Monday, March 17, 2008

Vegas Is For Losers (Says my mom)

Well, the verdict is in. I'm an old lady. In case my affinity for whisky sours, black licorice, and staying in on weekends hadn't already made my senior citizen status evident to you all, I can now support my case by telling you about my weekend in Vegas. Basically, it involved a lot of conservative betting on the penny slot machines, two hours playing bingo, dressing up about as sexy as I dress for work, being in bed before 2am, and tsk-tsking at the sight of drunk, slutty girls.

I want to lie to myself and say that the reason for my acting three times my age was because I was on this trip with my parents. But there were plenty of opportunities for me to catch up to the groups of shouting, staggering drunk people wearing funny hats and sipping from tropical drinks in 4 foot long glasses, and I turned them all down. I have been to Vegas before sans parents and I was just as depressing that time too.

But I had plenty of fun in my old lady way. I actually won $100 playing the big-spender quarter slots. That was exciting! Of course, that money has since been spent on plenty of other things (more slots), but that was the first time I'd ever won any considerable sum.

The fam, the boyfriend, and I stayed at the Gold Coast. Heard of it? I hadn't either. It's across the street from the Palms and next to the Rio. It's affordable/full of old people. We spend the weekend calling it the Gold Post or the Goal Post or the Old Post or the Cold Toast. My favorite thing about it was the 24/7 special on Coronas in the casino- just $2 a bottle!

On Saturday we played bingo from 1pm to 4pm. My aunt suggested it and at first I was really excited about it because I find it fun to pass my time in ironic ways. At 12:55, I strolled into the enormous bingo hall at the Gold Coast. The room was filled with old white-haired ladies. All had apparently come alone. And most were smoking long cigarettes. "HaHA" I chuckled to myself. "They don't even know what's about to hit em! There's a new player in town." I'm young(ish) and (marginally) fit! And (probably) I can react faster when the numbers are called out.

My confidence immediately plummeted as I approached the window to buy my cards. 1 pack of blue for $4. Or a pack of red for $8. And then the special black box at game #8 was $1 per extra card. And the power-ball number was $1 and your card had to be verified. It doesn't take much to overwhelm me, and this was like melting my face. My sister asked the couple in line in front of us for an explanation. They gave one. I still didn't get it. So then I asked the woman at the counter and, with saintly patience, she again explained everything. I still didn't get it, but now I had what looked like a big pad of paper. On each sheet was 6 little squares of numbers. And then I had to buy one of those bingo daubers (the ink things) out of the vending machines in the back of the hall (or, about 3 miles away). As I was picking out my dauber color and with no warning, the first game started. We all rushed to our seats and tried to catch up. And for like the next three games I kept asking, "Wait, what?" and craning my neck around to see what card the old ladies were playing on.

Here's the thing: much like poker, with bingo there are all sorts of special terms and rules and no one tells you what they are. There are phrases like "bingo the hard way" (sounds sexy, no?) which means getting bingo without the free space. NO FREE SPACE! Why don't you just rip the heart right out of my chest? And when they switch to a new game, sometimes you have to change cards and sometimes you stay on the same one and go for double bingo. But they barely tell you which way they're going. They announcer mumbles it at the same time that papers are shuffling around and drowning it all out, while simultaneously sending telepathic instructions to the old ladies so that they're always on top of it.

The experts weed out the novices by surveying the room to see who's sweating and panicked and laughing at themselves and who's cooly sipping a diet coke while manning 240 bingo cards at once.

Also, the experts are apparently the only people that win. The same people just won repeatedly. No one in my fam won. And only once did I see a non-aged person win, and he didn't even bat an eyelash. No smiles. No high-fives. This was like $500 he just raked in and he didn't even care. Wasted on a lousy winner.

And $500 was like the second highest prize they gave out. Most of the time the jack pot was a measly $50...which was often split between three winners. There was one game for $46,000. You had to cover your whole card after 4 numbers were called, or something equally impossible. Nobody won that, thank god. I may have run across the room in a jealous rage and punched the winner right in her face.

