From January 3rd – 5th I had my first gambling adventure in about a year. My father received a free room at the Borgota Casino in Atlantic City for two consecutive nights and we chose to utilize its beauty.
As we become adults it is harder to find the same thrills that titillated us during our childhood years without resorting to jumping out of a perfectly functional airplane. Fewer discoveries seem to be ahead of us and the monotony of adulthood has set in too deep. Compared to childhood, that is, when a mere snow day was enough to make us collapse in a fit of ecstasy. But the color scheme of a casino brings it all back with a vengeance.
Most casinos seem to have more slot machines than employees. Think about it! Slot machines are like the cogs of the Industrial Revolution. They take away the need for manpower and just sit there mindlessly. Slothful and only once in a while dispensing change to placate those who pour their hard-earned money into their innards. You can pace the floor and continue finding machines with themes more dissimilar than the last. There are slot machines dedicated to the Wonderful World of Oz, the “Airplane!” spoof, and even the intrinsic universe of Anime. It is all designed for mass appeal so we feel anesthetized by an adult cartoon while losing money.
I gamble only once or twice a year because I know that I would lose control and all my cash if it became a regular habit. During my last year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges it was difficult to resist the temptation of the Turning Stone Casino and transform into a veritable Gambling Monster. I called myself…GAMBLOR! The casino turned me into a winner when reality was not generous about giving me any breaks. I could not resist escaping from a college campus where some fellow students feared and even hated me. The statistics make it possible for individuals to win once in a while regardless of how unlucky you happen to be. Once in a while, I would return with enough money to pay for an entire month’s worth of gas. But most of the time, I would be a couple hundred to four hundred dollars in the hole. No matter how conservative an individual tends to be…gambling is always a lose-lose proposition. (Have you ever wondered WHY casinos are so lavish? Where do you think the money comes from? People LOSE!) I abused the thrill in a desperate quest to find self-esteem or anything at all.
This trip was different because I am older and wiser. I came into the experience with the knowledge that any money I gamble with is money that I should expect to lose. I gambled more conservatively and did not make the mistake of putting one hundred dollars on the table to get back my losings and then some. When I had over one hundred dollars in winnings…I left with that amount and deposited a one hundred dollar bill into my savings account.
As individuals with Asperger’s syndrome…we have become accustomed to failure and disappointment more so than others with the social talent that is never natural for us. Gambling superficially filled that void for me. Blackjack has always been my game and I’ve never tried anything else aside from making a two-dollar bet on a racehorse. There is so much more to the game than trying to not go over the number 21 and beating the dealer. The dealer must continue hitting up until sixteen so the basic strategy is to take advantage of this rule and force the mechanical human being to go bust.
Since my brief addiction with gambling from those college days, I have found other ways to fill that void and know that I do not need gambling or anything similar to know that I am a winner! I hope you know the same feeling from reading my book and pursuing your own endeavors.