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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Part 5 - Venetian, Voodoo, and Meatsicles

Here's part five of the 1999 classic trip report. Remember when the Mirage was sick and epic and bad and every other property had to measure up to it?

It was still in its heyday then, but has been left behind to be just another property. Hard to believe, but you can't stop junk-bond financed progress.

You know what one of my fondest memories is?

Playing video poker while listening to a great lounge band, and cashing out coins into buckets at the Mirage.

Note: If you are on your smartphone, or small tablet, go for landscape mode. Because otherwise it is a total clusterpost.

© 2000 Royal Flusher - All Rights Reserved

Royal Flusher's Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Trip Report

by Royal Flusher

Part 5 - Venetian, Voodoo, and Meatsicles

We got up early again and greeted another day of potential losses in Vegas. I immediately admonished myself for thinking negatively, got back under the covers, closed my eyes, opened them, and got up on the other side of the bed. Good luck would be ours!

We figured we'd given the Pirate Wynn some decent dollar action, so we'd use the slot club to facilitate our room change. We bounded down to the casino, bags all packed and ready to go back in the room, and strode purposefully up to the slot club.


Now read this carefully, all you Nervous Nellies, Naysayers, and Big Chief No-Funs of the Idawanna Tribe. When you look in the mirror, try to see things half full for a change, for setbacks can also be opportunities.

The sign said, locate a slot host for assistance. And a number of them, in their jackets and freshly pressed trousers, were standing nearby. You know how you have a gaggle of geese, or a trumpet of swans? Well, we had us a conference of suits.

I walked up to them, and carefully phrased a question that I knew would help us get a great room and maybe a free meal.

"Good morning! Which one of you is the friendliest?"

Three of them pointed to a fourth and laughed. "He is!" Of course 'he', was the slot club manager.

Well, being as it was early, the computer was down. What a great time to get a breakfast comp! It was a freebie, folks, because they couldn't access the slot club info on-line. Beautiful. I've never loved a computer system that wasn't working so much as I did that morning! I could almost smell the fragrance of the free bacon and eggs wafting along the free casino air we would soon enjoy.

The bossman hooked us up with Franceen who was very nice indeed. She would handle the room change. She took notes, and sent us off to eat. We would check in with the desk later and they would provide us with keys. They would move the bags.

We trotted off to breakfast at the coffee shop, hand in hand, ready to enjoy free-dom. Food always tastes better when its free. (I conveniently forget about the little things in the face of such abundance, such as losing fifty dollars in three minutes at craps the night before. Free food? My foot!) Breakfast was delicious. I ordered in the manner of one accustomed to such elegant surroundings, and fine food.

"Good morning! I'd like two large, farm-fresh, Grade A eggs, cooked just the way I like them, two rashers of pan fried country style bacon with just a hint of maple, two sausage links, grilled to perfection, and golden brown home fried potatoes, hot off the griddle. Please have the chef prepare an order of my choice of bread, lightly toasted, and spread with fresh creamery butter. Bring along a selection of my choice of fruit preserves and a cup of superb, hot coffee, freshly brewed as well."

Ah, the good life.

"Her mysterious comment had hit me in my very core, and would linger on in my conciousness for many seconds."

Some people collect baseball cards. Some pride themselves on their autograph book.

I collect menuspeak.

You know, those wonderful bons mots, those phrases and words of description that grace the finer menus of the world. A good menu is written in such a way that none of the verbiage even remotely resembles anything a normal human being would say.

See, it ain't jam - it's 'preserves'. Think 'griddle cakes' and 'fresh homestyle buttermilk biscuit halves'.

Some of my very favorites include such things as: raspberry coulis, potato tower, medallions of anything, crème freche, compote.

But let me give you some examples, of menuspeak 'in situ' as it were.

"Andouille Crusted Texas Redfish served on a pile of shoestring potatoes with Creole Meuniere Sauce and garnished with an Alabama Rock Shrimp Pecan Relish" Just like Mom used to make! (I think they could reword the 'pile' thing though. Why not a shoestring haystack au gratin or something?).