And so after 2 hours of bingo, and after the many $2 coronas, we went out for over-priced, not-as-good-as-L.A. (but I'm a snob) sushi. Then, we happened upon this out door tent with a live band and a dozen guys, apparently a bachelor party?, wearing customized hockey jerseys with names across the back like "Johnny Wad," "Ass-assin," "McLovin" (eye roll), and my personal favorite, "Captain Stabby." After about a half hour of watching the worst dance moves I've ever seen in my life coming out of the audience, the 3 worst people in the world stumbled in. The 3 worst people were: 1. Some guy with gelled hair, intentional stubble, and an Ed Hardy blazer over a pink shirt. 2. His brunette girlfriend in clear plastic platform shoes, a black dress about as long as a sports bra, and some serious hair extensions. 3. His blond girlfriend, same deal, but shorter. They all had apparently just snorted their weight in coke, which sounds drastic, but this was probably only about 67 pounds for each of the girlfriends. After making out individually with the guy, the two girls then made out with each other, and then the three of them made out together in one big mouth mess. Now, had I seen this spectacle under most circumstances, I would have just watched on with an odd curiosity and a tempered annoyance. But watching this while in the presence of my parents pretty much made me want to throw up and then die.

I suppose at least they were having the sort of Vegas experience that the "What Happens In Vegas" ad people would like us to think we should all be having. But they didn't get to have scrambled eggs, cheese enchiladas, and lo-mein for breakfast at the Gold Coast all-you can eat brunch buffet. Twice.


devin said...

You forgot about "Clint Torris". And if you read the front of said customized hockey jerseys they read "world motorboating champions: team canada". Were they a just a bunch of D-Bags from Canada on vacation or were they a bunch of D-Bags Canucks that had won the regional motorboating champions in Canada who traveled to Vegas to compete in the world motorboating championships? I'd like to think the latter.

And who the fuck keeps naming Danny Ganns "entertainer of the year"? Does anyone in the history of forever even know what this man actually does? Speaking of which, I was also incessantly bombarded with ads for "The Scintas". Yes, the very same family of Guinneas that used to play a such places as Temptations night club in East Utica and my high school gym during an assembly once. These hacks were apparently also "act of the year" which either means that Danny Gans is full of shit and has one hell of a propaganda machine, or, more likely, they were reviewed by two different Pennysavers.

Also, I hate Vegas.

Tia said...

haHA! i love vegas. bingo is super fun if you actually can follow it, which is only approximately 1/3 of the time. and that crazy menage-a-trois you witnessed? scare me!

Inono said...

Bingo is SO intense! I went once to Cri-Help bingo in the valley, and it was horribly depressing. There were about 300 people there, all over 65, and they had been there all day. The lady we sat next to said she goes everyday, and it is an 8 hour event! This is where social security money goes. I wanted to cry.

On the plus side, I did win $60. On the down side, I didn't realize that "Cri-Help" actually stood for "cry for help when you are a drug addict" and the winners are supposed to donate some of their winnings back to the organization, which then helps the crying drug addicts. After I won, the lady across from me started lecturing me about how great the organization was, and how it helped so many people, and how all the people working at the parlor were former addicts who were saved. I only realized as I was walking out the door at the end of the night that she was trying to get me to give my winnings back.

JenBun said...

Yay, that trip sounds fun, even if you are 180! haha, teasing, of course!

Eww, that last strange threeway makeout description sounds sloppy and gross and not hot at all. Did you throw something at them? A bingo dauber perhaps?

I do not understand Bingo. At all.

We call it (Gold Coast) the Golden Ramrod. Because my cousin got seriously SCREWED at the blackjack table.

They also house a HUGE bowling alley. Yes, we decided to go bowling somewhere between the second margarita and the 97th Corona. Good times. They sell socks in a vending machine. I have quite possibly NEVER been so excited to take a picture before in my life.

