Posts tagged ‘Penn State’

VEGA$!!! pt. 3

Now to wrap up the saga…


One of the interesting aspects of a place like Vegas is the variety of human specimens on display there. Some of the encounters can be fascinating, or disturbing, or just plain strange. Here’s a handful of interesting encounters:

The Novice – Early in the trip, Squiggy and I went to the San Remo, a small casino across from the MGM, next to the Tropicana. We remembered the Remo having low stakes tables and friendly dealers, so it made a natural first destination for craps. We found the same there this time; except that the San Remo is currently under renovation to become (of all things) Hooters Casino (Doc almost ruined her vision rolling her eyes on that one). The Remo again was pleasant, and sparsely populated in the morning we arrived. As we were playing, a voice chimed next to us – “Hi guys! I never played this before. How does it go?” We saw a young woman in a festive dress slide up next to us. We being the obliging types proceeded to explain the rules as best as we could, using the ongoing game to illustrate (see the last entry for an example of the game). She would ask for explanations, giggling and smiling in that way that makes guys all too talkative. For Squig, this was also enough to have him place a bet of his own stake in front of her, so she could have a turn tossing the dice. She shot the bones until we seven-ed out. “Well thanks guys!” she said, and as enigmatically as she arrived, she strolled off. Squiggy and I just looked at each other, silently asking, “What just happened there?” I asked him why he put a bet in front of her, and he explained that she needed a bet to throw the dice (true), and that having a novice, in particular an attractive girl, throwing the dice results in good luck. Well that may as well be, but Squig did attempt to locate her again in the casino before we moved on. I’m just saying…

Fancy buffet – One of the things Squiggy wanted to accomplish this trip was to partake of the champagne brunch served at Bally’s on Sunday mornings. Since there was only one Sunday he was there (which was also when I was there), he brought me along. Expensive? Hell yeah. But the spread pretty much justified it: Pate, cheeses, caviar, fresh sushi, custom-made omelets, rack of lamb with bearnaise sauce, beef medallions in sauce, and baked half-lobsters. Plus all the orange juice and champagne was topped off all morning. But the most enjoyable aspect was having not one, but two waiters tending our table. One incident that was most entertaining was Squiggy asking for a replacement cocktail fork. The account that follows is an exaggerated version of actual events, but the spirit of how they handled the request was still impressive.

Squiggy called Eduoard, our waiter over and asked if he could have a new cocktail fork. Eduoard bolted upright. “Y-yes sir. Of course, sir”. He waved over his counterpart, and excitedly announced “Cocktail fork! Find a COCKTAIL FORK!!!” Suddenly we were bathed in red flashing light, while a klaxon blared: “BRRAHHHT! BRRAHHHT!”. The two waiters scrambled around the dining room, grabbing at the loose silverware. “There, there!”, “Get it!”. Tables upended, crashing silverware and plates. Soon an arm was upthrust, the tiny implement shining in the searchlights. The alarm and flashing ceased, and the normal dining lights were restored. A now-panting Eduoard strode over to Squiggy, placing the fork gingerly onto the tablecloth. “Your fork, sir”. Squiggy shrunk back slightly, then timidly replied, “uh, thank you?”
A last item: As I was working on the recalcitrant claw of a lobster, trying to break open the tough spiny exoskeleton to get at the tender meat inside, Eduoard asked, “So, is the lobster winning?”. I looked up, and replied, “Well, I’m pretty determined here, and the lobster is dead, so I think I’ll win out eventually.”

Self-fulfilling prophecy – Squig, Rob, Chip, and I had just settled into a craps session at good old Casino Royale. An older gentleman came up to the table next to me. He asked as he set down his money for chips, “So, is this a lucky table?” I replied that we had just gotten started ourselves but so far has been neutral. As we progressed, and the action was starting to pick up, the dice came around to this guy. He then proceeded to shoot for a long time, making everyone around the table very happy as we made points and needed numbers again and again. I remarked back to the guy that he had asked me whether the table was hot, and remarked that he brought the luck with him. He finally seven-ed out, and was rightfully cheered. We all walked away with the best craps winnings of the trip.

College Reunion – Squiggy and I were wandering back along the Strip. We came upon the Stardust, which contains one of the most famous sports books in the city. We stopped in to place the bet we made a regular tradition: Penn State to win the national championship. This year the odds were set at 60 to 1, same as last year. As we placed our bet, we began chatting with the guy behind the counter about PSU and their program (my Penn State cap and the bet pretty much indicated we were alumni). We heard another voice join in behind us as we commented that the ’93 team was the best offense ever. We turned to face an older man with white hair and moustache, in a black shirt. Upon conversation we learned he was not only a Penn State alumnus, but a resident of State College, as was Squiggy. Soon we were engaged in a long conversation with this part-time Las Vegas resident, recounting State College landmarks and persons. After he asked Squig to relay a message to someone for him, we moved on. In a city where unlikely probabilities are a matter of course, trust us to run into a fellow Penn Stater from Pennsylvania!

Doc shows off the vintage at dinner, unaware of the events that will befall her unsuspecting husband...Girls Gone Wild – The gang had just finished our formal dinner night at the Aladdin’s Commander’s Palace restaurant. We make it a point to have one high class dinner where we dress up and eat on linen tablecloth, with a nice wine during and tawny port after. After our repast, we began a walk up
the strip in the darkening evening. We reached the Barbary Coast casino, where Doc took Chip with her to teach him blackjack (the BC is a favorite blackjack spot). The rest of us continued on to the Casino Royale to attempt recovery of losses obtained elsewhere. We had just rounded the corner at the Imperial Palace, walking around the cul-de-sac between it and Harrah’s where there are merchandise stands and performance stages. We were walking along when we spied two young girls, dressed in short skirts, and decked out in the usual drunken college gal paraphernalia: beads, foot-long beer tumbler, etc. They stopped their walk when they spied us walking past. Suddenly one of them reached out and held my tie. “Hey there, that’s a nice tie. Can I see?” Perplexed at this turn of events, I said sure. She looked at it a moment, then said, “That’s a nice tie, but, this is Vegas, so…”. She then proceeds to begin loosening the tie from around my neck. (I should relate that neither Squiggy and Rob were wearing ties, Rob stating that he wears a tie all the time and chose not to, and Squig stating that he didn’t really care). I was amused by this little display, but this young lady then proceeded to unbutton not just the top button, but the next button of my shirt. Then before I could act, she had yanked down my tee shirt and planted a kiss on my chest. She stepped back and said “Hope that brings you luck!”, and they moved along, giggling. I turned to my companions, looking at their slack-jawed expressions. We continued our walk, and I mocked them for their lack of ties. Rob countered that he was there with his wife, and Squiggy countered that he was Squiggy. They had made the promise that they wouldn’t tell Doc (the wife) about this unusual circumstance. Later that evening I did relate this story to her, and she had an amused chuckle over it. But she then began grilling me: who was she? Did she say anything else? Was she pretty(!)? Now it’s my turn to be amused: Doc couldn’t possibly think that I had some kind of attractiveness to this young thing, could she? My final analysis of this event was that she was simply attracted to the fact that I had a tie on, and used it as a trigger for some friendly mischief. I am even convinced that she was employed by Harrah’s, assigned to float around the crowd and seek out those people who looked distinctly un-party-like. Nevertheless, Doc should have no fear that I am some kind of babe magnet!

In closing…

So that’s just a little bit of the events of this year’s trip to Vegas. Always enjoyable and memorable.