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Friday, February 3, 2023

Parking Vultures

Day 6 - I woke early and could only think of one single, solitary, unary thing, pizza and also Chinese food.

Thank goodness I was continuing to improve and felt I was over the worst of the COVID experience.

Unfortunately, this morning, the Quad Queen was feeling shite, not illness, just shite. I sat around in the room all morning, making coffee, eating breakfast and so one, while she slept.

The TV was showing various people talking, which I watched with the sound off, having a mental competition to find the head with the largest clown glasses frames.

These lovely frames. Barnum & Bailey, $295.

It's not nice to criticize people, so I stick to criticizing their stupid, stupid life choices. Hmmm, maybe that's not nice either. Oh well.

Reheating pizza in the HotLogic is sheer brilliance, particularly if you have aluminum foil on hand, which we did. You just wrap that pizza up nice and tight and pat it down good and flat and put it right on the heating element in the TopRocketHotLogicPocketPoolPizzaMagic oven. Flip it over ever 15 minutes or so and fairly quickly you have a nice, warm, melty, soft, delicious piece of leftover pizza.

What a treat to have in your room without having to put on clothes!

The only downside of hanging in the room and looking out the window was the uneasy feeling that passenger jets were headed right for me. But they always knew better, somehow, and opted to turn south for the airport.

Enough time passed that eventually I was hungry for lunch, and turned my brain to fixate on Chinese food. I'd found a little hole in the wall restaurant on my May trip, had ordered the Kung Pao chicken, and found I couldn't taste it. Did I have COVID then? Who knows, I tested and tested and never came up positive. Maybe it was just the 300 pounds of swollen sinuses I was lugging around that trip.

So - not only was I craving a steaming hot pile of stir fry, I had a mission, a passion, a calling, if you will, to get that same dish and relish it with every now-working taste bud.

What I didn't know about Chinese culture could fill a thimble, and that arrogant thimble was, apparently, lacking the knowledge that every Chinese person in the world goes out to eat in the days following Boxing Day.

Spring Mountain Road was a ve-hi-cu-lar shit show. Traffic, traffic, traffic. I found the plaza with my special 'greasy wok' restaurant, and the parking lot was jammed full. I was in vulture parking mode, circling slowly, looking for prey that looked like they were walking to a car, so I could pounce - POUNCE - on the vacated carcass of their once warm and wriggling parking spot.

It seemed like forever but it was really about 7 minutes. I parked, put on my 3M N69 mask, and bobbled my way to the All Seasons Diner.

Not only was the parking lot jammed, every stinking restaurant in the block long plaza was jammed to overfilling, and trust me, there were about 4,000 restaurants in this Dragon's den of Szechuan debauchery.

It was a non-starter. The place was literally lined up out the door. It would take probably 45 minutes before I could even think about getting a take-out order in.

Dejected, I sat in the car, started it, and thought. Every few minutes, I'd put 'er in reverse and touch the brakes a few times, and then put 'er in park again. The hovering bastards who wanted my precious spot could damn well wait, because I'd been denied Kung Pao Chicken!

I wanted fresh. I wanted hot. I wanted spicy.

Inspired, I plugged in a query in my piPhone 3.14 - Roberto's Taco Shops near me. and BY GOD there was one just half a block away! Tally-ho!

It was perfect. You order at the counter. There were plenty of clean, deserted tables along the side of the place. Nice and quiet, and no lined up parking spot vultures.

I opted for the eloquently named "#5". The beef burrito and cheese enchilada.

And it was wonderful. There was so, so much #5 in the burrito that I was stuffed. The refried beans were piping. It was spicy. It was everything I wanted in a Kung Pao chicken dish that wasn't Kung Pao chicken, or even remotely Asian.

I ate in silence, notwithstanding the grunts and groans of culinary delight as I demolished, wrecked, macerated and otherwise deflowered that #5 like the flavor-slut that it was.

Back in the car, I headed west in search of a grocery store and stumbled upon everybody's flavor favorite, Walmart. A quick check in with the Quad Queen secured a few things she wanted, which included McDonald's double cheeseburgers and fries.

Say what?

I grabbed the few things we needed, including cream for coffee and tea, more buns, more this and that, and then began the roll back to Wynn, with a stop at McDickery's, where I procured via the mobile app four double cheeseburgers and a salt-ton of fries. Full of #5 lunch, I'd just procured dinner. I'd wait it out and my El Stomacho would come around, I was sure.

Back in Chinatown, the traffic was bumper to bumper and plugged up like a taco shop commode.

I happened to note, in the lane next to mine, and a few cars ahead, a vintage rebuilt Camaro muscle car. Probably a '68, with huge bad-ass racing strips on it.

The Camaro moved up, leaving half a car gap. For some reason that I can't fathom, the Chinese matron driving the car behind the Camaro, swiftly filled the three quarter car gap, only it wasn't, it was half a car gap. She piled into the Camara.


It was completely for no reason. A couple of people had just had a worse day than mine. It felt weird to just drive past, but that's what it was. No reason to stop, and the traffic in my lane was moving on.

Meanwhile, back at Wynn, the parking garage was full. Really full. Like actually, really full, with no spots. Back into vulture mode, I circled, riding the updrafts, and looking for prey.

I ended up with a pretty good spot, but it took 15 minutes.

Back in the room, we hung out for a few hours, then had a cocktail, and made our way to Encore, whereupon we each lost $300 in 45 minutes.

Great Tortillas, what a bloodbath.

The Quad Queen had a bash at nickle Ultimate X video poker, and lost an additional hundy.

Fortunately, I hit pay dirt on video keno, winning enough to cover both of our combined losses, pretty much.

That was enough, and we headed back to the room to eat cheeseburgers and fries and leftover Christmas gravy, heated up, gooey, and yummy, but still McDonald's.

The Quad Queen was riled by her fleecing and out for blood, but for one reason or another, crashed on the bed after eating and slept soundly. After an hour, I also crashed and by 10:30, we knew this day was in the books. We blearily brushed our teeth and went to bed for the night.

Quad Queen -$400 day -$160 trip

FlushieFartypants +$345 day +$95 trip

Combined -$65

This post is dedicated to Vinny!

    1 comment:

    1. Awww, so sad about the Camero, but great going on the Keno. We’re you wearing the change from McDonalds in your Bra? 🤪


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