So, yesterday evening was men’s night at the Shawnee Kickapoo casino, which means a genuine old-fashioned $10 match play opportunity. Pixie and I were driving by. She had a sore foot and no interest in hobbling on it, but she was willing to hang in the parking lot and make phone calls while I ran in to do $20 worth of quick wagers.

During a quick scout around, I noticed a Bank Heist machine that seemed like a fine place to play my initial $10 — just twenty fast spins at the base fifty-cent bet. Only trouble was, when I circled back to it, there was an older woman sitting sideways in the chair, watching a younger woman playing the adjacent machine. She had no money in the machine, no card in the machine, nothing. Just sitting and watching, not gambling at all.

So I asked her, polite as you could wish:

“Ma’am, are you planning to play that machine? Because if not, I’d sure like to.”

She said “No…” and got up and stepped aside. So I said “Thanks”, sat down and started to plug in my money.

Then she said: “I was going to, though!” in an angry tone. And the younger woman said in a vicious voice “I guess I’ll move then, too!” and punched for her cash-out ticket.

I felt like I’d fallen into the land of the crazy women. All she had to do was say “I’m about to play it” or “yes” and I’d have moved on. Instead, she gave me the machine, and now she and her friend are acting angry at me?

I just stared at my screen, pretended I didn’t notice the crazy people, and kept gambling.

About three spins later, the younger woman is suddenly in the left side of my face, holding onto the back of my chair and leaning in over my left shoulder, totally up in my personal space and reeking of beer. “Are you winning yet?” she asks in a belligerent tone.

I pretended she wasn’t there. No joy.

“Are you winning yet?”

I continued to pretend I hadn’t heard her.

“Are you winning yet?”

“I just sat down.”

That’s what she wanted. Loud angry voice:

“So had my mom!”

The conversation went downhill from there. Fortunately, I was almost done betting my $10. Basically, in the time it took me to finish, I told her about four times that all I did was ask. She kept loudly exclaiming “No you didn’t!” and drunkenly complaining that her mom had wanted to play the machine I was on. She was acting like she wanted some sort of fight, to be honest. Luckily, I was able to disengage, and she didn’t follow me.

There were two Kickapoo casino security guards at the door, just 10 or 12 feet away. They didn’t appear to notice, and they didn’t get involved. Frankly, I’d have appreciated it if they’d shown up to calm down the situation. But they showed no sign of noticing the loud belligerent drunk woman. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in an uncomfortable confrontation in an Oklahoma casino. I hope it’s also the last.

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