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Saturday, January 21, 2023

The House of Blues -or- Wang Left

Day 2 - part 2 - I pointed the squirrely little Candy Cane Jeep right down Santa Claus lane, knowing that due south of us on the strip lay the M Casino Resort Spa (or is it Resort Casino Spa?) somewhere past South Point.

We headed south, with only a steering correction needed every 70 feet or so to combat the alignment that was a crooked as a Mexican erectile dysfunction clinic. We kept wanging left and I had to constantly wang right to stay between the lines.

Somewhere past South Point, the M Spa Casino Resort rose up out of the horizon and made itself apparent. We wanged in and parked, getting a great spot in the tiny lot.


The Prow of the M Spa Resort Casino Resort

Inside the hotel was a foyer, and inside that was a mallway, and down that was a hallway and conventions space and a hair place and basically nobody but us. Not to mention no casino. It had the ambience of an underground city mall, under offices or bank towers.

We took a look around and oddly there wasn't one sign that we could find, boldly pointing us to gambling. Clearly we were in the convention space of the hotel so instead of continuing to wander, I pulled the plug. We backtracked to the Jeep and wanged back onto the road. It took two more tries to find the real parking lot, and I got a great spot there too.

The M casino is the Official Las Vegas Raiders casino. That means they spent money that we customers have to recoup, for the joy of displaying all manner of black and silver Raiders logos. And presumably, if you are a fan of the team, you would get extra joy knowing you were in the Official Environs of the team.



The M Casino Spa Resort Spa Reso-casino has the most scented air of any property I've ever been in in Vegas, bar none, including the famed stench-fest of The Venetian, in bygone days. My olfactory was running at capacity, nostrils curled wide open against their will to receive the flowery chemically created (and probably untested on living beings) high octane lung-clogging scent molecules, which had to be the size of currants or hazelnuts, at least. Phew, what a stink. I already knew this would be my first, and last visit to this place, unfortunately.

Determined to make the most of it, we found some things to play, here and there. There are quite a few video poker choices with good paytables, and lots of all the other casino things that casino people like in their casinos.

I was pretty hungry at this point, even though it was only 11:00 (but 2:00 body clock time). The meagre but tasty punishment cheese breakfast I'd consumed back at Mandalay Bay was hours ago.

We couldn't find a place we wanted to eat, and were in a fatigue-fired hunger-enhanced endless wandering loop. Finally I put my foot down, and then the other foot, and asked someone where the deli was I'd seen mentioned. We got directions to Vig, and, yup, there it was, right next to the door we'd come in through. Had skirted it and never even saw it.


It's a work-for-food place. No server, no busser that I ever saw. You went to a window and ordered, and paid. You waited. You went and picked up your food, napkins and such when your number was called. You cleaned up your table when you were done.

So why was there an invitation to tip on the payment thingy? Because running a cash register requires a gratuity of up to 28%.

Being a Scrooge in the written word, but not in person, I coughed up a tip of 10%. Because Christmas. And Karma.

I had a Reuben which turned out to be very good, and the Quad Queen had a pastrami sandwich, which turned out to be tough and cold, as though it sat in the fridge overnight. Shame, my Reuben was really, really nice.

The fries were excellent too, but I deducted points for being served yet again with food in a fucking basket on top of a piece of shitty paper, like an uncivilized uncouth person of ill repute and dirty of finger.

I will say this, though, the baskets were in good shape, stainless steel, and nice and clean, in comparison to the horrible, encrusted, rusty things Wahlfuckyouburger shoved their shitty food onto.



Vig Deli's fairly clean horse muzzle feed basket.


Compare to the disgusting barbed wire mess that was Wahfuckyouburger's horse muzzle feed basket.

Does it seem like I'm cranky? Pissed off? That's how I was. I was feeling worse and worse as the day wore on and every slight annoyance became a red-hot poker shoved into my annoyance balls.

Guess what, the bill had a 20% tip on it.

I was sure that letting it go would result in great luck karma for me.

We played a few things in the casino, which we both found to be very smoky in certain places, typically where the better video poker was to be found, and I managed to break even after a while. One of the best discoveries we made was the pocket high limit room. It had like two table games, one of them staffed with some bored-looking dealers, and a cute little curvy bar with all of five seats at it.

