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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pump it like Arnold

Buying gasoline in Las Vegas is more difficult than getting a mortgage approval. It's almost as difficult as getting out of an MGM Resorts parking structure.

First, though, I had a stop planned at Amazon Locker - Cortina, which is located on Las Vegas Blvd where downtown stops being downtown, and the strip starts to become the strip - just a little north of the STRAT (previously known as the Stratosfail).

Every time I go by that thing I chuckle at the bent leg. I imagine the engineer who panicked that the leg wasn't going right. But it actually was, and the adjustment they made were wrong. Then the guy had to have panicked again to make the self-induced error right again.

Have you spotted the bent Stratos-leg?

Shipping stuff to the Amazon locker is a great solution if you have a car, or are staying at that Kitty Cat container hostel or whatever it is. When you ship to your hotel, let's face it, you are taking a risk - there are a number of things that can prevent you from receiving your Little Giant coffee maker or three pack of SATA cables or whatever it is you desperately need.

The locker eliminates all that. Cortina will not refuse delivery, and Cortina will wait with your package for a few days, for you to fetch. When you get there, you scan the bar code that Amazon sent, or type in the numeric code and SHAZAM! One of the locker doors pops open and there's your case of coconut oil, or support hose, or Jelly Bellies or what have you.

In my case, a pair of Merrell MOAB Ventilator 2s.

That chore done, the next stop was a ARCO gas station. I was proud of myself for remembering to fill up the rental car prior to driving it from downtown to the airport - just the next evening.

It is extremely rare in Canada to have the Defcon 9 anti-gas'n dash theft protections that are in use in the US. For the most part, you pull up to the station, do your credit card, and fill up. In many cases, you can just fill the tank, and then trot into the station to pay however you want, and pick up some Slim Jims, a couple of 'Dews, a Milky Way, a comb, a couple of pens, a pint of Old Harper, and a three pack of Magnums. For the wallet.

Fortunately, like the parking lot kiosk I encountered earlier in the day, the friendly Arco gas station compound is also capable of talking you through a transaction.

I pulled up beside a group of two pumps and got out, ready to fill the tank, and get gambling downtown at Main Street Station.

"Hey - you... yes you. This pump is out of order, in case you didn't bother to see the sign. Put the pump handle back in its holster. Use the other one. Thanks.

"Noooo the hose won't reach. Give up on that, Einstein. You're gonna have to move the car. At least you got the side of the car with the gas cap correct. Put the filler cap back. Good. Move the car.

"Your car is moved. Solid. Now, prepay right here at the pump. Insert your credit card. Over there, dimwit. See the cloudy, scratchy display? It says to enter your zip code. Go on, enter it. What the fuck are you doing? ZIP Code. You don't have a zip code? Who doesn't have a zip code? A postal code??? Not a screwy postal code. What are you, European or something? Or Canadian. That's even worse.

"Look beaver boy, put your zip code in. Try again. Try again. Try again. Try 89101. Try 90210. Oh for fuck's sake. OK, look, you are going to have to trot into the station and prepay. See the little lady next to the Slim Jim's display. I don't care how much Canadian dollars a 'liter' of gas costs, figure out how much you need in American gallons and greenbacks.

"Good. $20 should cover you... but that just means you're going to have to trot back, pump the gas, then trot back to the station and get change, and trot back to the car.

'Which pump?'

'The silver car there... uh, eleven.'

'How much you want?'

'$20 please.'

"Put the hose in and pump your gas. Pump it like Arnold. Pump it like Cigar after retirement. Shove the thing in harder, you puss. SHOVE. HOLD the fucking TRIGGER. What do you mean it's not pumping?

"You dumb felcher. Look up. What pump is this, dumbass??? It's TWELVE. PUMP TWELVE. What pump did you tell the Slim Jim lady? ELEVEN. Why? Because that's what's on the other side of the fucking pump. Are you sure you're allowed to drive? Because you're thicker than a tub of Wendy's Frosty mix.

"Trot back into the station, and tell Lady Slim Jim how you fucked up. Tell her you are a stupid sandwich. Just do it.

"Okay, have you got it right this time? Get your wank handles onto that pump hose and get that gas in there. Please, pump it like it wasn't your first time. Show some finesse, you pustule. Finally. You managed to pump $12 worth? Guess what chickadee, you get to flock off into the station one more time and try to get your change.

"Have a nice fucking day, dipstick."

The best thing about all of this was spotting a sweet 50s International Harvester half ton. Or maybe quarter ton... Just like the one my uncle had, nice to see it still running.

All the chores done, I dropped the Quad Queen off at Main Street Station, and to top off my morning of fuckitude, I tipped the guy $8 by mistake. I knew I had $8 because change from Fort Arco. But when I got to the room... nothing there. So the valet kid got it all. I didn't really mind, everybody should get a bonus now and again. And maybe karma?

QQ was checked in by the time I returned and we went on up to room 815. Nice view. Lousy shower. Needs renovating. But workable.

We had a good long play at Main Street Station, and I was doing just fine - still rolling on the $120 stake I'd started with in the morning, plus my South Point winnings.

We'd left there with me up a couple hundred and the Quad Queen down a couple hundred. Anyway, it was time to attack the video poker.

Dealt quad on Double STP. No spinner, though.

We had new meal books, so we used the Specialty coupon to have the Cal prime rib and salad bar special - one of my favorite meals. Even if you pay the $10 it's a bargain.

Don't worry - I didn't eat all of that meat, just the fat.
After dinner, QQ was down $600 on the day - I had to give her some money. Two 20s.

She finally hit Pointies on 50 cents for $200 and quit. I forgot the photo.

By then my stake for the day was down to only $60 but I was out of dough, so I took $200 more. She went to the room and I flailed.

Everything I did after that was awful. Keno in about four places, various VP, over to Cal, where I sat down next to a woman who promptly hit AAAA2 on TDB for $1000, then 2222 (no kicker).

The only thing I won out of $200. Yikes.
I got one $25 win and that's it for $200. I should have just quit and gone to the room - but who was to know that ahead of time?

We slept well, and that's good because the next day was our final day in Vegas and a long one - gamble all day and then take the red eye out at midnight to Toronto, and then the hopper to Flusherville Regional Aerodrome.

The best part of the day was that when we checked in for our flights around midnight, Rouge Plus (fake business class) was available for $330 each. We jumped on that.

I felt so relieved knowing that I'd have a nice big seat.

"Part of the stress is not knowing what asshole you are going to be jammed in next to," I said.

"Yeah, I know which asshole I'll be next to. Much better," replied the Quad Queen.

One more day to go.


    1. Here's a workaround for getting gas in the U.S. relatively hassle free, buy a gift card for your brand of choice, they don't expire and you don't have to enter a code to use them. The South Point used to have a gift card for gas promotion in the summer where you could get a $50 gift card for $25 in cash back, I'm still using those although I don't play at the South Point anymore ( they don't like giving out comps to players that win ) .

    2. The solution to the zipcode problem for Canadians is to use the 3 numbers that are in your postal code and just add 00 at the end.


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