You’re Bitching Up The Wrong Tree

Okay, visitors here know in a past not so distant life ago I was a bartender in a full nude strip bar. Many of y’all still ask me why. Why? The money was great and the scenery wasn’t that bad either. As well, many (not all) have judged my morals or judgment in career options, mostly I was told how I glorified the world of stripping when strippers are really disgusting slut whore beasts and are the lowest form of human on the planet, right after the douchebags who go to strip bars and pay to see naked women dance in their face. Yes, I simplified it for y’all, forgive me, but I never understood how or why people judge strippers. Strippers strip for whatever reason, I’m not real sure how many of them want to shake what their momma gave them in front of strangers for money. But, I know for a fact that there are reasons women strip, every single one of them has a reason. Some of those reasons have been explored here in the past, and I always get told that I’m very biased because I “lived” in their world too long while working as a bartender. How can that even be true or make sense.

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I thought that since I received this great example from an angered reader who wanted to reach out with her own information that this would be the perfect opportunity to take another moment to discuss choices of employment, perhaps motivations, and of course to glitzy lure of stacks of cash. In a moment, y’all will read the email I got yesterday explaining to me that I needed to be more clear to people so others who do strip or want a career in stripping have information so they don’t get fucked, literally. As far as my past posts, they are my own personal experiences OR experiences that were shared with me by real life strippers while I was a bartender. And, look people, again knowing from personal experience, some of the choices for employment are harder than others. So, read the email below, catch back up with me afterwords. If you ask me, the writer/sender was/is a stripper and got burnt somehow, I would assume she sued or attempt to sue her place of employment because one of her patrons tipped her with information instead of dollar bills. Just my humble opinion.

Begin email———————————–

1. Strippers, exotic dancers, showgirls, lap dancers, peep show dancers, & erotic entertainers are EMPLOYEES of the club they work for.

Stripping is a J-O-B. Strippers will never be independent contractors. It doesn’t matter if the boss calls a stripper an independent contractor or if it’s a term she applies to herself.  The reality is that the way strip clubs operate, the strippers working in can only be employees. It’s because management must exercise a certain amount of control over working conditions or else there would be chaos. Some might argue that management creates more disorder with their policies than order. Management need to figure out which dancers are going to work on any given shift; how many shifts there are in a day; how many hours each shift runs; many decide what dancers may wear at work; how many dances she perform on stage, and so on. The reason why strip clubs misclassify strippers as “independent contractors” is to dodge their employer obligations. The irony is that clubs say you’re an independent contractor but actually treat you like an employee.

2. Strip club employers must pay all their workers minimum wage, at a bare minimum.

Strip club employers must also pay into social security, worker’s compensation, employer taxes, & a slew of others good things that workers in any other industry are guaranteed as employees.  Personally, I think that strippers should get paid far more than minimum wages.  After all, not every chick is willing to take her clothes off in front of random strangers & gyrate on their laps to arouse them!  The management like the money strippers make for their business, but they don’t want to pay these women for their labor.  THIS IS ILLEGAL.

3. State labor laws state that it is illegal for an employer (here, the strip club owner) to take any portion of his/her employee’s (here, the stripper) tips.

To add insult to injury, management charge strippers for the privilege to work!You know:  those stage fees, quotas, commissions, piece rate system, locker fees, booking fees, etc, etc…. It’s also illegal for employers to require strippers to tip other employees (DJ, House Mom, Manager, Bartender, etc).  Management minimally pay non-stripper staff and expect strippers to underwrite the remainder of their wages.  Why are these fees-to-work illegal?  Because strippers earn their money through tips that customers provide for them.  Strippers use their tips to pay management these illegal mandatory fees. THIS IS ILLEGAL. Lets review by answering the following questions for yourself.

Were you misclassified as an independent contractor while being employed as a stripper?

Did management fail to pay you minimum wages while you were a stripper?

Did you have to pay management to work while you were employed as a stripper?

If you said “yes” to one or more of these questions, your labor rights were violated. Take action to assert your labor rights!

End of email——————————————-

**** On a very special note. The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog has not, will not, and cannot provide any legal advice. Visitors of this blog should consult with their own lawyer for legal advice. The information provided was for informational purposes ONLY. I claim no legal knowledge in regards to topics discussed here. Now, you’ve been warned and informed motherfuckers! ****

In reality I don’t care what people do with their lives, how they spend their money, or who they choose to see naked. I can, however, say that every single person who walks through the door of a strip club (employee or patron) has their own reason for being inside those walls. I mentioned before, my goal was to make money, as much as I could as fast as I could. Now, having a 8-5 job during the day and then working another 8+ hours afterwards as a “part time” sucked, I won’t lie, it made for long days/nights. As well, it was a 42 minute drive for me personally which racks miles up on the vehicle as well as adds just a few more hours each day. Yes, once at work the scenery, in general, was pleasant. The work environment was a bit weird because my involvement with the business of the club were pretty nil. I did, however, meet some very nice people along the way while I worked there, I’ll leave that part right there. Want to know more just read around this blog a little and you’ll see what I mean.

Getting back to how I or what I write about glorifies the occupation of stripping, because, lets face it together, I get accused of never writing about anything but strippers using their nakedness to separate men of all ages from their money in the shortest time possible. What y’all have got from me is the brutal honesty, not the fucking fairytale la la land some people seem to live in. I guess my point is simple, working as a stripper is what it is, it’s a choice someone makes, and often enough people get judged because in someone else’s opinion it was the wrong choice to make. Trust me, I’m 46 years old and still get grief from my mother because I bartended in more than one strip club over the years. “How can you do that to your wife and treat her without respect by working at a strip bar?” is my favorite question to date. My wife only had one dislike about me working there and that was the simple fact that I was getting in after 1 in the morning day after day and I was tired. I was tired and didn’t want to do anything except hang out around the house, I was a big fan of not going anywhere or not doing anything. In the end, it was my wife’s opinion that made me want to quit in the first place. She asked me to quit one time, and I made it happen that day. On the flip side, all joking aside here, she was the one that said I needed to get a part time job to fill some time, make a little money, and get out more. In fact, it was a friend of a friend of a friend of one of her co-workers that my wife gave me the number to call for the job. She was informed, the moment I went to the interview, that it was at a strip club. Her answer was it was decision either way, but told me I knew I could make some serious cash if I took it. Yes, she does not about my past life, not that it was talked about much.

