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Best of Frank Scoblete

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Mrs. Maisel and Slot Machines

19 January 2021

If you have not seen or become a fan of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime), you are missing out on a glorious series to this point. It’s been three absolutely wonderful (or let me change that to “marvelous”) seasons.

The story is about Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a 1950’s housewife, who wants to become and indeed does become a marvelous standup comedian. The show is about Midge and her friends and her in-and-out marriage and her family and her manager. It is loaded with marvelous characters. You’ll laugh and at times cringe.

The scenes and camerawork are as good as you’ll ever see in a movie. It’s choreographed and colored brilliantly.

The creator, producer, director and writer of many of the shows is Amy Sherman-Palladino, ably assisted by her husband Daniel Palladino. You might remember them from the Gilmore Girls, a good show and a decent prelude to a marvelous show in Mrs. Maisel.

Now there are some little mistakes in the third season but a big one has to do with Midge when she is doing her standup in a casino. The casino scenes are fun, with the camera whizzing through the throngs, but one thing stood out to me and that was who played the slot machines.

It was equally males and females. Yes, the show had it about 50/50.

In the 1950s that just wasn’t so. Slot machines were for women; craps (especially) and other table games were for men. It was probably 80+ percent women and about 20 percent men playing those one-armed bandits.

My transcendent Big Aunt Mary, a woman in her early 90s (“And still going strong young man! You make a note of that please. I am looking for another husband.”), remembers the casinos of those days. “The men dressed up and so did the women. Casinos were more elegant places than they are today. You didn’t have scruffy people running around in crummy clothes or going to good restaurants dressed as if they were eating out of lunch pails at a construction site.

“And the men played craps more than anything. They got that from the war [either World War II or Korea]. My husband Little Jim loved the craps game but when I came over to the table he’d slip me some money and say, ‘Go play the machines.’ And I would go and play the machines. Absolutely the machines were loaded with women; it was unusual to see any men playing them. There almost seemed to be something wrong with a man playing the machines.

“Sometimes a woman would be at the table hanging on to the arm of her date but these were usually stunning women that the men were showing off. They were bought and paid for broads, if you know what I mean. That’s what we called them too, you know, broads. These weren’t usually those guys’ wives I can tell you that.”

In the era of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the women and men seemed to have discreet niches in society. In fact, Mrs. Maisel is more of a stage name for Midge because her first on-stage routine had to do with her crumbling marriage. Her husband Joel had…but I don’t want to ruin it for you. Start watching the show, please.

Now Big Aunt Mary’s late husband Little Jim [just as an aside: Big Aunt Mary was BIG and hairy; Little Jim was skinny and bald; think of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton from the Honeymooners] had strong opinions about playing in the casinos in “my day.”

“You didn’t want women at the tables, like wives, you know. They could be a pain in the you-know-what. They’d always hassle you about the money you was betting and that was annoying, you know, so the guys just gave the women money to go to the machines. Some woman bugging me when I fought in the war, you know. That was no good.

“The women loved them machines; I’ll tell you that buddy boy. They loved them machines. They’d run over to play them, even Big Mary! You could see the air going through her face hair, she ran so fast to get the machine she wanted, ha! ha! Those were the days. Men were men and women knew that too…kind of. Big Mary was a little tough to control though.”

While craps is still a game totally dominated by men, it seems to be the last male bastion of its kind. Yes, women still do have a majority of slot players but the percentages between men and women are now far closer. Slightly more women play blackjack than do men.

The casinos are now basically evenly split among men and women.

As my late Little Uncle Jim put it, “They are everywhere. No matter where you go or what you do, those women are everywhere. There’s almost no safety for men anymore.”

And women are in comedy thanks to women such as the marvelous Mrs. Maisel. My advice: Watch the show!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete