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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Singing in the Key of B Flat

Friday Day 14 - continued

Casey confirms that he's in town, checked in, and ready to meet for dinner at the planned time. I'm really looking forward to hosting him for dinner.

I play blackjack to kill time and win money. I have great luck with killing time and no luck with winning money. My tally on the day is -$100.

To make it easier to find me, I tell Casey I will be holding a Flusher Official Business Card 2.0 (with the Strict Rules of Parlay on the back) where he can see it. I will also have clown shoes on and half a Big Bird outfit on - even though yellow isn't really my color.

Actually, we pick each other off very easily as the two stumbling around guys who are looking furtively for someone who's looking for a stumbling around guy.

We enter the Redwood Steakhouse and the hostess at the podium greets me by name and says that our table is ready.

It oughta be, the place is three quarters empty at this late hour, which I chose to give Casey plenty of time in case of delayed flights and so on.

Casey is a nice guy, and an interesting guy. He's an engineer by trade. Not the iron ring kind that learned the properties of soil compaction and erosion in some high-falutin' matchbook university course. No, Casey is the real kind of engineer - the kind that was in the top five things you wanted to be when you grew up alongside TV cameraman, policeman, fireman, cowboy, racing car driver and gynecologist - the kind that leans back with a special kind of cool with the power of a couple of General Electric AC6000CW 6,000-horsepower diesel electric locomotives under his throttle hand. Casey regularly saddles up and bronco-busts these beauties, which top out at a continuous 188,000 foot pounds of torque.

Continuous! That's a fuck pail of torque, people.

Casey also wears one of those funny striped hats and waves at kids.

We chat and talk about this and that and look at the menus.

"Casey," I say, "get anything you want. I've got the joint wired with a comp that my host set up - it'll be a seamless experience. Get whatever you would like."

I am Mr. Big Shot for just a moment, feeling like I can wave a magic meat wand and make any kind of steak or prime rib appear. I like the feeling of being a generous host, and showing a devout reader of the blog just what kind of comp clout I've developed in person.

We order cocktails and appetizers and stuff. As always, Hilario and his guys take great care of us. Arelio is on a different crew but stops by for a handshake.

Dinner is great, and I'm not that surprised to hear that Casey thinks that waving back at the kids is one of the best parts of his job. The best part of my job is waving the Bird at Norbert's back after he's given us yet another 'talking to'.

Casey has some a steak - we debated about the merits of the various types and sizes of steak, and I can't remember what he had - and I opted for the lamb chops.

It was a good dinner, as good a comped dinner for two that the good old city of London Las Vegas ever knew. Or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world.

The bill comes and we are stuffed, buzzed from drinks, and sated from a great meal. Like a true gentleman, Casey offers to pick up the tip, which is the unwritten protocol when treated to a comped meal.

"Casey, your money is no good at this table," I say. "Thank you for your offer, but you have been so generous with your support of the blog over the years, that I am happy to do at least this small thing for you, and provide a good meal. I'll cover everything."

Hilario brings the little puffy vinyl covered folder that means "you owe us" - but I simply take a quick glance at the total for tip calculation purposes, fold it up with a snap, and hand it straight back.

"My host called in a comp, Hilario, this will be covered."

We talk some more, and finish our drinks. Ten minutes go by. Then fifteen. The place is almost empty and next thing I know, there's Hilario.

"I'm sorry Mr. Flusher, but there's a problem with your comp," he says.

"Oh?" I says.

"Yes," he says. "The comp covers fifty dollars only. I've been on the phone to the player's club desk, trying to reach a host. Do you want me to try again or ?..."

Fifty dollars? I shrink down about 9" lower in my seat. I feel like a complete ass. Seamless experience?

"Hilario, my host agreed to a comp for two... she didn't say an amount, and neither did I. Try the desk one more time and see if you can sort it out, otherwise, I'll just put it on my room."

Hilario goes away, and comes back ten minutes later to report that he could not get anywhere with the host of the day. He tried to get ahold of my host with no luck

Mr. Big Shot Flusher just tried to feed two hungry guys at a steakhouse on a $50 comp. Nice going, slick.

Casey is very understanding, and I feel as stupid as hell as I fill out the paperwork to put the rest of the bill - about $120 - on my room. Hilario is wonderful, apologetic, and doing the best he can to help me save face.

I leave a very generous cash tip and we're on our way.

"No worries, Casey, I'll talk to my host, she'll pick this up, no problem, I'm sure of it. Just a misunderstanding," I say confidently. I smile big - and for real because it really was a nice dinner notwithstanding being shaken down for a pseudo-comped meal. And inwardly I'm thinking 'I am firing my host the next possible moment'.

I am, in a word, furious.

I am, in another word, humiliated.

I grit my teeth and think about how great a blog post my come-uppance will make.

We each go our own way, me to tackle some (guess what) video poker, and Casey to give the Downtown Grand, where he's staying, some coin in.

The video pokering goes pretty well, actually. I hit a few things and hold my own. I even yet another inside draw to a straight flush. I think that's three this trip so far, and one dealt.

When you parlay in a rush, You will hit a sweet straight flush.
Flusher's Rule.
I even manage to recover some of the days losses and cash out a ticket - which I will use to pay for the meal after I finish reaming out my host nine different ways with nine different power tool attachments.

It's been a long day, a long trip, and I'm ready to go home. I finish packing everything except my toothbrush, the little giant, and my pitch wheel, in case I feel like fucking singing in the key of B flat.

And I still have one more full day - Saturday - in Vegas, before going home Sunday.

Video Poker, Day: -$140
Blackjack: -$100
Keno: -$40

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