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    Wednesday, June 7, 2023

    Aviscerated at the Mirage

    Thursday Feb 16 - Day 3 and I was finally starting to relax into Vegas. But I had plans!

    We had a leisurely morning planned. And breakfast planned. And a plan to walk over to Mirage to pick up the rental car from Avis.

    The Quad Queen wasn't up to the walk, so I'd go it alone, go and get a special lunch by myself, once I had wheels, and then swing by and pick her up, and we'd execute the rest of the day's plan.

    It felt great to be in complete control, relaxed, efficient, and happy. Coffee and food was in order.

    The Jimmy Dean breakfast bowl was really good so I did a repeat of that and some healthy green pepper hunks, and a couple of slices of the comestible that traditionally is the embodiment of over 250 years cultural development - Fromage a l'Americaine.

    Fun Fact: Jimmy Dean is a real person. He lives in a shiny black plastic mansion.

    We still had those damn Caesars gift cards that I bought for the sole purpose of generating much-needed airline points. And the question was still outstanding, where to use them? We thought maybe we could have lunch at Harrah's before picking up the car, but the timing wasn't right, and beside's, Mrs. Flusher was too pooped to perambulate.

    It was quite distressing when I learned that Caesars, after a year, charges a monthly fee to 'maintain' gift cards. What a fucking rip-off.

    I'd booked the car for 12:00 noon, but I had lots of time, so when I was ready to head out, I did.

    I sauntered down the hallway, sauntered through the foyer, sauntered in place in the elevator, and sauntered to - where else? - the Wynn casino. A quick stop off to confirm my luck and while away a bit of time and enjoy my relaxed, joyful mood. 

    Joker Wild had other plans and $100 disappeared quite quickly.

    No matter, I'd play $100 on Double STP Double Double Bonus quarters triple play and score big. Nope.

    Another $100 went in, and I finally did get a quad, which got me to $180. I could cash out and be only down $120 of my $300.

    Of course I didn't cash! I had to win back all my stake. Lose lose lose lose lose and there I was, down $300 for the day and I hadn't been out of the room more than 37 minutes.

    There was nothing for it but to go on my way. Sauntering was out, spirited antarctic-ass speed walking was in. It was just freezing out, and there I was draped in about 1 square yard of gauzy homespun. At least, that's how it felt.

    I walked up to Mirage and gazed upon it for one of the last times before it would be transmogrified into a Hard Rock. It's really where the modern strip started (notwithstanding Caesars), and there has always been something special about it. I will miss the old girl.

    With bidness to attend to, I headed to the slot club, giving the bronze mermaids a quick lucky goosing on the way in.

    I have a Unity card from the Hard Rock in Tampa, and I had Pearl at MGM, so I got a tier match and a new set of cards. There was a 5000 point bonus, and that, plus whatever points I already had on the card could be converted into $34 freeplay.

    It was just a few minutes before noon, so I hustled through the casino, and from a decent distance away, I could see the Avis desk which is situated just to the right of check-in. It's a smallish area with a beaten up computer monitor, all kinds of dusty wires here and there on the worn work surface. This surface is just behind the customer counter, which is raised a little higher and features a sign saying, "WE ARE SORRY WE FUCKED OFF FOR LUNCH EARLY AND MISSED YOU."

    WHAT THE HELL?????

    I looked around to see if maybe the boothling was nearby and shouted HELLOOOOO a few times and ANYBODY THERE and WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU????

    I checked my watch just in time to see it tick over from 11:59 am to 12:00 pm. And I took a photo of sign and it was dead on noon.

    It was clear that the boothling had screwed off a few minutes early. Why would Avis let me book a car for 12:00 noon when the kiosk closes at that time?

    So I had an hour to kill at Mirage, and there was nothing to do. No fun to be had. No distractions, diversions, or entertainments. What was I going to do?

    Well, I had $34 in freeplay so I played that out on video Keno. And lost it all.

    Then I lost another $100 on video Keno (which is a terrible game, you should never play it).

    Now I was fuming and on 100% tilt. I shoved $100 into dollar Bonus Poker. And I did get a quad. Did I cash it out?

