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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bourbon and the Grubstake Jamboree

When I finally got upstairs, where the Grubsteak Jamboree was held, I found I was in a huge room which must have stretched the full size of the casino downstairs. That’s because it was one floor above it.
Another lost Vegas soul. (The Stardust, not Wayne Newton.)
There was row after row of tables and at one end, a number of grills had been set up, along with tables and tables of salad and other Jamboree foods.

I got seated with some strange European tourists, and some other couple and tried to get to know everyone, cracking a few jokes and pretty much being the life of the table, even though my stomach was dissolving itself. I needed food!

A bunch of cooks came out and started grilling massive numbers of steaks - we’re talking hundreds. And then it was time.

A clanging, the kind that can split your head open when you have a hangover, started splitting my hung over head - the dinner bell.


The cooks, dressed in cowboy regalia, started up with the cowboy Grubstake chatter. And as table after table slowly filed up to get their steak and fixin’s, they kept it up.

“GRUBSTEAK JAMBOREEE!!!” “WAHOOO!!!!” Clang, clang, clang…. “COME AND…. GETIT!!!”

And they kept it up and kept it up to the point where you started to feel embarrassed for the ridiculous stupidity of these professional chefs who were decked out in little tiny cowboy hats and plastic vests and checked shirts… they all looked like contestants.

After maybe 20 minutes of this ridiculous racket it was our turn to go up. No wonder people lined up for this charade - to get in early, and eat, and get the hell out!

I got a steak and some really bad corn on the cob, which was mush from sitting in water in the steam table. Back at the table, I found myself alone.

My other table-mates had deserted me. I suspect my breath had a blue-yellow haze to it that projected 10 feet forward, and that everyone else but me could see.

I realized this later and felt kind of bad about it. The kind of bad where when you remember it, you get embarrassed in retrospect. But on the other hand, fuck ‘em.

The steak was pretty good, the corn awful, the salad indifferent, the baked potato, oblong and brown.
And then the ‘show’ started.

If there is a hell for people like me who can’t abide corny country and western music, I’d found it. (It is not lost on me that maybe the Europeans initially assigned to my table were in a worse hell - maybe they couldn’t abide corny country and western music, OR liquor soaked writers with afternoon bender breath.)

They played some loud repetitive fiddle music, and a bunch of people in too small cowboy hats and plastic vests and table-cloth shirts and the women in ridiculous skirts started prancing around and clapping in a faked enthusiasm that again made you feel embarrassed.

My response to all this was to bolt the steak down and get the hell out, out, out. Running down the stairs out of earshot of that hooting and caterwauling was like getting out of Sunday school. (And into the casino, of course.)

I had another $60 or $70 loss on the 9/6 Jacks progressive and saw a guy take off the Royal progressive at $1900. Dammit.

I took a walk and another rest in the room, and then went out to take some night pictures. There were some shots at the Riviera I really wanted to get.

Circus Circus and Westward Ho. One still stands.

After stowing the camera back out in the room, I went back down to play and took out one of my sacred lucky $100 bills from the S.D.B. And, tried the stupid 9/6 Jacks progressive yet again.

I didn’t do too badly this time but the quads were just not coming. I went through about $40. Again, the Aces kept showing…

So, I cashed out and went back to the very volatile White Hot Aceses. (Am I asking for it….)
I went through the coins I’d cashed out of the Jacks machine. And put in a $20. Played some more. And then I hit quad 4s.

I was expecting maybe 250 quarters or maybe 400, not being that familiar with the game. Hey, it was 600 quarters!!! My profit was intact and actually improved.

I cashed out and went to bed a happy guy, full of bourbon and Grubstake Jamboree steak.


    1. The Riv is still doing that $20 for $40 in play, I guess if something doesn't work keep trying until the lights go out

    2. "I realized this later and felt kind of bad about it. The kind of bad where when you remember it, you get embarrassed in retrospect. But on the other hand, fuck ‘em. "

      so great


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