Erin's Journals

Monday, February 24, 2020

Just a thought… If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time. [Chinese Proverb]

Hello my friend; I hope you had a great weekend! We’re getting ready for company – a favourite couple of ours is coming on Wednesday – with plans already firmed up for tours, a writers’ fest, dinners out and more.

If you’re like me, guests are always a really good excuse to get cleaning. And this place needs cleaning. The fine desert sand that makes its way into the house causes any dark furniture to look perpetually dusty. So I either have to clean…or stop wearing my glasses. 

I just know this is a judgment-free zone, so I couldn’t wait to tell you what happened on Thursday night. 

You may recall me mentioning either in the journal or on social media that our anniversary (20/02/2020) was loaded with four twos and that we should have gone to Vegas! Okay, that was neither a reality nor a possibility; we’ve done our trip with Cooper and we didn’t need to spend/enjoy/waste any more money.

So we stayed home and worked to earn little bits here and there. I churned out about 15 auditions (we subscribe to a site that posts jobs, rates etc. to thousands of potential voice over artists around the globe) recording, editing, sending and crossing my fingers, while Rob went to hockey.

When he got home, we finished up more auditions (yes, I’m a little obsessed) and then cleaned up quickly to go to dinner at a place called Roy’s Hawaiian. Part of a chain, it offers up quality seafood and other dishes, all with either an island or Japanese flavour. 

When we’d finished our meal, seemingly surrounded by other couples also married on February 20th, we said, “Now what?”

I reminded Rob of the date and so, with little encouragement, he pointed the car towards one of about six local casinos, choosing that which had been fairly friendly to us in the past. (“Fairly friendly” means breaking even when you walk out. Yes, that’s practically a win when you’ve spent a few hours playing nickel poker). 

Being a Thursday, the place wasn’t overly busy, offering us plenty of options to play within our price range. Filled with optimism because of the date, I sat down at a machine, played several hands and…nothing substantial. Goodbye $20 bill.

I moved down one machine; same result. This definitely wasn’t going as planned! Rob, meantime, played his nickels more slowly and carefully and was rewarded with small payments and better luck than I had.

Eventually, we got up and moved to another couple of side-by-side nickel machines elsewhere in the casino. Okay, remember those twos? So did I; figuring that if I was going to go for them, I would have to play Deuces Wild. Not my favourite game (if the twos don’t turn up, you’re rarely going to win), but I thought I’d give it a go. And then, about 20 hands in, this happened.

I emitted a high-pitched “Oh!” as I was DEALT FOUR DEUCES on the bottom line. Which, I can tell you, rarely happens. And there were multipliers in play. Which also (for me) never happens. 

5000 nickels – $250 dollars – started tallying up in my little readout, the numbers soaring on the screen as though I was filling an SUV at a gas pump. I watched them incredulously as Rob hugged me and laughed.

We cashed out, got out and went home, although I awoke the Friday with what I can only describe as an adrenalin hangover…and a great memory to add to the stories from that date over our lives together.

20/02/2020. Four twos, four deuces. Dealt. The only person I texted with the picture you see above was our buddy Mike Cooper, who had a suitably obscene (and hilarious) response that I’ll spare you here.

Being the cautious, regretful person I am when it comes to gambling, I will never have a hand pay (one that requires an attendant to peel off bills for me). And do you know what? That’s okay. Because, as is always the case in life, it’s not the big wins, but the memorable moments that matter.

Have some of both and I’ll be back with you here Thursday. I think it’s about time to tell you about the guy on the airplane who was making his moves. 


Rob WhiteheadMonday, February 24, 2020