It’s A Gamble

Two weekends ago was what one would like to call a bit of an investment; however, although there was money involved, there wasn’t anything very monetary about it.  Steve is getting married in two weeks, and it was our duty to show him a good time before he ties the knot. 

This is our story.

I.  Friday, September 21st

The plan of attack was to go to Atlantic City.  It was a great idea; although, most of us, if not all of us, are not gamblers, and we did not turn into one come the end of the weekend.  However, there were no specific details given until the Sunday before.  My brother, Mike, had provided us with the actual address of the house we’d be staying in.  Judging by the pictures, this place was going to be clutch.  Frankly, the house concept was idealistic when compared to a hotel:  we could all in the same vicinity, we would have our own sleeping arrangements, and we’d have our own kitchen.  The latter was the most important aspect.  Since most of us enjoy cooking… Wait.  Mike, Dan, and I all enjoy cooking–I am not sure about the other four–but someone could take the cooking reins when need be.  This was, also, crucial when it came time for opting to eat in and not out. 

However, on the 18th, the idea of a noon departure time was brought up.  To everyone’s dismay, I couldn’t get the day off, because it was that same week and simply days before.  I assumed I could not get the day off, because in the working world there are common ethics that need to be taken into consideration.  I had already made the point of my inability to work the weekend, Saturday, so I didn’t have the option of requesting a day, or even a half-day, off with such short notice. 

In my four and a half years at the nursing home, I had two sick days:  one day my office made me go home, and the second–well, I wasn’t really sick.  It was the last day of the wine festival in Watkins Glen, and we wanted that last day.

Hey, I know I am going against my whole code of ethics rant; however, if you put in that much time and not ever call in sick, an illegitimate day isn’t going to hurt anybody.  I’m happy I can be honest, but it took a few weeks for the truth to come out.  However, that following month, the company made cutbacks and my job was on the chopping block.  Irony?

Needless to say, I was bit aggravated about the driving situation; it should have been figured out weeks in advance.  It did not matter, because (a) Mike had to work, and (b) Steve would not have been able to fit Dan, Matt, Mike, and I all in the SUV with the amount of things we had brought.  Plus, they hit traffic, turning their five-and-a-half hour ride into about eight.  Mike and I made it in five, which did not seem like that amount of time. 

To, also, make things convenient, we were going to bring our own booze.  However, we over thought this and ended up with a copious amount of alcohol which was barely consumed.  Keep in mind:  two days and two nights (thinking we would stay in more than go out).

Bud Light, Blue Light, Modelo, and Sam’s October = 84 cans/bottles

Red Stag
Jack Daniels
Jager
Michael Collins
Svedka
Russian Standard
Grey Goose
Skull Head
Tangueray
Goldschlager
Captain Morgan

Clearly, we didn’t have enough. 

We did make it out to Revel, hitting up its casino.  I definitely had a moment of deja vu; realizing I did have a dream about the foyer of the hotel/casino and taking a similar escalator up.  For some reason, these dream-to-reality sequences have been coming into fruition. I had a dream once that our coworker, Ryan, was being called “Nick;” thus, Ryan moved back to Pennsylvania, and we now have an intern whose name is Nick.

Mike, Steve, and Dan played blackjack while I doubled my dollar at a slot machine at the center of DigPit.  Taking the two dollars that I won, and my brother’s remaining 50 cents, I slotted it up again to a $20.50 success.  After giving my brother a share, because I am that great of a guy/friend/brother, we moved on to other aspects of the casino.  As suggested by my cousin, Greg, we did venture into Royal Ivan’s Jelly Burlesque Club for five minutes.  The DigPit, where the mentioned trio plated blackjack, artistic dancers strutted their stuff across a catwalk as a fake DJ played songs.  This so-called DJ was there for aesthetic value and no other purpose.  Yes, I know I am mentioning the obvious.  However, neither the DJ or the artsy fartsy dancers were anything great to look at.  I guess that’s why the DigPit was fairly empty.

However, the six of us moved on to the Irish Pub, which was deemed the most inexpensive place to drink in all of Atlantic City.  This is probably true; however, it was pretty damn expensive.  We ran into a group of individuals, one make and three females; the three women were all celebrating their 21st birthdays, which all seemed to fall around the same date.  The guy who accompanied the group, I remember his name being foreign and beginning with an H, was keeping an eye out for his girlfriend, who was the actual “Birthday Girl,” and her friends. 

It was Dan’s turn to shine.  Dan didn’t take a warm and fuzzy approach to the guy, because he took Dan’s stool.  The vendetta was clearly stated the rest of the weekend, but laughed about.  Dan then wanted to buy shots for the birthday people, leaving out H, for taking his stool, and his deemed ugly girlfriend.  The bartender then suggested to Dan he should buy the latter two a shot as well (a) out of respect and (b) things would end very badly. 

As Mike distracted Dan, I proceeded to make friends with H, who explained to me they were all from Virginia.  I told him that Virginia was a great state.  To make a long story short, I helped diffuse an oncoming bad situation as five o’clock rounded the corner.  Jim, Steve, and Tim left the pub, and I followed shortly after.  I exited, but the three were not outside; clearly, they hailed a cab.  Hearing Mike and Dan behind me, I started to trek back home.  It was only two miles away, or so, and the walk would be sobering and money saving. I don’t know when I realized something was wrong, but I didn’t hear Mike and Dan behind me anymore.  I turned around to see strangers about 100 feet away.

Shit.

And so it began, my walk home and soliloquy.  I’ll get to the soliloquy in just a bit.  Maybe.  I made it to Revel, and I retraced my steps back home.  I am good like that.

