Malcolm has a colleague who is climbing a mountain in Nepal in aid of Make a Wish and she held a table quiz fundraiser last night. I love quizzes so we booked a table for 4 and were joined by a formidable husband and wife team V (Malcolm's colleague) and T.
Our skill lay more in the talking, drinking and craic department - luckily we were all on board for that so when our team did not win we all stayed in one piece. The same could not be said for the table behind me, one of their team members was pulling out all the stops in the final round, trying to gain extra points by taking centre stage and participating vigorously in the singing part of the contest. I desperately wanted to sing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper but I am aware of my enormously flawed voice so I watched helplessly as she decimated the song instead. This was all too much for T, competitiveness can be rather ugly when you are all out supporting a charity and trying to have a fun night out and so after the quiz and a last drink he herded us into a taxi and down the rabbit hole I went.
We went to a casino, a very different experience to my vast knowledge of gambling institutions. A drivers licence is a requirement, the club we went to is members and their guests only, and we were finger printed, photographed and investigated (OKAY not that - but the rest YES.)
Upstairs through lots of glass doors we entered the hushed environment of people losing money. I am NOT a gambler, I feel awful losing €50 so I was a very interested spectator as V and T took piles of chips and haphazardly placed them on numbers, corners, colours, evens and whatever else the roulette wheel had to offer. I watched T happily lose €500 and then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when he bought another €1000 and spent that in 15 minutes too. OUCH. Not a bother for T, another visit to the cashier and another €1000 plastic card appeared and more colourful chips were passed around. I went and watched V, a lot better for my state of mind because she was playing with €1 chips...I ignored the fact that she was still placing about €50 per whirl of the wheel and more often than not coming out of a round without getting a satisfying pile of chips.
Next thing T was telling me to bet and I explained that I was happy to watch and the only gambling I had actually done before was Black Jack. Before I could protest I was being hauled to a card table, sat down and €250 worth of chips appeared before me and T said we were playing Black jack until one of us lost our money. He lasted 3 rounds, I played for hours. The table had a minimum bet of €25 and after a wobbly start (yes I worked my way all the way down to a last chip before clawing my way back up) I had a comfortable pile of discs in my hand. I even remembered to tip the croupier and the little bell would ring as my chips were appreciatively swept down the hole. I changed my €25 chips for €100 ones and put €400 worth of pink plastic in my back pocket! It was surreal, I had a guy betting on the back of me, telling me he had not seen anything like my luck in a long time, apparently I won ten hands in a row at one stage, but it was all so strange and new to me. I managed to win another €100 and then decided to quit while I was ahead and went back to T and tried to give him all the chips, but he refused to accept them and so it was that I walked out of the casino with €500 in my back pocket. Lady luck was also on their side and although they had spent a cool €6000 V had €13 000 in her handbag, and here was me all excited with my little roll of €50's.
We finally got home at 02h30 this morning and I was still dancing around and jumping up and down in excitement with my money, waving it around, it will come in handy for that new hockey stick I want to buy!
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