Monday, March 31, 2008
#21 Gambling (including but not limited to Blackjack and Pai Gow)
Straight Frush VINNAH! That's the sound you hear from the Asian Pit at any Casino worth it's salt. If you haven't heard, Asians kinda got the itch. Blackjack, Pai Gow, Poker, Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Mah Jong, you name it, we play it. If there's money involved, we want it and we'll chain smoke Hong He cigarettes until we get it.
A lot of Asian-American history experts like to trace the "itch" back to the old railroad days where men came over to work on the West Coast without their families. What happens when an Asian man has money, but no wife within 200 miles? Magically, hookers, opium, and dice fall out of the sky and into his lap. But, this obsession goes back even further. It's not just men that have the "itch," women do as well. I've seen many a female mah jong rounder in my time leaving men with nothing but a pair of blue blockers and bamboo house slippers to walk home in after losing his shirt at the poker table.
If you've been to Foxwoods lately, you've seen the old ladies who look like they could turn to dust by lunch carrying thick ass stacks of notes tracing a week's worth of baccarat numbers. The "itch" is so bad, it brought Vegas to it's knees catering to every strange Asian Superstition on the planet. Ever wondered why the Wynn is 50 floors but is numbered up to 60? Asians are superstitious about the number 4, SO, the floors go from 30 to 40 and then 50 to 60. Read about it here Additionally, the MGM Grand tore down the main 80-foot roaring-lion entrance door because Asians don't like walking into the mouth of a lion.
The real reason we love gambling is superstition. It's a way to confirm or denounce ancient superstitions from lucky cats to lucky numbers to lucky concubines. Asians use Vegas as a way to confirm our superstitions and observations of the universe. It's the perfect system to plug and chug our theorems. Win money, and the superstition is true. Lose money and the superstition is false, but stay at the table, and try other superstitions until something works. Run out of money, well, don't call your wife, she's probably playing mah jong next to your mom and dad playing $1,000 slots. But, look on the bright side, if you can find $20 on the floor, there's always the hookers!