I was just at AM/PM and encountered a very special breed of annoying person, which I will call the White Trash Gambler. This is a person that more than likely lives in a dirt-floor shanty behind your local Safeway, and doesn’t have the funds to hit up the local casino for your typical degenerate gambling (blackjack, craps, poker, etc). Their form of heart-pounding thrills come from buying scratch tickets from their local minimart, scratching them in front of all the customers waiting on them (of course), and then buying more scratch tickets with their winnings, until they have nothing left.
So back to my story… while at AM/PM to reload on sunflower seeds for work, I encountered this rare species of gambler at the counter. She was a woman of size and shape… as if she had just finished eating a baby dinosaur. She was wearing an Icehouse hoodie with no bra, so her flapjack breasts looked as if they could have doubled as a belt. All while sporting her tight, sexy, yellow pajama bottoms, with little pink duckies on them. Shoes? Who needs shoes? This hot momma was barefoot!
With her dirty hair tied back in a bun, I watched as she peered through her thick, bulky, Drew Carry glasses at the 20 scratch cards she has just purchased. As everyone in line was vocally groaning at the displeasure of their wait, I couldn’t help but treasure the moment as she scratched them, one by one, until she was done.The speed and accuracy of her scratches told me that she had done this several times before. She had mastered the art of the penny-scratch. I can only assume that she was imagining the growing line behind her as an audience, building up to view what was going to be her defining moment. After spending $40 on these tickets, it was the moment of truth. She looked up at the cashier, and said in her deep, raspy tone… “I won $18, give me 9 more tickets.” Spoken like only a person that had smoked 3 packs a day, her entire life, could.
As the cashier handed her 9 more tickets, an audience member erupted with, “Bitch, go scratch that shit somewhere else!” She was unfazed. She was in the scratch ticket zone, something I thought up until that point only existed in books and movies. As she scratched her new set of tickets, I wondered to myself, “how many packs of cigarettes would I have to smoke to sound as manly as she did?” At that moment, I got my answer. She had finished scratching her last 9 tickets, she had won $60! As a champions reward, she told the cashier, “I’ll take a carton of Marb Reds.” She had came, and she had conquered that day. Her reward? 10 packs of cigarettes that would get her through the night.
As she lumbered out of the AM/PM, I finally noticed the time. I had waited in my local AM/PM for 15 minutes, in a line that now consisted of 11 angry customers, while this White Trash Gambler not only caught the attention of my imagination, but that of an entire store. If this is what dreams are made of, then I want to fall asleep, and never wake up again.