One of those trips was to Las Vegas. What a treasure trove of sensory overload that place is!! I thought of Liam several times as I went to the larger than life, four-story M&M's super store, saw the statue of Liberty made entirely of Jelly Belly's, and played the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. It truly is the Disney World for adults. I imagined what it would be like for him to walk in to a casino. I then imagined his head exploding.
|JELLY BELLY GET IN MY BELLY!!|
I brought home pictures of Vegas for him to see. I even posted a video of me hitting the button on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. He was riveted!
"When can I go, Mom?"
My mind traced back to the Pussycat Dolls dancing (if that's what you call it) in the middle of Caesar's Palace.
"Probably not for a REALLY long time, Liam."
You also have to have ALOT of money to make Vegas work for you. And, with my son's OCD capabilities, I will probably need to steer him clear of Vegas for a while.
Even as a well-informed, somewhat level-headed adult, I can see how gambling addictions happen. The "I'll-just-do-this-one-more-time" logic kicks in really fast. You see the breakdown happen when you notice someone two slot machines down from you win $100. You automatically assume that your big break is ONE pull away. You imagine what you will do with your winnings, the places you will go, maybe get that luxury SUV you've always wanted. Who cares? It's free money!! They're just GIVING AWAY MONEY AT THE CASINO.
|All of these flowers are real. Pictures do not do the Bellagio justice!|
And then you wake up. You realize you've been pressing the same button 20o times and you have like 3 pulls left and $0.75 credit. You IMMEDIATELY cash out. I mean, you know when to stop!
As my mama said, "Rebecca, the house always wins!"
I did enjoy myself though. I was with a group of fun girls who make me laugh harder than anything. We saw two great Vegas-y shows- Shania Twain and David Copperfield, ate amazing food, and were awestruck at the beauty and architecture of the hotels. (I mean, hello Bellagio!!!)
My favorite slot was by far the Wheel of Fortune machine. That machine ignited all of my pleasure centers in the brain at once because of the sounds that are JUST like the TV show, and the bonus spins they would throw your way at just the perfect time. (most likely when you were just about to cash out)
I have a deep affection for Wheel of Fortune. I grew up as a child of the 80's watching Vanna spin that wheel night after night. I have a dream of going on that show. I even went to a cattle call in Tennessee they held in order to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. As fortune (or misfortune) would have it, I did NOT get my name drawn that day. So, I now sit along with everyone else and solve many of the puzzles before the contestants get to them.
I have passed this love for Wheel of Fortune down to my son with autism. It is the perfect 'Aspy' (that's short for Asperger's) game with a spinning wheel, puzzles, and the same routine every show. Liam does get frustrated when I solve the puzzles before him, but he likes watching it with me all the same. Pat Sajak and Vanna White were at the top of his celebrity list for quite some time. He would wake up and announce when it was their birthdays. To this day, he knows exactly how old Vanna is. (I'm sure she has tried to keep that info off of the internet, but even so, Liam will NEVER forget!!!)
So, when February 18th rolls around...guess who is up at the crack of dawn eager to announce Vanna's birthday!!!!
For some time, Liam would obsessively search for Youtube videos of Wheel of Fortune's past. Such as, do you remember the show from October 1993? Well, Liam does because has seen it 50 times. And, he can tell you the puzzles that were solved on that show.
|This machine was not a winner. :(|
He also figured out quickly that if he had his hand on the master rewind/fast forward button that he could fast forward to the end to see what the puzzle was, and then rewind again and "solve" it before the contestants. Liam has no problem using a little trickery if it means in the end he is the winner. Too bad life does not come with fast forward and rewind. We are still working on that little concept.
And, sometimes I think how could I make this incredible brain of his work to my advantage?? How can I use that seemingly endless memory of his? There's got to be a way! There's got to be a cash cow in there somewhere!!!!
Maybe that Vegas trip is not too far off after all!!