Friday, November 27, 2009


The casinos in Las Vegas during my visit this time took my money even more greedily than I remember them doing in the past. Maybe I'm just looking back through rose-colored glasses and it's not so or perhaps, times are tough all over and they need the income more than they used to. It's not that I cared that much. I brought the amount I felt I could afford to spend and I expected that most likely I'd go home without it, just as it would have been if I'd gone to, say, Disney World instead.

But couple my casino losses with what happened in NASCAR on Sunday and it was definitely disheartening. I went up to my room to watch the race in an upbeat mood despite my dwindling stash of cash because Jimmie had escaped disaster at Talladega the week before and was coming into Texas with an almost insurmountable lead of 194 points. I had barely settled in when on the third lap, he crashed. Crashed hard.

The 48 car looked like it was headed for the hauler to be sent back home to North Carolina. Instead, Chad directed Jimmie to the garage where the car was all but rebuilt. An hour and eight minutes later, it was back on the track, limping along to gain as many laps and points as possible. When the green flag flew, he had finished 38th and lost 111 points. Oh. My. God. What looked like a sure lead toward the championship was ripped apart along with the sheet metal and rubber on the car.

When the girls and I went to Las Vegas in the past, we jokingly flashed one another the "Loser" sign, by making an L with our forefinger and thumb. When the race was over, I gave Jimmie the old L while he was being interviewed. I thought maybe he'd be able to sense my sympathy psychically even if he couldn't actually see me.

The next week, Jimmie bounced back, winning at Phoenix in triumphant fashion.

Me? It's going to take me slightly longer to recover.

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