Published on July 27 2017

Ah, the ’80s: the permed hair, the fluorescent colours, the synthesizer solo in every song … There’s a lot of nostalgia for those not-so-long-ago days when good taste often took a back seat.

I had a fabulous time in the ’80s, so I was really looking forward to the Retro Casino event at the Casino du Lac-Leamy. Before I set out, I listened to “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” to get myself in the mood.

I couldn’t find my Princess Diana outfit with shoulder pads, so I arrived at the casino in civvies—incognito, like Céline. At the entrance, Madonna and Cindy Lauper welcomed me into an electrifying decor heavy on the Rubik’s Cubes.

They handed me a pair of sunglasses. I snapped a few selfies and headed off to check out the tournament at the gaming machines. Marc, a charming host dressed as MC Hammer, accompanied me to the registration desk, where I picked up my privilege card. It included a $5 credit.

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It was already time for my round of the tournament, which involved hitting a button as fast as possible to rack up points. Surrounded by a couple of dozen participants (or should I say fearsome competitors), I was swept into the frenzy of the machine. I had to win. The countdown started. My heart was pounding. 3–2–1, go! Two minutes later, my fingers ablaze, I’d come in first, much to my amazement. I even had a few supporters rooting for me! I thanked them effusively. My prize: a pair of sunglasses!

To celebrate, I stepped up to the bar and ordered a tequila punch, the retro cocktail of the hour.

I noticed a few patrons wearing fluorescent leggings and headbands; they were going to look great on the dance floor. The DJ smoothly spun hit after hit: “Love Shack,” “Take On Me,” “99 Luftballons” … As each one started, I felt like yelling, “They’re playing my song!”

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After a few songs, I reluctantly dragged myself off the dance floor as Madonna sang, “‘Cause we are living in a material world …”.

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