Luckily, at the place I worked, everyone was an employee, we all had health coverage if we chose, we could participate in the 401k, they were workers comp compliant, the whole 9 yards. However, indeed, a portion of my paycheck was dependent on bar sales, door sales, and stripper tips. Yes, now I’m the bad guy. No, it wasn’t my rule, and nobody fought it, it was just the way it was I guess. But, they did not pay to dance, they did not have fees except for one, which was if you were scheduled to work and you were a no show/no call, you were given three days off without pay as a warning to be more courteous to your coworkers. It mentions minimum wage above, um no, how the average stripper was making from $18.00 to $23.00 an hour, plus tips, plus dances, plus whatever the hell else they were doing on the side, if anything. Again, I’m not defending the industry itself, merely where I worked.

Oddly enough, during the mere course of writing this post I have received 4 more emails “scolding” me for being a sinner, supporter of sinning, and indulging in the slavery which we collectively call the “sex trades” since stripping somehow falls into that category. Maybe I truly am blind, somewhat oblivious to the blythe which is that of the life of a stripper. But, wait….. for….. it….., I don’t care, I really don’t, I don’t care what people do which their lives. Well, that’s not altogether true, I do care that I contribute a large amount of my paycheck to pay for others to sit at home on the crack pipe, on the xBox, or on the porch, instead of them getting out and getting a fucking job. We’ll talk about that another time, I read a study recently that the average person on a combination of government service programs average about $19.20 an hour. Like I said, lets get back to that another day. My mere connection with the stripping industry is purely coincidental, meaning we would work in the same building, all of us dependent on the very steady stream of people entering the neon lit establishment we called a strip bar.

But, I understand, the easy thing to do is to judge those doing things we don’t agree with. We should just be happy people are out working instead of sucking on the welfare titty all day. Until we as human beings stop looking at the opposite sex with lust in our eyes there will always be a place where we can see the opposite sex naked. Have y’all been on the internet later, have y’all seen what y’all have been searching for, and y’all call me the pervert?  Again, another post for what people’s perversions are. Your choice, fucking hate me, if that gets you though the day, great, just fucking hate me. Meanwhile, I will give you something to think about, my final thought here today. All strippers have a story, a life, a family, and although you detest their industry or them as people, just remember it takes guts to strip in front of strangers, it takes courage to get out there to earn a living no matter what your craft may be. Before we get all biblical on me, remember, I don’t by into it, so in reality it’s a major waste of both of our times. But, as usual, I will get the emails, the comments, and so forth, and I will post here on this blog the ignorance that is spewed. There is no justice in the world, we all know it, sometimes we decide that instead of running away from life, we jump on that old hag, dig the spurs in deep, and ride her until that bitch throws us or we tame the beast. Your choice.

Still Living The Life Of A Stripper

In the paragraphs below y’all will be reading information which I finally had time to transcribe from a recorded talk I had with a very good friend of mine and former employer. She discusses the life of a stripper, how to make money, what to do with that money, personal safety, and so much more. I encourage y’all to set some time aside to read the information she has provided as it is considerably lengthy. It also provides insight to her personal accomplishments and how she has become a successful businesswoman. There are very different professions for all of the people who want to work, hopefully this will show y’all a different view of the world a stripper lives in. This could very easily be done as three separate posts but I’m an all you can eat buffet kind of guy who likes to get my fill all in one sitting. So, with that being said, here we go.

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To begin with let me say that I started stripping at the age seventeen with a fake identification and a fast talking mouth. With that resting comfortably in the back of your head I also opened my own full nude strip club at the age of 24 in Houston and have since opened another location in Dallas. There are a great deal of misconceptions out there about strippers and that is something you will have to deal with if you enter the profession. I will say this, I truly enjoy what I do and I have never felt exploited because I’m a stripper. In fact I have always felt it was far more personally empowering than any other profession. But stripping is not for everyone. It requires a certain temperament. Don’t go and become a stripper because you feel you “have” to. If you hate what you do it will show and you will make very little money as a stripper. The minute you start dancing the clock is ticking. There are a limited number of years in which to make as much money as you can. Most dancers retire around 27. If you’re starting when you’re 18 that gives you nine years in which to make as much money as you can and then get out. Chances are you will never again be able to make as much per day as you do while stripping. Make the most of of the time.

There are two kinds of strippers, subsistence and capital strippers. A subsistence stripper just works enough to get by. Maybe a few days a week, saves little and is always in a financial crisis. I see these girls panicking to get enough dances to pay rent the next day but by the next week they are back to partying, doing drugs, buying expensive clothes and generally pissing away every dime they earn. Their plans for the future are vague at best and even though they claim to realize they can’t dance forever they seldom save and invest their money or invest in an education. These girls get out of the business no better then they started and spend the rest of their lives getting their ass pinched in menial, low paying jobs. A capital stripper dances as an investment. In my opinion this is the only reason to strip. Stripping is just too hard a way to earn a living to do it for just enough to “get by”. You can get by on a McDonalds salary. If you are going to have guys staring at your naked ass all evening you should at least be securing a decent future for yourself, not just tomorrow’s groceries and rent. There are many excuses for not saving your money but in my experience few of them are valid. Single mother, health problems whatever, you can still afford to save. If you work hard you can make a great deal of money stripping.

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When you see that money in your hand it just doesn’t seem real, and when you keep seeing it night after night it seems like the supply will be endless. It’s really not, you need to put away the largest portion you can. Not just 10% or so but 40% or 60%. It is possible to do that and still live a very comfortable life. Strippers tend to live beyond their means and end up with nothing but memories of that nice sports car or that fancy apartment. If you can just keep it under control for a few years you can have that stuff for the rest of your life, long after you’re done stripping. Live within your means; base your spending around not what you make stripping but what you would make at a good entry-level job. Get a good, reliable car but you don’t need that giant SUV or fast sports car. Make sure your lease or car loan doesn’t rely on a strippers level of income to pay it. Same goes for the rent or mortgage. It’s very easy to fall on heels and break an ankle or tear up your knee, it happens all the time. You could be out of work for weeks or even months. You don’t want to be buried under a mountain of bills. I suggest buying at least basic health insurance but if you don’t you will need at least enough savings to pay for emergencies.

So what to do with the money you save? Well, set enough aside to pay for all of your expenses like food, housing, tuition, utilities, car, whatever for 4 months. This is your emergency fund, put it in your saving account and don’t spend it. The rest you should invest. I have a few well chosen mutual funds that I have been very happy with. As a stripper you’re looking to invest for the long term, at least 5 years and probably 10. Mutual funds are low maintenance and are well suited for this purpose. I strongly advise against investing in individual stocks. Despite all tales of buying low and selling high at the end of the year very few people are able to make money off buying and selling individual stocks. Stick with mutual funds, they are safer and more reliable (at least for the novice investor).

