Eric was a dozen beers and a half pack of smokes into his “I got fired and dumped in the same week” bender when he spied the neon glow of the slot machines in the side room of the bar.
He got up from his stool, wobbling a bit at first, and made his way back to the machines. They were old, but not ancient, with gaudy tumblers covered in cherries, 7s, and dollar signs. To the side, the money slot glowed green, egging him on.
Why not. Not like his luck could get any worse.
He fed the machine a buck, and pulled the lever. There was a thunk and an acrid smell of wires melting as the tumblers began to spin.
The first 7 locked in, then the second, and then the final one. Bell and whistles erupted as he hit the jackpot.
“Hey! What are you doin’ back here!” Yelled the bartender from behind him.
“I won!” Eric said, pointing at the slot machine.
The bartender looked him over and snarled, “You a cop?”
Confused, Eric shook his head. “No, not a cop.”
The bartender snarled again, saying, “Machines are for novelty use only. Now get out.”
If you ever see a slot machine in the back of a Memphis bar, stay away from it. It probably works, and will probably take your money, but there’s no way you’re going to be getting anything out of it. Several Memphis bars, including the Buccaneer, were shut down when the police discovered they had illegal slot machines in the back. They were operating them like a private back room poker game, only with slot machines instead of cards. Which seems a whole lot more boring to me.