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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Don't Grandma This, Kenny!

Sunday - Day 2

I really only have two days to play enough to hopefully lose no money and get my three nights at the Plaza comped. And my cousin and his family are in town, so there will be a visit with them, down on the strip. And Funkhouser is in town, so there will be hijinx with him. So I'm going to be heading to the strip in the afternoon.

It's time to get busy.

First things first - fire up the Little Giant. Has it suffered from all the traveling? Hell, I know it won't let me down, it's already got more miles on it than a Stage Door bar fly. The first trick is to open the kilo of smack brick of Lavazza coffee without performing a flying sandtrap. I manage it and a minute later, the Little Giant is making hot, beautiful, brown stuff.


Still aching from the long day of travel, and the late evening of drinklegambling, I get some clothes on, inspect the pizza box for anything edible (nothing) and head to the elevator. A couple of floors down, a 21-year-old woman wearing dealy-bobbers, neon pink sneakers, and a contraption of netting and bits of glittery cloth gets on the elevator. Her netting manages to cover her nipples but I'm not sure it's not accidental.

I'm not ready for a mostly-naked elevator ride with a beautiful young lady that talks to me.

"Hi!" she says.

"Good morning," I stammer.

"Are you from here?"

"No, I'm a visitor."

"Staying here?"

"Yes."

"Me too!"

She gives a little jump and her skin sparkles with some sort of applied pixie dust, blinding me.

"Having a good time at the festival?" I ask. I try not to use any superlatives like 'hip', 'boss', 'excellent', or even 'sick' or 'epic'. She's from an alien planet that I can only peek at.

She nods her head enthusiastically as the door opens. Casino.

I smile at her. "Have a fantastic day," I manage, meaning it.

"Oh, you too!"

She takes off, waving goodbye with two jiggling butt cheeks, swathed in nothing much. I again feel a pang of jealousy at the amazing time these bright, positive, sparkly youngsters are having.

I wonder how I would look with light-up dealy bobbers on.

But it's not for me, no matter how badly I might want it. No, there's another place where I fit in better - Magnolia's Veranda at the Four Queens, home of my virgin taste of country throw-up gravy.

My comp dollars take care of breakfast - I still have some $50 to eat, so that will cover me while I'm at the Plaza. I have food comps coming for the rest of my stay that I can use to feed my gambling face.

I take a quick look at the throne seat at the end of the bar at the Four Queens - the one right on Fremont Street. My little nameplate is still there, which is a bit of a surprise. However, it's been defaced. Someone has tried to remove it, and failed, and resorted crossing it out with a pen. It's hard to believe there are such anti-Flusher forces at work.

I head down to Walgreens at the end of the canopy, and buy some shaving gel. Carry-on means no aerosol thingy of gel. I'm tired of using 3% of a new can every trip and then throwing it away.

If someone knows of a scent-free alternative that I can pack in my carry-on, I'd love to hear about it and so would my beard.

I also look for a gift card, suitable for making a good first impression. What I really want is an Amazon card like I gave a host one time, or a Visa gift card, or something that is as good as cash.

And why do I want that? Because putting $25 in loose bills (including quarters) as a thank you is like what an eight year old gets from their wrinkled up old Grandma on their birthday. I'm not prepared to be $100 thankful or even $50 thankful - both which could be accomplished with a single crisp non-Grandma bill.

These matters are delicate, as I keep telling Kenny Blankenship when I cuff the back of his head so hard he sees stars.

"Don't fucking Grandma this, Kenny!" WHACK!

The cashier is really patient. She rifles through the gift card drawer, calling out possibilities.

"Walgreens card?" she asks.

"Nobody shops there."

"Steam?"

"Doesn't like the heat."

"Disney?"

"Well over age 9."

"McDonald's?"

"Tempting... but classless. Keep going."

"Bass Pro Shops?"

"Doesn't like seafood."

"Spa and Wellness?"

"Just no."

"Brinker?"

"What?..."

"Brinker?"

Quizzical look on my part.

"Never mind. Buy Buy Baby?"

Another quizzical look on my part.

"Sorry."

"Do you have Starbucks?", I ask. "Everyone likes Starbucks."

"No, we don't. You could try - "

"Starbucks - yeah, maybe I'll do that."

"Petsmart?"

"Is that... Pet Smart? As in a smart pet, like my Chippy? Or is it Pets Mart. Where you buy pets... Or is it Pet's Mart, with an apostrophe... as in a Mart that belongs to Pets?"

She just looks at me. Expressionless. As if she knows her life has just ended. Looks right through me with the 1000 yard stare of someone who knows they have now heard every stupid question the planet has to offer her.

And keeps digging.

"Buffalo. Wild. Wings."

"Afraid of flying."

At this point, my finely honed inter-personal Flusher sense is tickling at my psyche - it's just possible that I have begun to overstay my welcome at this particular Walgreen's.

The gift card door slams shut, and I slam my way out of Walgreen's door.

And no, fucking Starbuck's at the Golden Nugget doesn't sell any fucking gift cards. Complete fail.

I wonder where I can get a card with a little age wheel on it, a torn ten dollar bill, two damp five dollar bills, four crumpled singles, and some change.



Back to the Plaza... and some Jacks or Better to kick off a Strict Rules of Parlay session. It goes fairly well - I get a quad early and bump up to fifty cent Bonus Poker. I play for about an hour, most of it at 50 cents. I do get up to dollars for a bit, but have to drop back down when I don't hit anything.


I get the first attempt to knock one out of the park and cover my entire trip budget of $1,600. I fail, falling face-first into the broken glass filled alley of four-to-a-royal losers.

Four-to-a-Royal.

Four-to-a-Royal loser.
The Plaza casino is fairly quiet on this Sunday - the youngsters that fill the hotel rooms are all grabbing the needed 4 hours of sleep before heading out to the Electric Flusher Carnival again at supper-time.

I go up and dump my stuff, and find me a nice little BEEFFFALOOOO!!!! machine. It plays quite nicely with a number of bonuses and stuff.


I get a second fistfull o' BEEEFFALLOOOO!!!!!!!!, another nice hit.




I've played a few variations of these machines, but never this particular one with the big wheel that you get to spin. And guess what? I get to spin!






I am feeling very happy with myself. I'm enjoying a nice long play for my money. I feel proud.

Then, two machines over, a player (who I mentally refer to as 'asshole') wins 265,745 credits. This is about 215,000 more credits than I have.

I feel very disappointed in myself. It has been a waste of money to play this game. I feel ashamed.


Well, maybe it's not that bad - he has been playing $3.75 a spin, compared to my $0.75.

Eventually, I am done. Nobody gives me a hand pay. I cash out $20 from the machine, which is a huge mental victory, not running it into the ground as usual.

Somewhere in there I play a couple of hours of blackjack before tacos come to mind, so I head to the Plaza food court (which is more of an area than it is a court - I didn't see any painted lines, or netting, or grunting champions with deadly serves).

I order up three tacos from Zaba's and you know what? They are delicious. I totally enjoy them - hot, fresh, juice running down my arm - and eat every bite.

Carefully, I file away the knowledge that Zaba's exists if I find myself, at some point in the future, drunk - and decide that food is immediately necessary. Will I remember? Who knows.


I know what you're thinking. Yes, I went to Zaba's at a good moment.


The next step in my two part plan is to go to the room and rest up a bit. I guess you could call it a 'plan' but it is actually more like "ME HUNGRY TIRED - EAT SLEEEEEEP".


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