The best possible investment you can make is an education. With a nice big nest egg and a good degree you can do just about anything you want when you retire from stripping. Without an education or any job skills that money will eventually be gone. With an education you can make the most of your savings, use it as capital for your own business or invest it for a steady source of income. Too many strippers talk about how they’re planning on going back to school or they’re just taking a semester off. This is bullshit, if you want an education you need to go to school and work hard. If you’re not going to school then you’re pissing away your own future.

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At most clubs you will walk around and ask the customers if they’d like a private dance (or lap dance depending on the club). Some clubs just have stage dancing. Often there is a private area that you can go for a dance. Be careful, though, the dim lights and the privacy tend to make the guys a little frisky. Not in a bad or scary way just in a way that may need to be corrected. The most important thing to do when you’re dancing is to smile and make eye contact. Nothing turns a guy off faster then a stripper strolling bored around the stage while staring vacantly off into space. Try to make each guy you’re dancing for think he’s the only guy you’re dancing for. This is how the pros make the big bucks. At many clubs a significant part of your nightly earnings comes from private dances. Most of the time the customer will pay for you to sit and talk with them as well. Guys vary a lot but it’s always important to be attentive. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being ignored. Most guys are pretty nice and easy to talk to. Provided you’re a good listener and act interested, it’s no problem. Then you get the guys who aren’t trying to be obnoxious, they just don’t have the best social skills. They will sit and alternate between nagging you to go out with them and lying about how much money they have, how many places they’ve traveled, how important they are in their company, etc. Simpering and looks of wide-eyed wonder come in handy at this point. Some guys are an absolute pleasure to sit with, they buy plenty of dances, they visit on a regular basis, and best of all they’re lots of fun to talk too. It’s guys like this who really make it all worth while.

When dancing it’s important to stay motivated, at most clubs you are an independent contractor. You won’t get fired if you don’t work hard and no one will say anything if you decide to hang out at the bar and talk all night talking to the bartender. You need to treat being a stripper like a job and not a social experience. Decide on what time and how long you will have dinner for, the rest of the time work the floor as hard as you can. Make sure you always get at least 8 hours of sleep so you’re not tired. You’ll look and feel better. Set a clear goal, try to get 4 dances and hour, as you get better set higher goals for yourself. Never assume a passive approach and wait for them to call you over, stay moving and keep working. If it’s hard and you just can’t get motivated make a game of it, make bets with other girls on who can get the most dances. Promise yourself ice cream if you reach a certain goal, whatever you have to do to stay motivated and keep earning that money.

Learning how to properly break the ice and get invited to sit with a customer takes time. Most girls tend to just walk around to every guy in the room and ask “Wanna dance?” and then when he says no walk off. This is the exact wrong approach. Every guy in that room has enough money for at least one dance and you just have to find the right words to get them to buy one or more. “Wanna dance?” can work in a very crowded room or if a guy is already interested but it will do absolutely nothing to convince a guy who was uninterested to change his mind. It’s too easy to say no to and that is usually what happens. To start with, choose your targets, who is looking at you the most when you are on stage or dancing for other customers? Talk to the bartender (always be friends and take to the bartender) and the floor hosts about who has an open tab or has been spending a lot of money. If a bartender or floor hosts gives you a good lead and you make money ALWAYS tip them at the end of the night and that way next time they will go to you first when they see a big spender. When you approach your prospective customer try and say anything but “Wanna dance?”: would you like some company?, would you like if I joined you? If the room is slow and he seems reluctant put a very slight push on. If he says he’s not interested ask if he would mind if you just sat down and rested your feet for a minute- you’re “not used to these heels”. Few men are going to say no to that, and the “not used to these heels” implies that you’re a new dancer and invites conversation. If 10 minutes go by and he still doesn’t buy a dance don’t ask- just say “I’m sorry, I’ve got to get back to work- it’s been nice talking to you okay?” This implies that you didn’t consider sitting with him work, a slight bit of flattery that will get you a dance later. Think of this approach as “seeding” in that you may not get the dance then, but chances are you will later. After a half-hour of “wanna dance” from the other girls he’s going to wish for your company again and probably be willing to pay for it. Or even the next time he comes in your’s will be the familiar face. With this approach it’s important you not spend too long with them, always keep them hungry. Unless they’re paying don’t sit with them longer then 10 to 15 minutes and only that long if the room is very slow. If they’re used to getting it for free it’s going to be hard to get them to pay for it. You’re friendly and available and they just have to be willing to pay for it.

Never ever, sit on your own or hang out at the bar talking to other strippers. At any given time you should be either sitting with a customer, moving to another customer or on stage getting naked. If you’re just standing around they will assume you’re not busy and it will be very hard to get a customer to pay for your time because “you’re not doing anything anyway”. Look busy, if they think other men want you then they will want you. It’s important you have respect for the money they give you, so much money changes hands that girls often forget what it represents. Let’s say your customer earns $40,000 a year after taxes- probably about average income for a stripclub patron in Houston. That works out to around $20 an hour. If a customer sits with you and you make $100, that’s 5 hours of his time. If a handyman came to your house and fixed thing for 5 hours you’d say “thank you” right? Always thank the customer and make sure he knows you mean it. Even if $100 doesn’t seem like a lot of money to you to the average customer it is.

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One last thing, don’t screw with guys’ heads. It’s not cool, you can make money without doing it. I see lots of girls who string guys along implying they’ll go out with them if they just visit a few more times or laying on sob stories about their sick children or parents. Don’t do it, there is never any reason for you to lie as a stripper. After a few repetitions it gets very fake and you just come off as a greedy gold digging bitch. If you want customers to treat you with respect you should treat them with respect. If they are disrespectful just walk away, there is no reason for you to sink to their level. There are more then enough good men who will to pay you to sit, talk and laugh with them and when you dance they will treat you like a goddess. As customers they deserve your courtesy and if they don’t respect you in return they don’t deserve to have you spend time with them. Safety is a critical issue for strippers. Many menaked not understand that what we sell is a fantasy or feel that our employment makes us fair game for unwanted attentions. The six dumbest words that can leave a woman’s mouth are “I can take care of myself”. No you can’t, and get any notion that you’re some kind of tough girl out of your head. Men are bigger, stronger and meaner. They’ve been beating and raping women for thousands of years now and have pretty much got it down pat. Your little kick boxing lessons at the health club will not help you. If a grown man hits you full force you will be knocked unconscious and very likely break the bones in your face. Do not ever make safety decisions based on your opinion of your ability to defend yourself.

