A sweet and dear lady in her late 80's chose the machine beside me. Her daughter said, "I'm parking you here for the day, Mom. Here, I'll put your money in, plus last week that lady gave you her ten dollar ticket when she was ready to go home. I don't know why she didn't cash it in, but you have more than enough to play on."
After watching this woman, I knew exactly why the gal last week gave her a pity donation. The daughter showed her mom how to play the machine. "You press the number 1 and then the amount #1."
I almost gasped out loud when the daughter left to go have her fun.
The senior lady said to me, "I wonder how Bob would like these machines? He's been gone 20 years, but I think he'd like them. Don't you?"
I smiled and said, "Yes. I remember when I used to complain to my children that I was not giving them a quarter to play Pac Man. It was a waste of money. Now look at me spending one quarter after another in these one armed bandits every Tuesday."
She said, "Well I don't drink, or go to the movies, or spend money any other way. I have lots of children I visit. They bring me here on Tuesdays for fun. I like winning a little here and there."
I pointed out she was playing one line for one penny, and if she upped her bet to a nickle or quarter she would win way more than ten or fifteen cents. She said she had to make her money last, and she didn't mind. When she hit a jackpot for 80 cents she got so excited.
I was aggravated with her daughter for dumping her there with five bucks and making her think she was winning. When I got up to leave, the dear said, "I didn't run you off, did I?"
I assured her she didn't. I almost donated my winnings to her, but instead I went to another machine.
Another older woman (senior buffet, remember?) sat across the aisle from me. When she got up, she walked toward me, and her head snapped back. She looked over her shoulder, stunned. I watched as she looked around trying to figure out what was going on.
She was still tethered to her card, which was connected to a five feet long spring coil cord... and the card was stuck firmly in the machine. She was going nowhere fast. It took her a moment to figure it out, unfasten the clasp on her collar, and backtrack to her stuck card. I had to cover my mouth so she didn't see me laughing. She looked like a dog discovering she was on a too short leash.
As we were leaving, a bus load of seniors was entering, joking about being carded to see who didn't look their age. Those old jokers!
No need to remind me, I am one, too.