"Remember what you told me
Shut up and put your money where your mouth is
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas
Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes, now
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas."
f you have ever been to Nevada, and flown there, you know the moment you get off the plane there's a welcome mat for you. It comes in the form of a slot machine. It's completely legal of course, but there is something sort of jarring when this is your first encounter.
I have been to Nevada several times and have walked up and sat down at machines pretty much every time I have been there. This most recent time was no different. Except this time I had a budget. How much? It was $1.00. Yes, you read the correctly, it was 4 quarters, 100 pennies, or however you want to divide it. In addition, I spent this massive fortune moments before I boarded my plane back to Illinois—I wanted to make sure I was there to carry home any winnings.
With so little experience, I slipped the dollar into the machine without realizing I had bet all of the money on one pull. It was a 25-cent machine and I thought I was going to have four tries. Oops. The machine did what it does best…it took my money with "no regrets, a better luck next time, or thanks for coming"…nothing. All I could do was laugh and walk away. Yes, I had more money in my wallet, but this was the fix I needed, I didn't win, and headed toward the gate.
I am really not much of a gambler; in fact, every time I have been to Nevada I have spent much more time taking pictures than having my money taken. Plus, the people are really interesting to watch and although you can't take pictures in casinos, there are plenty of opportunities once you venture outside. Over the years I have seen brides, Gene Simmons (look-a-likes—-with tongue and all) and so many interesting people it would not be possible to write about them in this small space.
But with the funny images, I have shot plenty of hurtful ones. It seems the land of dreams often ends with a sour note when there is gambling involved. Once I encountered a 20-something guy who was seriously down on his luck. The sign he held was tough to read as he put his life out there; when I asked if I could take his picture, and pay him for it, you could see the shame he felt. He turned away, I took the photo and left quickly; I have no idea how the money was spent, but I am thinking it was not on food.
It might seem these are the only scenes you see in Nevada, however there's much more. If you go north you will find open ranges and beautiful scenery—check that, very beautiful scenery. This past trip I saw snow-capped mountains where five months earlier, I saw rock. Both were beautiful, but the snow added a completely different perspective of what this state has to offer.
The photo above is of the slot machine that took my dollar. I am okay with it—-had I won I would have walked back and put it all back in anyway. I am fortunate to not have that urge, I know many people who do; for me, my urge comes in the form of pushing a button instead of pulling a handle. Both can be very expensive, but mine seems to pay a bigger reward in my opinion.
Thanks for stopping by.