@Devin: Those wacky Canadian motorboaters!!! hahaha

surviving myself said...

well, $2 coronas is something, right?

nicoleantoinette said...

I'm a little embarrassed at how much I love Vegas. I don't even gamble, I'm just so drawn to the lights and the sparklyness and the huge drinks and the buffets! Oh the buffets. Mmmm. I'm headed there the first weekend in May and cannot wait, although I'm not the clubbing, teetering in high heels type.

So basically, if you're in Vegas May 2-4 and see a really drunk girl frolicking down the strip in sweatpants and flip flops, that's probably me.

Peter said...

Wait, we're allowed to have two girlfriends at the same time? Why wasn't I informed? I totally would have--

Oh, who am I kidding? Finding one chica to put up with my shit at a time is like splitting the atom. (Actually don't they pretty much have that down now?)

Re: devin's comment - Craaaap. I was hoping that they weren't going to be from Canada.

Pretty Lush said...

Everything you said about that Gold Coast is true, and oddly enough, it's my favorite Vegas hotel. (There's even a bowling alley in there!)

Just another silly girl said...

Thanks, Devin, The Scintas were definitely locked safely away in the "things I've forgotten about utica so that I can still proudly claim it as my hometown" compartment of my brain, and now you've dug them out to mock me.

My husband and I played bingo on our honeymoon and had a similarly funny experience. I swear, I'm not an overly competitive person, but I was ready to beat down a blue hair in my quest to win even $5 at Bingo. Seriously, there was a game that was for $5, and I was all. about. it. Screw the fact that I had just spent $7.50 on a watered down drink, this $5 was MINE. It was owed to me, and I was going to get it. (I did not get it.)

I think there's some sort of gang initiation you must go through in order to gain old lady bingo status and therefore have any chance of winning. I'm not sure what it is, since I wasn't privy to it in the one game I played, but I'm willing to bet it has something to do with coughdrops, used tissues, and alarming amounts of aquanet.

Hollywood Sucker said...

devin- I forgot about Clint on purpose.

tia- I didn't mean to alarm you. Don't worry, those three have probably overdosed by now.

inono- I can't believe you actually won. How did you get in their alliance?

jenbun- You've been to Gold Coast too?! No effing way!

survivingmyself- not just something but somthing AMAZING.

nicole- I wish I could get back to being impressed by the lights...but now I'm just addicted to slots.

peter- Don't be silly. Anyone can have two girlfriends if you buy them drugs and trips to vegas.

pretty lush- Yes, it's my favorite too! (In an "it's grown on me" sort of way)

just another silly girl- If you're like me, then you're competitive about bingo because you dont play any sports or other games, and so when you find a game that you somewhat understand, all of that competitive energy is just built up and ready to explode.

mindy said...

Seriously, when DID Bingo get to be so confusing? And how can the old people with dementia keep track? It's like they forget everything else, but they still know how to play 45 different versions of Bingo.

I've only been to Vegas once. I went with 2 girlfriends. We decided to go shopping during the day and kept WALKING everywhere because it looked like the next hotel was "just a few blocks" away. I am pretty sure Vegas has some sort of machine that makes it seem like things are closer than they appear. Like a car mirror or something. Anyway, the point is we were SO exhausted after a day of that that we called it quits at 11pm and all passed out - WITHOUT BEING DRUNK. It was pretty shameful.

devin said...

hi kelly! sorry pull the Scintas card, but let's face it: we're uticans. for better or worse. mostly worse.

"Single Girl in the City" said...

I LOVE Vegas!! And so NOT for the nightlife.

When I was there (Husband 2.0 and I got married there, actually... in the Ho-Joe's of all places, but that's not important...)

Anyway, I totally LOVE the penny slots and the nickel slots and free cocktails... and the BUFFETS!

so cheesy, but that's what makes Vegas fun. I don't think you're old, I say anything goes!

Winter said...

Vegas is dirty, and not the good kind of dirty.