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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Eight Cent Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Monday - Day 3, continued

Best. Vegas. Suit. Ever.
At Magnolia's I get greets and hugs from the server that calls me Baby - Sugar Baby in this case. She hugs me. I mean she wraps her arms around me, and hugs me and holds on tight, asking how I am and how things are. She's a sweetheart.

It seems reasonable that I order the Country Fried Steak and Eggs, slathered with Country Throw-up Gravy (CTUG). Why? Because it's good, that's why. It's the perfect antidote to Torment Oatmeal, too.

magnolia's country fried steak and eggs with country throw-up gravy CTUG
My heart on a plate - country fried steak and eggs, hash browns - teaming with country throw-up gravy.

magnolia's country fried steak and eggs with country throw-up gravy CTUG
Suck my throw-up gravy, Mr. Quaker Fuck You Funny-hat. Heart attacks are on me!
Sometimes I whinge when my toast is not buttered enough (which is often, in restaurants). Not this time.

Butter, with a light layer of toast.
Fremont nickel triple play Super Times Slutty Pay gets a twenty out of me, and it's on down the street. They've removed some of the canopy in front of the construction at 18 Fremont. I try to imagine what will be there one day when Derek Stevens fulfils his vision for the property, and all I can come up with is a square block full of dancing dealers and 110 dB thump thump thump. And a gigantic bar. And maybe a real rooftop pool.

I'm actually really looking forward to it - I think it is going to be a downtown game changer.

I see the Free Bird show on the canopy. How did a break-up song become about fighter jets and shuttle launches?

The views where the Las Vegas Club isn't are so different now. You can take in a lot more at one glance then you ever could before.

Back to Main Street Station I go, where I decide to fuck around on nickel and penny video poker.

I take a photo represents probably the lowest of the low, the stupidest of the stupe, the degeneratest of the degen that I will ever, ever sink to. One cent video poker. Literally. One cent bet per hand, on a horrid fake Bonus Poker paytable. I thank my lucky stars that I don't hit a royal, or any other good hand for that matter.

Eight cent winner, chicken dinner!
I play a few hands at a more reasonable number of credits, and out of habit, I accidently hit Max Bet. This thing goes up to 100 credits. I've bet an entire dollar by mistake. Fortunately, my hand is a winner.

Royal Flusher, master of penny video poker
I've just won $25 on penny video poker. 

I decide to try nickel multi-card keno just as a rather unsavoury looking character plops down next to me. He doesn't look like your typical MSS video poker player. He is wearing six layers of clothing, none of which coordinate for crying out loud. He has a hoodie on with the hoodie up, and a black baseball cap of some sort, and another hoodie with its hood up on top of that.

He sits crookedly, half in the seat, and half out and shoves a crumpled dollar bill into the machine. He roots through his pockets and comes up with two more dollar bills that look like they've been salvaged from a shipwreck.

He says something to me and I think its, "You habbm' ay luck, yo?"

He starts poking around through menus on the screen and my instinct is to cash out immediately. It has the feel that I'm targeted, that this man does not really have an interest in playing three dollars worth of Caveman Keno. I am feeling nervous, looking at my screen and seeing nothing but my peripheral view of him.

"No, man, no luck for me, that's why I'm playing the penny machine."

"Ya man, I hear ya man."

He finds a video poker game, plays 3 credits on it and stares at the dealt cards for about a minute. Now I am certain that he is not a professional video poker player. He would as soon knife me at the penny machines as eat a hamburger.

And then, I am ashamed at my small-mindedness. This is not what the world needs more of. I decide that my irrational fears and stereotyping should be put aside, and I should treat this friendly guy just like I'd treat any other fellow player that is probably about to pistol whip me for my credits play a few hands of fun video poker next to me. I have to just take it as it comes, and quit projecting my fears onto what is probably just another fellow like me, down on his luck.

The best thing to do is to start telling him about my day, my family heritage, some of the automobiles my father drove when I was pre-adolescent - oh, and my life story. I start babbling a sentence or two, every ten seconds or so. Small talk. I punch around in the mulit-card keno game and hit the button. The game does not start.

I can't get it to do anything. I can't cash out. I can't start the game. I can't start a new game. I can't bet credits. The thing is locked up tighter than an out-of-control drunk Irish best man in Philadelphia.

