As is my habit from time to time, I ran off to Reno for 24 hours earlier this week with a bunch of old coworkers to play a stupid amount of blackjack and catch up on each others' lives. For example, on the drive up to Reno my old coworker, Ralph, a man with whom I once worked very closely, confided that he had recently taken up an activity that was something new for him.
Ralph, who is the "jew" to my "ish", explained that he had volunteered to do a reading of the Torah in his synagogue, and he's been practicing for a while on a daily basis to carry it off. Ralph's Hebrew abilities aren't that strong yet and additionally the Torah isn't just read, but rather chanted in a semi-melodic fashion, so it takes a lot of work for a layjew to get up to speed. It would seem that Ralph, is making a concerted effort to be a strong member of his congregation and set an example of spirituality and hard work for his children.
After hearing his tale, I explained that I also had taken up a new activity recently. In my new hobby I make cock and ball jokes, some of which unfairly feature my mother.
It's nice to see that Ralph and I haven't grown apart yet.
The casino part of the trip went pretty smoothly until around 6:00am the next morning when I was rudely awakened in my hotel room by what sounded like a jet engine. Apparently Reno had been overcome by a tremendous windstorm featuring gusts up to 90 mph, and the hotel was not well sealed. The wind whistled and roared through rooms.
I made my way downstairs and cut around the casino to get to the coffee shop for breakfast. Right about then the power went out.
Have you ever seen the power go out in a casino? Me either. It's really bizarre to see an act of nature affect one of the world's least natural environments. Freaky.
I once thought that the image of old people glumly feeding coins into ever-hungry slot machines was one of the most depressing things. There's no joy or hope in it, just a nauseating combination of addiction and catatonia. Well, the one thing more depressing is watching old people sitting in the dark and glumly staring at blank screens on powerless slot machines.
Anyway, electricians rushed around the casino within minutes, quickly restoring the lighting to the card tables and the electricity to as many slot machines as possible. Less money-generating items like bathrooms or restaurants were conspicuously deprioritized.
Lost around $80, but a good time was had by all.