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A Space Gambling Odyssey
“We’ll be there any minute now, Lady Luck here we come.”
George Jetson was revved up and ready to go. He and his wife Jane were en route to Las Venus to renew their wedding vows, and you could tell he was anxious to get there. What better place for a second honeymoon than the gambling Mecca of outer space, right? With such famous casinos as the Sonic Sahara, the Riviera Satellite and the fabulous Flamoongo, the Las Venus strip is legendary. You might say, it’s out of this world.
“Don’t jinx us George,” Jane said as they literally jetted down the skyway.
The Jetson’s were staying at the Supersonic Sands, which features a bank of six hotel towers shaped like a stack of casino chips. Incidentally, and ominously, they were checked into room ‘711’, seven and eleven being two of the worst numbers on the craps table. It was stylish, though, and had a great view of the Las Venus Venus, the neighbouring casino, and it’s billboard promoting an ‘All Star’ show headlined by the one-and-only Dean Martian.
While many casinos here on earth seem high-tech, they can’t compare with Las Venus. From in-room robotic dealers to talking slot machines, that say things like, “hit the jackpot”, “I’m due”, and “you can’t miss”, the gadgetry is nothing short of new-age and top of the line. George is down a few space bucks before they even have their bags unpacked. And, as he’s warning his wife to never play the machines because “they never win”, she hits the jackpot.
“What were you saying dear,” she asks, unable to move with the heap of coins piled up around her.
Animated & New Ageless
If you’re familiar with George and Jane then you may be dating yourself. Considered the Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones, which was set in the Stone Age, The Jetsons is an animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbara Productions. The show originally aired in prime time on ABC from September 1962 to March 1963, and then through reruns via syndication. New episodes were produced between 1985 and 1987.
The Jetson family consists of George and his wife Jane, their children Judy and Elroy, and their family dog Astro. They reside in Orbit City, live in Skypad Apartments, and George commutes to work in an aero-car with a transparent bubble top. Despite living a leisurely life, aided by the very latest in futuristic technology, the Jetsons’ find themselves constantly hampered by inconveniences as their new age labour-saving device’s breakdown. The results are quite funny.
Ahead of its Time
Interestingly, a number of the contraptions dreamed up by show writers back then actually exist today:
- Flying Cars
- Jet Packs
- Robotic Help
- 3-D Printed Food
- Smart Shoes
- Smart Watches
Unreal. Hard proof the show wasn’t just a cartoon about a family living in the future. It was about time travel, too.
Back in Las Venus, George and Jane enjoy a hearty meal at the Supersonic Club. He had the Venetian veal cutlets, while she had the Martian meatballs. Afterwards, during a dance competition called the ‘Stratospheric Hop’, they take in a performance by the great singer Starence Welcome, who plays a song called Planet Polkam.
As you’ve likely noticed, the episode lampoons Dean Martin, Lawrence Welk, and everything Las Vegas, and is fittingly titled Las Venus (Season 1, Episode 13). George and Jane are having fun until Mr. Spacely, George’s boss, calls on the video phone and asks him to set-up a contract for General Rotors. Required to go to another hotel to meet the company manager, a woman named Gigi Galaxy, he is forced to spend time between Jane and Gigi, and lies to his wife. Hi jinx ensues.
“Out with another woman,” Jane gasped upon learning the truth.
Thankfully, Lady Luck was on their side in the end. George somehow landed the contract, got promoted to Vice President of Spacely Rockets, and was even rewarded with a new private office. He wasn’t the only winner, though. Mr. Spacely winds up dancing the night away with the attractive and seductive Gigi Galaxy. You know what they say, ‘what happens in Las Venus, stays in Las Venus.’
The show ends back in the Jetson’s room with the couple being disturbed by those boisterous and pestering one-armed bandit robots trying to sucker them into one more bet.
“Fellas, I’m out of change,” George quips. “I’m broke.”
On earth or in the cosmos, real life or animated, gambling is universal.