I personally think that carrying weapons or taking martial art, self-defense classes etc. are a bad idea for most women. The most effective way to survive is to be scared; anything that makes you brave makes you more likely to walk into a dangerous situation. If you have a gun in your purse you might be more likely to take that shortcut home, or take a ride with a man you don’t know very well or any number of risky things. If you’re scared you’re careful, if you’re careful you don’t get into trouble. If you are a feature stripper, have a very public presence (website or modeling), or have had problems with a stalker then a gun may be something you want to consider purchasing. You need to be trained in it’s use and practice with it at a firing range at least once every few months. Don’t bother carrying one unless you comfortable with the idea of killing someone. That’s what guns are for, you’re not going to be shooting knives out of anyone’s hands, you’re going to be trying to make a hole in the center of their torso. If you have small hands like me you can have a gunsmith machine a trigger guard that will comfortable fit your finger but too small for the finger of a grown man. But I would like to emphasize, most women are far better off not carrying a gun. Only if you are in a position of constantly being exposed to unavoidable danger is it an option.

One never wishes to blame the victim but every single girl I know without exception who has ever gotten into trouble was doing something most women would consider risky or just plain stupid. Don’t take chances- the stakes are too high. As a stripper, leaving the club after work is the time when you are most vulnerable. I have only gotten scared twice at work. On both occasions it was when an overly enthusiastic customer decided to wait for me outside the club after closing. On both occasions the men were just confused about the nature of what a stripper does and were quickly dealt with by security. This being said, transportation is a critical safety issue that you really have to think about. Going to work is not a problem because customers can’t really see where you are coming from. Leaving is when you have to be most vigilant. Public transportation is out of the question, it’s too easy to be followed and is rarely safe at the hours you’ll be riding. I’d suggest sharing a cab with one of the other girls. If you decide to drive, make very sure that your car is reliable, last thing you need is a break down on an empty road at 3AM. A cell phone is a good thing to have. Make sure when you register you car you do it to another address (friend, parent, etc.). That way if some creep takes down your license plate number he can’t find out your home address. For obvious reasons never give any personal info to anyone who knows you as a stripper, including other strippers. There are strippers and bouncers who will give the information to customers for money or as a favor. There is no reason anyone needs to know anything but your stage name. Don’t tell them where you live or what school you go to no matter how trust worthy they seem. Once that information is out it’s very difficult to put back in the box.

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We are not all success stories. I had my eye on the prize the first time someone slipped money in my garter. I learned how to capitalize on a man’s willingness to part with his hard earned money to see me naked. Done properly, a stripper can sock away grand amounts of cash just by dancing naked, and it can end as a very fruitful career choice. Not every girl is a naturally born stripper, you have to be willing to work your ass off, and then the world holds endless possibilities for you.

An Observation In Chance Encounters

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As the days get torn from the calendar this week, we find ourselves doing the last minute shopping to ready our son for his first day of the 8th grade this coming Monday. In the midst of all of the grand excitement we found that we had missed a few things on his school supply list. It was only a few items, but still meant a trip to Walmart for my son and I. We decided that we would go yesterday after dinner, just the two of us, father and son, on the hunt in the Walmart jungle. Actually, it was more like a trip to the zoo, but who am I to say. Before we go, I get into my dresser and get a $50 dollar bill, thinking that should cover anything we need to get. My son wants to take my H1 so we went out, got in, and left. Walmart is about 15 minutes from my house so the trip went pretty fast.

Arriving at Walmart at 8:30 pm at night I was really surprised to see the parking lot was at least 80% full. Which means, I assume, that they will have both check out lanes jam packed with long lines. I was able to drive right in to a parking spot, so far so good. Then, as we are getting out of the vehicle, a decked out Escalade pulls into the open disabled spot to my left. The music was so loud that it was rattling car parts on the car directly in front of it. I couldn’t see the driver because the window tint seemed to be darker than my own double limo tint. I had the back door open on that side because I was grabbing socks bought for my son that were the wrong size and needed to be exchanged. Then the driver’s door to the Escalade opens, I hear this woman screaming “where in the fuck does your aunt keep that fucking blue thing for the window, I ain’t fucking gonna park way out in the fucking middle of nowhere”. I heard no reply. She pulled her phone out of her bag and calls whoever and cusses that person up and down for a few minutes. As I walk away, about to bust out laughing, I hear ” excuse me sir, I seemed to have misplaced my blue window thingy, do you have an extra one I can borrow? ” I turned slowly and replied with a simple no, pointing out I have plates, I don’t need the window placard. After she gave me a go to hell asshole glaring stare, she turned to one of the children, around 9 or 10, and told her to sit in the car to watch for the cops, if she sees any to call her so they can leave. WTF? Against my better judgment, my son and I just walked away.

However, once inside, I did locate the store manager, explained about the girl being left inside the car, and she did contact the police. From that point on now, I have no idea what happened. I never saw the lady in Walmart nor was the Escalade parked next to me when we left. She, my friends, is an absolute douchebag. We wait in line at the return counter, one person running one register, behind a half dozen or so people. Finally, my turn, present the bag of socks, present the receipt (4 days old), and get told they don’t exchange. I of course opted for the refund. She processed the return and tells me she has to put the funds on a Walmart gift card. Why? I showed her I paid cash and want cash back. After a short argument, she gets a manager involved to override her transaction, and then gives me my $7.56 in cash. Are these people really this fucking stupid? Of course, there aren’t any carts available, so I sent my son to scavenge one from the parking lot. He returned quickly and we began our seek and destroy mission for the missing school supplies. It is, however, a very short list, just 3 essay notebooks, 1 folder with tabs, and 2 spiral notebooks. Talk about impressed, everything was in one aisle, everything was fully stocked, and we were the only people on that aisle, bonus. Boom, boom, boom, and fucking done! But wait, my list has other stuff on it, I needed 2 a/c return filters which after checking, they had zero, strike one. Over to the groceries, I need cream cheese, check, I need raspberry extract, check, and finally, raspberry pie filling, check. Okay, time to get the fuck out. Time check, elapsed time at Walmart 51 minutes.

