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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shave the Fringe and Open the Umbrella

Day 3 - Saturday July 19th, 2014

I awokened at five AM. Which was the same as awokeneding at eight AM at home. I had slept well and was right on track, keeping on Eastern time. The forecast... was HOT HOT HOT.

First order of the day was to check the Keno ticket from the night before. I entered the Keno ‘lounge’ passing a group of four or five inebriated Latino guys, who looked like they’d been pounding beers and enjoying the scintillating Keno action all night long, on my way up to the counter.

Cloudy and hot.
Who knew the billboard was fabric?
“Eight bucks,” said the large Keno man, who had a wry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye and whose name escapes me. He looked like he should be a Wizard in one of those Hairy Pot movies.

“Eight dollars on a $27 ticket… you know what I’m going to do with this?” I asked.

The large Keno man exhibited no change in facial expression, nor did he say anything. Apparently he wasn’t expecting anything groundbreaking in my plan. He raised one eyebrow approximately half the thickness of a size 7 grommet without moving any other muscle in his face or body.

“ going to take this somewhere where it will actually do me some good. I’m going to take it to Starbucks and get a very large delicious latte.”

Just as I turned to go, I heard a red-headed voice demi-bellowing across the Keno lounge.

“Royal! Royal!”

Favorite server Judy (aka Nurse Blue), over by the Wheel of Fortune machines (whose brethren had coughed up a multi-million dollar winner just a couple of weeks before.)

The Latino Keno gang started in. “Rrrrrroyal!!! Rrrrroyal!!!” Then they laughed with drunken gusto.

“Royal, good morning!” said Judy (aka Nurse Blue) as she hurried over. I think the graveyard shift must be long and boring for the most part.


I immediately had flashbacks to various schoolyard beatings. I tried to edge way out of the Keno Arena. The Latino Keno gang had settled into a few whistles and giggles and various unsettling comments.

“Hi, good morning, I’m just headed to Starbucks,” I said to Judy (aka Nurse Blue), who’d caught up with me.

“Don’t you like the Nurse’s coffee? I think it’s pretty good!” said Judy (aka Nurse Blue), with a little pout. Apparently I might have hit a sore spot.

“Judy (aka Nurse Blue), I hate to tell you this, but the coffee here at the Cal is dishwater.”


“Actual dishwater.”

“Well, I think it’s pretty good…”

“Okay, fine… I’ll try one - I’ll be over at my usual machines by the cage.”

And so were my plans laid and then waylaid. And, I had no gambling money in my wallet, having blown my stake the night before and having forgotten to replenish it from the safe. As I walked towards the cage I heard those voices echoing behind me, leaving a cold chill running up and down my spine.


I saddled up and put in $20 from my Admin fund. Admin money is only to be used for tips and purchases, never for gambling, except in very dire straights. I started to play, and the machine was in a good mood. I was getting dingers every hand, and ten or fifteen hands in, I hit the Aces for $100! Sweet! I bumped it up to 50 cents and had QQQQ dealt to me!

Judy (aka Nurse Blue) brought me my cup of watery beige stuff and I gave her a $5 tip. She offered to get change but I insisted she take it all - pointing at the credit meter (which now read over $200). If she hadn’t steered me over here, I’d be drinking a $200 latte at Starbucks instead.

“So how’s the coffee?” she asked.

“Judy (aka Nurse Blue), I can truly say that there is no coffee anywhere quite like this.”

She had that ‘look’ that told me I was getting into trouble.

“It’s certainly nice and hot!... and it’s just the way I ordered it!... and it’s brown, or sort of dirt colored, and its conveniently located in a cup…with a lid… it has a lot going for it!”

Sometimes you can’t win.

But on the machine, this time I did. I got up to $220 and it dropped a bit and I cashed a $200 ticket, so I wouldn’t blow it all back. For fun I tried $5 on a single hand of dollars and actually ran that up to $70 or so. And blew it all back. I tried another $20 on quarters, but the quads had dried up. Still. I was up $160 on the day, without even having a stake.

I played a little deuces wild, too. It's been forever since I had the deuces.

Counter at Market Street Cafe at the California Hotel and Casino
The counter at Market Street Cafe at the Cal. For hip gamblers only. Or maybe that should be 'broken hip' gamblers only.

Counter at Market Street Cafe at the California Hotel and Casino
"Ordering! Eight on a stool, mop the deck and wake the dead!"
I sat down for a quick breakfast at the counter.

"Need a menu?" asked the waitress.

"No need. Two on a shingle. Shave the fringe and open the umbrella."

"We're out of umbrellas."

Her face was expressionless and she started at a spot about a foot above my head, with a thousand yard glare.

I adjusted my order.

"Two on a shingle. Subagos dropped from the oxtail, spread and mashed."

For some reason, I wasn't able to get my order across. Obviously, the latest in short order 'lingo' had not made it to the counter at the Cal.

When the waitress returned five minutes later, I just ordered eggs and sausage, wheat toast, home fries.

I ate and checked the time - Kenny Blankenship was to arrive at McCarran (on the same Rouge flight that had caused me so much grief), hopefully, just before 11:00am.

I got the car and took my time heading out to the airport. Time spent fucking around in the car is money saved, not losing in the casino, right?

The airport Wheel of Meat slots got $5 of mine, and I got to spin twice. That all kept me busy for what must have been four or six minutes. The plane landed, apparently, and I hung out at the bottom of the escalator on the baggage level of Terminal 3.

It was hard not to look at one guy’s see-through white pants. It was so difficult, I grabbed a picture for the blog.

Before long, a very familiar face rode down the escalator. And it was accompanied by an somewhat familiar face. (And both faces were accompanied by bodies and luggage.)

LuLU. Kenny’s wife. LuLU had shown up, unannounced, on the guy’s trip to Vegas.


    1. Enjoying the report Royal, can't wait for more

    2. You are funny as all get out....can't wait for more breakfast lingo.


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