Ode to a One-Armed Bandit

Ode to a One-Armed Bandit
By Scott L Vannatter – June 12, 2012

Noises, lights, smells, and more
assault the senses dear.
Familiar to those with the need in their minds
that, to some, permeate their souls.

Familiar, yes, but not the same,
not complete at all.
Something missing, important enough
to change everything to unfair.

Past times, gone, but in them all
would drop their monies in the slot.
Pop and whiz, clink and whir
the lights go round and round.

Win a thousand, ten, or more
with just a buck or three
It stopped at times when you realized
how many clinks had rang.

But now my friend, the button wins
with just a simple card
put in the slot just the once
and the clinks will never tell

Ran out, “Oh Dear”, we can’t have that
the card just needs refilled
To another machine please take it now
a hundred or two put on

Now back to chirps and whirs and rings
without the clink to warn
“Gamblers Anonymous” states the signs
in rooms that have no clocks.

No rate per time, most drinks are free
just stay here and relax
The trip to Europe you planned to take
will still be there next year

But think of how you’ll spend those wins
and wins you know will come
for someone won the other day
paid for by all the rest.

I go just once or twice a year
and take a set amount
because with only the button to hear
I would push till I gave out.

But after an hour maybe two
I see just how it is
I may lose twenty or a little bit more
but the lessons just even it out.


I wrote this when my buddy and I came back from a nearby casino.  I remember being excited to go and sat down eager.  No, I didn’t believe I would win.  Most of my fun came from listening to the noises, watching the spins and the wheels, and seeing how long I could make my small amount stretch to.

Truth be told, if you could go for under forty dollars and stay over two hours (and have fun) you really weren’t gambling; you were just paying to have some fun.  That’s the way I have always looked at it.

But, not today.  Today, I was tired of it after an hour and, though it was some fun, I didn’t get the enjoyment out of it I used to.  The fun came from just being there with my buddy.

I kept thinking how many other things I could be doing that wouldn’t cost any more, but be more fun.  Interesting.  I actually had some enjoyment watching the wheels turn in my head about the whole thing.  Now, that it’s done, I am not sure how quickly I really want to go back.  We will see.

I have been in a melancholy mood today.  Happens sometimes, even before the stroke.  Now, rather than get down and worried, I write it here and share it with all of you to see what you will have to say.

Good Plan, I think.



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  • Soma Mukherjee  On June 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    what a beautiful fun poetry
    Scott you are such a fab poet…

    ….”Gamblers Anonymous” states the signs
    in rooms that have no clocks.

    No rate per time, most drinks are free
    just stay here and relax
    The trip to Europe you planned to take
    will still be there next year…..
    …loved it
    good company makes the day no matter where you are…
    have never been to casino,well we dont have one here but have seen it in movies..it seems fun, i agree with you within a limit it is paying for fun
    i hope you have more of that when you want it 🙂


    • kindredspirit23  On June 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      You are such a sweetheart! I need to win American Lottery so I can visit everyone at their homes.
      Casino can be fun, but you are not missing anything except losing money if you don’t go.


  • kindredspirit23  On June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Glad you liked the poem. I was running on steam yesterday. I have to realize that I no longer have the stamina I used to have. Of course, a bit of it might have been going up three flights of stairs, realizing I was in wrong place, and going back down three flights of stairs at the casino!


  • magsx2  On June 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I have only been a couple of times to a casino, both times I did enjoy it, but I also was with very good friends, and it wouldn’t of mattered where we were because we always have a great time. 🙂

    A great poem and fun to read as well. 😀


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