I made it back to the house, and everyone had the same reaction of:  Where the hell were you?

I laughed about it, explaining what happened, and proceeded upstairs.  However, Dan was ready to greet me, telling me that I would be taking “The Princess Room.”

This did not settle well with me.  I gave Dan a look of disgust combined with annoyance, procreating a child with the personality which can be only described as:  bastard.  So, I reluctantly took the deemed The Princess Room.  Why was it the princess room?  The room was entirely painted, and one of the aspects to the mural was a castle amongst the clouds. 

I did not want the f’ing The Princess Room. 

Upon my awakening, I realized that it wasn’t a room for a princess, but a prince!  Yes!  There was a vine of some sort poking through the clouds, which lead up the door of the castle.  It was like the scenario in Jack in the Beanstalk.  On one wall there was a painted goose, nestling a golden egg.  There were painted faux shelves.  On one shelf there was a plane with the word HIJACKED written upon it–I thought that was messed up at first, because I didn’t get it–and a box of Cracker Jacks along with a pair of Jacks cards with the actual game Jacks filled the lower two shelves.  Around the corner was another shelf mural with blocks spelling JACK…. OK, you get the picture.

Obviously, the kid who lived in the house is named Jack.  This goes along with my soliloquy.

Saturday, September 22nd

The day began with Mike cooking breakfast:  an ass load of bacon and a shit-ton of eggs.  Amongst seven guys we had leftovers.  So, yeah, that was a lot of food.  Dan began preparing the beef, throwing the packaged loins on the ground and punching them to tenderize them.  He dry-rubbed the beef with Dinosaur’s Cajun Foreplay, and threw them in the oven to bask slowly in the heat. 

In the meantime, six of us minus Jim, went to the beach.  The winds were high that day, and so were the whitecaps.  We ended up having more sand in our pores than a poorly prepared clam.  I got yelled at for “going in too far.”  The lifeguard, I understand, was doing his job, but it’s not like I was swimming.  There is, also, a clear difference between doing your job and being a dick, too.  I just wanted to get my picture taken with a wave crashing upon my back.  It wasn’t that warm to begin with, and we left very shortly after that. 

I think the most entertaining aspect of the trip to the beach was Steve.  First, his driving was absolutely horrid.  Second, he wanted to park in the parking lot of a Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway facility, which was nowhere near where we wanted to be, expecting not to get towed.  Thirdly, asking the parking lot attendant if there were any closer parking locations after we paid

We never did get Steve the psychic reading as planned.

The afternoon was another outing:  Jim, Tim, and I went to the outlets to tease our eyes and wallets. I  decided to splurge with buying a new pair of sunglasses.  The last time I bought sunglasses was around 2001, and the glasses were a pair of aviators from the dollar store.  The damn things have lasted this long; hence my wearing them today.  So, I figured a new pair wouldn’t hurt.  Hello, Mr. Ray Ban with the works.  I was a happy camper, and I still am.  I got an “older model” with the works, so the glasses were not as expensive, and I did not have to pay the New York sales tax on top of it all. 

Win.

After entering other stores, I coaxed myself out of purchases, because I am good like that.  However, if I should have desired them, that moment would have been the most ideal time for a purchase.  Oh, well. 

After returning home, we all managed to get motivated to get ready for the evening.  We were originally going to The Continental, accompanied by my brother’s feeble Christopher Walken impersonations.  We had tried to make reservations earlier that day, but the receptionist mentioned they were no longer accepting reservations; however, she continued, they would be able to accommodate us if we showed up. 

So we showed up, and they could not accommodate us. 

The seafood place next to our original choice did not cut it with everybody.  We Magnificent Seven went to Trump Plaza, I believe, to indulge in other restaurants. While I was in the bathroom, a woman had left the restaurant in question, telling the rest of our crew that the food was terrible.  So, we ventured out, again.  We passed several more restaurants to the final decision to go to:

Ruby Tuesday.

Yeeeeeah! We be keepin’ it classy.  I wonder what the group of guys, waiting outside and planning their night–probably a bachelor party–thought of us as we exited the restaurant. 

The remainder of the night was simplistically simple:  gambling and a trip back to The Irish Pub.  We obtained cigars, a necessity.  I ventured my way down the gambling chute, leaving Trump Plaza with five in the red.  I am not complaining.  No one got lost, or ventured off by themselves.  There were no strip clubs, so Steve was never brought up to a stage and whipped by his own belt.  That would have been entertaining to see.  Dan, Mike and I scarfed down two more pulled beef sandwiches, topped with some Dino BBQ slatherin’ sauce, and that was followed by a Michael Collins and ginger.

Dan and I had a meeting of the minds up on the third floor over the beverages. We talked about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness until five rolled around.  We, also, made plans to see the statue of Rocky and hit up micro brews in Philly; which did not happen.  It was bad enough having to drive back to Syracuse with a raging hangover.  Dan rode in the back with the rest of our supplies we had to bring back home.  However, he did have my overly comfortable pillows to rest his head on. 

Yet, Dan did not opt to utilize the pillows. He placed his head in between the two headrests, and snoozed away, and his mouth was slightly ajar.  I couldn’t tell whether he was dead or chanting silently. 


Sunday, October 6th

Yes, this day has not come yet.  However, in a few days, a couple days (actually) in 45 minutes, Steve and Alexa will be married, and the event will be witnessed by friends and family.  I am very happy to be a part of this as I am certain the rest of the wedding party is as well.  For Steve, who is as close as a brother, I wish him and Alexa well.  You’re the first of the Sherwood men to take the plunge, so you get to take the lead with confidence.

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