908133_1310059713707

Finally, after years and years of winter, springtime is starting in the Northeast.  What better time to go down to Atlantic City for a quick run?  This diary features my mom’s birthday celebration, the return of OB (last seen singing “Surrender“), the return of my gambling ways, and a trip to a heart-shaped bathtub.  Onward and upward!

Friday

3:00PM – This weekend is set to be extremely packed for me: multiple dinners to attend, a 7K to run, and tons of gambling to partake in.  However, a miscommunication between my mom and I puts me in my Showboat hotel room with about five hours to kill until dinner at Scarduzio’s.  It would be way too early to start gambling, especially since I’m staying the entire weekend.  So, I kill time by doing a perusal of the boardwalk.  To spice it up, I decide to stop in a bunch of those stores selling corny t-shirts and various other crap.  From the outside, they always appear to me as adding to the whimsy of the Atlantic City Boardwalk – these tiny, cheap shops serving as the ying to the giant casinos’ yang.  However, on the inside, they reek with the same depression you find on the slot machines at 5AM in the morning (not to mention, the smell of these shops is overwhelming – it’s like when you visit someone else’s grandparents’ house, and you can tell that everyone else there has gotten used to the smell, but you haven’t, and you start to die inside).

The disappointment of these stores is augmented by the terrible weather.  It is cold, windy, and rainy, and the report does not look great for tomorrow.  I had briefly entertained switching from doing the 7K to the 11K, but that notion got killed by my walk along the boardwalk.  Feeling a bit depressed, I decided to just grab a six-pack and go back to the room and do some reading.

(Just to note: many casinos have now adopted a strict rule that you cannot bring your own booze.  Pro-tip: this rule is circumvented through this trick — I put my beer in a black plastic bag.  I know this sounds complicated and tricky, so I’d recommend bookmarking this page so you can remember how to sneak booze into a casino the next time you are in AC).

8:30 – With my mom and her fiance checked in, we head to Scarduzio’s in Showboat for some pre-race steaks.  As always, Scarduzio’s does not disappoint.  It is my personal favorite steak place in Atlantic City, beating American Cut in Revel.  After dinner, we part, as my mom has to get some gambling in, and she only gambles by herself.  Unfortunately, she learns the same lesson that I have learned time and time again: the Showboat is a horrible bitch.  I, too, have to get a bit of gambling in before I go to bed; the Showboat devours my bus voucher, but I hold my own in about 15 minutes of blackjack.  And with that, I’m off to bed for the 7K tomorrow morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

About these ads

atlantic-city-casino

Last month, tragedy struck the Atlantic City Boardwalk as the Atlantic Club, formerly known as the Atlantic City Hilton (among other names), closed its doors.  While in recent trips I haven’t been visiting the Atlantic Club, it still held a special place in my heart.  In my first trips down to Atlantic City, I frequented it regularly due to its plethora of cheap rooms, cheap tables, and cheap drinks (although it wasn’t the same once the Dizzy Dolphin removed their signature Dizzy Dolphin cocktail, which was basically cirrhosis in a cup).  It is sad to see such a place go, and I can’t help feel bad for the poor alcoholics in their early 20′s who are now down one less place to go in Atlantic City.  I truly regret neglecting the Atlantic Club in these past few years, and am remiss that I couldn’t even say goodbye.

With a heavy heart, I vowed never to let this happen again.  For too long, I’ve leaned too heavily on old faithful casinos like Harrah’s and Showboat, while neglecting to give my love to the Golden Nugget or Resorts.  So, on a random Sunday in February, Keith and I attempted something done by few bloggers/drinkers/gambling addicts/poor decision makers have done before: visit all 11 Atlantic City casinos in one night.

9:00AM – That’s right, we took a bus to Atlantic City at 9AM on a Sunday.  For those curious, the bus was about 40% full (Keith and I each had two seats to ourselves), and we made record time heading down (arriving in just under 2:25).  To set the mood: I was packing light (just a toothbrush in one pocket and a half-dozen casino players cards in the other), and downing orange juice and vodka on the ride down (it was before noon, so I had to keep it classy).  We arrived at Bally’s, where we would be staying that night, but the check-in line was too long, and as per Rule 3, we had to gamble immediately.  The first stop: Trump Plaza.

