Like why men are better at blackjack, aka 21. "It's because they have 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a hoohoo," as our dealer, Joe, explained. Women, on the other hand, continued Joe, don't fare as well, because they are prone to count to 22. (I will leave it to you to intuit Joe's explanation.) Somehow, though, in spite of our inherent disadvantage as women, and Joe's stupid, sexist comments, my buddy, G., and I made out quite nicely, thank you very much, at the blackjack table today.
Not nice enough to pick up some baubles at Tiffany or drive home in the cute Shelby near the Summer Garage entrance, but enough to pay for martinis at Leffingwells, paninis at the food court, and a Krispy Kreme donut (chocolate with sprinkles), and still have some spare change -- or as G. pointed out, about the same as I'd make doing a short article, but a hell of a lot more fun.
The real excitement, however, was not at the blackjack table, though we had a lot of fun and continue to sharpen our blackjack skills. (Who knew you should hit on 16? Well, depending on what the dealer has showing. Or that it was good to double down on an 8? Again, depending on what the dealer has showing. Now, we know.)
No, my friends, if you really want to learn something, and have a good time doing it, go to Leffingwells in the Casino of the Sky at Mohegan Sun, walk up to the upper level, which is a working planetarium, and pull up a bar stool.
The first time G. and I visited Lefingwells (which opens at 11 a.m., because it's always 5 o'clock somewhere) we met Adam, who was a DJ, Jets fan, and about to get married. It was football season, and Adam and I had a lengthy discussion about the Jets and the Giants and matters pertaining to football and marriage, with G. (a big Jets fan) chiming in, while G. and I sipped martinis and gnawed on pretzel sticks.
The next time we visited Leffingwells we had Becky, the teetotaling bartender, and had an equally fascinating conversation about something, which I cannot recall, but I know it was fascinating. (The problem with drinking at 11 a.m. on a fairly empty stomach.)
Which brings us to Steve, whom I pretty sure wanted to push me off the top of Wombi Rock (where Leffingwells is located) for not acting like he was the most brilliant, erudite man I had ever met. Sorry Steve, but just because you had CNBC on both TVs doesn't make you a hedge fund manager -- or the smartest guy in the room. That would have been Spencer, except he wasn't there. (Ya know, I would have a lot more friends if I just learned to keep my big mouth shut and play dumb.)
But I did enjoy our 45-minute conversation about why gasoline costs so much, oil and oil futures, energy efficiency (in homes and cars, including why catalytic converters are inefficient), why foam is a better insulator than fiberglass, and why a window's U-value is important. Though I think Steve would have had a way better time if I hadn't correctly answered all of his questions. G., however, who is looking into getting new windows and insulation, was very happy to learn about U-values and foam. So it was time (and money) very well spent. And the tiramisu martinis were superb. Well done, Steve!
We also had an interesting conversation about the difference between girl children and boy children with the nice bartender-in-training (a woman) who was just coming on shift and Adam, our old football pal, who is now married and whose wife, who is a dealer at the Sun, is expecting their first child, a girl, in June.
All in all, it was a fascinating, entertaining, and profitable day, for both me and G. And as we left the casino, to retrieve our children, the sun was shining brightly upon us. Really, what more can you ask for (except the ability to not end a sentence with a preposition)?
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