Day 10, Thursday May 25, 2017
What a great day I'd had. I woke up flush with free play won cash, a smile in my pants, and a - hmm, something wrong with that. The morning called for some celebration music, so I pulled up one of our best-selling blues releases from the 50s on Royal Flusher Records - Ham in the Can by the amazing, tubular, Big 'Salami' Johnson.
The boogie shuffle sounds of Call Me Big Salami floated up from the misty delta, and crackled out of the speakers, filling my room at the California.
The chorus came around and I sang along, "Well, you can call me Big 'Salami' - I'll uncoil a round! Call me Big 'Salami' - I'm ninety-niiiiine cents a pound!"
I'm not sure why Big 'Salami' Johnson gets two nicknames. You could call him Big. Or you could call him 'Salami'. Or you could call him Big 'Salami'. But you dasn't has to call him Johnson.
After hitting the two sets of Aces at the Downtown Grand, I'd had a different kind of dinner, and actually played more .
I approached the podium at the Noodle House and was immediately led to the Single Lonely Diner Corral, which is on the left side of the restaurant, tucked away, three or four small tables against the wall, where the Single Lonely Diners like me would stay out of trouble.
There was already on S.L.D. sitting at a table and I was placed next to her, both of us sitting against the wall, the better to be able to view the other diners who actually had friends and family to enjoy a delightful social experience with.
I ordered and got chatting with the woman next to me a little bit. Another woman, a wide-brimmed straw hat perched jauntily on her head, was seated in the Corral.
The usual pre-meal business happened, waiters coming and going, water and drinks and chips and things appearing. The woman to my left had struck up a conversation with the Straw Hat Lady. And then was relaying questions to me. And then she said, 'Why don't we put our tables together instead of talking across each other?"
I liked the idea, and slid my table over and sat opposite the woman that had been on my left. We both encouraged Straw Hat Lady to join us. And she did. Three strangers, at the same table, sharing a meal.
What fun!!! I thought.
Don't be an ass!!! I thought.
I really was on my best behavior. We all introduced ourselves, and it turned out that the two ladies were both from Hawaii. They actually lived not to far from one another and had a lot in common. I enjoyed listening to them regale each other with stories and descriptions of exotic Hawaiian locales, and 'do you know Mr. Aloha on the Big Island?' type questions.
The meal was good, and I took pictures of their food, with permission, of course.
|Pad Thai Nootles. Mine. Nom.|
|Fried meat strips of some sort on accidental salad. WITH CILANTRO!|
We exchanged emails and they said to send them an email so we'd know we had each others correctly. I sent each of them 'Hello'. Not wanting to risk overstaying my welcome, I left them to tea and more Hawaii talk.
There was kind of a weird scene, though, when Straw Hat Lady found that the waiter had not removed the first of the dinner coupons from her meal book. She'd numbered them and was quite upset that 'now there could be problems because they aren't being used in order, and that's why I numbered them!'. I didn't blame her for being upset that her system was ruined. Everybody has those little things that they want 'just so', as is their right, like using numbered coupons in the exact order they should be used, or perhaps only occupying odd numbered stalls on odd numbered days, and even numbered stalls on even numbered days. And if you mix them up you have to untie and tie each shoe the number of days it is, or a catastrophe will happen and it'll be ALL. YOUR. FAULT.
No, I'd been about as gracious as Flushiepants gets throughout the meal, watched my table manners, didn't even brag about the Pointies, and I certainly was in no judgy mood.
Women (or anyone) traveling alone should be cautious, and I was very careful to be a model citizen, non-threatening, and polite. Anyway, it wasn't my idea to join forces in the first place.
Funny, now that I think about it, I never did get a reply from either of them.
After dinner I played some more, as mentioned, but it was just paid time at the machines. Lost $20 on Deuces, $60 on the Grand Poobah machine upstairs, $55 on craps. I decided to take a shot at some dollar play - Jacks or Better - and that was -$80.
I wasn't unhappy though. I had the trip wired at that point. All I had to do was watch my Ps and Qs, and cast a few sidelong glances at my Bs and Ss to keep them in line, and a winning trip was in the bag.
Feeling like Mr. Sociable, I hatched an idea. I still had coupons to do at Ellis Island, so I texted Blonde4BettyEver and said, 'Hey, you wanna go to Ellis Island this aft?'
It was a big fat yes, so we set up a time and a pickup point. She'd moved to the D and they have a really easy pit lane there.