Time wasting is not necessarily a bad thing. Lion loves to go to casinos. I did for a while. Until we started going almost every weekend and sometimes during the week. Unless you’re winning, a casino’s luster can wear off quickly. I rarely won. Lion broke even more often than not. It wasn’t even so bad since the casino we went to was about 30 minutes away. Then we discovered a nicer one an hour away. So off we went almost every weekend to that one for a while. Boring!
Eventually we stopped going as often. To me, slot machines on PC or iPad are just as much fun. If I win I get the same fanfare without the actual money. If I lose I don’t lose any actual money. And no cigarette smoke. Yesterday we went to the nicer casino. Almost immediately I was losing. I don’t even mind losing if I am entertained along the way. You know, I bet fifty cents and it pays me forty cents, but lights flash and it plays a silly song. Even if it takes my money, but occasionally gives me a bonus round with more flashing lights and more silly music. As long as it delays taking all my money, I can be happy. Sometimes I even sneak off and play games on my phone while Lion has his fun. I once read a whole book on my phone while he won and lost the same hundred dollars a number of times.
Lion doesn’t understand why I like to play on my iPad but I don’t like going to the casino. I thought it was just the issue of not losing money and sitting in the comfort of my own home. Then it occurred to me. The games I play involve some thought, some strategy. They are puzzles. I affect the outcome. If I move that piece there, then that will happen. If I play that word there then I can play a different word there later. There’s no thought required for a slot machine. Maybe you have to decide how much to bet. Maybe if you get a bonus round, you have to choose a box or a number of spins and multiplier. But once you push the button, you’re done. Despite what some people think, touching the screen or hitting the button fast has no bearing on the outcome.
I think some people go to a casino expecting to win lots of money. Others, like Lion, are just looking for some entertainment. I always assume I won’t be lucky. (I often tell Lion I used up all my good luck finding him.) I think I’ll be better off parking myself at the bar and ordering drinks. At least I’d get something for my money. But I do like watching Lion play. He gets excited when he gets a nice bonus round. And we can usually find some noise the machine makes that makes us laugh. In the end, I guess it’s less of a waste of time and more of a “together time.” That’s always fun.