This is question about a story that’s right now at the bottom of my I Want To Write This Story List. But you never know. It could move up the list fast. There is history behind the bond of the three characters, but it’s not necessary to know for the question. I’d really appreciate a comment at the end.
Two girls under 16 and a man about 60 are visiting Las Vegas. The man, Joe, is a friend, father, uncle or grandfather as necessary. The girls are more than friends. They are all walking down the LV Strip checking out the over the top hotels. One of the girls, Jane, as she walks past one of the casinos suddenly has a number, say 19, burst into her thoughts – 19 19 19, like a pulsing headache. As they move past the casino, the insistent number fades.
“Maybe it’s their lucky number,” said Kelly.
“Okay,” said Joe. They decided roulette would be the best place to use 19, so Joe headed into the casino and bought a few chips. Never having played roulette he was nervous, but finally he bet $30 ( $10 from each of them) on 19. The wheel spun, the ball rolled, Joe held his breath – thought so this is how you become addicted to gambling – the ball dropped… into the red 19 slot.
“Holy crap!” A bit dazed, he cashed in his chips and with $1040 in pocket he meant to leave the casino. But he had to walk past rows of slot machines, numbered slot machines and there was #19. “Well, why not?” He loaded in five quarters and pulled the lever. He wasn’t even sure what he needed to get to win. Didn’t matter. The sudden bell ringing, lights flashing, and quarters pouring out clued him in.
A half hour later, with another $7500 in his pocket (after the IRS took their 25%) he sat down with the girls. “Holy crap,” and other unlady-like variations, they said. They agreed to see if it worked at other casinos. It did. And so they continued that day and night and many others for several years and many casinos, big and small. The IRS mostly got its due, but Joe and Jane and Kelly (they were smart girls) figured a few ways around them. Joe always shared equally with them, after all he needed them for the number, but he loved them as daughters/granddaughters, too. Once they were making a lot of money and the girls’ college was paid for, they gave at least 10% to charity.
So, where they gambling or stealing? The only difference between them and regular gamblers was they had that number, wherever it came from. They didn’t create it or ask for it, it just came to Jane when she was holding Kelly’s hand. They figured Kelly was a sort of battery that made Jane go. No jiggered machines or corrupt employees where involved. No systems were used. They bought the chips, made the bets like anybody else.
Gambling, stealing, cheating or receiving a gift from…? What would you do?
I’d appreciate your insightful comments. Feel free to share this link with friends who might be interested – https://davidburtonwriting.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/gambling-or-not
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