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Monday, September 29, 2014

Swing the Lady in a Hammock

Day 7 - Wed July 23, 2014

I got up and pondered while I headed downstairs to have coffee and some morning play.

I was at the half-way point of the trip, and I was in a hole. Encore would be a bust unless I hit something in this next session. I had three days to hang out at Mandalay Bay with Kenny, and we had the car to take us all over the place.

Since I wasn’t worried about maintaining a relationship at Mandalay Bay, I didn’t mind if I burned them on the comp I’d got to come in on.

What was troubling me was that looking Four Queens play for the last three days. The $25K coin in I planned to play made my blood run cold and my nose run even colder.

So, I had a $60 coffee in Encore and before long Kenny found me. I had an idea and pitched it. We’d head downtown to the Cal for breakfast.

“You’ll like it, Kenny, there’s a counter where you can probably meet and talk to some Hawaiian stranger.”

We got the car from the parkade and had a leisurely drive up the strip to the Cal. I parked on the street for a couple of bucks, literally 10 feet from a side door on the south side of the Cal. How does it not get any easier than that?

I really wanted to show off to Kenny by using my Emerald card to skip the line-up but with the counter, it’s not an issue. We just walked in through the exit and grabbed a couple of empty stools.

And that’s when I lost Kenny.

He got talking to a Hawaiian guy next to him and I might as well have been at breakfast by myself. They yammered on about all kinds of things, that included crude sketches made on napkins to confirm or deny the locations of certain things along the Big Island coast.

The waitress came by and looked over my head into space in a 10,000 yard expressionless stare.

"What. Will. It. Be?" she mumbled.

At that point, my minutes of ethics training came into play and I found myself to be merciful with this poor creature.

I was ready to let her have it with an order of a 'D-day plus 2 with a large slow speed chase. Tint the windows and swing the lady in a hammock.'

Instead, I found myself muttering, "Two eggs over hard, hashbrowns, sausage, wheat toast, coffee."

The high point of breakfast, which arrived quickly, piping hot, was when Hawaiian guy asked us how far our thumbs bent back. Not very far, for both of us.

He showed us his double jointed thumbs like he had only just discovered them that morning while taking a piss. But I knew this wasn’t so, he was just playing it out like he probably had a million times before. Besides, his pant legs were dry.

When you have the gift of double jointed thumbs, you don’t just squander it, you mention it every chance you get.

I offered to take pictures of the thumb to put in my blog, and so, here it is.

I finessed our exit by initiating a round of handshakes and throwing down a tip and saying, “Well, nice meeting you. Kenny here has to get to his mambo class. UGH!”

We walked around downtown after breakfast and stopped by the Mike’s bar at the Four Queens. It was deserted. I left a Royal Flusher business card in the cash drawer, which had been left empty on the counter. I guess this is standard procedure to prove there isn’t anything worth stealing still at the bar when it is closed and the booze is put away.

As we strolled through downtown, I gave Kenny an impromptu history lesson, pointing out which part of Binion's the Mint had been, the El Portal theatre, the corner where the land auction took place, and the covered over doorway on the side of the Golden Gate where a woman had stood in a picture taken in the early 1900s. Stuff like that.

Kenny liked the Nugget and proclaimed that if he ever came back, he’d stay there. I was eager to check out the rumored new bank of quarter deuces progressive games. They were indeed where they were supposed to be. In some future trip, we’ll probably play these heavily. Nice to have another quarter play at the Nugget.

It was nice to spend time together talking about old times, and just driving around different parts of Las Vegas. We swung by the neon boneyard, and through a number of neighborhoods, just to see what they were all about. We spotted a Sam Ash music store to come back to later.

Heading back to Encore from the east, I hopped on Desert Inn Parkway west. It actually is a parkway, and I don’t know why they don’t call it that. It flies right under the strip, no exits, no stopping, and spits you out two miles into industrial Vegas land. I had to make a right, head north, make another right to double back to the strip, then south and left into Encore. Not exactly efficient but who cares - I was saving precious gambling money.

I self-parked and we headed upstairs to get packed. There was a knock on my door - the maid - so I got to put her $20 tip right in her hand. Always makes me feel good and gets my karmic greed going. I could only imagine the riches that such generosity would cause.

Or, does such imagining negate the karma?...

I had the TV on and finally figured out why Mandalay Bay was so expensive for Kenny and why it was so busy - the Vice President was speaking there, and it was live on TV. NAACP convention. Or was he there to speak at the Pet Industry convention which had also convened at Mandalay Bay? Biden continued to bark into the podium mic and still I wondered what he was trying to say.

In the end, I had to figure that the Pet lobby didn’t have the juice that the NAACP has and that Biden was there for human rights, not cat fights.

We met up, right on time, and headed to the parkade, up the elevator, into the sea of cars and… stopped. I had wanted to go to where we’d parked before, but that was… before. Yes, we’d lost the rental car.

We started to do that walk where you start to move aimlessly, while keeping the other person attached through an invisible tether, the length of which was how far you could shout at one another “I’M SURE THE FUCKING CAR WAS BY THIS POLE!!!!!!!!!”. We probably looked like a couple of little toy choo-choo trains that had run off the tracks, going here and there dragging our luggage behind us.

I finally took charge of things and insisted we go back to the elevators.

“Stay here,” I grumbled. “I will find the car and I will bring it and you will get into it. Guard the luggage.”

I went to where I initially thought it was, but then thought it couldn’t be, but actually, it was. In fact, it was so close I just backed around the corner to the waiting Kenny and his Amazing Luggage Collection.

Okay, on our way to Mandalay Bay. I did wonder if it would be an unmitigated parking disaster around there with the CCCP convention or whatever it was.

And, I was a bit jittery... this would be the first time I'd set foot into Mandalay Bay since the incredibly embarrassing, horrifying, emasculating events chronicled in this blog post and explained in this blog post.

But actually, it was just fine. I headed for the self park and docked the rental, and believe me, I took careful note of the pole number we parked at.

The casino wasn't too terribly crowded in spite of the huge number of NAACP delegates in attendance. In fact, I have to say, they were the best-behaved conventioneers I've ever seen. I planned on behaving much, much more poorly than they.

We went and checked in, and then went up and took a look at our rooms. I’d scored a nice suite overlooking the airport and Kenny had a room a few floors up. We were set.

Kenny enjoying the view at Mandalay Bay

Comfort abounds!

Drive-thru tub window

Nice view from M.B.
We met back in the lobby, and then hauled ass back to rental car to get the bags and stuff schlepped up to our room in completion of our day's chores.

And, for the second time in the same morning, two grown men, two grown mature - okay, maybe that’s stretching it - but certainly two men of mature age and stature - had indeed lost their rental car in a parkade.

I walked right to where it was. I mean had been. Everything was clearly marked. We were in the right spot, but everything was different somehow.

“Maybe it’s the wrong floor or something,” said Kenny.

“Shit, maybe. I was sure I had it right but… there’s no car.”

What was my Vegas-addled brain doing to me???!


    1. Those deuces progressives at the Golden Nugget are fun and I seem to hit the deuces often on them but if you do the math on the payout with the heavily reduced 5 of a kind and wild royal payouts it isn't pretty.

    2. Agreed with Steve H. above -- the base paytable for that deuces game at the Nugget is 95.96%. Granted, the progressives can help increase that, but it's still pretty brutal.


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