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


Chapter 9
Meet the Zombies

I jump off of the slot machine, knocking it over in the process, and begin walking briskly away from the mess that I've just created. Within seconds, I'm running headlong down the hall like a pill-popping track-star who just upped his speed intake. I have never been in quite so much of a hurry to get to my job.

I can't get the image of those huge eyelids out of my mind. Could it have been my misanthropic dead Dalmatian? I know I am only deluding myself. No matter how hard I try, I cannot trick my mind into believing that what I saw was only a dead dog's eyeball. The eyelid was far too big to be a Dalmatian’s and, not only that, the Dalmatian's eyelids were already rotted off.

I imagine that huge eye staring down at me as I broke the handle off the slot machine and it makes me sick to my stomach. I swear I can hear someone following close behind me. I feel a shiver race through my body like a minor epileptic seizure as I dash up the three flights of stairs that lead me to my work.

I open the large "employees only" door and, for the first time in my life, find myself happy to see slot machines and gamblers galore. The beeping, buzzing, and flashing lights that usually drive me mad actually appeal to me. The wide variety of people being suckered into the casino's get rich quick scheme of advertising actually brings me a strange sort of comfort, not my usual sense of pity.

The human-race really gives itself too much credit and, a casino is just the place to remind us of how simple we all really are. Pull the lever and watch the little cherries and apples go 'round and 'round! WEEEEEEEEEEE! It’s the casino’s job to supply you with enough miniscule-winnings, and neat little sirens, to make you think you're actually doing something productive or, at the very least, something profitable.

No one talks to one another, no one moves from their "lucky" machines, because, damnit "it's gonna hit soon!" An entire day sitting there staring at artificial fruit spinning gaily across a screen with vivid dreams of finally paying off those pesky mortgage payments.

Ultimately, nature will call on the gamblers and they will be forced to leave their machines. Will they then take a little break, grab something to eat (maybe some dead ex-casino employees?) and find someone to chat with? No, they’ll make sure to pluck a measly change-slave out of the crowd to stand guard over their "lucky" machine. Heaven forbid someone else puts a quarter in and wins that big fortune they have coming.

Within a few minutes, they’ll return to the game, that inevitable cigarette hanging from their slobbering lips. They don’t usually have the patience to get back into their seat before inserting that "winning" quarter as they juggle a cup-full of quarters and their seventeenth beer. Gamblers have more vices than the average nymphomaniac, chemically dependent, pimp with a shoe fetish does.

Every day at the casino is another day of glazed over eyes, strained necks, and pulsating temples. Staring at cards, smoking cigarettes and drinking down booze. Their minds are far too entranced by the advertisement-induced desire to win the American dream and ingenuous belief that "you can't lose forever" to ever take the time to realize how pathetic their lives have truly become. Funny thing is, most of them still consider what they have as a life.

And the casino continues conning them all. It doesn’t matter where you come from, or how much you make. As long as your money is green, you’re welcomed with open-arms. "Step right up folks, we'll steal from the rich and rob the poor blind!!!" Casinos are equal opportunity criminals. Both rich and poor wind up spending far more than they can afford.

But, today I am happy to see this sorry group of beautiful-losers. Although they probably wouldn't leave their machine, even if a bony, six-foot long arm came and pulled me into a hidden camera, they still give me the same warmth and synthetic confidence a security blanket offers a child terrified of the little gremlins that live inside his closet.

After conversing with a dead dog and getting stared at by an eye that lives inside a security camera, I could use a little comfort. Little do I know, it’s about to come in the annoying form of "The Incredible Human Peanut."

Go to: Chapter 10

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.

You know the routine, just click it.


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