When I went to sleep Friday night, I wasn't feeling especially wonderful. Actually, my throat had been hurting since early in the afternoon and thinking I felt warm, I had taken my temperature to find that it was 99.5 degrees.
Anyway, I went to bed not feeling too good and at around 5AM, Larry woke me to say that he thought I was dangerously hot. -- I'd actually woken him earlier to tell him that I was freezing, but he fell right back asleep and I didn't pursue him turning up the heat.-- So, anyway, when we took my temperature at 5AM, it was 103.9 degrees. Larry wanted me to cool down and suggested I take a shower, but being mostly asleep and not feeling great, I didn't especially care for the idea of getting naked and into the shower... so I opted for some ice water and gagging through a gargling of Listerine then I went back to bed.
When I woke Saturday morning, my throat was better to a small degree, but it still hurt to swallow and I spent about two hours just laying and sitting up in the bed. Nevertheless, Larry had mentioned Friday that he wanted to go to Vegas and again asked Saturday morning if I thought I was too sick to go. I really thought there was no chance that we would go and I didn't want Larry to think that we couldn't go because of me, so I said that I was up to going. The next thing I knew, Larry was calling the airlines to see about getting a plane ticket.
Long story short, by Saturday night we were in Laughlin, Nevada, a casino based town right on the Nevada/Arizona border.
So, anyway, we found our rinky-dink hotel (as all the nicer hotels in Vegas and Laughlin were booked), then drove the car to park in the Golden Nugget parking lot. After eating at the characteristically inexpensive casino buffet, we went back upstairs to the casino itself and began looking for a $5 minimum table with two seats available. Before long, it was fairly obvious that we weren't going to find one, so we decided to try the next casino and walked to The Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall next door.
Finding a low minimum table with two open seats proved impossible there, too, so Larry sat down at the $3 table and I began walking around the floor. I turned $5 into $15 on roulette then found a $5 blackjack table next to Larry's and began playing.
Before long, my five dollars had turned into two hundred and I was feeling really great. I usually lose about a hundred a day, so having only played five dollars cash and now having over $200 in chips, I was pretty psyched.
Then, as luck would have it, the couple seated next to Larry got up and he motioned for me to come over. I was on a hot streak where I was, but I figured that since I was there with him, I should sit next to him and share my excitement. So I went over and sat down... to Larry telling me that Susi, the dealer, had been taking all the table's money. In the whole luck and chance thing of gambling, to move from a dealer where nearly everyone is winning to one where everyone is losing is NOT a good thing... but I began playing and didn't think a whole heckuva lot about it.
A few hands later, the shit really started hitting the fan... and I don't mean that I was just losing money. I was playing my cards, just as I'd played at the other table, and Susi, the dried up old hag of a lady dealer (to put it nicely), started going off on me. I mean, this wasn't the look of disgust that some unfriendly dealers have been known to express at non-traditional plays, but she was basically putting a curse on me. I mean, she was saying stuff like "How old are you? Are you sure you're 21?" as to imply that I didn't bet like a 21 year old and when Larry tried to come to my defense, she started going off about how it was bad when someone didn't play by the book and screwed up the whole table. It was like she had some personal vested interest and was just spewing forth vile vibes. I tried to say something about the cards being stacked the way they were stacked and that my taking or not taking a card was just as likely to help others as to hurt, but she gave me open mouthed how-could-you-be-so-stupid dirty looks of contempt. When I tried telling her about the casino always having better odds than the players and that playing by the odds would always make the casino win in the long run, she just went off and started telling me about how the casino had me the moment I walked in the door because all they needed was 18%, whatever that means. Needless to say, I did not appreciate being accosted and got mad and left.
Of course, it was mid-hand when I was so mad that I had to leave and when I tried to pick up the chips on the current play, she said "Don't you dare touch those chips." I was so mad that I wasn't thinking about how the current hand was being played, but anyway, I won that hand and left... and left the casino with $191 of their money.
If I didn't have such an aversion to confrontation and complaining to authority figures, I would had told the pit boss about her. I mean, why does she give a rat's ass how I play? She wasn't making or losing money either way. I still may write a letter to the casino... it was really that upsetting.
Of course, Larry kept smiling the rest of the night as I kept going on and on about how much of a bitch she was. Oh, and incidentally, when we were back at the Golden Nugget, Larry said something like, "See that black guy there?" He then went on to tell me that when the guy sat down at the table with Susi at The Pioneer, it was painfully obvious that she didn't like him and that she was talking to everyone at the table except him... So apparently she had more than enough ill will to go around.
Anyway, Larry and I got back in the car and went on to Harrah's, where we found a table together, met really nice dealers, and gambled until late in the night.
This morning, we woke and went back to Harrah's, where the dealers were still nice and where I picked up another $100. Overall, it was a really nice trip... at least the bitch dealer Susi gave us something to talk about.
February 28, 1999 - Sunday
The last time I went to a comedy club (at least as best I can remember) was in Boston to see Judy Tenuta more than three years ago. So when Larry suggested that he, David, and I go to the Comedy Store in La Jolla, I thought it could really turn out to be a great night. I mean, with Judy Tenuta, I laughed so hard that I cried, and while I figured that it wouldn't be that funny, I did think that I'd be laughing pretty hard before the show was through.
So, anyway, we got to the club and the seating guy asked if we wanted to sit on the front row; that sounded great... but one thing I was majorly overlooking in my assessment of the night and the seating was the fact that Judy Tenuta has a big gay following.
The first guy wasn't five minutes into his act when he started talking about how he worked in West Hollywood at a bank. He then went on to imitate a lispy gay guy. It wasn't funny to me, but I kept a half-smile on my face, just to be nice and not look angry... as to surely cause him to single me out.
Well, needless to say, my night was shot from there on out. I tried keeping a smile on my face, but until the last joke was told, I sat there worried about that comic and the one who followed him turning over and starting to apply his lispy gay guy humor to the three of us. The second comic, in his set about being Italian, had a "fucking faggot" here and there and a schpeel about going to a gym in West Hollywood where he accidentally looked at another guy's crotch. In hindsight, it was quite obvious that the three of us were gay, simply for the reason that the entire front row was boy/girl pairs except for us. 8 couples and three guys; as Larry said, even if we hadn't been gay, the comics/crowd would have assumed we were and applied the gay jokes to us.
So, anyway, the first comic asked David something about the strap-on jokes and the second said something like, "Don't look at each other like that in front of me" when I happened to turn to David to look at him about the previous joke. Had I thought that it was just a routine, I would have laughed too. I mean, Judy Tenuta DEFINITELY has a whole routine about gay guys, but it's more endearing than alienating. Hearing the eeewws from the audience when the comics talked about something gay just sorta reinforced that us versus them mentality... and I thought it just further enforced those gay-guys-are-freaks mentalities that the, for the most part, less-then-average-intelligence audience already had.
Of course, life is a lot more than nasty card dealers and offensive comics, but each of these entries takes, on average, one to two hours. It's hard to find time between life, business, and school to write about the day to day things and sometimes it sorta comes off like a soapbox when I do write, riding in the car back from the weekend trip, when I finally have the time. That said, I could easily get on my soapbox during the week, complaining about things like gratuitous violence in the movie The Corruptor, which we watched in class, if I had the time, but my point is that I do have normal day to day life things, and I hope to endeavor to write more about those soon.
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© 1999 Justin Clouse