Here's a beauty from Andiamo:

Carpaccio Di Manzo

Wafer thin slices of raw tenderloin with beef mustard cognac dressing and shaved Parmesan Cheese.

You see? They make it sound so exotic! Who would have thought of mentioning the shaved cheese? And all these years I've been eating hairy parmesan! Let's move on…

Now, for dessert, would you rather have:


Flavor of the day 4.00

Or for a measly buck more:

Trio Di Sorbetti

Trio of Sorbet, a lighter dessert of three sorbets, papaya, raspberry and pear served with a lemon and vanilla sauce and an almond tulip filled with berries of the season 5.00

"Scuse, Mincing Waiter, Trio Di Sorbetti, gracie and make sure that almond tulip is freche!"

On the way out of the restaurant, I spied the host, Franceen, and held the little exit gate open for her and her companion. A good opportunity to try to ingratiate myself with her! She wished us luck and said, "Hit a Royal." Was she suggesting that I should hit a royal in the future? Her mysterious comment had hit me in my very core, and would linger on in my conciousness for many seconds.

We decided to check out the new Venetian hotel and casino. What a beauty it is! It is so lovely that I have eyes for no other establishment. Yes, I am 'Venetian blind'.

We had excellent luck at this fine pseudo-Italian joint. And you can too. In the spirit of shared and remembered outer body experiences, of psycho-acoustic hog calling for improved luck, I'm going to share the secret with you.

You must go in the main entrance of the Venetian, just across the bridge from the strip. Inside the front door, you will find some lovely marblework, brickwork, mortarwork, and drywallwork. Pay speciale attentione to the flora. Inside the main foyer, there is a central, sun-motif design in the floor. It is quite large, and at its very center is a small black circle, perhaps ten inches in diameter. Now you must do what Ms. Flushario and I did. We decided to stand together on the black spot and perform the ritualistic pressing of the lips (also known as a 'kiss'). But the rules (which I made up on the spot, as it were) said that no part of our body should touch the floor outside of the black spot.

It was actually very difficult to do this, and fun and romantic. We drew many interested gazes from passersby as we played this form of 'Erotic Italian One-spot Twister'. Finally the balancing act was achieved and a smooch exchanged. Yes, on the ten inch spot.

The Venetian has an air of class and elegance to it - they've faked this beautifully.
Just wandering around was a fine way to waste five or ten valuable Las Vegas minutes. But, the best part for us was the quantity of full pay Video Poker machines. We signed up at the slot club and sat down to play twenty five cent 9/6 Jacks or Better. Some time later I found I had earned 26 points on only $40 in. That doesn't sound like much play until you realize that it represents 2600 quarters, or 520 hand. The best part was that I ended up cashing out with 400 quarters.

A tour of the casino followed and we played various forms of slots and VP. The circular kiss in the foyer had worn off though, because our winning had petered out. Perhaps we needed to move further into foreplay in the foyer to ensure our good fortune.

One problem with the otherwise wonderful Venetian - it stinks. Literally. Some marketing buffoon has decided that filling the air with scent at regular intervals would be a good idea. I found it distracting and unpleasant, but Mrs. F, with her highly developed sense of nosality, found it enough to bring on the beginnings of a minor bout of asthma. We skedaddled before she got into any difficulty, but what a shame it is! We'd stay there in a New York New York minute, except for the phony, overbearing, cloying stench they pump into the joint. Shame on you, you Venetian marketing bastards! Shame on you!

Back at the Island of Treasure Island, we confirmed that Franceen had finagled a room change for us. We now had a terrific 24th floor south strip view room, sans mold. It was a regular room (24095 in case anyone wants to know) and all our stuff had swiftly and surely been transferred there. (They use scores of trained monkeys in little pillbox hats, and red doublebreasted bellboy jackets with gold buttons for this kind of handiwork. It's true!)
The view was terrific and before long I blew another roll of film away photographing it.*
*Film??? What's film? R.F.

