Wretched Hives of Scum and Villainy, part 1 ~ NanoThoughts 1.0

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wretched Hives of Scum and Villainy, part 1

So, a few days ago, I flew out to Nevada to meet up with my old roommate Kyle. Kyle, the guy who got me into professional gambling(though he insists it was the other way around, which eventually points the finger back at Roger), found a casino with really exploitable video poker and slots. So exploitable that he was willing to pay me to fly out and play on his money for a percentage of the take.

My first thought upon landing in Reno was "dude, this place is fucked up." It was probably the presence of the slots zombies within 30 feet of the gate. We then drove through more of downtown Reno before getting out on the freeways to get to his house in Sparks.. Prostitution is legal outside the city limits in Nevada. This appears to have had a deterimental effect on the quality of the actual street talent inside. You see these 50-year old women attempting to hide their wrinkles with enough makeup to put an ice skater to shame, wearing tight clothing which makes it painfully obvious that whatever perked 30 years ago just don't got it anymore. It was funny in the same way that watching a locomotive crash into a gasoline refinery is funny.

There's a "promotion creep" phenomenon along the lines of the software industry's "feature creep". First there was video poker. Then someone comes up with Bonus Poker. I mean, bonus! That's gotta be better, right? So of course, we end up with Double Bonus Poker and Super Aces. But wait! We can get even better! We can have Double Double Bonus Poker! So now the machines we can play include Super Double Double Bonus, Triple Double Bonus Plus, and Super Aces Bonus. It's worse than shaving razor promotions. They may as well come up with Super Triple Double Bonus NOW WITH FREE WHORES Poker.

Finally, there are the local patrons. There has to be some way to remake this into a modern-day Bret Harte/Nathanael West story, something between The Outcasts of Poker Flat and The Day of the Locust, about the kind of man who comes to northern Nevada to die. There was this humongous fat guy in one of the Nugget restaurants yesterday, and we overheard him having a conversation with his dinnermate. The dude was eating this triple-decker bacon chili cheeseburger. He also ordered it with two little tubs of mayonnaise and ranch dressing. After dumping those on his burger, he asked for more so he could dip the burger and the fries. All this while telling his friend about the angioplasty that he had last month. Hot damn, people don't learn too fast in this town. Kyle and I have started to refer to him as Angioplasty Man.

More later. There's an astoundingly gay neon-lighted casino to hit.

For Part 2 of Wretched Hives of Scum and Villainy, click here.

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