Wonderful, all of the self checkout lanes are closed, strike two. Then we just picked a line, which we were in for 20 minutes. But wait, there’s much more. The lady in front of me had three carts, two with groceries, and one with school supplies and clothing. After the first cart cleared, she paid with her food stamp card. When the second one cleared, she paid the over $400 in $20 dollar bills. The items in that basket included alcohol and other food items not allowed by food stamps. After her third cart clears, she uses 5 gift cards, two different credit cards, putting just a little on each one, and paid the remaining $300 in cash. My checkout was easy, paid, and we were out. As we walk out the door guess who has her Escalade parked right at the doors? Yep. The lady in front of me was loading her stuff into the back of it. How convenient, curbside service. This bitch was holding up allot of cars, and they took their sweet ass time doing it. As we walked by I felt her eyes burning the back of my skull and when I turned to look she was proudly displaying a full on double bird and mouthing “fuck you cocksucker”. Awwww, how sweet. My son and I just waived politely and smiled, I don’t think she quite understood our kindness because she looked pissed. To each her own.

I don’t always see random stupid people at Walmart, but when I do they are usually trying to make the other fucktards feel a sense of pride and unity. So what was the point of me sharing all of this with y’all today? Great question! I really don’t know a great answer though, I think I wrote it out of the sadness I feel towards people who are liars, cheats, and thieves. I mean, let’s face it, this wasn’t a rare instance or occurrence, what I saw is the “norm” in our society. Too many people use government assistance as their career opportunity in life, they milk the “system” for their personal paycheck, and the utterly sad and ridiculous part of it all is they know they are scammers and cheats because their lifestyle revolves around it. And yes, our wonderful government enabled it to be this way. Maybe that’s just where humanity is at the present time. I joke with my wife, who doesn’t see the humor, ever, about me thinking I have made the wrong career choices. But, obviously, I like doing things the hard way, the right way, and with a clear conscience. Doesn’t mean I can’t be amused or pissed when I see these people because when I see it happening it does get my bullshit-o-meter pegged out, for sure. OK, sure, be mad at me because I see things and have an opinion about it. You’re probably right, the people I mentioned in this post are most likely legit, honest, hard working individuals, and I have just jumped to very obscure conclusions for no clear reasons. Oh, now I understand, some people like a sugar coating on their bullshit so its easier to swallow. Its cool.

Every Once In A While I Celebrate

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Celebrate? Why celebrate? Well, I enjoy getting stuff for nothing, to me that is a victory worth celebrating. So, y’all can obviously tell I am going to be talking about Walmart, which is where we choose to grocery shop every 2 weeks. Why? Where we live, their prices are considerably lower in groceries than all the rest of the big box grocery stores. I will make this a short post for now, but will do my version of a “how to” save money post in the future, I have learned a few bad ass tricks over the years, and it all paid off today once again.

Before I begin this short speil, let me just say that we feed a bare minimum of 4 adults and one teenage boy having a growth spurt, so call it five adults for simplicity. We do not buy any meat, but if I do it is some chuck so I can grind it in to make hamburgers and canned tuna and/or canned chicken to make into sandwich spreads. Other than that, our meat (beef & pork) is purchased from a slaughterhouse/butcher in large precut packages. The other meats, such as deer (venison), wild turkeys, quail, prairie chickens, and wild boar, are provided by my son an I as we hunt the different seasons of the year. I have 5 stand up side-by-side freezers that don’t get bare very often. Sometimes, we are lucky and will have some gator meat (from family) and other goodies. 98% of our meat is provided this way annually. Enough about that for now.

Back to Walmart. In our 2 baskets we had everything else which was going to last us for two weeks which includes food, cleaning supplies, toiletries/sundries, and some back to school supplies for my son. Our total, before coupons and sales ads, was $348.88. After including coupons and sales ads our price was $39.31 with tax included. How? Everything that was on the list had a substantial coupon, meaning, as an example, something which cost $2.79 had a $2 coupon. Plus, everything we buy was the name brand and it is the things we use every day. On some things the coupon was actually more than the price of the item. Pretty much if I didn’t buy the school supplies I could have gotten out of there for under $10 like I normally do.

Now, no, this is not a simple way of shopping, but with a little effort, a little leg work, some planning, and a list, it is worth it. Here is the secret how. First, get a Sunday paper (this is when our coupons and ads are included). Second, get online and visit all the brands you use/purchase regularly and print their coupons. Sign up if you need too, its worth it. Third, go to the other stores. Get their current sales fliers, walk their asiles and get the in-store coupons for items. They are usually on or near the product in some kind of dispenser. Fourth, plan your meals for the week or two, make your grocery list based on the meals you will be serving. Put some thought into this, think outside the can or box. Fifth, head to Walmart because every coupon you clipped, printed, or got in other stores are honored. Does this take time? Yes, absolutely, but you get faster as you get better at it.

For people pressed for time, a slow cooker can provide a full meal which cooks on its own while you are at work or doing whatever you do to fill your days. Yes, I did everything the exact same way before I was laid off, but I have been doing it like this for a long time, so my prep time is usually under an hour over a two week period. For for those of y’all thinking we buy everything in bulk, you are wrong. We buy paper towels, toilet paper, soft drinks, and milk in bulk. I buy at least 12 gallons of milk at a time, a couple go in the freezer for week two, and the rest in the fridge. Why? At my house, we consume at least a gallon a day, and it never has an opportunity to go out of date. Like I said in the beginning, I will do a comprehensive post some other time. I will have to give it some thought so it makes sense. As well, if any readers have secrets they would like to share, I’m all ears. Quick sidenote, do not buy your tobacco products or alcohol at Walmart, those things are cheapest at the gas station and liquor store.

I know what y’all are thinking already because of other Walmart posts I have done, nothing has changed, I still hate the service, the slow speed, and the two out of fifty lanes actually having a checker, but my wait is usually worth the savings. Think about that for a while. No, I’m not some crazy extreme couponer either, I just like keeping my money where it belongs, in my wife’s wallet.

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Imagine The World Without Fucktards

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I imagine the world without fucktards every once in a while, then I am reminded somehow that the rest of the world needs fucktards, because every person on the planet wants to know what runs through a fucktards mind from time to time. Personally, I don’t want to spend any time whatsoever in the deep reaches of the interworking of the brain of any particular fucktards. I have noticed that there has become an increased number of fucktards in my life lately. Why? Maybe it is the places I have been visiting, and that isn’t just limited to the federal, state, and local government offices I have had to visit for reasons that I have been mentioning in the past. I will get into that in more detail as I go along. I have a trio for y’all today since I found a way to kill three birds with one stone, rather, as it would be, I ended up pissing in the bowls of a few fucktards bowl of Wheaties this morning for no more reason than what had to be said or done had to be said and done. So, let’s begin.

