How, White Man
Given that I had nothing better to do today I decided to go check out one of the local Indian reservations. For those who aren't familiar with the topography of San Diego, the eastern outskirts of my fine city are crawling with Indian reservations given to the assorted local tribes after the white man swept through southern California armed with machineguns and smallpox and decided that after they killed 99% of the local population they might as well leave some disease-ridden marshes for the survivors, as stated under the Missouri Compromise of 1849. These Indian tribes have names like "Barona," "Sycuan," and "Viejas," and they have exactly one source of renewable income available to them: gambling.
Every respectable Indian tribe with at least half an acre of land to their name has built, or is currently building, a $120 billion casino complex chock full of free buffets, Kenny Bakers, and video poker machines. In case you've never seen a video poker machine, it's sort of like a slot machine, only with less skill required. From watching westerns like Maverick and Horny Cowgirls Ride Again Vol. III you might have the mistaken impression that playing poker involves a certain amount of finesse and intuition; you would be sadly mistaken. Sure, you can attempt to play video poker by actually looking at your cards and trying to make a concious decision on which to keep and which to toss, but doing so would immediately label you as a rank amateur. The proper way to play video poker, as practiced by the rows upon rows of hunched-over drones who frequent Indian casinos, is to press the "deal" button as fast as humanly possible and allow the computer to choose which cards you want to keep. Actually, the professional video poker players prefer the "two handed" approach, where one hand punches the onscreen button at a rate fast enough to render the entire lower arm an indistinct blur, while the other pours quarters into the coin slot with a sandbox shovel.
Being the end of the holiday season, millions of jiggly-armed women with 4 teeth and dresses made out of curtain fabric had descended upon the Indian casinos, ready and willing to convert their holiday bonuses into giant oil drums of quarters. Then they sit limply in front of those glowing video screens for hours, frittering their livelihood away and rationalizing by saying that they're "gaming" and they might actually win some money someday. In retrospect, it's a lot like the CPL.
There originally was a point to this whole story, but I seem to have forgotten what it was. Hell, let's just move on.
Viva La Revolution
Lowtax's misadventures south of the border continue today with a brand new Something Awful Guide to Touring Mexico. Have you always dreamed of venturing to the land of tacos and senoritas? If so, perhaps you should read Lowtax's guide and keep his helpful pointers in mind.
If you're touring Mexico and haven't had a chance to learn their language ("Mexican" as many linguistic scholars refer to it), you should speak English with a Mexican accent. Explain to the native Mexicans that you're practicing your English and are secretly one of them (a Mexican). Then they will give you fantastic savings on whatever crap they're selling and will also reveal the fact that the "100% silver" necklace you just bought for 19 pesos will turn into a black lump and give you neck cancer within two days. If they speak Spanish to you and look like they're waiting for a response, just nod your head and say in a very confident tone of voice, "BUENOS COCHES."
Are you still here, gringo? Vamos!
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.