My mother-in-law lives in Las Vegas. She owned a used car business there before selling it and retiring. (I’m not making that up.) Frequently, we travel there to see her. And while there, we sometimes visit a casino. Actually, every time we’re there we visit a casino. Because if you stay at a hotel, it’s in a casino. If you eat at a restaurant, it’s in a casino. Movie theater? Bowling alley? All inside casinos. But occasionally, we’ll stop to gamble a little money.
By gamble, I mean trade money around with the other people in the smoky, noisy play space. Because gambling is piles of money changing hands with the casino taking a little bit each time. I realized that over the course of a few years, we always “broke even.” Between losing a little and gaining a little, we ended up with the same amount of money, only now it was in the form of chips or silver tokens.
Halloween in our neighborhood is big. We have a ton of houses and apartments in our area with easy to navigate sidewalks. I typically load up on candy, filling an enormous metal bowl. Last year was no different. I stayed at home, doling out candy. Only a few pieces to each kid. And scowling at the greedy ones who dug their hands in for a claw-full. My younger offspring came home from a night trick or treating with her friends. By then, I was out of candy, so I turned off the lights and retreated to the back of the house. She dumped her haul into the metal bowl. It filled to the level it had been pre- trick or treaters.
The variety was different, but the amount of candy was exactly the same.
I used to think trick or treating was a way to get to know your neighbors, for kids to socialize, and the one time a year you can find Whoppers. (I love Whoppers but I don’t think they sell them outside of Halloween candy mixes.) Now, I see it’s preparation for gambling.
This won’t stop me from participating, but I might be making book on the kids up the street.