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Monday, September 29, 2014

Jolly Jumper Jack Daniels

In search of the ‘misplaced’ rental car, we backtracked back to the elevator and, on a hunch, I punched a floor button one higher than where we were.

Now. To our credit, the numbers on the poles at in the Mandalay Bay parkade do not match the floor buttons on the elevator. The markings on the pillars are the same on each floor - B1, C1, D1, etc. We parked at B2 and I thought that meant we were on the second floor. But there is a pole B2 on every floor.

And now, the car was magically back where it should be. We did the bag drag back down the walkway, through the shops and restaurants, through the casino, to the elevators.

Kenny wanted to take a rest and then maybe hit the pool. I headed to the casino, in search of various machines, which I found, played, and lost on.

A word about Wifi in Mandalay Bay… its included with the resort fee, somehow or other, and also free somehow or other (slower speeds only) but it has got to be the stupidist, most annoying Wifi I’ve ever used. Every time I turned around, I had to fill in the log in screen. Over and over and over again. Many times it just wouldn’t work. Over the course of a three night stay, I must have logged in 50 times on my phone. Absolutely maddening.
Doggy Style Tip
I wanted to grab some lunch and walked out into the mall that connects MB with Luxor and found a bar pizza joint that sells slices. Slice of Vegas. Great, I thought.

Could I have a table? Only if ordering a pizza. (Never mind that most of them are empty.) You have to sit at the bar. Okay, fine, I’ll sit at the bar. For slices they had a myriad of toppings available. You could also build your own. I asked the bartender how long it took and he said five minutes. I said really? How? He said that’s how we do it.

I didn’t see how you could make a fresh slice in five minutes. And the answer is, you can’t.

What was delivered was the worst piece of garbage pizza I’ve ever seen. They take a basic pizza slice from the pizzas on display at the take-out window, dump the extra toppings on top, and heat it.

It was so tough I literally could not cut it with a knife and fork. Unfortunately, I was so hungry I had to choke some of it down.

I talked to the manager of the place and asked him how long the pizzas sat. He said some bullshit number like 20 minutes. I say no way, it had to be a couple of hours or more. The thing they served me was long, long dead.

It was one of those experiences where you just leave completely pissed off and unsatisfied.

Slice of Vegas - earns my first ever 1/2 to a Royal Restaurant Rating.

I decided to prove to myself that pizza by the slice didn’t have to be that bad. Next destination? The food court at the Mandalay Bay convention center, a convenient three mile indoor stroll from the casino.

I got in line at Bonanno’s, ordered a pepperoni slice from the display. It was miles better than Slice of Vegas.

Now, I know that there are options for really good pizza on the strip, but this was a hit and run when hunger struck. Bonanno’s slice was really fairly good - it was as good as food court pizza is going to get and hit the spot.

Which slice would you rather eat? This?

Or this from the food court?
Thus encouraged, I took some time to regroup, and prepared one of my high-end $2.50 cigars, nestling it in my shirt pocket.

A quick trip to the bar netted me some wooden matches - perfect. I settled down at a machine, ordered a drink, and got the firestick going. For some reason it took me about ten matches to get the damn thing lit.

I played this and that and settled in on triple play 9/5 jacks quarters. The cocktail service was excellent and I tipped double, apologizing for the disgusting cheap stenchbomb was smoking. The tips kept the drinks coming, and I may have over-done it just a tad.
I played through $100, and changed machines. I sat down, hard, and the chair was kind of broken.

As the cocktail waitress brought me a refill, I was bouncing up and down like a kid in a Jolly Jumper.

“Double Jack on the rocks… having fun?” asked the waitress.

“Honey, I haven’t had a ride like this since Pahrump.”

During my second hundy, I got a bright idea. With (shitty) Wifi in the casino, why not try Facetime back to Flusherville? Well, it worked! Mrs. Flusher got to come along for quite a bit of the ride. I pointed the phone at the screen and she could watch and hear me play. And actually, that’s when I got the first quad, about an hour into my session.

After I got off the FaceTime I noticed they played an old Beatles tune in the casino. And then another. Wow, they were doing a whole mini-set of the Beatles. I didn’t think too much about it but sang along in my quiet whiskey-fueled bellow, and kept pounding the buttons. Life was good.

I started to get more quads. Three, Four… worked my way back up to $135 out of $200 in.

View from my Jolly Jumper seat

Kenny found me two hours later and I had $80 in the machine. So in all, I did two hours play on $120. This, I thought, was fairly acceptable on triple play. Guessing 600 hands an hour, times two hours, times three hands at a time, is, well, a LOT. Okay, 3600 hands. 3600 x $1.25 is $4500. I managed about 97.3% payback, which was a lot more reasonable than eighty-some percent. And I had fun. And my mouth tasted like an ashtray. And I was burping cardboard pizza, with overtones of decent mall pizza.

I call this success.

I wrapped it up and headed for the Men’s and as I walked I realized that they weren’t playing Beatles over the sound system in the casino - it was a live band, and these guys sounded GREAT! They totally nailed the Beatles sound.

The band is called The Fab, and they play the lounge fairly regularly, and I am going to make a point of seeing them play again.

Highly recommended, unless you hate Beatles music (like Kenny).

Kenny had been sleeping quite a bit, but was up to try dinner. He hadn’t had lunch. We walked around a bit so that Kenny could look at all the machines and table games that he would not play in this particular casino.

For dinner, we strolled down to the Border Grill. As soon as we were seated, chips and salsa were brought to the table.

“Would you like some jalapeno black bean dip?” the server asked.

It sounded great! And then…. a little warning bell rang in my head.

“Is it extra?” I asked.

Well of course it was.

I’m really getting tired of the sleazy ‘it sounds like we are just offering you stuff as a courtesy’ upsell technique.

That bean dip was EIGHT BUCKS on the menu. Shame on you Border Grill upsell sleazes!

I had some sort of saucy thing with stuff and Kenny had some sort of shimpy thing with sauce. The meal was universally excellent, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

I reveled in the fact that I had dodged the sleazy upsell.
Kenny's shrimpy thing with sauce.
My inexplicable saucy thing with stuff.
After dinner, we walked back to the casino, over to Starbucks. Kenny, who seems to be immune to caffeine, got a triple espresso with 8 sugars. We continued to wander, chatting, having a few laughs, and found ourselves in the lobby. We grabbed ice waters from the tank of same they have in the lobby, and crashed out in some armchairs to yak, and watch the people go by. Not what you’d call a high-powered night, but it suited me fine.

And I ‘only’ lost $300, and the rental car twice, on the day.

Royal Flusher: Day: $-300, Trip: $-2790


    1. Fantastic reading as always. Thank you so much for posting your adventures. Loving every minute of it.

    2. Flusher - why not valet? $1 coming/going - a steal!

    3. Thanks buttnugget! Glad you are enjoying it!

    4. Hi Laur, I had a good reason at the time but I'm not sure... it might have involved saving two dollars.


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