If they don’t already, my friends should consider me a human rabbit’s foot.
When I’m around, good things happen for them. Me, on the other hand, well, I’m not so lucky.
This past weekend I hopped on Amtrak and headed to Kansas City to spend time with my two best friends. Chris, Nate and I have been friends for more than 20 years so it’s always good to see them.
Like many childhood friends, we’re all spread apart in adulthood. I live here in lovely Franklin County while Chris is in Kansas City and Nate lives in New York.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, we keep in close touch. Despite that, we’re very rarely in the same room.
Which is why for the last several years we’ve tried to set up a weekend get-together. Nothing major, just a simple three-day weekend to hang out and be with friends.
We catch up, tell stories, laugh and enjoy some good food. It’s a lot of fun.
The latest edition to our regular agenda is some quality time at the blackjack table at the nearest casino. It all started a few years ago at Nate’s bachelor party.
We randomly ended up at a casino and while everyone else was playing slot machines, I wandered over to a blackjack table. I sort of knew what I was doing and quietly was up a few bucks.
Nate and Chris joined in the fun and my stack of chips shrank while their’s grew. Here I was trying to show Nate the ins and outs of the game and there he was winning hand after hand.
The next time we got together, the same thing happened. I kept losing, Nate kept winning. It was the luckiest run I had seen. Until this weekend.
Nate and I got into Kansas City Friday afternoon and we had some dinner before making our way to the casino. Now, before you get any ideas here, we’re pretty much the smallest of small-time players.
Every time we go, we scour the floor for the cheapest table. We’re mostly just looking for a way to kill a few hours while cracking jokes. No one is ever really up or down by more than a few bucks.
Friday night, we started to play and all three were on fire -— and by that I mean like up three chips. We were high-fiving and having a good time. We got up from the table, for some reason, and walked around some.
By the time we got back, our luck had changed. Mine for the worst, Nate for the better. Every hand I was getting 12s and 13s while Nate kept getting 20s and 19s. It was unreal.
I reached my limit and Chris kept hanging around before he too decided to leave slightly up. That left Nate and the dealer one on one. Nate then turned into the Michael Jordan of blackjack.
He told us the next hand he loses would be his last one for the day. He then won four straight and basically doubled his winnings.
Again, the winnings were nothing to write home about, but it was fun to watch someone that red hot.
The next night, we went back to see if the good luck could continue. This time it was Chris’ turn to be the lucky one. I stayed unlucky.
I’d hit on a 12 and bust, Chris would hit on a 12 and get 21. On and on it went until he left with a smile on his face.
Somehow three guys went into a casino twice and two of them walked away with cash in their pockets. All I left with was stories about how I kept losing.
I have considered that maybe this game just isn’t for me. Maybe, just maybe, I should walk away and not come back to the table.
If I do, I’m worried my friends won’t be able to recover. It’s hard to win without your good luck charm taking all the bad cards.