Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April Vegas Fools Day

Day 1

So this trip report really starts at about 3:30am on Tuesday April 1.

“Wake up, time to take me to the airport,” said the Quad Queen, shaking me.

I grunted, rolled over, farted, and fumbled on the nightstand for the wonderful Start-o-matic Anti-Cheemo remote starter key fob. One push of the button and I heard rumbling satisfaction as the Tercel roared to life with the grace of 99 ball bearings in a coffee can falling down a staircase.

We got her out to Flusherville Regional Aerodrome and strapped into the de Haviheart Fairchild-Stearman Superpipercub PT-69 with the single two-cylinder rotary subcharged Yugosonic Houston and Whitney D-86 engine, which looked like it had about 20,000 hours on it since its last overhaul.

The Air Fuck You Canada ground crew topped her off with gas and oil mixture, gave the prop a mighty heave, and fired her up.

I watched from the safety of the Flusherville Aerodrome Bunker as the Superpipercub PT-69 bumped across the field and clawed its way tentatively into the sky, as graceful as a farmhand attempting a tango for the first - and last - time.

By the time I got home it was time to feed and out Chippy, and then get in to work at the plant. As I drove through the dark I pondered Vegas.

This was not a vacation - it was a ‘sort of’ vacation. There would be GrommetCon 2014 duties, but I was also taking a few days off to make long weekends while I was there.

Still - it was a return to the site of my complete failure last trip. Increased stakes, worst bad luck streak ever in 49 trips.

And yet… I would again have a chance for that elusive dollar Royal. It was now 19 year since my last and only one. Maybe this would be the trip.

There were other things on my 49th trip bucketlist that, frankly, I was too sick to do. Like find and try out Rollin’ Smoke BBQ. Like try Tacos El Gordo on the strip. And like hitting Aces with Kicker on double double bonus.

There were things to look forward to, and with my GrommetCon duties, I wouldn’t be playing as heavily.

Mrs. F. was booked into the Swollen Nuggets for 6 days, in the Flush Tower of course.

Our host at the Four Queens had indicated that with our increased play last trip, we could expect much better offers (way more free play, and food totally covered up front, plus maybe a suite). If the offers didn’t start, we were to call him and he would negotiate with ‘upstairs’.

However - he didn’t comp us anything extra on the trip where we did the play. The offers didn’t improve. And when Mrs. F called him up, he said he couldn't do anything for her in addition to her current offer of 3 nights and $80 free play - because she was coming alone.

Huh??!

What happened to calling ‘upstairs’?

We were really wondering if we’d make a huge mistake playing so heavily last time to trigger the better offers.

After that it would be on to the California for 6 nights, including a tournament.

I’d be leaving 2 days after Mrs. F., so I contacted my host at the Downtown Grand and booked a couple of comp nights there. I was looking forward to trying the hotel, even though the VP paytables are dismal.

Text messages rolled in on my knock-off piPhone 3.14 which was now running the latest IRS 77 operating system.

She’d made it to Pearson. She’d made it through customs. She’d made it through security. She’d made it onto the plane.

It was leaving late.

No surprise, I checked the stats and it leaves late every single time.

Air Canada’s new cheap-ass discount carrier Rouge.

They cram you into this horrible Boeing 767 with about a 8” seat pitch. There are no power outlets. There are no air nozzles. There is no seatback entertainment system. There is an iffy wifi-based system - which they charge for. And the overhead bins are smaller than usual, so that it takes forever to get everything in there. Since they charge for luggage, everyone brings all their luggage, chickens in crates, golf clubs, vintage Motorola QUASAR console TVs (with their works in a drawer) - you name it, all trying to fit into the two remaining bin spaces.

It’s a complete Clusterrouge.

Did you notice that Rouge is an anagram for GO OR E?

Yeah.

That.

While aboard, she put her trusty Roam Mobility SIM in. I’d preloaded a data plan for her, and it kicked right in. She called from the limo she'd booked from Presidential.

Presidential comfort fit for a Quad Queen

“I’m in the limo, weather is perfect, I’m in beautiful Vegas! I’m sipping plonk champagne! We’re passing Mirage!”

“I hate you. Have fun.”

She got checked into a suite in the Flush Tower, apparently, and went off to do some gambling. I waited for the quad pictures to roll in.

It was on!

My flight was to leave Flusherville Regional Aerodrome at around 5:00pm the next day. When I got home, I packed and got everything ready, just tickety boo.

Just before bed I thought I better take a look at the sump, since we’d had a few thaws, and some rain, and then freezing cold temperatures again.

It was near full, so I put my trusty sump stick in and pulled up the float switch enough for it to kick in. Then I waded out to the side of the house with a flashlight in the foot-deep ice crusted snow to see - nothing.

No water was pumping at all.

So I rushed inside and unplugged that sucker, lest I burn the pump out. Shit, hell and damn!

That pump HAD to be working or our house could flood while we were away.

Back outside I could see the problem - the hose was encased in about 3 inches of solid ice.

And I was 18 hours from departure. I decided to look at it at first light, before work, instead of panicking right away.

“Hey,” I said to the Quad Queen, after dialing her Roam number.

“You sound like you are panicking. What’s wrong???”

Quad Queen -$260 on the day -$260 on the trip
Royal Flusher TBD