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Friday, December 22, 2017

Three Bad Things and One Good One - part 2

We took some time to prepare for an early departure the next morning, going up to the suite, packing up, checking in with the airline, that kind of thing. I took a shower and shaved.

Getting dressed I was down to only one shirt with a pocket. In Vegas I pretty much wear a shirt with a breast pocket every single day - I put my phone there and it's much easier to access. I take a lot of pictures for the blog, and when sitting, it just makes sense.

But I also like to have that pocket when flying, for phone, boarding passes, earplugs during the flight, and whatnot.

Trust me, this is going somewhere.

In the end, I decided to save the last shirt with a pocket to fly the next day in, and put on a regular old t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. One of my favorite shirts, actually. But it has no pocket. I'd roll with it.

"One thing I still have not done," I said, "is to take $1000 off a table game."

"Well, go do it," replied the Quad Queen.

"I think the only way to reasonably do it is to play greens - something I've never really had the balls to do."

God love her, the Quad Queen said, "Well, take $500 and go play greens. Make a grand." She knows how to live in the moment, and it's a good balance for my tendency to stress out.

$500 playing $25 a hand... that could end badly - or greatly.

Overall, I'd taken a beating this trip in Vegas, so I thought about it carefully.

"Okay, look, I'll take $300. If it goes bad, I'm not too horribly off. If I start winning, then great."

And that's what I did.

Thing Two

Out of the gate, I lost three hands in a row. Uh oh. I thought one more, and I'm out. But I won one and settled in. I started to do pretty well, and got up about $200.

The dealer was great too, and even called my 16 a push to her 17 on one hand. That started the tipping tap.

My luck turned, though, and I burned through all the profit and into my buy-in. When I'd lost $200 of the $300, I decided enough was enough. I colored up and slipped one black $100 chip into my pocket, alongside my phone, the food and beverage Gold Card, a blackjack strategy card.

The Quad Queen wanted to try some ten play, so we went over and she did fine, and I got slaughtered. Things were tipping over. I went to play some Beeeefffalllooooo! and that went nowhere as well. She joined me over there having gotten beat as well, and we played some Beeefffallloooo! and sucked down more drinks.

In fact, I was out of fund, save the lone black chip in my pocket.

"Well," I said, reaching in to fish it out, "I guess I better cash this in and play it."

I came up with a hand full of nothing. I pulled everything out of my pocket. No chip. I went through every pocket, crease, crevice, and opening I had, and it wasn't pretty. There was no goddamned fucking chip either.

I looked all around. I'd only been two places after blackjack, ten play, and Beeeffallloooo. We'd played on both sides of the bank, so I looked, I looked more, I pulled the chairs out, I looked ten, fifteen feet away because chips roll... Nothing.


I hustled down the aisle, and down the little stairway leading to the craps tables, turned right and searched around the ten-play machines. Nothing, nothing, nothing and more nothing.

I was pissed. How could I do this??? I've never, ever lost a chip, let alone a black. It had to have popped out of my pocket when I was fishing my phone out for one reason or another.

Thing Three

Steamed, I headed back to the main casino. At the top of the stairs was a group of twenty-somethings, yammering at each other, vaping clouds of chemicals into the air, and completely in the way of the stairs.

Normally, I would have asked them to move, and been on my way. Not today. No, today my choice was to blast through the bunch of them like a running back, bumping one on each side of me as I walked through the middle of them.

"Excuse me," I heard.


Oh, they were upset. They were pissed. They'd been wronged. I'd been so rude. And they started to tell me so. I yelled back that they were blocking the aisle and the stairs, look where you're standing, you're completely in the way. Which they were. And I topped it all with a couple of fuck yous.

And probably risked getting into a fight. Which is pretty far down on my Vegas repertoire.

Again, a bad choice that I could have completely handled differently. Yes they were in the wrong, but who cares? I could have asked them to move and be on my way. But the anger over losing the stupid chip was all I had at that point.

Good God, what a last night. It was all going in the dumper.

The Quad Queen wanted one last bash at multiplay at Main Street. I was frozen with anger and sadness, eyes unmoving, teeth gritted, a loud steady hum in my ears, my thoughts everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It's the same kind of feeling you have when you get blindsided out of the blue and told you're fired.

I managed to stump it over to Main Street with my cement legs, not talking, not seeing anything. It all seemed a sham now, all the little pleasures about the casino I enjoy so much, I'd blown it so badly.

We sat down and QQ began to play. I just stared, unfocused, at the screen on my machine, thoughts churning a thousand miles an hour. The windsock was blowing straight out in the gale and it seemed all I could do was be blown away.

"Are you going to play? It's our last night here, you going to just sit there?" the Queen of Quads, tonight's Princess of Pointies asked.

And this was where I grew a little bit. Usually, I'd pout. This time, I thought, well, if I go through the motions, maybe I can put aside all the stupid shitty things I've done. She gave me a twenty dollar bill and I started to play.

Triple play Bonus Poker.

I lazarused in no time, but won the hand. I crawled the $20 back. And then I hit a few hands. And I started to enjoy myself, just a little bit.

At the end of the session, I cashed out $100, for a $20 win. I felt... okay.

The Quad Queen had been decimated, blowing through $400 with no tangible fun. It was awful, and a shame, she'd done so well this trip. But that's how it goes on ten play.

I had one more thing to do - there was a place I wanted to stash a Flusher Business Card 2.0.

I stashed it and that was the night.

No triumph, no redemption, no big winner at the last minute. (Although, there's always the airport.)

We had had such an amazing trip, seen wonderful things, eaten small furry mammals, and I was ashamed at myself here as it was wrapping up. The night should have been the cherry on top of it all - instead, I'd dropped a steaming furious turd, spotted with peanut bits.

The Good One

There was one good thing that happened, something I hadn't planned to write about. But it was a time when I was more the kind of person I wanted to be.

There is a staff member at one of the Boyd properties who came to Las Vegas as an immigrant, and unable to speak english. Over the years, I've watched how hard this person works, and actually been quite amazed at the her progress with English, having less and less of an accent and starting to joke around with me on a more subtle level.

I'd thought about whether I should say something for a few trips now, and for some reason, this time, I found the courage.

"I just want to tell you," I said, "I really am amazed at how you are doing here. I know English is not your first language, but every time I see you, you speak better and better and now you have almost no accent."

"Really? Oh... no accent?!" she said.

"And I think you are brave and really smart - I can tell. And I'm just so impressed with how hard you work, and how much you have learned."

Her lovely dark eyes filled with tears as I spoke. She blinked them away as best she could.

"Thank you. Thank you for saying so," she said.

It's been a long time since I've seen someone so moved. I took a gamble on telling her these things and it was so worth the risk.

All things considered, maybe I managed to break even.


    1. Royal, you were wrong when you wrote earlier in this post that there was "no big winner at the last minute" - 'cuz here it is:
      "I took a gamble on telling her these things and it was so worth the risk."

    2. I remember losing a $100 bill about for or five years ago. Only thing I could think of was I accidently included it in a tip to the valet. I was sick, and other than the valet theory, I hand no idea why I was missing the $100. Well, about two years later, I found it in a small travel bag we don't use anymore that I was about to throw out.


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