    Not on your life. I played that into the ground.

    Now I was down $500 on the day, and I had accomplished none of our plan. $100 went into Buffalo Revolution at 80 cents a spin. I played that down to $20 and had not had any bonus rounds.

    So, I bumped it to $2.40 a spin and... and... I went out. Again.

    I looked at the meter and I had $2.39 left. So I had to drop to $1.60 and... of course I hit free games.

    I won $35 on that and played it all into the ground. I was down $600 on the day, with less than 2 hours play.

    I was steamed. Pissed. Furious, as I walked to the Avis counter at exactly 1:00.

    The time-challenged little Portuguese granny-troll behind the counter was very chatty and tickey typey.

    I tried to get the paperwork done saying as little as possible. I was fucking livid.

    On the desk, was a printout featuring a list of customers that were picking up cars, and what time they were scheduled for.

    She consulted it and there I was, all right, clearly on the list for 12:00 sharp dead-ass noon top-o-the fucking sundial zero twelve hundred fucking balls o'fucking clock.

    It didn't help that I couldn't understand anything she squeaked at me in her little Portu-troll dialect, which was unintelligible to anyone who is on time. I had to constantly asking her to repeat herself.

    Finally, everything paperwork-wise was done, and I had a set of keys. I gritted my teeth.

    And I told her how frustrating it was to be on time and to find out she'd left early for lunch. (I didn't mention how she forced me to lose $300 in the wasted hour.)

    She said, "The computer tells me what time it is." 

    This was the wrong thing to say. Totally.

    The right thing was to say 'I'm sorry you were here and I was not available to serve you even though you had a reservation, because I was shoving customer body part stew into my greasy pug face back under my troll bridge and watching Judge Judy for my full fucking lunch hour plus ten minutes.' 

    I told her, "Then your computer's wrong."

    And I told her, "I have a photo of the sign taken at exactly noon, and you weren't there putting the lunch sign up as I walked to the desk."

    And I told her, "If you are going to leave at noon you should leave exactly at noon. And how annoying it is that I booked a car for noon, but nobody told me you close for lunch. And that you have my name on the bloody hit list, so you knew I was booked for noon."

    Of course, it was all for nothing. Trolls only care about themselves and the next episode of Judge Fucking Judy. I don't know how I managed to keep my temper through all that.

    And as I walked away toward the casino, I heard her little sarcastic troll puppet voice shouting at my back, "Have a nice DAYYYYY SIRRRRRRRR!"

    And that's when I snapped.

    I didn't turn around, but I did say very loudly what I had been thinking this whole time.

    "FUCK.   YOU."

    I was so angry I was about to piss my pants in nine different directions and call myself a lawn feature.

    And of course, I couldn't find the parking garage. Because I'd gone left from the desk instead of right, having never been in the Mirage parking structure before. I wandered all the way to the elevators, thinking it was back there somehow.

    Naturally, I wandered and stumbled for a full ten minutes through the casino before asking someone for help. To get to the parking garage, I had to go all the way back and cross directly in front of Avis Troll Alley, where I'd just yelled at the counter minion 'Fuck You'.

    I don't like swearing at people, or boothlings, or trolls, and even though I think it was somewhat warranted, I felt a little embarrassed.

    I found a group of five people moving together through the lobby and paced myself beside them, letting them block for me, lest she should shoot me with Avis Troll Darts or something.

    The car was on the seventh level of the parking structure. I found it, and it was a complete disaster.

    I thought I'd had some dirty rental vehicles before but this one took the crown. It was filthy. Someone had made a half-hearted attempt at 'washing' parts of it, probably with a couple of Hardee's or Carl's Jr. napkins.

    The keys worked, and I got in and started it up, and rolled off to the car park exit.

    Except I couldn't find it. I was still seeing red, seething, furious, angry, and frustrated.

    On the third lap around the seventh parking level, tears in my eyes from all the stress, I wondered, "How have I fucked my trip up so bad?"

