Thursday, October 13, 2005

It Aint Monaco Y'know


I have always been prone to vices of one form or another, although I ditched all of the illegal substances years ago. Cannabis just made me paranoid and hungry, and having been around people on speed, I saw the consequences and steered well clear. I knew people who used hard drugs, and the consequences for them were so dreadful that I wasn’t remotely interested. The ciggies and booze, however, have remained; the booze in a lesser capacity than in the past, the nicotine with as firm a grip as ever.

The one vice that I have never been able to understand is gambling. I just can’t comprehend the kick that people get from fruit machines, poker, or betting on horses.
I suppose some people have a psychological quirk that gives them a buzz when they beat the odds and win. Frankly, it’s beyond me. So what if I win £200 on the horses, I know I’d only lose it if I kept on betting.

The saddest bunch of the lot are the fruit machine addicts. They stand in front of the winking lights like mesmerised zombies, pumping one pound coins into the slot for hours on end. They think that they can read the sequence of symbols, and bend down to peer at spools that are just out of direct sight. As far as I can see, anyone with a functioning brain cell should be aware that fruit machines have a 65% payout. I’m no mathematical genius, but even I can work out that in the long run this is a no win situation.

Plans are afoot to turn Blackpool into Britain’s answer to Las Vegas. This will be yet another reason not to visit the godforsaken place. The thought of reams of casinos, added to the gales blowing off the Irish Sea, and the miasma of foul odours from burger bars, is enough to put me off for life.

38 comments:

Alex M said...

As a child I used to love the yearly trip to Blackpool, primarily because of the amusement arcades along the seafront and the excellent selection of video games therein.

Sadly, nowadays it's all fruit machines as far as the eye can see.

garfer said...

I've only been twice. On both occasions the weather was foul, with horizontal rain blowing onto the seafront.
I s'pose the pleasure beach is ok, but that's about it.

MHN for short said...

We went to Las Vegas back in '95 to see the lights of Vegas at night. Dave & I gambled $2 worth of nicles between us. I just can't see spending major bucks just to lose them to a casino. The lights were beautiful though.

MHN for short said...

nickles... can't spell this morning.

garfer said...

The weird thing about Las Vegas is that it was established by Mormons in cahoots with the Mob.

Rowan said...

that is weird, hadn't realized that Garfer!

Ya know? My doctor and I had a chat about my husband once when he couldn't stop being on the internet, he just couldn't and I was told that it is the same high and area of the brain affected as people who gamble. So, if you find yourself blogging too many hours a day, beware! You too could become a nickle dropping slot machine junkie!

garfer said...

What a terrifying thought. At least blogging can't bankrupt you.

MHN for short said...

MORMON INFLUENCE

Mormon settlers from Salt Lake City traveled to Las Vegas to protect the Los Angeles-Salt Lake City mail route and in 1855 began building a 150-square-foot fort of sun-dried bricks made of clay soil and grass, a substance known as adobe.

The Mormons planted fruit trees, cultivated vegetables and mined lead for bullets at Potosi Mountain. Mormon pioneers abandoned the settlement in 1858, partly because of Indian raids. A portion of the "Mormon Fort" has withstood the ravages of time and is an historic site today near the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard North and Washington Avenue. Scientists began an archeological dig on the site in November 1992.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) currently make up about 12 percent of the Southern Nevada population and in December 1989 dedicated a Mormon Temple in Las Vegas. The temple spires are visible in the foothills of Sunrise Mountain to the east of the city.

Ok, so it wasn't "exactly" in cahoots with the mob. They came much later.

Blogging is free, Yippee!!!! Otherwise, I would be broke, moreso than we already are. :-i

suburban wonder said...

One of my colleagues just won $900 at one of the one-armed-bandits (slot machines) in Atlantic City. I must have lousy karma, because I never win anything.

S.I.D. said...

I bet you a fiver there will be no Tunnocks in your house this Christmas?

Sniffy said...

Skinner's rats, we're just like Skinner's rats. And that's why slot machines are so lucrative (for the casinos).

Additcions are rubbish; they turn a fairly ordinary person into an obsessive, unreliable twat.

garfer said...

Nicotine is one of the worst. I'm thinking of getting some patches.

Sniffy said...

Nicotine is terrible (exactly 5 years for me now).

I think it's the person underneath that's the problem though: some people can have a couple of drinks and be fine, leave it; others can't stop.

It's all down to serotonin levels.

Get some patches and see how you get on. Gum is supposed to be quite helpful too. The patches can sometimes distrub your sleep because of the sustained release. You get quick bursts of nicotine with the gum and this makes it more like smoking (physiologically).

S.I.D. said...

I have tried everything garfer gum,patches,aromatherapy.chromotherapy, and will power.

And the missus runs a smoking cessation clinic.

