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Friday, July 1, 2016

All You Need In Life Is A Polka Dot Suitcase

Day 5 - Part 1

Oh, what a busy day I had planned for Day 5 of my Las Vegas $1000 gambling challenge cheapskate trip. First, stick it to the Smug Nugget man by brewing delicious hot in-room coffee with my own skinflint k-cups brought from Flusherville, instead of paying $10 for theirs. There was the day's slot tournament. There was hanging out with Dr. Raoul, Gambletron, and Funkhouser. And, I'd planned to meet up with UKFanatic to do a hike up on Mount Charleston.

Hiking out in the semi-wilderness was one of the activities that I was going to use to keep me out of the casino. Some of the best times I've had on Vegas trips have been out in the middle of nowhere, with inadequate training, fitness, or supplies under the blazing desert sun. The temperatures were still well over 100.

Oh but wait! Mt. Charleston should be 20 degrees cooler than Vegas proper. OK, great, I'd be hiking in 13% humidity in 95 degree temperatures up there, plus blazing sun etc. etc. Much better.

I hadn't mentioned this until now, because it's kind of a downer and not germane to the degeneracy of the report - but a week before the trip I took ill with the Consumption Gout Effluvia. Some sort of virus. I wasn't able to shake it before the trip, and was still feeling fairly crap. It turns out that UK canceled his hike about the same time I let him know I was out.

No hiking this trip.

But I still had lots of other stuff planned, like a photo project, the various coupon runs, and of course, breezing into the exciting $12 Tommy Wind show at some point!

I felt a bit bad about blowing my daily lead the night before but I did have a shot at riches... was dealt three Aces on double double bonus triple play. Couldn't close the deal though. I'd burned through about $75 in the last half hour of my day. Oh well. Vegas.

I enjoyed a couple of cups of skinflint coffee in the room, took in the view, did some online stuff, and generally fucked around. I calculated how many $10 fees I could save if I drank all my k-cups in one day. I calculated if I could survive that much coffee.
'Only' my ass. My k-cups are better and right now, free. Suck it, Smugget!!!
All of a sudden, I heard the distinctive sound of Wilma Flintstone screaming at Fred to wake up, accompanied by a horn flourish and fall-off. It's one of the most jarring sounds you can imagine, and it's the sound my phone plays every time I get a text. Jimmy Poon set it up and says there isn't any way to change it.

Anyway, it was Funkhouser - he was at the Downtown Grand and had a $60 meal comp that had to be used all in one go and did I want to join him for breakfast to try to burn it up?

Hell yes I did!

In the hall, waiting for the elevator, was a mother and her little girl who was perhaps 9 or 10, the cutest thing you've ever seen. Mom was handling most of the luggage and the girl had her own teensy-sized polka dot suitcase, complete with wheels and handle. We got in the elevator together, chatted a bit, and I help keep all the luggage upright. A few others joined us and when we reached the lobby, the little girl was full of 'excuse me's and 'thank you sir's.

She and Mom stopped in the lobby so Mom could do important smartphone things. Just then, the little girl's suitcase started to fall over. She hadn't mastered suitcase skillz yet, I guess.

I helped her out by picking up the suitcase a second time, and getting it's handle straight and so on. Mom smiled and the little girl said, 'thank you' again.

I looked at her and smiled and said, "You know, sometimes all you really need in life... is a polka dot suitcase."

Before joining Funkhouser at the Downtown Grand, I had business at the California. Yes, I wanted to see how the renovations were coming along, but this was personal.

I walked the block to the Cal and went in, and saw the new bar they'd put in. It looks great!
New Cal bar! Looks great and called Holo Holo The Happy Bar.
At the end of the bar, I spied Favorite Server Judy. I hadn't seen her since last fall, about 10 months ago. She gave me a hug and we got caught up a bit. I asked her about her dog, and then of course, she asked me about ours. And I had to tell her that we were down to just one now, Chippy 2.0, having lost Chippy 1.0 a few months ago. We always have shared dog pictures back and forth, and even though I wasn't spending time at the Cal this trip, it seemed like something I needed to take care of. So I had.

The three block walk in the bright morning sunshine to the Grand more than hinted at another molten day to come. The pavement was already radiating heat and the glare was blinding.

I found Funkhouser soon enough and we saddled up to a table at S+O, which used to be Steward and Ogden, and would soon be something else - some sort of America thingy - perhaps a modern take on classic American comfort food? Golly, that's never been done before (on this block).

The failed restaurant is to be expanded to include the premises of the other failed restaurant next to it. I think S+O is just fine, and I've liked everything they've served. They are just another symptom of the Downtown Grand's way of revolving the door all around profitability, but never actually stopping at the destination.

