After ice cream at an ice cream shop near downtown Minneapolis (I had a scoop of banana/chocolate and a scoop of chocolate/cayenne) and a nap at Jeremy's house Sunday afternoon, we got dressed for dinner with his aunt, uncle, cousin, brother and sister-in-law at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, an alcohol-free and firearms-free casino owned and operated, says the Web site, by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community. Jeremy told me that there are only 200 members of the tribe and that each member gets an equal share of the casino's earnings each month. That translates to $90,000 for every MAN, WOMAN and CHILD - EVERY MAN! EVERY WOMAN! EVERY CHILD! - per month. Ninety grand per month. For each of them. Every month. Ninety grand. I think I must have some Dakota in me somewhere. Can I join the group?
I had never been on a reservation, and I had never been in a casino. I was ecstatic - that is, until I smelled the smoke and saw the people drowning their machines with coin after coin, bill after bill and hoping to hit the big time. It was depressing, like watching hours and hours of Jerry Springer. I ended up spending about $10 - no more - while I was there. Of course, I had dreams of walking away with millions. Instead, I walked away with a zippered pocket full of goddamn nickels.
Jeremy's relatives all seemed nice, especially his brother and sister-in-law who just got back from what sounds like was a fabulous vacation in Europe.
Back at Jeremy's house with graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey's chocolate, Jeremy built a fire in the pit in his backyard, and we made s'mores - a delicacy I had never made as I don't often get a craving for burnt marshmallows. After a few more photos, Jeremy and I called it quits for the night. The next morning, I left his house at 7:30 a.m. and had an uneventful but completely restful drive back to Bloomington, six more cigarettes out of the pack calming me every step of the way.
Once back in Bloomington, I had my friend break and throw out the remaining six cigarettes. I haven't had one since, and I don't even have any cravings. Nice to know I can smoke 14 cigarettes and be OK after. It's all a matter of willpower, I guess. But I have a feeling if I try that stunt too many more times, I might not come out of it a nonsmoker in the future. I need to watch my step. 'Tis a slippery slope, after all.
I'd like to conclude my posts about Minneapolis/St. Paul with a shout out to Jeremy who was, overall, a fantastic host and a good sport. We ended up doing just about everything I had wanted to do in Minneapolis, and, for the most part, Jeremy and I got along decently well - for being two Tauruses, that is.
Remember, Jeremy. Next time, I'll be the host. I just hope I can entertain you as well as you entertained me. You sweetie peetie poopie pie! Nyah!
Next: Judgment day