Sunday, November 14, 2010

Charles TOoowwn Races and Slots


Every Washingtonian has at some point wanted to chiffonade their brains due to one of the following songs:

or
2. "CHARLES TOOOOWN races and slots," a tune I can't find online, but if you've heard it before I don't think there's any need. Along with Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA," this radio ad has ruined many a Monday morning for me. But after last Thursday, I forgive it. Because I finally gave in and went to said races and slots, and do you know what was there? UNLIMITED FREE SODA. And people in paisley vests and a restaurant unironically named the Epic Buffet, and a tower of cubic zirconia rings available for purchase.

My friend Richard was in town from London:

He told me he wanted to take a road trip somewhere "weird." The weirdest I could come up with was Harpers Ferry, site of John Brown's revolt, but fortunately for me, someone on the website I was looking at had commented something like "RACES AND SLOTS fifteen minutes away if you hate history lol"! So that's where we went, and afterward we stopped in Harpers Ferry to eat frozen custard and watch choo-choo trains go by. (P.S. we don't hate history. Just ask the guy in the big overcoat who was giving the lecture next to the armory on Abraham Lincoln the "giant racist." We listened until we became uncomfortable.)

The slots were definitely better than the races. There were at least several thousand of them, making that wonderful angelic noise they make when they're all playing sound effects and music at once.
The race track, however, was empty, except for a guy eating a sandwich.

Las Vegas this was not. This was Las Vegas right on the edge of emphysema, grabbing its Diet Pepsi and eyeing you beadily from the corner. If this casino had a Christian name, it would be Lurleen Gummit. There was one cocktail waitress that we could see waiting on a labyrinthine casino the size of several football fields. She was about 60, and she was wearing an outfit with shoulder pads and sensible shoes. Minimums on the slot machines were so low that $30-$32 each bought us 3 hours of CRIPPLING LOSS FOR RICHARD HA HA I mean a lot of action.

But you know what? It was outrageously fun. The casino had everything you'd do in Vegas (roulette, poker, baccarat, craps), only for like half the price - the buffet was $16.99 ($10.99 between 11:30-1:30 am!); the roulette minimum was $25, or even less before noon. If you come to this place determined to comp every penny of your losses in free soda, you will leave a jittery, loud, paranoid, giddy mess. Which is just the way gambling should be.