    Sunday, May 21, 2023

    Five of a Kind

    Wed Feb 15 - Day 2 part 2 and it was time to address the dismal VP selection at Wynn. I had done some research and found that the best paying quarter game is probably Joker Wild aka Joker Poker.

    So, before the trip, I fired up the Video Poker WinSimulator 3000 (you remember that, don't you?) and practiced it. Joker Wild is a very different game from what I'm used to, but I kinda liked it.

    Anyway, my plan was to play mostly JW when not losing at video keno.

    And so we headed down to the Wynn casino to play, play, play!!!

    And... we couldn't find a machine open. We had to stand around and wait for someone to leave. And finally someone did, so we started off sharing the machine and taking turns, like a couple of 23 year old newlyweds on their first trip to Vegas. 

    A second machine opened up, and I attacked the Joker Wild - and I killed it.

    My first ever Joker Poker five of a kind.

    I decided to order a Mojito and it was delicious. This would definitely not be the last of the Mojitos.

    Meanwhile... where were the Quad Queen's Quads??? Nowhere to be found. She was having a terrible run, while I got dealt a straight flush.

    It was time for lunch and a rest, so we headed up to the room to do some Room Camping Cuisine. I think you have to agree we did alllllllllll right.

    After lunch I went for ice and found the machine was down. An excuse to have free gratis room service ice sent up. And so it was.

    We took a nice long break and then decided to change the Quad Queen's luck by heading to the Encore casino.

    Oh, we had a fun session, with lots of cocktails, video poker, slots, and video keno.

    Mrs. Flusher got on the board, too, finally.

    I was doing okay, but then blew $71 of a hundy in Top Dollar in about 2 minutes. But on Quick Hit, I played for half an hour on the rest.

    Things weren't going quite so well for the Quad Queen, so we moved around to a different bank so she could lose in a new change of scenery. And I got another Keno hit.

    Onward. More play, more drinks, more laughs.

    We were pretty loaded and not doing too well. I cashed out when I thought I was even on the day, but I was actually down $100. Math.

    The Quad Queen went almost 2 hours without a quad.

    On the way back to the room, I spotted a bunch of poker room rolly tables and of course made an ass of myself by putting my balls in a cup holder and rolling around the casino.

    Back in the room, we made Mac and Cheese for dinner. It turned out pretty well. The 'Mac' was precooked udon noodles and the 'Cheese' was pre-processed industrial strength pasteurized extruded cheese food product slices.

    Mmmmm mmm! If Steve Dangleshorts could just see us now!

    Punishment Mac and Cheese

    The Quad Queen insisted we were going down to the casino again after dinner, but while I was eating my M&C she crashed hard. And that was that, down for the count.

    Quad Queen -$300 Day -$500 Trip

    Royal Flusher -$100 Day +$0000 Trip

    Combined -$500 on the trip.

    Saturday, May 20, 2023

    Perseguindo o Ponto Verde el Green Dot of Amazon

    Wed Feb 15 - Day 2 and I woke at 5:30 am after staying up till 11:30 pm the night before, which is 2:30 pm Eastern time, after full long day of travel.

    But Amazon Fresh is slated to arrive as early as 6:00 am.

    In my mind, here's how I see it going. I unpack two suitcases, and go down to the south gate entrance, where I've carefully instructed the Amazon Fresh driver to meet me. I put the information in two places, and included a google maps link to the pickup point. I'll wait at the door for about 3 minutes, and a sleek, late model EV will coast to a stop just outside the door. I'll go out into the beautiful sunrise, greet the driver, load the goods into the suitcases, roll back to the room, and jump into bed again by 6:15 am.

    My mind is faulty. Here's how it really went.

    I unpacked two suitcases, and we went down the elevators. On our way down the little hallway leading to the casino, a Wynn employee wishes us a safe trip home. I don't bother to correct him. It'll be my little secret.

    We get to the south gate a little before the appointed time and scope the area out and my God it is freezing. I'm still in shorts and a tee-shirt and I'm shivering.

    I check the Amazon app and they send messages indicating delivery is on its way. Great.

    We wait. And wait some more. Finally, a little map becomes available that shows where the delivery vehicle is.

