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Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Goes Around Spins Around

Lunch at the plant. I sat down next to Jimmy Poon (the technical genius behind Royal Flusher on the web, who also makes a pretty mean Pad Thai), and across from Eberhardt Moosreiner.

Moosreiner is a cookie-cutter kind of guy. The kind of loud and obnoxious fellow who still disgusted most men and somehow had a way with most women. Those people who were either jealous of him or had gotten beaten up by him would say had what you might call a banal, hackneyed personality.

Just like a two-dimensional stock character in a cheap read-for-free dime-store blog would, Moosreiner lifted his leg and farted loudly, the thunderous sound echoing off the metal chair. He slammed his hand down hard on the table and laughed like he had just discovered cold fusion after 28 years of experimenting, his melon-like head tilted back, big white teeth gleaming in the glare of the flickering fluorescent lights overhead. Moosreiner laughed like a fart was the funniest thing that had ever happened in his life, not at all like it was a low-brow tawdry eye-roll inducing adolescent excuse for bad entertainment in the third paragraph of a new trip report.

Big blonde Moosreiner, who was in fact just as big as a moose, and probably just as smart, which isn’t saying much. Perhaps I am unfair to the regal creature known as the moose, whose intelligence is highly underestimated by those unfortunate enough to have collided with one and ended up with 1200 pounds of bleeding moose carcass riding beside them in their Taurus station wagon. And perhaps I am unkind to compare Moosreiner’s braying laugh to the tender, if somewhat klaxon-like, mating call of the wild moose in heat.

Moosreiner. Oh Moosreiner, with his brushcut and big features and thick fingers, was so predictable, so typical, so hastily thought out by his creator, that he even had a completely predictable, stereotypical nickname.

I dumped the contents of my lunch bag onto the greasy metal table, which was, like all the other furnishings in the Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer Flusherville Ontario plant, bolted to the floor. Management knew that some of us would rob the place blind if they didn't take extreme measures. Hell, you had to fill out a five page requisition form just to get the pen you needed to fill out the five page requisition form. And you had to fill that out in triplicate!
Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer logo
That's the kind of mind-numbing recursive thinking that rules at the plant, where I donate the best part of my life (the daytime waking hours) to the Belgian / North Korean consortium that owns it, turning a million little black rubbery pellets into an endless stream of little black rubbery grommets. Size 7. (And occasionally, size 77 Eurogrommets).

Like the little rubbery grommets, all things go around, it seems. As illustrated so artistically in my Cycle of Life, I work in the factory to earn the money so I can play the games. When I don't win enough to retire, I come back home and start saving to do it all again.

Royal Flusher's Gambling Cycle of Life
The cycle of life, according to Flusher.
"Hey, Royal," said Moosreiner. “How’s it hangin’?”

"Hey, Royal," said Jimmy Poon.

"Hey Jimmy Poon," I said.

I knew Eberhardt Moosreiner well enough to call him by his oh-so-obvious nickname.

"Hey Jackie," I said, nodding at Moosreiner.

"Hey, Royal," said Moosreiner again.

I took a bite of my lunch - a stale bagel stuffed with peanut butter until it oozed out the sides. I liked to take a nibble on the outside of the bagel and then work my way all the way around. Then I'd start on the inside part, and consume that part in a circular fashion. Bagel eating. It's an artform.

"So when you go to Vegas, are you going to stay for five or six days at the California all comped again?" asked Moosreiner.

"Actually, no, Jackie," I said.

"But Royal, you built up your relationship with your host there until you were getting everything just for playing $10K a day through the machines each," said Jimmy Poon.

"Yeah, you whore-putz, what the fuckstick?" said Jackie, eloquently.

"Well, we've been on a progression the last couple of years to see if we got more comps for ramping up our play. And we've been successful at that. But, like my affinity for this stale, round bagel and peanut butter, our tastes are changing. We want different things, like some nicer rooms. And we want more freedom to move around. And when things go sour, it can be costly at the dollar level. Playing heavy at all the places we were staying to meet the comp expectations is starting to feel like a job."

"Like making size 7 grommets..." said Jackie Moosreiner, looking up and to his left as though he were pondering the final stages of the complex equation that would explain the universe. Except he wasn't, he was just trying to figure out how gambling could be like making grommets. And it escaped his soggy useless cardboard blog character brain.

"We still have some great plays where we've established ourselves and we'll continue to play heavy for those - like the Four Queens offers we get. And some time at the Cal as well. But we'll also adapt BeeeJay's 'comp yourself' system where if you want something, you just pay for it. You play and if you win, great. If you happen to get a lot of coin-in, great maybe you get your comps. But you don't play just to get them. I want some nicer hotels where the goal may be to just have a vacation, instead of having to worry about keeping our rating up. Part of that will be playing and staying more at the Golden Nugget. The comps and offers aren't as generous there, and the video poker isn't as good. But the rooms can't be beat, as far as downtown goes. So we'll pay to stay there if we have to, and spend some time just doing what we want to do, instead of jumping through coin-in hoops. I think its going to be about a 50/50 split this trip."

"Isn't that kind of where you were a few years ago?" asked Jimmy Poon.

"What goes around..." I said, popping the last of my bagel into my mouth.

"Spins around!" yelled Eberhardt ‘Jackie’ Moosreiner, in another fit of vocal stupidity. Then he started singly loudly, and off-key, "You spin me right round baby right round, like a record baby!" A table full of women in the corner hooted and whistled as Jackie got up on the table and gyrated his hips. The women threw a couple of loonies and toonies his way.

Jimmy Poon and I looked at each other.

"You never can tell, Jimmy Poon. You never can tell," I said as the room erupted in song, everyone else clapping along and jumping to their feet. Once again, Jackie was the life of the party, just like you'd expect him to be in an amateurish teens-get-laid B movie script, or a hastily written, ill-conceived blog post.

“No, Royal, you never can tell,” said Jimmy Poon, eyes wide as size 12 grommets as Moosreiner straddled a chair, tore his shirt off his muscular body, and dumped a liter of ice cold gatorade on his head.

“No, Jimmy Poon, you can’t,” I said.

“No, Royal. No,” said Jimmy Poon.

“No, Jimmy Poon,” I said.

“No,” said Jimmy Poon, his voice trailing off.

All I could do was shake my head. Figuring out booger-nose Jackie's boorish appeal was like trying to figure out the beautiful puzzle that is a gambling trip to Las Vegas. To get everything right, to get things working in your favor, to win, to have great food and great experiences, to wring every last possible bit of joy out of your time there - that was the puzzle’s goal. And I aimed to try once again to do just that.

This trip to Las Vegas - number 54 by my addled count - is be a solo trip. Yes, the Flusher is being let off of the leash again. Like one does in life, I would adapt my trip to include some of the things that had taken years to work up to, like playing hours of dollar Jacks or Better at a time, and I would also include some things that would take me right back to basics, to the beginning of our trips to Vegas.

I wanted to rediscover some of the fun and magic that has been replaced, somewhat, with a gambling job. And I thought I knew just how to go about it.

You’ll come along for the ride, won't you?

In case you were wishing there was some Vegas content... and haven't had a chance to see the little video I put together for the No Kickers trip, here it is.



    1. Loves me some Royal Flusher!

    2. Loves me some Royal Flusher!

    3. I don't know Flusher, I just don't think you and the Nugget are a good fit. Joe

    4. Yeah that video was pretty sweet! Well done. And I haven't read ahead yet but it looks like you made out pretty well also. Nice job all around.

    5. Doh. (Just realized that video was from a past trip, not the current one) still, good job anyways. ..


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