Um, give me a second. There's so many restaurants in Scranton. And how do you know by the name which one has the best food to keep up my dreamy, gorgeous brain?

Have you heard the joke about how a blonde and her guy were looking for a place to eat lunch and ended up in a casino? In Scranton, PA?

I bet you haven’t because it’s no joke. It happened. Wanna hear about it?

Phil and I were headed back from his business trip in York, PA. We stopped at a rest area just south of Scranton around lunch-time. He picked up a brochure that made a week’s stay in the greater Scranton area seem like a Bucket-List Must-Do.

Phil drove and I perused the two-page spread of restaurant options. One page was eliminated due to titles like (keep in mind I’m a health conscious gal): “Curry Donut,” “Jitterz Cafe,” “Coney Island of Scranton,” and the normal selection of fast food joints. I notices a nice selection of restaurants all at the same address. Odd but convenient. We set “The Oracle” (our nav system) to that address to check it out.

First we saw a race track; then we saw the city-block large building with the three-city-block large parking lot full of vehicles. We arrived at “The Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.” It’s what you or I would call a gambling casino. It was a plain, rather ugly, sprawling brown structure–no neon flashing signs, red carpets, or lines of limos. Understated.

We went inside because we were hungry and we were curious. Inside was a different story. Bright lights and opulence as far as the eye could see. And lots of people.

1. Men in dark suits who looked like they could answer questions or break your kneecaps, whichever was necessary;

Okay, so they didn't have machine guns or hats or pin stripe suits. But you get the idea.

2. People in uniforms whose job it was to, in one way or another, take your money from you (at a card table or at the “Customer Service Center”);

Yes, it's that simple to enjoy an afternoon at our fine establishment. All you need to do is temporarily suspend your impulse control and forget about your financial obligations. You can do that, can't you?

3. Comfortably dressed (think sweat suits) older people who sat beside other older people silently playing slot machines, while staring blankly at the spinning screen;

Come on, Honey, Grandpa needs a new pair of dentures. No, I'm not talking to you Grandma.

4. Poorly Casually dressed young adults at the card tables, slouched over the tables.

I knew that engineering degree would come in handy. But why am I down to my last few chips?

“How can these people afford to gamble?” Phil asked me? I shrugged, making my best Buddhist effort to be non-judgemental.

Ha ha ho ho he he. That is good one. This whole blog judgemental. Ahhh. You make me laugh, Lorna.

We had a nice lunch at Ruth Chris Steak House. He had soup and salad and I had a grilled Portobello mushroom, in case you were curious.

Since Phil never played the slots before, he wanted to give it a try. We asked one of the Goodfellas where to get some chips. He smiled that “deez-guys-is-gonna-lose-their-shirts” smiles and sends us over to the “Customer Service” desk where we were each offered a $10 “on the House” slots card as new customers.

We gave them our ID and first-born child. I noticed an array of brochures while they were doing a Homeland Security background check on us. Among the many attractive brochures highlighting happy, beautiful rich people enjoying gambling, one plain pamphlet caught my eye. Can you tell which one?

Ah, the magic of marketing.

I wondered where this office was? It’s not within walking distance. 121.3 miles away from the casino to be exact. I wonder what it looked like?

renovations are underway. The sign is being delayed due to a snafu with paperwork. But I'm sure the gamblers who really want help will find the place. I'm joking...or am I?

Phil and I wandered, “House Slot” cards in hand, looking for a “one-armed bandit” (or one-button bandit) that called to us. None did, so we just picked two that were side by side and spent 15 minutes losing $10.00 each.

We looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Thank God that’s over!” We both found it boring. And spent a lot of time talking about why people spend a lot of time at the slots. The hope of the “big score?” The joy of being with your spouse of 45 years and never having to interact with them? The paucity of good daytime TV programming? I don’t get.

I guess I can throw out the bland brochure on gambling addictions…