First stone was at the VA Medical Center in Hoiston to pick up my insulin that has been claimed to be undeliverable to the same address that ALL my other medications were mailed to and received. It was said to be attempted to deliver twice and returned twice for wrong address. Meaning, some fucktard dropped the ball twice and to cover his/her ass put in the false information. How do I know? When I asked what the tracking numbers assigned to the shipment by the VA and by the post office there were none to be found. Caught you bitches in two lies which upsets a fucktards. Then, for the cherry on top, they give me a 30 day supply not my ordered 90 day supply which means I get to play this fucked up game once again. Then, since I have yet to get my new glucose meter I went to the diabetic education office to speak with the head cheese to finally get it. Oops, she retired last month but absolutely nobody on the planet knows this except her. Did I get my meter? No, because the office will remain closed indefinitely until she is replaced. Really frustrated, I now leave the medical center before I really end up choking some random fucker for no other reason than it would feel real good to me at this point.

Since I was downtown I went to go pick up some hot rod remote control truck parts I bought from a dealer on line. When I get there to pick up my $327.67 order I was informed by this young smart mouth fucktards that since I did not pick up my order within the prescribed 24 period that my items were restocked and sold. As I explained to this dumbass, I ordered my items online Wednesday @ 8:13 pm for in store pickup at the very store I was standing in this morning. But wait, there a catch, they are only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Even though I repeatedly contested based on this information he was not going to refund my money unless I paid the $75.00 restocking fee first. Really. I will admit, I let him piss me off, I raised my voice quite a bit and was throwing the word (in many variations) fun k like today WS the last day I could ever use it. It got the attention of the store owner, someone I have known for some 20 plus years who came over to inform me that the kid was new and my order was safe and sound. He asked if I still wanted it and I of course did so he went to retrieve it for me. To “smooth things over” I think, he gave me a $100.00 gift voucher to be used with in the next year in store only. We spoke for a bit more and then I grabbed my order and left. It left me thinking, what would the fucktards kid have done if the owner wasn’t there? He would have laid on the floor lifeless because he forced me to choke the dieing breath out of him for pissing me off beyond personal control. Would that be a good defense, hypothetically, when I was charged with the murder of a fucktards? I would be doing the would a favor, right?

Thirdly I ddropped into see the owner of the strip club I was formally employed with part time because she owed me $600.00 for some work I did for her personally at her house last month as a paid favor. I won’t get into what I was doing for her but it put me out around $250.00 in supplies that I paid for in advance. She said she would pay me later because when I went to settle she attempted to give me a check for something she agreed to pay cash for. I am easy so I accepted waiting. I don’t get to this side of town any more so I figured I would stop by the office to get paid. You’ll never guess, she didn’t have the cash on her even though I contacted her yesterday afternoon to let her know I was coming by to collect. Well, I guess it was the wrong answer. I hung out for 15 minutes while she ran to the bank. She brought be back $500.00 dollars, her ATM cash limit to give to me and I took a $100.00 check so I wouldn’t be forced to come back. Yeah me! I am such a nice guy. I then left, heading home. Pissed off with my morning I totally forget to go to the bank and I realize this as I look on the table in front of me and see her check.

In the end I did kill three birds with one stone. Those three birds also got a big fat bird from me to salute their pure and utter fucktardedness. They fight a good fight and stay true to their cause and for that I always feel inclined to give them my favorite one finger salute. Well, the VA got a single finger fuck you salute from each hand this morning because really, really deserved it.

Having My Very Own Magic Weekend

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To begin with, my wife and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in a traditional (commercial) way. For the most part is it just another day on the calendar that comes and goes with little to no notice. We tend to avoid all the typical things like flowers, candy, and fighting crowds to go out to eat. We both see it as a waste. We will exchange a card (sometimes) but if nothing is said, done, or acknowledged it isn’t dwelled upon by either of us. To be honest, we don’t need a “holiday” for us to get together in any regard. I had plans of making my special version of chicken cordon bleu and I was looking forward to our dinner plans since it was supposed to be just my wife and me. When I got home I was getting prepared to assemble the chicken, the wine was being chilled, and the oven was warming up. Soon after, my wife strolls through the door and tells me we have plans, so stop what I’m doing so we can get dressed. Plans? We don’t do “plans” on Valentine’s day, ever, not even when we were just dating. It’s hard to wear my pissy face when my wife is all excited. Well, let me put everything up so it doesn’t go to waste and turn off the oven for sure.

I follow her to the bedroom which was a pleasant trip because all the way to the bedroom she was shedding clothes. It was like a mobile strip tease. She puts on her robe, if you can call it a robe, sits down to redo her hair and make-up. I decided to jump in the shower to knock the day off and freshen up a bit. My wife isn’t worried because she knows I’m an in and out of the shower kind of guy so she knows I wont take long. Unless, she was to join me, the I’m still the in and out guy but the shower takes a little longer. But, not this time, this was a solo sudsing to say the very least. Five minutes later I emerged, squeaky clean and ready to rock & roll. She took the opportunity to lay my clothes out for me. When I saw what it was I was struck with a little disappointment because I knew what it meant. Laid out on the bed were my black Wrangler jeans, which I hate because they are too tight in the ass and crotch, leaving very little room to breathe normally. Next to the jeans was my red long-sleeved “western” shirt, a very nice shirt which I only wear when we are going out dancing at the redneck clubs. This night is taking a bad turn, I think I might be feeling ill. On the floor were my nice western boots, which I hadn’t worn since my foot surgery a few months ago. I really like these boots, I have had them for 20 plus years and cannot wear them out for nothing, but then it is hard to wear out alligator skin, these are black too, of course. She was wanting me to go all out I see as my black Stetson and nice black leather belt with the headstone belt buckle were also laying on the bed next to everything.

She goes into the closet and emerges with a handful of clothes which I didn’t get to see and she heads off to the bathroom. I proceeded to get dressed, getting all redneck pimped out for who knows what reason. It will be good though, we don’t go out, just her and I, much any more. Fifteen minutes later she slinks out of the bathroom looking like a stunning redneck angel, looking allot like the day we met so many years ago. Then she asked for my help, she needed me to lace up her leather corset for her and well as pull up the zipper on her pants. Strange, I like it the other way, unlacing and unzipping, but not tonight, she is on a mission I can tell. I’m surprised she is wearing these jeans, they are so tight that is she wasn’t shaven then we could count the short and curlys. Lucky for us she took care of business. These are my favorite jeans, they fit her like a latex glove that is 3 sizes too small. I remember buying these jeans a few years ago, she is a tricky one to buy jeans for as not all jeans conform to a woman’s body the same way for each woman. I never mind going jeans shopping because it is always a show that I don’t want to miss. For those of you new here, my wife is 5’1″, 108 lbs, natural blonde, and she is still very proud of her boobs because after 2 children and being forty years old now, she still has yet to start “drooping”. She told me once I will never have to be one of those husbands who spends tens of thousands of dollars on boob jobs for his wife.

