On dry land, you couldn’t get me to watch Wheel of Fortune if you promised me that Vanna White was going to have a wardrobe malfunction and the bonus round category would be “Words that sound dirty but aren’t.”
But on a cruise, I have a rule: If I’m walking through the casino and one of the slot machines based on that popular game show shouts out “Wheel Of Fortune!” as they are programmed to do from time to time, and nobody is playing, I have to put a $20 bill in. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just… well, yeah, I guess I make them, at least for myself. And my No. 1 rule in the casino? If anyone I know expresses any of the following thoughts while in the casino, I do everything within my power to extricate them from the game they’re playing.
1. “What my spouse doesn’t know won’t hurt them.”
During a recent cruise, a new friend who was on a girl’s trip with her sister repeatedly called her hubby to assure him she wasn’t spending “too much” in the casino. As it turned out, they had wildly different ideas of exactly how much was too much!
2. “Honey, how much do we have in Jimmy’s college fund?”
On that same trip, I listened as a very tipsy couple discussed how much they were spending at the craps table. When the husband fretted that they might be “borrowing” against their child’s future, the wife joked, “Let’s face it. He’s never gonna get into college anyway. Now roll the dice!” At least, I assume she was kidding!
3. “I’m gonna earn that free drinks card yet!”
If you stop to think about how much you have to spend to earn the “free” drinks card, you’ll probably be sicker than if you wash a bottle of tequila down with a gin mixer!
4. “I’ve put so much money into this machine, she’s gotta hit any minute now!”
This way madness lies. Also, regrets and bankruptcy!
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5. “What the heck, it’s only money!”
File this one under F for “Famous last words,” usually spoken by someone who is about to lose their proverbial shirt! Another phrase to listen for? “I’m all in!” Usually, this one is followed in rapid succession by “I’m all out… of money!”
6. “What’s the fee charged for using the ATM machine to take out money?”
If the answer to that question actually is going to mean the difference between whether or not you make a withdrawal, you probably shouldn’t be asking. Because if you can’t afford the $5 fee, it’s pretty likely you shouldn’t be spending the money you’ll be taking out!
7. “Why don’t you love me, machine? I’m a pretty, pretty princess!”
If you talk to the machine, you might be at the point where it’s time to call it a night. If it talks back? It’s too late!
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line