Keith Stone: I, of course, packed a full backpack and forgot my toothbrush, which was really the only thing I needed. I was drinking a copious amount of vodka poured into a liter bottle of Pepsi I got from a bodega the night before. Towards the end of the ride, I dropped the bottle cap and it rolled a few seats behind us. I decided to leave it since I’m lazier than Eddy Curry after signing a contract extension. Little did I know, I would keep refilling this Pepsi bottle with vodka and spilling it the entire night. I was like a wild animal marking my territory — gamblerus alchoholous — and my territory was the funnest place on Earth (in southern New Jersey).

As for this “class” thing that Rory talks about, I’m like school in the summertime.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap Trick

How does seeing Cheap Trick at Harrah’s in mid-November sound to you?  Mildly entertaining, with a slight chance of being horribly depressing?  Me too!  Let’s dive right into this bad boy:

11:30AM - You know, every one of these diaries start out with a bus journey, and I figure it is all old hat by now.  Nothing new would happen.  In fact, this is exactly how I started Chapter 13 before being proven wrong.  You would think that this would easily be the most routine and ho-hum part of the journey: riding a bus on the Garden State Parkway for 2.5 hours.  But, there’s always something to report.

In this case, however, it was pre-bus.  This trip was just the dynamic duo: OB and myself.  As loyal readers know, OB has begun the last few trips (starting with Chapter 11) by ordering a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich in Port Authority, and stuffing it down before it has had a chance to cool, ceremonially burning his mouth in the process.  I’m not sure what the point of this tradition is, but it seems to give OB so much pleasure (and pain) that I can’t help getting excited when it comes time for it.  If there are two things that will be mentioned in the first line of OB’s obituary, it will be his love of extremely hot eggs, and his highly controversial Springsteen-based political rants.

Anyway, we come into a situation where the man behind the counter had just finished dealing with an unruly customer.  This situations can always be a bit dicey, but OB’s charm had the man laughing in no time (I would describe it as “charm”, OB would describe it as “general happiness in anticipation of a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich”).  The man even feels comfortable to boast that his soda prices are the lowest in town, and has no problem laughing at OB’s last name, calling him a mick.  It is this demeanor that has made him the greatest man at reheating sandwiches in the basement of Port Authority.  One scalding hot sandwich later, and we are on the bus down to Atlantic City.

3:00PM – The bus flies down to AC without a hitch.  The crowd on the bus is sparse and quiet, and combined with the weak traffic, I was anticipating that the city would be fairly dead.  Which wouldn’t be too surprising, given that it is a random weekend in November.  However, upon arriving at Caesar’s, we find the place is bustling with activity.  This is a good sign, but would the same hold true at Harrah’s, in the distant Marina-land of Atlantic City?  At Caesar’s, we quickly blow through our bus vouchers (after an unsuccessful search for the legendary KISS slot machines, we settle on Star Wars slots and last about as long as Jek Porkins) and head to Harrah’s.

5:30 – It has been a great couple hours in Harrah’s.  Check-in is a breeze, the room is clean, the beds are comfortable, and the room service, which we are now devouring, is delicious.  OB and I have been listening to happy music for the last hour (beginning with Leslie Gore’s “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows,” naturally), and couldn’t be in a better mood.  I must say, we don’t head to Harrah’s that frequently (the only Harrah’s appearance was in Chapter 9), but it is slowly growing on me.  With our bellies full and our livers boozed, we head down to get some pre-Cheap Trick gambling done.

Read the rest of this entry »

DSC_0199-e1321478796931

The BEST AUTUMN EVER begins in Atlantic City with something completely unexpected.  This entry contains a shocking lack of both gambling and alcohol abuse, replaced with a startling amount of healthy activity.  As you may have guessed by reading the headline, Keith and I participated in the 55th annual Atlantic City Marathon!

Well, to clarify, we ran the half-marathon, but together, we ran the full one.  Whenever I had to clarify that, it always reminded me of the “very proud, minus” line from Arrested Development.  Conversations went akin to this: “Oh wow, you are running a marathon, what an accomplishment.”  “Well, actually, I’m running a half-marathon.”  “Oh… what a half-accomplishment.”