I decide to ask my new buddy for help. I decide to just be myself. I let fly with the cursing because I truly am tired and frustrated and that's what I do. It seems normal and okay now and we share a laugh or two. Out of ideas, I push the service button.

I know what I need - one of those guys with so many tools on his belt that he jingles when he walks.

You've seen them. These guys are the western gunslingers of the casino, but instead of a six-gun on their hip, they pack a walkie talkie, and huge keyrings with like fiftyseven keys on them. I imagine that they could weaponize those keyrings, that they could throw them at a robber or something in a pinch. Maybe if they got lucky they could take an eye out, or at least somewhat startle the robber.

When Floor Sheriff Slim Jingles arrives, I explain that I have ruined the machine with my inept Multi-Card Keno play. It's dead. And it has my money in it.

Slim Jingles starts poking at buttons and prodding at the screen. He looks at keno card after keno card and finally says, "Well, there's yer problem..."

Except he says it like, "prollem".

At some point, I had hit (wait for it) Max Bet, and some of the keno cards that have credits bet against them don't have any numbers chosen. So now I know, and now you know.

"Pick some numbers," says Slim, and I swear I hear him add 'pardner'.

I poke at the screen with a finger, picking numbers.

"Pick 44, that lucky," says Yo on my left. Slim nods, so I pick 44.

I pick 69, and look left and right, smiling. Yo giggles, and Slim looks faintly like I'd insulted somebody.

Just as I hit start, Slim says, "17's a gentleman's number..." but it's too late - the game starts and the keno numbers start to come up!

Dink dink dink dink....

The three of us focus on the screen with rapt attention.

Dink dink dink dink....

"Yo, 44!!!" says Yo, as 44 lights up.

When it's all over, I've won about... 9 cents. Number 69 is not there, but 17 is.

"I won 9 cents," I say.

"Damn," says Yo.

"Shit," says I.

"Should have picked 17," says Slim, who mounts his horse and gallops off to fix the next yokel's prollem.

I play a few more rounds and cash out some ridiculous number of cents that wouldn't even pay for the paper the ticket is printed on. I wish my new pal Yo good luck, he does the same, we fist bump, and I'm off.

To finish the night, I try my last twenty on nickle Ultimate X. It goes really well, with the machine hitting, and hitting, and when I reach $80, I do the smart thing. I cash out the ticket, and put in a replacement twenty - that way, I can see if the streak will continue, but I won't blow through all the profit due to a fit of degen. Even if it goes south, I can cash my ticket on the way out and be down only about $40 on the day.

I play away and its almost gone and then I hit Max Bet (as one should) and, fucking stupid me, there aren't enough credits for a full hand. And I can't get out of the hand. And I won't play less than full credits.

So what do I do? I put the $60 ticket in to play the final hand out. I'll play the hand, and come what may, I'll cash out and that will be that. I play the hand.

And then another, for luck. And I play it into the ground. My day is done.

I'm down $140 on the day, and $280 on the trip so far. I make one of those angry, lonely, walks back to the room and get on the computer. There are readers out there waiting for live dispatches, and I have to launch the Fuck You Tropicana In-Room Coffee Maker Plan.

This plan consists of getting on Amazon and ordering the very small, light, and simple single cup Little Giant Coffee Machine. Delivery destination - Flusher, c/o The Cal. I'm interested to see how this all will pan out.

The purpose of this coffee maker is three-fold. I want it:

A) to be able to have hot delicious coffee in my room any time I damn well want some, and naked and hungover if needs must.

B) to save precious gambling dollars. I could easily drink $10 worth of Starbucks in a day. My cost is about 50 cents a cup, plus the cost of the Little Giant, pro-rated across the number of cups brewed (assuming the cheap goddamn $13 coffee maker works).

C) to thumb my nose and say BullshitFuckYou to the Tropicana's $15 $30 a day charge for an in-room coffee maker. That sumbich better come with a personal barista and a Steve Dangleshorts-style knob polish for that kind of coin.

That done, it's time to hit the king size sack. Overall, I have had a really fun night, and for the most part, an enjoyable day too. Tomorrow, I change hotels - to the Cal.
Obligatory Vat o' CTUG photo. Yummmmmmm.

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