Friday, April 27, 2007

Nurse the Hate: Vegas

I was in Vegas last weekend, and let me tell you, I could not lose. Example: I go out to dinner with my lovely female companion at Charlie Palmer Steak and spend $300 on a meal that was basically an ass raping with white linen napkins. I’ll pay a premium for a good quality steak and the atmosphere of the Four Seasons, but the side dishes should at least taste good, no? That potato gratin dish was a sea of soupy parmesan with some potato nuggets swimming around in the glop. Horrible. Anyway, I had put my entire billfold on the Tribe after I learned there was some mysterious flu bug wafting around the Devil Rays clubhouse. I’m sweating it as we sit down and look at the criminally marked up wine list ($450 for a 2003 Silver Oak Napa cabernet? Fuck you very much Charlie Palmer!). The Tribe is 3-3 going into the eighth. The good news comes via Krusty text message that the Indians win (-185 with CC on the hill) 4-3 just as the outstanding wait staff clears the unremarkable yet unbelievably expensive meal.

Feeling good, we stop at a roulette table in the Mandalay Bay and play $10 inside on 33. Why 33? Besides being the age of perfection, and the age of Jesus death, it is on a Rolling Rock bottle. More importantly, it was played in the single greatest Las Vegas comeback of all time by Dave “The Stackmaster” Sewickley at the Stratosphere when he won back 3 days of massive losses in one spin of the wheel. Since then, I always play 33 and so should you.

A bunch of grim faced losers barely looked up at us as we dropped the $10 on 33 as the wheel popped the ball across the numbers. Of course, we hit the 33 on the first bet and take our $360 as the rest of them watch helplessly as their chip are swooped into the great side basket. Thanks! See ya!

I wake up the next morning and heavy up on the Bulls who seem to be unable to lose at home. Once again, I come up a winner as they easily cover the 4 points. With a full slate of baseball, I’m all over the board and win all four of those games as well. What else can you do but play a little blackjack to kill some time? Win, win, win…I’ve never seen anything else like it. I sat down at tables all over town. I didn’t lose a dime at a single one. When’s the last time you were playing blackjack and the dealer gave you five aces against her 6? It was that kind of weekend…Lakers plus 10.5? Sure, I’ll take that for whatever cash I have here. Oh, I won again? Great!

I highly recommend a meal at the wildly overpriced Bradley Ogden at Caesars. The cooking is focused on showcasing top quality ingredients and letting natural flavors shine. Start with the blue cheese soufflé, and move onto their playful take on barbeque pork. Two small cuts of light tenderloin are infused with a bold smoky grilled zest, and rest atop smoked broccolini. The side dish is a base of dark slow cooked pork with an impossibly luscious buttery biscuit top. It is so rich, but yet a perfect counter part to the light pork medallions in the entrée. We drank a bottle of 2004 Martinelli “Giuseppe and Louisa” Zinfandel that came in at a whopping 17% alcohol but didn’t have any of the heat you would associate with that high an alcohol level. It was balanced, peppery, and rich. This was really a perfect wine selection for the pork dish. (I immediately tracked down 3 bottles of this wine when I got home.) This meal is expensive as hell, but when you are throwing hundies around like I was it was no big deal. Go eat there. You deserve it.

We leave Bradley Ogden, and I figure we should stop by the roulette table again on the way out. This is dangerous as Caesars has traditionally stuck it up my ass with a rawhide mallet. I ask my lovely companion what number to play, and for some reason I agree to play the recommended 14. Of course, we come up losers. Quickly coming to my senses, I drop $10 on 33. The wheel spins and 33 comes up again. Thanks for the $360, and here’s a ten spot for a new haircut Sport! For shits and giggles, I drop ten more down on 19 for no good reason and hit that… “I love this game! Don’t you? Where’s that cocktail waitress? Hard luck tonight, huh buddy? Me? I can’t lose! I just won $100 taking a shit at the Barbary Coast! Hey, what’s that look for? They’re giving money away here!”

Sensing that the table has turned ugly, I am whisked out of there with my pockets full of black and green chips. If you’ve been having a tough go of it, I was the last guy you wanted to see. Deon Sanders would have looked at me and said, “That’s one cocky motherfucker over there.”

When you have a wallet full of green in Vegas, what do you do with it? You guessed it…Go to The Gun Store and shoot machine guns! I can’t remember when I have had more fun than paying for full clips of ammunition for shooting M-16, M-60, and MP-40s at full automatic. I wish I remembered German profanities so I could have screamed it while hot bullet casings flew out of my vintage 1943 Nazi machine gun. I don’t care if you are 100% for gun control. Even you would have had an erection out to the street corner shooting these weapons. It’s awesome.

My only regret was not being able to stay in the action longer. As it was a pleasure trip, I had to relax poolside and curb my deviant tendencies. Had I spent 10 more hours in the casino, I might never have had to work again. As it stands, it was just the best trip I’ve ever had out there (and I’ve had some killers).

Side note: The streak is not dead. I came home and promptly went 3 for 3 in baseball. I will be releasing my 5 star lock of the weekend this Friday afternoon. Take your entire paycheck and ball the jack. I can’t lose…

Random Notes: The Bloody Hollies “Who To Trust, Who To Kill, Who To Love” is easily their best CD ever. The sound is immediate and powerful. Wesley’s singing has been a weak link on record before, but he comes up huge here. He sounds more confident, and full than he ever has before. When you put this CD on, I’ll bet you have a couple friends ask if it’s The White Stripes due to his vocal similarities on a few songs. Be the hip guy at work, and go get it…Why can’t the Texas Rangers ever get a good pitching staff together? It’s the same thing every year at this time. The Browns will blow their #1 draft pick, Southside Johnny will play the local rib fest, and the Rangers pitching staff will be the worst in the American League (besides KC which has a $288.15 budget) I can get more people out than Vincente Padilla…I saw Pete Rose in Vegas signing shit at a memorabilia place. No one was in line for him, and he just sat at a card table staring blankly ahead. I felt bad for him.


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