Now, Keith is a regular runner.  He is the only man I know who has woken up from a night of drinking and gambling and immediately went on a jog on the boardwalk.  He is even participating in the New York City Marathon in two weeks.  Yours truly, on the other hand, am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination.  I mainly disliked running because I’m both slow and easily distracted.  Doing one thing over and over for two hours would, on paper, drive me crazy.  In fact, as I write this, I am taking breaks every 15 minutes to either check football scores, play games on my tablet, practice the guitar, or stare at the wall.

Furthermore, I also hate “running culture.”  If you look at any running website, you’ll find corny positive-attitude slogans posted everywhere.  “You are lapping everyone on the couch!”  “You have a strong spirit!”  “You’re the best…AROUND!  Nothing’s gonna ever bring you down!”  While these cliches may inspire others, they just make me roll my eyes.  They seem desperate, insecure, and delusional.  Here’s my motivational phrase: running is putting one foot in front of the other at a quick pace, and it will make you healthier.  That should be all the information you need to make the choice of whether to run or not.

I signed up for the half-marathon because a family member signed up for the full one, and stupid old me thought: “How hard can 13.1 miles be?”  I started training this June, and immediately regretted this decision.  I intentionally made no references to it in the previous AC Diaries because I was not sure this post would ever be written.  But, without a running partner or a specific training plan, I eventually built up my distance (but not my speed: my first mile run took me 10 minutes, and my 10 mile run took me 100 minutes).  Training gave me these two breakthroughs about humanity:

1. People walk strangely.  In my training, I was running from my apartment, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and back.  I can’t count the number of times people will just randomly stop walking in front of me, or just drift to the left when I try to pass them.  Seriously, pay attention to your walking some time, and you’ll realize how hard it is to keep yourself going in a straight line.  Also, I ran over the Brooklyn Bridge about eight times during my training, and I’m sure I appear in roughly 2,376 tourist photos.  Sorry, couple from Australia, but I can’t break my flow!

2. Fat people are amazing.  First, imagine your dream life.  Are you sweating, with your knees and feet aching like hell?  Or are you relaxing on a beach, eating ice cream, and surrounded by beautiful women?  Fat people may not be at the beach or surrounded by beautiful women, but they have the “eating ice cream” part down.  They are closer to living the dream than you are!  And imagine the guts it takes to be fat.  Everywhere you look, people are demeaning you, saying you are not only ugly, but you’ll die soon.  And these brave lardos ignore all medical advice and go for the ice cream!  It’s damn impressive.

Anyway, this is the longest amount of time I’ve spent in Atlantic City consecutively (from Friday to Monday), so let’s begin this journey:

Read the rest of this entry »

mail.google.com

Well, the BEST SUMMER EVER is hitting the home stretch, so I figured it was time to check back in with the greatest city you can go to if you take exit 38 off the Garden State Parkway.  This time, we were off to see one of my favorite bands, the Killers, playing at one of the casinos I’m least familiar with, the Borgata.  Sure, they played the night before at Prudential Center, which is much easier to get to and the tickets were much cheaper.  But what fun is it going to Newark?  All my memories of the Prudential Center involve watching Devin Harris lead the Nets to 20-ish win seasons.  Whatever – this isn’t the god damn Newark Diaries!  Anyway, yadda yadda, and OB and I are at Port Authority…

1:00PM – I’m telling you, the time is right for someone to come in and usurp Greyhound’s stranglehold on buses from New York City to Atlantic City.  The price for Fridays has been raised up to $44, which is really taking a bite out of the value of the ride.  Also, Greyhound has now instituted a policy where you can only go to the gate area if you have a ticket.  While this does crack down on the number of bums meandering the facility, it makes it really inconvenient if you buy tickets for a friend, knowing that said friend will be showing up later (a situation that happens to me all too frequently, as you may recall from Chapter 9).  So we are paying more money for worse service, but there’s really no better alternative at the moment.  Basically, Greyhound is the Netflix of bus lines.

2:00 – Aboard the bus, I am drinking like a fish.  Unlike last time, when I was nursing a hangover, I am ready to party, fully prepared for all the negative consequences – terrible gambling decisions, lack of memory inhibiting my ability to write this diary entry, vomiting and pooping at the same time, etc.  OB is not intimidated, however, making my drinking efforts look amateurish by downing a water bottle full of Jim Beam.