    It's 6:29 am and my delivery person is delivering not far from where Bennie Binion's Vegas ranch was.

    I watch. I wait. I refresh. Over and over and over.

    The little green dot makes its way south, eventually. It crosses I-15 and finds the strip. It wends its way south. Finally, it nears Wynn and I am screaming at the green dot NOT to go into the Wynn main entrance.

    The green dot passes the entrance. Good. The green dot turns west onto Spring Mountain from the strip instead of east to my waiting arms at Wynn south gate.

    "NO NO NO you STUPID STUPID DOT!!!!" I scream.

    It seems to hear me so I scream some more, "I'm OVER HERE. TURN AROUND, FUCK TONSILS!!!!!"

    I try to call the driver through the app, but it fails.

    And at some point, my phone rings, but nobody is there.

    The little green dot, over a period of 10 minutes, worms its way around the Fashion Show Mall and ends up finally heading in the right direction.

    The next update shows the green dot just at the entrance to south gate. We've done it!

    I watch and no polished EV shows up. And the green dot takes the short loop and... heads back onto Spring Mountain, then turns right onto the strip.

    "C'mon," I say to the Quad Queen. "The idiotic green delivery dot is headed for certain death at the Wynn porte cochere."

    "I can't go as fast as you, you go ahead," she says, "I'll meet you there." 

    So I hustle through the casino to the main entrance and check my phone. Sure enough, the green dot is there. Somewhere.

    The area is a hive of crisscrossing lanes, valet drop offs and exit tunnels, cab stands, and turnabouts. There are cars everywhere.

    I'm out in the wind, my groceries are lost, and I'm freezing, tired, and hungry.

    I spot this shitty little compact car about six lanes away from the doors. I try to call the driver again, I check the app again, I look for a way to send a message again.

    Shit. I start walking towards the shitty compact car and a young woman gets out.

    "Amazon?" I shout, waving my phone at her, showing the display?

    Her face lights up! "Amazon! Si!!!"

    By now, the Quad Queen as Qaught up with us. The woman is fucking with her phone and fucking with her phone some more. Another woman gets out of the front seat.

    The Amazon woman shows me her phone.

    Google Translate.

    "Hi, I'm Portuguese. I speak no English."

    This explains a lot, and I try not to lose my temper.

    She pops the trunk and it's full of our stuff, mostly loaded into labeled paper bags, and some stuff, like the waters, just with sticky labels on them.

    Senorita Amazona tries and tries and tries to scan the labels, but they won't. We stand and watch and freeze some more. My lips by now have turned blue.

    The Translate app informs us that she can't leave without having scanned the goods, and it won't work.

    We come up with the brilliant idea of taking the stuff out of the paper bags and just dumping it into the suitcases. She can take the bags with her and scan later when her app is sorted out.

    This is fine, except for the things that have labels stuck right onto them. We set to peeling them off. I feel like I'm stuck at Camp IV on the South Col on an Everest expedition and I have to get my tent closed before my hands finish freezing solid.

    Well of course the fucking labels won't peel off. Mamacita Amazona and I work away at it and are failing miserably. "No va," I say. "Chev vi No va."

    All of a sudden Senorita Amazona shrieks - a breakthrough! The scanner works.

    They finish up and take off, and by 7:20 am we are back in our room with the groceries. It's breakfast time!

    I had a real problem with Amazon sending someone on these deliveries who can't communicate effectively. But I had no problem with someone struggling to make a living. Since she was in that position and trying hard, I didn't diss her in the review. She has enough problems without me making it worse. And, we got the delivery charges reversed because of the lateness of our order.

    I got some Jimmy Dean breakfast stuff going in the HotPocketRocket thingy and did my morning browser rounds, including Wordle.

    Ironically, when breakfast is ready, I open a packet of salsa and it spews all over me. The perfect end to the perfect morning.

    This actually is the 'cooked' photo. Didn't look like much but it was good!

    Second breakfast. Superior to the tin-foil effluent omelette.

    All these things taken care of, we set in to rest some and hang out. I took a long, hot shower, and napped for an hour.

    And then, finally, we were ready to gamble.

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