After a week or so in Italy, B&B drove our rattling, guano coated, junk strewn Fiat Panda to Monaco and pulled up in front of the snooty looking Le Meridien Monte Carlo (http://tinyurl.com/SPGpropertyMonaco). We looked like The Beverly Hillbillies’ lower class cousins. To their massive credit the valets and doormen graciously retrieved our cheap luggage, plastic bags full of Blonde’s purchases, and other tourist detritus without once snickering, sneering or showing any disdain whatsoever. This in the presence of a glistening Maserati, a sneering Ferrari and an assortment of gazelle-like women and suave Euro-men.
Starwood either does an extraordinary job of hiring and training their employees so they do not exhibit horrified expressions or they Botox the hell out of them so they can’t move any facial muscles. Whichever technique is employed, it’s highly effective.
We were checked in to a lovely room overlooking the sea – not a janitor’s closet which would have been reasonable considering our pathetic car and our disheveled and unworthy appearances. This was another of our totally free stays courtesy of our coveted Starwood points so we were surprised to merit (using the word inaccurately) the yummy appetizers and flutes of champagne that were delivered to our room shortly after we checked in.
Blonde had been to Monaco previously with a non-communicative lover who liked to gamble. She recalled it as being too ostentatious and flashy a place for Brunette. She was wrong. Brunette liked it so much that she literally grabbed a column in the lobby and movingly declared that she was never leaving. Throw that girl a couple free shrimp on a toothpick and a few bubbles and she’s a fan for life (or as long as her sister’s SPG points last).
Although neither of us understands, is interested in or enjoys gambling we immediately decided to walk into the main part of town and, well, gamble. When Blonde had been to Monte Carlo in the past with the aforementioned taciturn lover he had forked over some serious moolah to get into a fancy-pants casino. Blonde would not have been surprised to have seen James Bond and Wallace Simpson sitting there gambling while James Bond fondled buxom lasses and, well maybe Wallace Simpson would have been doing the same thing. One never knows, does one?
But as we, unlike the lover, didn’t know anything about gambling and wouldn’t have paid a cover charge, much less have been admitted even if we were willing to pay triple the charge, decided to employ a different strategy. We would go to the main casino, only play the slots and limit our gambling to 5 euros each. In other words we were precisely the type of high-rolling sophisticates they most wanted to have clomp through those gilded doors.
Clutching our grimy euro-coins we walked boldly over to the slots. There were approximately 32,789 different types, not one of which we could figure out how to play. Little old ladies in thick polyester pants suits, bad perms and with cigarettes permanently glued to their lower lips can play slot machines in the States for years at a time, leaving only to change their Depends. We couldn’t so much as get a machine to take a coin.
Any self-respecting well-behaved duo would have been mortified and either have asked for help or left but we got the giggles and wandered around getting more and more giggles as we continued to fail. Suddenly a cartoon lightbulb went off over Blonde’s head and she realized that we needed tokens, not actual coins, to play the machines.
Feeling as if we were on to the secret of success, we bumbled our way to a booth where you could exchange cash for tokens. (Kind of like fat old men exchange their money for pretty young women who the men then believe love them for themselves. Well, not quite, but it was hard to resist.)
The booth attendant was not someone who would have ever been employed by Starwood as contempt flames flew off his body when Blonde handed him 5 euros and asked for a token representing, well, 5 euros. Booth-man was involved in a sidebar conversation with someone more interesting and potentially profitable (extremely low bar to meet in this situation) and scornfully handed Blonde a 5 euro token and her 5 euros!
Now B&B may not be the brightest gamblers but we know when we have doubled our money! Kenny Rogers told us years ago to “know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em”. We didn’t know then what he meant and we still don’t. But we do know that if you’ve doubled your money it’s time to leave, so we did. But not before stopping at another booth and exchanging the 5 euro token for 5 more actual euros to lock in our rate of return.
We can’t guarantee that all of our readers will double their money. Indeed we can’t guarantee it for ourselves or we would still be there stopping only to take wheelbarrows of cash out to our Fiat Panda. However, we have turned our success into a highly profitable nation-wide series of courses held in poorly-lit Holiday Inns. People come to learn, from us, how to double their money playing slot machines.
Sign up here! We’re the rare hucksters who have actually done what we claim to teach! Technically speaking.