(Just a side note with my man OB: he is returning to Atlantic City for the first time since July 4th.  In 2012, he went down to Revel on July 4th, and won a staggering amount of money, which led to the circumstances of Chapter 4.  This year, he went to Showboat, but kept the winning alive.  He now has a handler at the Boat of Show, and the room and our meal would be complimentary.  It should also be noted that I was not with him during any of his large wins, but I have been present at all of his large losses.  Yeesh.)

Anyway, on the ride down, we had one notable conversation about statistics.  OB mentioned learning about the “gambler’s fallacy” in college.   In layman’s terms, it basically means that past random events do not predict future events.  For example, if I roll a 7, it isn’t less likely that I roll a 7 next time – the odds remain the same.  Surprisingly, OB tells me that he thought his professor was wrong, that it WAS less likely.  Unsurprisingly, he told me that he had to take statistics three times in college.  I do my best to explain the fallacy again, and he reluctantly accepts my argument, but I hear lingering doubt in his voice.  How this man has won more money in Atlantic City than anyone else I know is, literally, one of the biggest statistical anomalies.  It’s a case that would probably make Nate Silver throw up his hands and go “Fuck it, I quit!”

Read the rest of this entry »

KISSslot

In last month’s Atlantic City Diary, I made the bold mission statement that I wanted to make this the BEST.  SUMMER.  EVER.  And, to accomplish such a grand task, there will have to be a lot of trips to the Lost City of Atlantic.  However, taking a three-hour bus ride to go get drunk and lose money does need some justification.  As explained in my guide to Atlantic City, I usually go down to see a concert or comedy show.  However, a good 90′s band or horribly offensive comedian does not come to Atlantic City every weekend.  You’ll have to invent excuses to go down.

This time, we celebrated my buddy Finn’s “birthday,” which was actually over a week ago, and involved the usual crew of drunken vandals.  The cast of characters this time involved Keith, OB, Finn, my girlfriend, Polar (making his debut for the AC Diaries) and yours truly.  The setting – the Boat of Show, also known as Showboat.  Let the adventure begin!

12:00PM – The previous night, my girlfriend and I both proclaimed that we would not get drunk and stay out too late.  We split up to hang out with our respective friends, and, of course, found ourselves coming home at 3:00AM and nursing killer hangovers the next day.  At noon, we headed for the subway to Port Authority, and she was asking me how I got home.  Struggling to recollect the experience, I say, “Well, I think I said goodbye to my friends, left early, and walked back by myself.”  As soon as I finish this story, I hear my name being called.  It is the friends I hung out with last night.  So, my girlfriend asks them how I got home last night.  The answer:

“We walked you home!  And you kept drunkenly shouting, ‘Are we there yet?’ every block!”

So that was my Friday night.

2:00 – We reach Port Authority, where we meet up with Keith and OB.  Unlike previous experiences, I’ve learned to eat heartily before the trip.  OB grabs a sausage-and-egg sandwich, which the master chefs at Port Authority stick in a microwave and nuke to high heaven.  OB tries to stuff the scalding hot sandwich in his mouth, his hand shaking the whole time, nearly breaking into a sweat.  Some may call it an impressive feat, but those people must have a very low threshold for being impressed.

On the bus, we are immediately treated to an argument between passengers.  One guy is playing a video game very loudly.  A man shouts from the back, “Could you turn it down?”  The offender retorts, “Mind your own business!”  The complainer explains, “I’m on the damn bus!  This is my business!”  Nice.  The man continues to play his video game, albeit at a quieter yet still audible level, then turns it off, and eventually borrows Keith’s newspaper.  What a guy.

During all this, my girlfriend and I are sitting out on the typical “drinking on the bus down” festivities, due to the previous nights activity.  OB, however, is engaging what I like to call “pregnancy drunkenness” – he’s drinking for two.

5:00 – We arrive at Showboat, with OB two flasks lighter.  I haven’t been to Showboat in a while, but the bus center has taken on a distinctive cheese smell.  Like all the world’s problems, this problem too can most likely be traced to the Earl of Sandwich.

