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Mistaken Identity

Freda Isaksen

Such places as Las Vegas and Laughlin are not my style. When I walk into the casino in these places I am overwhelmed by the clatter of the money making, or losing, machines. The smoke of the cigarettes is abhorrent to me and when I look at the faces of the participants I see tense and mostly unhappy countenances. Only when the money comes tinkling out of the machines is joy evident.

So by choice I stay away from that type of vacation. However when I travel with an organised group they will often stop overnight at a gambling resort. My travelling companion is of the same frame of mind as I so when our tour stopped at Laughlin one day we spent the day relaxing and strolling by the Colorado River.

In the evening we spent a short time trying to make our expenses at the one-armed bandits, without any luck. Then we bought tickets to a show where one of the entertainers was an impersonator of famous personalities, one of whom was Frank Sinatra. When the show ended the hour was early so we decided to look through the freebies we had been given by the tour director. We found a coupon for a complimentary glass of wine. My friend drank hers at the bar and I decided to take mine to my room to consume before retiring to help induce sleep. So the two of us entered the elevator to reach our room on the fifteenth floor. I had the full glass of wine in my hand.

A gentleman entered at the same time and I recognized him at once as the performing artist impersonating Frank Sinatra on stage. I called out, “We are honored by the presence of Bing Crosby!” The actor looked shocked, pointed at the glass of wine and was silent. I realised my mistake immediately, but I could read his mind. “She’s drunk,” was obviously what he was thinking. I was so embarrassed and could only hope that I had not spoiled his day.

Copyright Freda Isaksen 1986–2006. Permission to reuse for non-commercial purposes is granted, provided that the text is unaltered and the original source is acknowledged. For more information, contact isaksen at

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