No customers. No bartender. Quiet. No smoke.

We had a grand time messing around on high volatility multiplay stuff. I had a grand time notching a win, and then blowing it all back plus $200.



We finished up at M casino spa resort hotel spa-sino rehotel spa hotel casino and overall, my impression was that visually it's a nice enough property, but overall I just didn't feel at home and felt no affinity for the place. Too much scent, too much smoke.

Heading toward the Jeep, it was such a beautiful day out that we just sat on a bench for a while and soaked up some rays. And I had an epiphany.

A realization. An idea.

We were ultimately headed to Walmart and would go right by Stalag Airport Rental Car Compound 17. I got on the phone and confirmed a few things.

Heading north, we stopped at Lee's Discount Liquor to pick up some havoline for the room, and I was disappointed at the prices! I was sure they were better at Walmart for what we wanted. We bailed on Lee's, saddened somewhat now that Lee himself had passed on, and that maybe it wasn't as good as it once was.

It was a super quick turnaround at Stalag Airport Rental Car Compound 17. Dump the tin-can left-wanging hoooooor-stinking Candy Cane Jeep twitchymobile, and sign up for a Toyota SUV, a RAV4 to be exact.

The RAV4 looked like it had been though a monsoon or parked in Dump-a-body National Forest for 5 weeks before hikers stumbled across it. There was debris including pine needles under the wipers and in every nook and cranny outside the car that could hold them, and dirt all over that had gotten wet at some point. I had to clean the side mirror before I could see anything.

And, there was a little sticky in the car, a very strange kind of disturbing sticky notice that I put to one side.

Whatevs. Off we went, under the wire, and to Walmart, to pick up our life-sustaining supplies of Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, vodka, bourbon, cornmeal, gunpowder, ham hocks, and guitar strings. WAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It felt like we walked miles in the Walmart, and I was hanging off the cart (which was loaded to the top with cases of Coke and new old stock left-over Mr. PiBB) like a punch-drunk prizefighter in a clinch.

Room camping supplies. Maybe we overdid it.

Back at Mandalay Bay, I had to haul water, pop, and other supplies from the parking structure up to the room. Hands, feet, and body aching, nose running, I was all in.

We rested for a long while, had a drink, and decided to use the $50 resort credit at House of Blues, which had fried chicken on the menu.



Beautiful, freshly made fried chicken seemed like just the ticket.

Should have been good, just make it fresh. Assholes.

The food came out in five minutes. And it was all room temperature. It looked horrible, and it was covered with gloppy sweet throw-up gravy.

I was too tired to put up a fuss, and instead, filled my gut with as many calories as I could stand. I asked the server after how they can fry chicken in 5 minutes and he said, "Oh, we often pre-batch certain popular items, and store it in facility so that we can handle surges in clientele demand, should things get surgey and busy."

There were all of 10 people in the House of Blues, so translated, this means we premake a bunch of this crap and keep it in a steam tray until some poor bastard orders it. Then we charge him twenty, twenty five bucks for what amounts to cold leftovers.

Joan Jett would never put up with this shit, but we did. We had no fight left in us, and at least, the meal was covered.

Run away from the House of Blues Chicken, Joan Jett, Runaway!

I did explain to the waiter why we didn't send things back right off the get-go, I was just trying to have an honest conversation with him, you know? Just too whipped and beat up to play the game, but I did wonder.

Well, on my behalf, he spoke to the manager who, bless her absent little heart, bestowed upon us the 15% locals discount.

We played around Mandalay Bay a little, but I was just totally disheartened with all the hassles, disappointments and setbacks. From my notes:

"Casino is horrible, nothing to play anymore, half the machines are gone, it's a video poker wasteland. It's lost its luster and I'm not sure I want to come back. I used to love it but not any more."

I have the sense that video poker is dying in Las Vegas. Pit games are threatened too. The flashy 14% hold video penny slots have won.

At least I did one thing right. I passed the test.

Yup.

I had COVID.

Quad Queen -$120 on the day -$160 on the trip

Flushiesneezycovidpants -$200 on the day -$90 on the trip

Combined -$250






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