i left my heart at the harris casino.


the summer i was 14, i went to see tony bennett with my dad. originally, he invited his mom to go with him, but she was ill and couldn't make it. my mom couldn't go because she had to work. he might've invited a sibling to accompany him, too, but no one could make it. either that, or else everyone in my family hated tony bennett. i hated tony bennett, too - i mean, come on. an old man singing? only sinatra could pull it off and only in the 1950s. the year was 1997. who the hell wanted to see tony bennett sing at some crap casino in lake tahoe, besides my dad?

i don't remember much of the show. i remember we were seated way in the back, and that there were tons of old folks dressed in suits. i think my dad had a dress shirt on, and i wore jeans and a polo shirt. among all the older white people, i felt terribly out of place. the whole thing was super unpleasant, and i wondered why my dad couldn't have been into something cooler. like shooting guns or black sabbath. mr. bennett finished with "i left my heart in san franciso," and the audience gave him a standing ovation. i hate standing ovations.

i'm pretty sure we had dinner (as we always do) at the all you can eat prime rib for $2.99 buffet at the harris casino. my parents love the shit out of that $2.99 unlimited rib buffet. there's always some unhappy looking asshole dressed in white cutting that shit to pieces. one side brown and the other a little bloody. "well-done," i'd always say. afterward, i'd load up on soft-serve and dump m&m's all over it. i'd eat quickly, so i'd have time to play at the arcade while the adults would finish.

as a kid, i always thought those casinos were amazing. i couldn't wait to play the slots, win money, and get served drinks by scantily-clad young women. the cling-cling-cling of the machines, the clunk-clunk-clunk of quarters dropping, and the blue and green sirens were amazing. the casino was a fun and happy place, and i couldn't wait to turn twenty-one.

funny how drastically different things look now that i'm older.

1 comment:

Aby said...

What a wonderful post... Time flies by so fast. Though I'm 24 I've already started feeling 30.

Man, your post reminded me of all the beautiful childhood memories.