Keith and OB have rooms next to each other, so they go up together to the Orleans Tower.  As my girlfriend and I check-in, I inquire to see if there is a room available on their floor.  The person checking us in is very polite, and taps away vigorously on the keyboard, searching for rooms that fit our criteria.  Unfortunately, she can only get us a room in the NEW Orleans Tower.  That’s fine, we say.  However, little known fact: the NEW Orleans Tower and the Orleans Tower are, you know, the same tower.  We’re a five-minute jaunt from Finn’s room.  Gotta love that customer service you get in Atlantic City.

While my girlfriend takes a nap, I go and pregame with the gentlemen.  However, before we can gamble or drink more, it is decided that we are all starving and need something to eat.  We don’t want to do the buffet, and Scarduzio’s is too expensive.  So what do we decide on?  A little mom-and-pop joint called Jonathan Rockets.

Keith Stone: While OB and I were walking to the room, we happened upon a rambunctious family that was having trouble deciding where everybody should stand for a group photo. OB settled the argument by walking right into the middle of the shot and becoming part of the family. Now they can tell everybody about their crazy Irish cousin.

photo

When we arrived at the room, the real drinking began and we were joined by Finn and Polar. For some beautiful reason, Polar had with him three Million Dollar Man tuxedo T-shirts, so OB, Polar, and I threw them on, and began laughing like only Ted DiBiase could. Because I am an idiot, I decided to wear my shirt for the night of gambling, and that, ladies and gentlemen, was the beginning of the end.

photo

Read the rest of this entry »

images

I must say, I have recently become a huge Bachelorette fan.  It is something my girlfriend got me into, and it simultaneously makes me laugh, makes me cringe, and makes me pause the television and go on extended rants.  While I watch it with my girlfriend, I believe this show should be required viewing for all single straight men.  Basically, every single man needs to find a competitive edge over their fellow single men.  Watching the Bachlorette takes very little effort – it takes two hours a week, and you barely have to pay attention.  You can do chores around the house, work out, or even write a blog post while watching it and not miss much.  By doing this, however, you will gain a competitive edge in the dating scene – you will be able to talk to women about the Bachelorette.  Now, I’ve heard the objections, such as “Won’t women find me less manly if I admit to watching the Bachelorette?”  Well, if a woman came up to you and started talking football, would you be turned off because she was less “woman-ly”?  Of course not!  There’s nothing hotter than a woman who knows her sports.  Not every woman will watch the Bachelorette, but it is a small investment with a potentially huge payout.

Anyway, how did the Bachelorette find itself in the Atlantic City Diary?  Well, the episode this week sent the Bachelorette and 13 of the finest bros to your favorite city and mine.  I’d be remiss if I couldn’t share their misadventures.  Anyway, as a departure from my normal diaries, here’s the breakdown of the whole ordeal, from start to finish.  Pour yourself a glass of white wine (the only way to read a Bachelorette recap) and dig in.

8:00PM – We start as many reality shows do – with a preview of what’s to come, and a recap of everything we’ve already seen.  There are 13 men left, and if they get roses we see them next week, and if they don’t, they have to leave.  You still following me?  Do you need me to repeat this?  No?  Good, let’s move on.

(Side note: the Bachelorette shows random tweets along the bottom of the screen from fans and former Bachelors/Bachelorettes.  There are fairly distracting, and I won’t be commenting on them.  However, there is a tweet in the beginning from Arie, one of my favorite suitors for Bachelorette Emily last season.  In it, he bashes New Jersey!  And that dude is from Arizona!  Only Jersey bros can bash Jersey!  Shame on you, Arie, you are dead to me).

Anyway, upon learning they are going to Atlantic City, the boys reach the level of excitement they are contractually obligated to meet.  The next two hours will be a shameless tourism commercial for my dying city, and these dudes sell it with all the muster 13 fame-whores can muster.  The most excited is Mikey T., a meathead who reminds me of Jersey Shore Ronnie’s drunken uncle.  He will henceforth be known as Drunken Ronnie Uncle Bro.

Bachelorette Desiree says in the most strained voice that she is “very excited to be there.”  The Atlantic City tourism board may be regretting the money they paid for this.  A bro named Kasey (to be called Hashtag Bro for his tendency to speak using the word “hashtag”) declares it “Las Vegas on the ocean.”  Hashtag I wish.