So, due to the nature of her clothing she will be going commando all the way around, as the leather corset does not leave room for a bra. So, now the hard part, I get to put on her socks and her boots for her. I tried to teach her years ago to put the pants on half on way and then put her boots on before she pulls them all the way up. But, she likes it this way it would seem. Now that she is all buttoned, laced, and zipped, she moves back to the mirror to finish up with her hair. I’m a lucky man in many senses of the word, but I feel lucky personally because my wife wears very little make up, mostly eye make up and a little something to throw off the blend of color in her face. She decided to wear her hair down with is nice for me because I always see it up in a ponytail or up in some fashion. I tend to forget her hair is almost down to her ass because I rarely see it down. She’s up to something, she is trying to distract me from something, so I better watch closely so I don’t miss what it is. After a little bit more primping I brushed my teeth and wetted my hair down to stand it back up, a high and tight flat top is such a hard hair style to maintain said no man ever. Final look at both of us, grab my Stetson, and away we go. There she goes down the hall, what a sway she has after all these years, she has never lost it, I do enjoy watching her walk away from me.

As we are walking out the door she mentions she wants to go big and asks if we can take the H1. Sure why not, nothing like trying to squeeze this bitch into a compact car parking spot. I joked with her and told her to grab the butter because it might be a tight fit here in a bit. As we are leaving the neighborhood she is quiet about where we are headed which I hate when I’m driving because I like to know in advance where we are going. We head into town, she tells me where to turn and where to go and soon enough I knew what she was up to. We were fixing to head into a place I know real well as I used to bartend here many years ago, many years ago. Lucky for me they were providing valet parking so I wasn’t going to drive around the giant lot looking for a spot. I got out, went around to the passenger side to help my wife out, and turned to give my keys to this 12 y/o kid, well, he looked 12 at least. I’m thinking that I hope he is tall enough to reach the pedals as I chuckled out loud as we walked. We were greeted at the door by friends my wife works with, I knew this was a damn trap, and we all went in together. Bonus, ladies have no cover charge, bummer, men have a $25.00 cover, ouch. Bonus again, the attendant remembers me and she gives me a break for the promise that my wife will let me give her a dance later. My wife actually agrees to it. What she doesn’t know is she don’t want to dance with me, she wants to grind up and down my leg and if she hasn’t changed she wont be wearing a stitch under that super short mini skirt.

We get in and the freaking place is packed, like 1,000 people over the building capacity packed. I decided to go to the bar and see what I could scare up, we order our drinks and the bartender asks my wife for her I.D., so I had it in my shirt pocket show she showed it and put it back. The group of us made our way to the outside edge of the club and actually found a booth which held the six of us. It’s the perfect place to sit, close to the bar, close to the restroom, and close to the mechanical bull bar. I told my wife already that I would support her if she wanted to give it a spin but I refuse, those days are over for me, way over, years ago, way over. She gave me the “uh huh wink” so I knew we would be arguing later. The ladies all left to go take a powder or whatever the fuck they all do as a gang going to the restroom. Still, to this day, at 45, I don’t understand why it takes one woman at least two other women to pee. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I need to start spying. Will I ever know the answer? Nope. I decided to go get in line to throw some darts, nothing mixes well better than alcohol and pointy object you get to throw. Man, don’t people move on with their lives, it was like seeing the same people from years ago, except they got a little fatter and gained a few more wrinkles. I lit a cigarette and laid my money on the table. How boring, playing 501 in and out. My wife located me and said she will be out dancing when I’m done, and don’t make her wait or she will grab some young buck and make him wet himself. Awww, she’s such a damn tease.

My turn at the dart board, luckily I went to the H1 and grabbed my darts. Time flies when you can’t lose. It wasn’t because I’m that good, it is because they sucked that much ass. Made me look good and put a little money in my pocket. The last game a cocky sucker wanted a rematch because he felt he had been cheated because he “runs” these dart boards and he “owns” every bitch who steps up. Well, shit, nobody told me I had to ask permission to beat someone’s ass here. Fine, it’s my last match because I had a wanting women giving me the evil eye every dart I threw. Step up, put down some money. After some really big talk, by both of us, the bet was settled, $1000.00 winner takes all, best of three games. I showed my wad, coincidently that wad belonged to the others I beat here since I walked in with only a hundred to throw down for darts. Bam, Bam, I owned and dominated the first two games, no questions and no problems. I picked up my money and walked off to get another shot of tequila on my way to the dance floor. Lets hope I can remember how to dance now, maybe another shot of liquid courage, or three, yeah, four was the magic number. Dance we will, look out ladies, fresh meat coming through. A crowded dance floor full of horny drunk women is a place I would rarely walk alone, but I had to muster though the groping, grinding, and package checks to get to my wife, who always likes the center of the dance floor.

By the time I got to her I was already sweating, what is it in her 666 degrees! Then the world went into slow motion the moment I was in front of my wife, she had sweat rolling down the sides of her face, she was glistening, he hair was all tossed about, and she was just going to town, she had that just fucked put away wet look, this is going to be a good night to be me I can feel it already. We danced, we danced allot, finally after an hour or so, all those shots were talking to my bladder, it was time to make a break for the head before they had to clean a mess up on the dance floor and wet saw dust is so hard to sweep. I seemed like an hour to get off the dance floor, I could see the giant sign that said “<—- Cowboys Cowgirls —>” in bright neon lights, I was really close. Finally, I made it in just enough time to stand in line. The line moved fast enough, if molasses in the winter in North Dakota is fast, and finally I get in to go. Saying what a relief it actually was would be the understatement of the century, I haven’t had to hold it in like that since I was about 6 and never what to have to do it again. Okay, let me the hell out of this zoo before I get anymore wayward drunk piss on my boots, I hate it when a man can’t even have the common courtesy to piss on his own boots, he has to piss on mine. Now that I’m out I am trying to see which direction I need to head, got it, time to start pushing through. About 15 feet from the rest room I feel a hellacious crash to the back of my head, I fall forward to catch myself, turn around, and see the jackass that lost all of his money because he sucked playing darts.

