Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell

Chapter 29
So That's What He's Been Up To

I get up from another shoe-tying attempt and see about three thousand change lights staring at me. Saturday night at a casino gives a person a pretty good idea of what Hell is going to be like. Hot, and full of assholes.

I sell nickels to customer after customer, using a snappy, new-and-improved "good luck," every time. I began adding variations to the expression in hopes of avoiding a sense of total monotony. I knew that if I said it in the same mundane way one more time, I'd simply explode. I never realized how many pronunciations the words "good luck" could have until I worked at a casino.

"Gooooood luck" is my most common (and many customers have begrudgingly told me, my most irritating), there's also "good luuuuuuuuck," which is basically just "gooood luck" with the stretched-out words flipped around. There's also "God luck," for the customers who are so down on their luck that only divine intervention could save them. Sometimes, when I'm serving change to an extraordinarily pretty girl, I'll use "good lick," just as a pick-up line. So far, it hasn’t worked. I'll also incorporate various accents, such as "good luck, matey." I haven’t been doing the accents much lately though, since the time when some guy got really mad and hit me.

When I've exhausted all variations of the words "good luck," I'll throw myself into other routines. Usually things like "break a leg," but occasionally I’ll go as far as to create a fabricated story I've concocted especially for my newfound gambling friend.

Just about three days ago, one of my favorite regulars triggered one such story. I sold a roll of quarters to her and noticed the button she had attached to her jacket that read "Elvis Lives." This immediately gave me a creativity-orgasm and my mouth began prematurely spewing out a story before I had a chance to stop it.

The lady (I think her name is Beatrice) looked up at me with large, believing eyes as I began convincing her that Elvis Presley is the secret owner of "Broken Arrow" casino. I explained to her that Leonard Hunt, the Indian owner of "Broken Arrow" casino, (in Minnesota, casinos must be owned by Indian tribes) was taking bribes from the mob. I went on to tell her how Leonard Hunt began feeling guilty over his involvement with his gangster partners. Leonard just couldn't run the casino all on his own. Just when Mr. Hunt thought that there was no legitimate alternative to help him out with his gambling establishment, he met The King.

Elvis and Leonard became fast friends, Elvis taught Leonard how to wiggle his pelvis and say "uh-huh" a lot, and Leonard taught Elvis how to dance around a fire and make woo-woo-woo kinds of noises. Leonard paid the Mafia to get off of his back and Elvis became the secret owner of "Broken Arrow" casino.

I told the lady with the Elvis pin that if she looks really close at the two-way mirrors that overlook the gaming floor, she just might catch a glimpse of the King's shadow. The lady nodded her head in affirmation and turned away from me to try her hand at video Poker.

I smile over my reminiscing as I hand a customer six rolls of nickels. "May the Force be with you," I declare as I hand her her change. She looks back at me and responds with a hearty "and also with you." It's always nice to see that some people can remain human, even when they're giving all their money away.

As I turn around, I look up at one of the gigantic, two-way mirrors that cover the casino. For a fleeting second, I swear I see the shadow of somebody looking back at me.

Go to: Chapter 30

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

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