Saturday, January 19, 2002

So I am back, after a week in Atlantic City. Actually let me capitalize that. A WEEK in Atlantic City. If you ever want to dump a body, Atlantic City is the place for you.

I like Las Vegas. I like gambling. I like glitz and chintz and cheese (particularly a good camembert or Port Salut), but I draw the line. In Vegas, you have casinos with carpet that look like someone vomited Play-Doh, you have row upon row of slot machines slowly sucking the souls out of the dead-eyed button-pushers in front of them, but you also have other things to do, like Siegfried and Roy statues and the Liberace Museum. Atlantic City has casinos. Period.

And a lot of people wearing gold chains.

You leave the casino in Atlantic City and there's just nothing else going on. Unless you get mugged and beaten so badly you have to be identified by your dental records. Actually, they check you at the airport to make sure that you have your dental records along, so they can identify you later. Nice of them. When I say "airport", I mean Philadelphia airport. I flew into Philly and had to take a shuttle for an hour and a half to get to Atlantic City. On the way back, though, I did get filmed by some local Philadelphia news station, so if you saw someone glaring at the camera on your local Philadelphia news, you may have gotten a glimpse into the depths of my admiration of Atlantic City. They filmed my face, then my bags (which I made sure to pack as heavy as possible for added fun), then my face again. I never understand these people who just lose it when they are on camera and start jumping around and waving. My look told the cameraman pretty much instantly that I was considering some Sean Penn-like action if he didn't stop filming me.

Anyway. One humorous thing that happened while I was there was that I had flowers sent to me accidentally. I had a message in my room that there was a delivery for me, so I went down to the concierge, and it turned out to be a dozen yellow and red roses in a big vase. They were addressed to my wife's name care of me. I thought this rather peculiar, but figured my wife had sent me flowers, just for generally being a great husband and all, and because she wanted the mental image of me staggering through a casino to the elevator with a giant bouquet of roses. I did the aforementioned staggering and made it back to my room, a task made even more enjoyable by the fact that the elevators in the tower my room was in were out of service, so I had to hike quite a ways, constantly assaulted by groups of old women screeching "Oh! They're gooooorgeous!" and a housekeeping woman who indignantly demanded that I give her the flowers.

I made it up to my room and called my wife, who decried any knowledge of the flowers. So I called back down to the desk and it became apparent that they were not for me. The concierge had seen the name, and matched it to mine, in a fit of what can only be called non-brilliant decision making. I also discovered that I am a pushover. I asked if I could leave them outside my door for pickup, to which the concierge replied "Oh no! Those are really valuable!"

If I had any sort of a spine, I would have demanded they come and pick them up. Instead I meekly said "OK" and brought them back down, under yet another hail of abuse from lonely octogenarian women.


Anyway, I'm back and I promise to not be bitter like this in the future.


As far as the "In The Elevator" feature is concerned, I had unsubstantiated reports that there were little bits of scrambled egg in the elevator in my absence, but I can't really be sure. I did, however, catch the lingering aroma of Vicks Vapo-Rub in there today, so I'll add that.


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