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Friday, April 27, 2018


Thursday - Day 13

The sunrise this morning is not as nice as yesterday mornings, so I look at pictures of the sunrise instead of looking out the window.

Fortunately the Grommet One symposium is a one day affair, and my volunteer duties consist mostly of ushering attendees to their seats. The ones that can't find their seats are the ones that have been up all night, taking advantage of the local attractions. Some of 'em are green, none of 'em boot while in my care, so that's a win.

The day is uneventful, and I wrap up my volunteer duties at Grommet One - and start a long weekend as a free man. No more conference stuff to do - I have tomorrow off.

I play my freeplay for the day, uneventfully. And I have what is possibly the world's worst lunch.

At The South Beach Food Court in the Tropicana, there's an item on the menu called Jackpot Fries. This sounds like perfect comfort food. I imagine fresh cut potato fries, hot, slightly crisp, with freshly shredded ground beef, peppers, grilled onions, cheese melting, an elevated poutine, the whole thing a delight to the palette.

What I get is possibly the worst thing I've ordered anywhere, any time. (Probably not really, but hey, hyperbole, right?)

There are enough thin, greasy fries for six people. There are shreds of plastic bag reconstituted roast beef. There is cheese. And the whole thing is served up in a closed cardboard 10" pizza box.

See for yourself.

My God it's an abomination. Nobody could, or should, finish it. I cope with this by adding some ketchup and hot sauce, and trying to eat everything that is not a fry. Some fries get eaten as collateral damage - and that amount is the right amount of fries a person should eat. More even.

When I'm done picking at the Jackpot Fries like a crow on the road going at the latest "that used to be something, Mabel" fur and feather grease spot, this is what's left.

Oh, no, I missed a green pepper fragment.
As I poke at the thing, I think "the worse the food, the better the blog, the worse the food, the better the blog".

I have double booked the Tropicana and the California, and to make it easier to move, I decided to practice being a vagrant.

There is about a quarter of my bourbon left, and I don't want to have to truck heavy glass around needlessly, so I pour the remainder into a water bottle. Being in possession of what looks like a urine sample puts me immediately into OCD schizoid homeless territory. It looks grim.

I fill my little nylon backpack with all my dirty clothes, stick the bottle in the side pouch, and take off for the bus stop.

I'm just off the elevator when I get a text from the Quad Queen. The anvil that has clouded the trip, and our lives for some time, has fallen. There is no worse news one can get than this, and I have already had my fill of bad news in the last 24 hours.

I stop and ask if I should immediately come home. But this has been expected, and she says no, keep your plans. Even though we have all been prepared, it's still a shock when these things finally come to pass.

The bus is on time and for the second time in two days, I am grieving in public. I sit at the very back, and it's good to have nothing to do for half an hour or so. I even enjoy being stuck on the freeway, nowhere to go, nowhere I can go.

I reflect on things and come to the realization that John would not want me to quit - he would want me to get as much out of the day - and every day - as is possible. So, for the rest of the day, I will try to shape my thoughts along those lines. At times, though, it's impossible.

Degenerate luggage and urine sample self portrait.
At the Cal, I check in and they have a room for me, even though I have only a torn bag of smelly, soiled socks and underwear, and a 500 ml. urine sample as my luggage.

I check the progressive on the second floor and it is high again, around $1800. A long session of video poker is just what I need, and I hope I can get something going.

And I do. I bounce between Bonus and Double Double, and hit enough stuff to keep me going for a few hours. I just pound the crap out of the thing.

I'm dealt a straight flush, draw to another one and get some pointies too.

When it's all over I've played 2,553 dollars worth, or 2042 hands of video poker. That's a lot of hands, and its therapy for the brain.

I eat dinner and again do the prime rib right off the bat. It's really good, again.

Next stop, the players club booth, where my host is on duty. We do the air kiss, call each other sweetie/dear/honey and then I ask her to set up a comp. I tell her I want to take a friend to Redwood Steakhouse, so I will need a comp for two people. and what can she do.

She tells me she will take care of it, it will be set up at the restaurant. I pick a time that should work for Casey, who I've never met, and who is flying in tomorrow afternoon.

It's been a long, hairy day, and I am down to only a few bucks anyway, so I figure I better head back to the Trop. I think about trying to navigate the RTC site and see what times the SDX and WAX are coming, but finally, I've just been pushed so far in the last couple of days, so I just say fuck it and head to Binions, and the bus stop.

I don't know it at the time, but I am about to break some rules, and get involved with a drug dealer.

I am thrilled to have successfully achieved my Attendee License at Grommet One. What an achievement!!!


    1. I,had a best friend die of cancer while I was in Las Vegas (well, technically in the air between Reno and Vegas) so I know how hard it is to balance the fact that you knew it was coming with the finality of it... all while being on vacation.

      I decided to play a poker tournament that night to try to immerse myself in something. I went to the Hard Rock, and wouldn't you know it, I was seated directly under a display for Godsmack, which was Scott's favorite band. That actually helped quite a bit.

    2. Hurting for, and with, you. So, so sorry.

    3. I realize this was a while ago now, but I am sure the pain was just as great when you were posting this, Flusher. So sorry for your loss....and I hope that your other friend’s treatment is going well.


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