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Monday, April 25, 2022

New Life and New Vegas

So many things have changed since the start of the pandemic.

I still remember seeing that headline about a virus in China as I relaxed in our room in Wynn in late December 2019 and thinking, "Hunh."

We'd planned our next trip, March 2020, flights booked, rooms. We had free nights at Wynn thanks to Wynn slots and comps all over town to use. I had tiers and status. I had standin', me.

Then the unthinkable happened - yes, some casinos closed their doors.

Oh Blue Angel, I need help.

As the pandemic rolled on, all the advantages and loopholes I've learned how to work over the years seem to be about gone.

The only comped room offers I have left on the table are with MGM Resorts. And I'm no longer Gold tier, just lowly Cardboard tier.

Even the Wynn Slots angled has tightened. You have to pay to get a high enough VIP level to book rooms using your hard-earned gems. $400 in my case, for three nights at Encore. The angle is that hopefully I can book rooms on a second trip before my VIP level expires, assuming I can generate enough gems in the meantime.

Gambling has tightened considerably. Main Street Station is basically a shell of it's former self - no more cardboard scratch cards, no coin droppers, no full pay Jacks at the bar. Same at the El Cortez, once a haven for VP downtown. There's barely a fair play left in the joint.

The Golden Nugget's video poker has gone from rock bottom worst to excavated rock bottom worst. Even the Fremont has gutted machines and the Four Queens has cut back too.

A bright spot may be the Plaza with a decent number of good games.

I'm going to have to re-learn everything. Event the reliable WAX bus route that I used to get between downtown and the four corners on the strip is gone.

A year and a half ago, the Quad Queen got laid off from Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer (from the Estimatin' Department) and just after that, we bought our winter trailer palace in Florida - based on a Youtube video and some grainy stills.

I retired just about a year ago now, and last winter, we became Snowbirds for the first time.

We're having to re-learn everything. All the patterns have changed. No more work. No more alarm clock. No more Norbert. (I miss writing about tormenting my old boss Norbert. Just a little.)

No more scratch cards for you!

Things are more relaxed, and I've let my guard down. It seems like my brain is slowing now that I don't have to babysit the size 7 grommet line.

The other day, I went to the bank to deposit a cheque - license sticker rebate disguised as Doug Ford trying to porkbarrel my vote with my own money.

I put my card in the ATM, put in my Personal PIN ID Identification Number, went through all the incantations, put the cheque in, picked an account to deposit to and then it asked for my PIN again. Then it spit the cheque out.

Long story short, after some more attempts I mis-remembered the PIN and it locked me out.

Now, you need to understand that I do all the important things like blogging, hounding Jimmy Poon to update the website, and performing ministry of the environment waste reduction tasks on Tuesday mornings. The Quad Queen takes care of menial banking and financial planning tasks.

I got in the line, and up to a teller and explained I'd locked my card. 

I produced my Driver's Licence.

I failed a number of times on the PIN test.

"No problem," said Ashwar, "I'll just ask you some simple questions to verify you."

"Coolio," I said. "Shoot."

"What banking products do you have with us?"

"Ummm. A bank account?"

"What type of account do you have?"

"Well, I am pretty sure we have a chequing account."

"OK, what is the overdraft limit of your chequing account?"

"Oh man. We've never used it. At least I don't think so. Limit? $10,000?"

"Hmmm. Can you name a recent transaction on your account and the amount?"

"I don't know... my does all this stuff. She uses the online thingy. Maybe we pay our cable bill?"

Ashwar could flip a pen back and forth on his knuckles like some kind of accountant acrobatic trick. His pen flipped left and right, left and right, flying overtop his digits.

"And how much would that be?"

"$105", I stated proudly.

"It's not on here. You have a Terminal Savings Account here. What would the balance on that be?"

"My wife would know. $19,000?" I guessed.

"Hmmm. What other banking products do you have here."

"I have a credit card!" I produced it. "See? I have... I have a CREDIT... CARD..."

"And the balance on that would be...."

I could see that Ashwar was already looking up other things to stump me with. I had no clue. He started a variation on the Flying Pen trick, one that involved a mid-air sommersault.

"Maybe I should just come back with my wife. She knows all this stuff. Honestly, I never, ever see it."

"Let's try another one. What year did you move into your house in Flusherville?"

"Oh, easy. We've been there about 27 years or something. 1993."

Ashwar raised an eyebrow. The pen stopped mid-air. and just floated there above his fancy fucking condescending judging knuckles.

"Oh, right, not 1993. 1993 was the year we moved back to the tri-city area, not the year we moved into the house."

"OK," said Ashwar. "What... year? Think now. You've got this."

"19... 1995?"

Ashwar sighed.

"I think I better go home and get my wife."

"Close enough," Mr. Flusher. "Put your new PIN into the keypad and press Enter."

I typed in a new PIN.

"And put it in one more time..."

"Ashwar - what year was it?"

"You bought your house in 1996. Please put your new PIN in again for me... and press Enter."

I am so screwed trying to figure out new life and new Vegas. I'd forgotten the new PIN.


    1. With downtown VP decimated, you really should try Red Rock or Green Valley Ranch

      1. We did try Green Valley Ranch a few years ago, it just didn't gel for us. Tough comps too. Maybe I should just play at South Point.

      2. Me and my crew tried South Point back in November last year, had a good time. Everyone enjoyed the lower minimums, good VP and reasonable food. It's been over 6 mos, never got anything from them. No m ail, no offers, not even an email... never seen that before. Let us know if you ever get anything from your visit.

    2. I recommend South Point, too. Tough on room comps. Great VP. Most of their restaurants are open, including buffet. Good point system. Great casino-employees. Really the last casino run by a real casino owner.
      Palace Station is good too, since the re-model, but unfortunately the Ferittas like giving their customers the buffets.
      It will interesting how you notice the changes two years + since. I been in Vegas every month since the reopening and some things are not coming back. CET Diamond+ for ten years, and now Eldiablo can suck it.
      Also, work your senior days. SP - Mondays, Boyd - Tuesday, Stations - Wednesday

    3. The PALMS will be re-opening. give it a try. they gotta be looking for new players.. we used to get great comps from Stations when staying there and still get comps every month from them for Palace Stations.

    4. try the newly reopened Palms when your there. they gotta be looking for new players.


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