My daughter is in Las Vegas right now reconnecting with a college friend of hers who is part of a trade show being held there. She called me this morning from her hotel lobby complaining about how difficult it is to leave the building. She feels like she’s in a dark maze.
That’s by design I told her. They make the hotels and casinos like labyrinths so you get distracted when you’re trying to leave. They want you to stay indoors and gamble. I told her to throw a quarter in a slot machine for me while she wanders around looking for an exit. She laughed, knowing how I feel about gambling and my story about the roll of nickels.
When I was married, my husband and I once went on an all expense paid company trip to the Bahamas. This was my first experience with gambling. All the table games were intimidating to me so I settled for slot machines. I had committed one roll of nickels to the enterprise. When I put the first nickel in, I got three or four nickels back. Okay, so far so good. Then I lost a couple of nickels and then I’d win a few.
Back and forth this went, but little by little I lost ground (of course) and it only took about ten minutes until I’d shot my whole wad – two whole dollars. I was as aggravated as if I’d dumped two hundred dollars down a drain.
You call this fun? I thought. Never again! Then I said to myself: well at least gambling took me on a cheap date – only one roll of nickels. A good lesson at a small price.
So I paraphrase Proverbs 13:16 this way: Every prudent man (or woman such as me) acts with knowledge (that gambling robs you and leaves you nickel-less), but a fool (such as those under the influence of one-armed bandits) displays folly (and keeps throwing money away).
So that’s that. And now, where’s the Exit?