After the boys arrive, they receive the first date card.  Some random guy named Brad gets it.  I’ve been watching the show all season, and I don’t know who Brad is.  Apparently, neither do the other bros, as he is described as the quietest bro in the house.  By the way the other guys describe him, his odds of coming back from this date with a rose look worse than hitting a hard 10.

Desiree and Brad Bro walk the boardwalk, go on some rides, and eat some taffy that is cut to fit the mouth.  Meanwhile, Zak W. (aka Shirtless Bro) is glaring down on them from a suite in the Revel.  He wrings his hands and fumes in anger.  I worry about Shirtless Bro. Commercial!

8:11 – And we’re back!  Brad Bro and Desiree go to a sandcastle, and Brad lays down what he wants in a relationship, which is, quote, “nothing specific” and a “great mom.”  Glad we cleared that up, Brad Bro.

They go to dinner at a lighthouse, and Brad Bro turns up the charm by saying he hates people who “can’t be serious.”  Yeah, doesn’t laughing suck?  He spends more time examining his food during the date than talking to Desiree, and has difficulty describing the rides they went on that day.  So Desiree brings him up to the top of the lighthouse and gives him the old “It’s been a lot of fun” speech.  And Brad Bro hits the road.  That’s one less name to try to remember.  For some reason, Brad Bro cries in his goodbye interview.  I guess he truly hates not being serious.

8:23 – Now it’s time for the group date.  Eleven bros head to Boardwalk Hall to compete in a Mr. America contest/commercial for the Miss America pageant (coming to Atlantic City on September 15th – get your tickets today!).  On the way over, Shirtless Bro seems to be falling hard for Desiree, calling her a “shining light.”  Brooks, one of the more likeable bros, compares her to a “unicorn.”  Brooks always seems stoned, so I’ll be calling him Stoner Bro.  Michael G., however, is easily the deepest-in-the-closet bro, so I’ll simplify his name to Closet Bro.  Upon learning he will be in the Mr. America contest, he proclaims that he has dreamed of being Mr. America since he was a kid.  My girlfriend remarks, “He’s kidding, right?  He’s kidding?  He’s got to be kidding.  He’s kidding?”

The bros have to grab random props for the talent show.  A Latin hearthrob named Juan Pablo goes to work with a baton (Juan Pablo shall be called Hermano, FYI).  Juan Pablo has a Tony Parker-esque creep quality about him, in that you don’t want him within thirty yards of your girlfriend.  As my girlfriend said, “He’s the type of guy you fuck before you get into a serious relationship.”  Chris, the funny one who reminds my girlfriend of me (aka Rory Bro) immediately puts on high heels and prances about.

8:33 – We’re back into the Mr. America pageant.  The bros stress how embarrassing this will be to them.  For those new to the show, the bros complain about being embarrassed by every group date, whether it be being in a rap video, pretending to be cowboys, or playing dodgeball.  Basically, if they have to wear shorts, it is the most emasculating event of their lives.

They begin by asking the bros Miss America style questions.  Would you rather be fire or water?  The bro answers fire, but I would’ve answered water – you gotta make the girl wet (hey now!).  Stoner Bro gets a question about which animal he’d be, and without hesitation answers “Lion – he’s the king of the jungle!”  Rory Bro reminds me of me, by overly explaining his answer to comedic effect.  Drunken Ronnie Uncle Bro goes on an epic rant about how women don’t respect men’s feelings.  Good show, Drunken Ronnie Uncle Bro!

Next, they move on to the talent show.  Hashtag Bro does a terrible tap dancing routine, which Stoner Bro declares as “genius.”  Stoner Bro follows up the performance by singing a song on a ukulele, then smashing said ukulele.  Shirtless Bro seems surprisingly competent, with limited guitar skills yet a surprisingly strong singing voice.  Stoner Bro finishes in third, Shirtless Bro in second, and Hashtag Bro takes the top prize.