I was told it was one great fight. I was told I held my own quite well against this 20 something punk. Luckily for me, as I was told, I won’t need any medical attention, and I won’t be going to jail if the police can locate my wife in the club. The dumbass, however, gets a trip in the ambulance and then will be headed to jail. Apparently, all of his boys ratted him out when they were talking to witnesses where he had said he was going to kill me if I didn’t give his money back. I love redneck clubs! Within 30 minutes my wife was walking up to the police cruiser where I was sitting. How nice, she has my Stetson. No words were spoken. No looks were given. Just a soft hand held out to help me out of the back seat of the car. The valet asked if we were ready to go and I said of course. He returned with my H1 and I put my wife in and I got in. Hungry, we went across the street to IHOP to get a snack or something. We sat there, staring at each other for a few minutes when she finally asked if it was worth it. Worth it? Was what worth it? I dug the two grand out of my pocket and put it in her hand and told her the guy was a sore loser and wanted his wad back. Her head sunk for a moment and when she looked back up she told me that this would have been a piss poor reason to get killed in the redneck club, she said this with a slick little smirk on her face because she thought the little fight was over something else stupid, like me running my mouth. Me, never.

We wrapped it up, paid the tab, and headed home. It was about 3 in the morning, I was tired, really sore, and I just wanted to be free of the meat locker jeans. After undressing, I jumped in the shower to soak a bit. A little while passed and I open my eyes to my wife standing in front of me as the shower rained down. She reached out, put her arms around me, pulled me tight, told me she is glad I’m not dead, and we stood there and soaked for a good while. Afterwords we both toweled off and headed for the bedroom. I told her I would be back in a few minutes since I was headed outside to smoke. She agreed, declined my invitation to join me, and off I went. I smoked two, locked up, got a drink of water, killed the lights, and ended up in front of our bed. It was a vision of an angel, the lights were on, the television was on, and my naked wife was sprawled out across the bed sideways. As tempting as this might all look, it was probably best, she looked tired, amazing, but tired, I was sore from my ass whoopin’, so I just fixed her in the bed and was out within a matter of minutes. When I woke up the next morning I realized I just had my very own Magic Weekend and figured I would have a go at telling my story. I remember now, that moments like these don’t happen on purpose, nor does everyone get to be as lucky as I am having the wife I have. She might not always agree with me but she will always be at my side, even if she is passed out cold bare assed naked.

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Just Playing With My Pachinko Balls

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Say it, pachinko, say it real slow so it just rolls off your tongue, pachinko. Now your asking, what’s pachinko (パチンコ) and why am I saying it? The overly simple description pachinko is that it’s a Japanese vertical pinball game. The rules are simple, shiny silver balls are fired from the top before cascading down through series of pins tumbling downward, most balls would disappear while a few may got into special holes that activates slot machines. The goal of the game is to gain more balls which can be exchanged for prizes. The operation of the game is actually really mechanical leaving the player with very little to do except defining the speed and rate the balls are fired upwards into play. It truly is a game of luck.

What does any of this have to do with me personally? Good question. I’m very glad you asked. Before I lived in Japan I had never seen a pachinko machine or pachinko parlor. Unless you count the pachinko game they would play on occasion on The Price Is Right way back when. However, the exterior of the pachinko parlors around where I lived reminded me of times I had visited Reno and Las Vegas which meant one of two things, casino or strip club. I had driven by a few pachinko parlors for the first year or so of living in northern Japan and never had an interest in finding out what was really going on inside these always packed 24/7 buildings. Biggest reason was money, we were poor and didn’t have spare money to go and gamble away.

One day that all changed, I had been out walking around an area called Green Pole Road which was basically an array of small shops, restaurants, and open farmers market. It had a mix of many things depending on what mood you were in. It was also host to most of the festivals and parades that came through Misawa. Anyway, I heard the noise of the pachinko parlor around the corner ahead of where I was walking. So, I decided to poke my head in and check out what pachinko was. The very first thing that alarms one’s senses is that it is freaking unbelievably loud. I can’t even dream up a way to describe how loud it was, just very loud, trust me I listen to heavy metal cranked up to the max, I know loud. No time to stand in the door tho, I was brushed ahead and seated immediately, seems I was blocking traffic while I was looking for the 4 seconds I stopped.

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I had some Yen so I decided what could it hurt. I was shown how to play and away we went. I was sitting only a matter of 10 minutes when lights, bells, whistles, and a cascade of balls made a noise so deafening that it made my whole body vibrate. Immediately an attendant came by with small plastic tray to be used to fill up with the balls. This went on for a few minutes and then as fast as it began it was over, except I had over 70 plastic trays packed full with shiny chrome balls. Now what? Exactly what I was thinking. Soon enough another attendant pushed through and began stacking the trays of balls into a flatbed dolly. He pulls my arm and was telling me something I couldn’t even hear. So, I just followed him to the cashier. The dumped all of my winnings into a counter, not unlike a machine that will count/sort change, and when it was all done it spit out a ticket with the quantity of balls. How many was it, don’t know exactly, but is was an assload of them for sure.

Then one guy, resembling the way an auctioneer would move his hands fast and talk fast, started showing me everything I could trade my winnings for. Start with a cheap plastic lighter and work your way up to some high dollar houses with every appliance, car, food, drink, tobacco product, known to man up for grabs. I guess I had a look on my face that I was interested in any of the exchange prizes so I was handed my ticket and walked out the front door. Before I could even begin to wonder what just happened another man leads me to the building next door. The reality of it is we went down the alley and stopped at a very nondescript door where we waited for a few moments before the small window opened. The receipt was taken from my hand and handed to someone I could not see, then the window closed. After a few minutes the window opened and the hand shoved out a plastic bag in my direction. The guy outside takes the bag and shoves it inside my jacket and points for me to go.

When I looked in the bag I saw it was full of money, allot of money. How much? Well, when I went to the credit union and did the currency exchange I was given just shy of $6500.00. Oddly enough I had only spent under $25.00 playing the game. After some checking I found out while there was all the cloak and dagger secrecy, gambling for cash is illegal in Japan. But, gambling for prizes is not, nor is selling your receipt (for a cut I found out). That would the first and last time I went to a pachinko parlor to gamble. However, when my parents came over for their visit I did take my dad, he won as well, but only a couple of hundred dollars. Oddly enough I don’t like gambling, I can think of a zillion different things I “should” be doing with my money, like paying bills. So, there you go, a little deeper into my life in Japan. I have many tales to tell about Japan, it was a very fascinating place to live, work, and raise a family.

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