot them, as I place my chips on number 13 on the roulette table.
Children are forbidden to linger on the gambling floor at the Vegas casino, so my husband is casually walking them slowly up and down the aisle so they can watch me gamble.
No, just the opposite.
In fact, I’ve just given a rather impressive lecture at lunch about the evils of gambling, the addictive nature of the game, and how the house always wins.
(Why bring the kids to Vegas, then? It’s a quick hop from LA where we can take Chloe, age 4, and Tucker, age 7, to the wave pools, magic shows, world-class M&M store — and to see white tigers, lions, and sharks.)
But this time, they ask if they can gamble.
You’re children. Only adults can gamble.
OK, can you gamble for us, then?
No. Then David and I both explain why gambling is a futile pursuit and not worth their interest.
Then Chloe and Tucker explain why LIFE.SIMPLY.CANNOT.MOVE.FORWARD.UNTIL.WE.
You know that adorable, high-pitched, super-frenetic, mind-numbingly-repetitive way that kids have of communicating their immediate needs?
In frustration, I huff, “Fine! I will show you what a waste of time and money this is. I’ll walk over there right now and put 5 bucks on a number – and that’s it – one time – and you’ll see how quickly we lose – so pick your number.”
“Thirteen,” Tucker says. Chloe nods enthusiastically.
David walks the kids up and down the aisle, slowly, so they can watch the transaction.
I stomp over to the roulette wheel and change $5 for chips.
I put the chips on number 13 with a flourish, and steal a glance at the kids — my “I-told-you-so” look at the ready.
The wheel spins. The dealer says, “Thirteen.”
Then he hands me $175 in chips.
The kids are jumping up and down.
David is shaking his head.
I am stunned.
I’m excited to win — but disappointed that my “lesson” in the futility of gambling has failed so miserably.
I’ve just demonstrated to my impressionable young children how you can make 35 times your money in under 60 seconds.
I cash in the chips, deposit the money in the kids’ bank accounts, and we never speak of it again.
— Darcy Perdu
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