8:47 – After a tough day for the bros (especially tough for Closet Bro, who saw his childhood dream crushed), they hit a pool in Revel (which did not quite look like the pool I went to, but whatever).  The bros make several romantic overtures to woo Desiree for a much-coveted rose.  Rory Bro shares his poetry, while Bryden (aka Army Bro) uses his time to bitch about Ben (too many B-names!  This guy is Dad Bro, because he brought out his son in the first episode).  The producers have been trying to paint Dad Bro as the villain all season, and it seems like a stretch – all he does is talk to Desiree, and the other bros immediately get mad at him.

Shirtless Bro decides to use his time to continue his song from the Mr. America pageant.  It is a cringe-worthy scene that reminded me of Nick Andopolis singing “Lady L” to Lindsey Weir (how’s that reference for you?  I do watch good TV shows, too!).  However, this works for Shirtless Bro, and he comes away with the rose for the group date.

9:00 – After walking around in a robe and drawing himself a bubble bath, our final bro, James, is ready for his one-on-one date.  James shall henceforth be known as Nice Ronnie Bro, for he seems like the Nice Ronnie that Sammy Sweetheart and America fell in love with.  Here, however, the episode takes a serious tone.  Instead of a crazy, over-the-top date, they decide to tour the ravaged coast of post-Sandy New Jersey.  The latter half of the episode becomes an advertisement to help Sandy victims — not that I’m against this by any stretch of the imagination (my mom was displaced by Sandy, and finally moved back into her home last weekend after 7 months away), but it put a damper on the lightheartedness that comes along with every Bachelorette episode.  Oh well, it is nothing more white wine can’t solve.

9:09 – Nice Ronnie Bro and Desiree meet up with an old couple in Seaside, and “generously” give up their Atlantic City date to them.  Yes, what better place to send a couple that has lost everything than to a city whose mission statement is to make people lose everything.

9:20 – Instead of going to the Revel, where all the bros and previous dates were, the old couple is sent to the Showboat, so apparently the Bachelorette didn’t want to spoil these Sandy victims too much.  In a show with tons of fake, manufactured romance, however, we are actually treated to see two people in love, eating in an undisclosed location in Showboat.

Meanwhile, Nice Ronnie Bro and Desiree are getting pizza in the most upscale dive bar in Seaside Heights.  They share an awkward kiss, Nice Ronnie Bro describes the mortal sin of cheating on his girlfriend when he was a freshman in college, but proclaims he is ready for commitment.  Desiree is engrossed in Nice Ronnie Bro, for some reason.

9:30 – We go back to our favorite old couple in Showboat.  It is a sentimental date, but I’m kind of itching to see them do what all lovers in Atlantic City do – play slot machines for 12 hours.  Eventually, they are treated to a private concert by Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish.  You have to love that Hootie became the most popular African-American country singer of his generation.  Nice Ronnie Bro and Desiree barge in on the date, and start making out in front of the old couple.  Nice Ronnie Bro earns the rose, and you are reminded that you should be giving to the Red Cross, you cheap bastard.

9:40 – Now, it is time for the Bachelorette staple – the rose ceremony.  Before there is a cocktail party, where the bros make their final statement to try to stay on until next week.  Army Bro feels doubtful about the process, and I can’t imagine why – everyone knows true love is only formed on reality TV!  He tries escape, but Desiree’s eyes bring him back in, and he’s around for another week.  Closet Bro’s overly-romantic overture is to spell out things that he loves about Desiree using all the letters in her name.  She is slightly impressed and slightly confused, and they share an incredibly awkward kiss.  Rory Bro gets her to pinky swear that they’ll be friends forever – a total Rory move.

9:51 – The roses are given out.  In order: Rory Bro, Stoner Bro, Hermano, Drew (aka Arizona Bro, since they always have a bro from Arizona on this show), Closet Bro, Dad Bro, Hashtag Bro, Army Bro, and Drunken Ronnie Uncle Bro.  The poor bro eliminated?  Some guy named Zak (not to be confused with Shirtless Bro aka other Zak).  I didn’t know he was on the show.  This Zak takes about 20 minutes to go down the escalators in Revel, attempts to cry, and makes a forgettable disappearance into obscurity.  Thanks for playing.

This concludes my first, and most likely last, Bachelorette recap.  I hope you all enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed watching it.  And by that, I mean, I hope you drank a lot and feel slightly worse about yourself.