Thinking of going hypno.

We're a dying breed! Bastards

Sniffy said...

I think the key is really wanting to do it for yourself - whatever that reason might be. For me, it was a financial one at the time. I really enjoyed smoking, but I did the sums one day and realised it was costing me £120 a month. That was enough for me and I stopped within a couple of days. I think another thing that helped was the fact that I'd kicked the booze a few months earlier and that kind of galvanised me, helped me believe that I had the willpower to do anything.

You won't be successful unless you really want it and you are ready. Failed attempts can be very demoralising too, so you have to be careful not to get into that defeatest trap of perpetual failure.

If you want to and you give it a go, then good luck. I'm not a preachy kind of "reformed" smoker/drinker and I'd still do both today if I could. It's everybody's right to do what they wish.

garfer said...

I smoke rolling tobacco, so the cost isn't really an issue. The health aspect is.
I used to drink a lot, but I only touch the stuff at weekends now.
I can't stand hashheads. Boring tossers.

Sniffy said...

Cannabis is very dreary and the people who smoke it are total arseholes.

I'm looking forward to Christmas because I get away with having a touch of booze in my Christmas cake, Christmas pud and sherry trifle. Not too much, but it's a bit of a treat and it's not drinking so I can get away with it. Took me about 4 years to get to that stage. Up until last year, I was terrified of being offered mince pies in case they were boozy ones.

garfer said...

I suppose it's difficult because there is so much social pressure to drink.
The west of Scotland has an ingrained drinking culture, as the poor health, and levels of drunken violence in Glasgow attest.

surly girl said...

am loving all the generalisations in today's comments.

Sniffy said...

Generalisations? About people who smoke cannabis? OK, in my experience people who habitually smoke cannabis are quite dreary and most of them are arseholes.

garfer said...

The term 'hashhead' is fairly specific. I'm referring to people who smoke the stuff constantly. They are boring beyond belief.
If people use it now and then to relax, fine.

pissoff said...

I haven't smoked since my days in England. Actually, never really liked it but did it because everyone was doing it.

Pot.... haven't touched the stuff since I was about 15-16. Can't be bothered with shit like that. It does nothing for me but put me to sleep. I honestly don't know what the attraction is. Actually, since I was up at 3:30am this morning maybe I could have used some. Hmmmm, maybe I'm missing out on something here! Most likely not.

Booze - once in a blue moon. Even that makes me ill now. I used to love havin a good ole drink but it makes me so sick that I can't be bothered. I'll have a cider or a glass of wine every once in a while but that's it.

MHN for short said...

"I'm referring to people who smoke the stuff constantly. They are boring beyond belief." <--- That's because their braincells went up in smoke. (pun intended).

I'm with April~
I haven't smoked pot since my sisters gave it to me at the tender age of 9. And booze, it gives me migraines these. Don't touch the stuff. It sucks getting older...

Sniffy said...

So is this "just say no" all round then?

garfer said...

Apart from weekends, yep.
God, I quite fancy the idea of going on a bender. That way you are never sober and consequently never suffer a hangover.

Sniffy said...

A bender might kill me - or consist of only 3 pints before I descend into unconsciousness.

garfer said...

That would be a cheap bender. I'm afraid my tolerance is slightly higher, and I would incur a greater expense.

BigDov said...

As a bit a sidestep, i'd be more worried about the gent in leather trousers in your photo - very, very unflattering !

Has to be said, I do like a bit of drink and gamble. Tired smoking once, didn't like it and thankfully didn't persevere. Used to like a bit of pot when I was a uni, but just just seemed to grow out of it. Could be because in my objective moments I realised everyone smoking it was a total loser ??

BigDov said...

obviously, the spelling and grammer mistakes are entirely due to spending the afternoon in the pub !

garfer said...

Why do men insist on wearing leather trousers? They look like total twats. Only Jim Morrison and Michael Hutchence could get away with it.
Mongs watching a twat in leather keks play a fruit machine. What a way to spend an evening.

Sniffy said...

Yeah, and look what happend to Jim Morrison and Michael Hutchence! That's leather trousers and drugs for you. And I bet they were both guilty of slot abuse.

MHN for short said...

They were most likely putting their "coinage" in other "slots"... Not many men or women for that fact can pull off wearing leather pants. Leather skirt maybe...

garfer said...

Oooh Errr mhn! That's a bit risque.

Sniffy said...

Kylie would know about Hutchence, somebody ask her.

S.I.D. said...

Any man that wears leather trousers should be taken out and skinned. And only certain women should wear them. Um a wonder who?

Sniffy said...

I bet Uma Thurman would look good in leather trousers.

garfer said...

P J Harcey and Tracey Emin wear 'em all the time. What a pair of crackers.

Sniffy said...

I bet they're really stinky though, not like lovely Uma's.