Breakfast was great! We ordered alllll kinds of crap, extra sides and such. I had their take on Huevos Eggs Rancheros del Ovums and Funk had something normal - steakand.

I told Funkhouser about my quest to find the perfect hiding place in plain view as it were of a Royal Flusher 2.0 business card in the Luxor casino.

We kicked a few ideas around, and when I told him what I had come up with, he agreed that it was the near-perfect solution. It would be pretty hard to top it.

Did I mention that S+Os chicken sausages are really, really good?
I think we were well shy of $60. We should have ordered some easy over eggs to go.
After eating (a great big Thank You once again to Funkhouser for providing comped breakfast!), we poked around the casino a bit. I had a $10 Las Vegas Advisor free play coupon, so I got that going, and I had $10 free play on my card.

I cashed out $40 from that.

I also had an LVA blackjack match play. We each bought in at a table.

Putting $10 and the coupon down, and looking forward to my first coupon win, I was dealt a ten, and a 3 for 13. The dealer had a 7 showing.

I took a card, of course, a big El Gordo 10 to bust me. Funkhouser won his hand.

Putting another $10 down in the circle, I looked forward to winning to break even. I was dealt a ten, and a 3 for 13. The dealer had a 7 showing.

I took a card, of course, another identical big El Gordo 10 to bust me. Funkhouser won his hand.

Funk won three hands, parlaying a bit, and so he grabbed $40 or $50 off the table before we walked.

I was now zero for three on matchplay coupons. No problem, it would turn around. Real soon now.

At the Four Queens, we ran into Dr. Raoul and Gambletron at the bar. Dr. Raoul was explaining some of the details of his Penguin business to a couple Bar Sheilas who were ordering Bloody Marys.

Dr. Raoul has a booming business in Manitoba, raising Emperor species penguins for deployment in shopping malls and zoos. He has a pioneering penguin breeding program that uses state of the art techniques to acclimatize potential breeding partners, before insemination. He even uses state-of-the-art solar panels to power the (dim) lights and to heat the pens, and to provide low-pitched ambient sounds that encourage breeding. Barry White songs are particularly effective.

"There's also a small niche market for exotic meats, which we harvest using the latest, most humane methods," I heard him explain as he handed out a couple of business cards. "I just shipped 100 of my ice-raised hormone-free flock to cover my bankroll for this trip, actually. The ice-raised animals appeal to the skinny-jean ironic t-shirt pork pie hat crowd. But you know, they really are tasty. Maybe a bit gamey, but you can easily acquire a taste for penguin - it's very, very accessible. Here, have you ever tried Penguin Jerky?"
Imagine, someone handing out business cards while on vacation in Las Vegas.
"Hey Raoul... how are your tibia?" I said.


I hated to interrupt him when he was on such a roll, but I was dying to know if Raoul and 'Tron were indeed going to embark on the Long March, the El Lawrence desert odyssey in their convertible Poon Stang.

And, they were. I wished them well and reminded them that they faced a good chance of certain death.
I had an LVA coupon for $10 free play at the Four Queens so I got that going. I checked our card balances and... for the first time in years, we have no free play at the Eight Nipples. Damn, that is a sad milestone.

I'd planned to barter off my regular, blue cap, and red cap Silver Strikes to a likely-looking collector - they are easy to spot because they usually have about 90 Strikes in the tray of the machine. And to be sure, I'd ducked in a few times and had never seen a decent looking mark.

Also, I noticed that the machines didn't seem to contain any blue or red caps. And I think I learned something... they seem to come out twice a year, spring and fall. And in between, I don't think they have any.
More Silver Strikes. Check your sock drawers, you might have some like I did.
I played my freeplay and turned it into... two more Silver Strikes, which I cashed in. And, I sucked it up and cashed the eight that I'd brought for face value (with apologies to Dai Lun). $80 total. Some lucky bastard was going to get my red caps from a machine the next day, but it was a good Scrounge and added $80 to my bankroll for free.

I played $20 on Jacks or Better, and Funkhouser had a bash at it too. I lost mine.

Put in another $20. This went well for a while, and I hit $40. Strict Rules of Parlay. Went to 50 cents, and was up to about $65. It looked like it could be a good run, but then the the plummet began. Like a savvy gambler, I called it at $20 and cashed out. So, my foray into gambling at the Four Queens ended with me even, plus the Scrounged $80.

More to come!

The $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016: All Posts

Planning the $1K Scrounge Trip - June 2016

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    1 comment:

    1. Thank goodness for Funkhouser...he is keeping you fed this trip!


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