This meal was a good one. I started with the 'Satay Trio' which is grilled viandes on skewers. I dubbed them meatsicles. I had the Teriyaki bowl and banana cream pie for dessert. My beloved Flusherina had French Onions soup, a huge club sandwich, and her special dessert - a hot fudge sundae with butterscotch instead of fudge and no whipped cream. She orders it, they make it, she eats it, she loves it. Life is simple, no? Our play the rest of the day, and into evening was, well, lacklustre. Dull. We were slowly fulfilling the casino's mandate to take our money. And, the big win I'd envisioned that day, so many, many days ago (four) at the money wheel, had not materialized. We were going down the tubes, this time, without a paddle.

A change of pace was needed, and finally, we saw the pirate show. We watched it from the deck outside the lounge on the hotel side of the 'lake' (the name of it escapes me - could it be the 'Plank'?).

I asked some burly looking door guard if we could watch the show.

"No room."

"But sir, I can see, there's plenty of room. I promise, we'll behave."


"It's our seventh trip here and we still haven't seen the show. Pretty please?"

He thought it over of 6 milliseconds.


Forlornly, I hung my head and wandered to the window where I could make out a tiny bit of the extravaganza. Mrs. F and I stood there somberly for a couple of minutes. To our surprise, the goon at the door unexpectedly relented.

"Oh, all right. Don't tell anyone."

We were in! Or rather, out, on the deck. The pirate show was as good as its been the previous eleven thousand, four hundred times, I'm sure. We enjoyed it, and afterward, Mrs. F. had some divine inspiration.

"Our luck is not here," she said. (No kidding.) "It's elsewhere," she clarified. "It's at . . . the Mirage!"

Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Clip:

We cash in big at Mirage! (576K)

Of course it was! We took the opportunity to stroll over and enjoy the tropical ambience and much, much better music of the Mirage. The VP here is crappy, but we found a playable 8/5 progressive. Mrs. F hit four of a kind for $125. I urged her to cash out, but she insisted "It's not done yet." Sure enough, five hands later, she hit another and cashed out for over $300. Now by this time, I was pissed. I hadn't really done any winning since morning. Everything I touched seemed to turn into profits - for the casino.

I decided I would cash out more than my wife. I took twenty bucks, and I played like the *wind*. I got a quad, dropped to $150, then to $125, but Mrs. F urged me on, and soon I was at $200. I was going to quit, but no, I wanted my own $300 to cash out. I nailed a bunch of good hands and got 'er up to $325. My honor and bankroll were intact!

We hauled four buckets of dollar tokens to the change booth. What fun that is! There was $625 between us, and the best was yet to come - a free trip to the buffet for each of us for having 50 points our our slut clob cards. The buffet is no slouch (and worth $14.50 each). Once again, Mirage had treated us right. One way or another, we have always won there.

Sonyc-Vysion (tm) Clip:

Walking tour of the Mirage Buffet (713K)

After a delightful buffet supper, we played some more. On a whim, I loaded up a ten-play quarter VP machine (fifty quarters). It was a deuces wild game and I was dealt four fives! Beauty! I ended up with 255 quarters and cashed out immediately. A few minutes later, Mrs. F's sharp eyes spotted a dollar chip on the floor. I kept it for a souvenir.

Back 'home' to T.I. and a quick loss of $80 before bed.

Still, it was a very satisfying day, but the best was, as they say, 'yet to come'. Oooh, what a turn of phrase that is!

If you thought part 5 was scintillating, part 6 is, well, super-duper scintallating. Seriously. Part 6 was one of the highlights of my gambling career. For reals!


    1. Sounds like the T.I.T.I. has some great customer service. Just a small detail I noticed on this part 5; you have the part 3 title on it.

      1. Thanks! Fixed it. Copy/paste error. I'll smack Jimmy Poon for this.

    2. Oh how you tease your readers with your #6. I hope its a Mega Big Wynn or at least you meet The Steve and he takes you on a pirate adventure at TI.


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