Atlantic City Diaries, Chapter 19: The Atlantic City 10K

Posted: October 31, 2014 by rorypatrick in Atlantic City Diaries
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acmarathon2

Last year, life was grand in Atlantic City.  I ran a half marathon, and the city had 13 casinos.  Since then, we’ve both downgraded: I’m running half the distance, and Atlantic City has nearly half as many casinos.  This is my first trip to AC since the massive bloodletting of September, where Revel, Showboat, and Trump Plaza closed their doors.  All reports I’ve heard about Atlantic City the last month made it sound exactly like the town Bruce Springsteen sang about on Nebraska.  But, still, I had to go down there and see it for myself.

Friday

9:00PM – Let’s set the stage for this trip, as many things are quite different.  First, let’s introduce the main players.  There’s me, my girlfriend, an already intoxicated Keith (not so different from previous entries), and Keith’s friend Realtor, a long-time AC Diary fan making his diary debut.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a fan of the AC Diaries and then, one day, finding yourself IN it.  It must be like turning on The Simpsons and seeing yourself drinking at Moe’s.  Yes, it must be exactly like that.  We are lacking OB, who was called away on official duty. (I can’t go into the details, but it has something to do with Albania.  Am I serious?  I don’t even know anymore.)

We are also not staying at a casino, but at the Chelsea Hotel, a funky hotel with pink neon lights, situated right next to the Tropicana.  It was easily the cheapest hotel I could find in AC that didn’t look like I’d find a severed head in the toilet.  My room had a cracked mirror and a wine bottle in the mini-bar that looked like it had been opened then resealed.  So, yes, I’d give the Chelsea two thumbs up, and would stay there again.

Keith Stone: After a bus trip filled with the usual drinking of liquor out of soda bottles, practicing blackjack on my phone, and old ladies politely ignoring our inappropriate conversations, Realtor and I had a little less than half a bottle of vodka left upon arrival at the Chelsea. We agreed to meet Rory and Mrs. Rory downstairs in about 20 minutes. I’m not exactly sure where all the vodka went but it was gone by then. My high school cross country coach always did stress the importance of hydrating the night before a race.

10:00 – After meeting in the lobby, we grab a late dinner with my mom’s boyfriend, Dan, at Carmine’s in Tropicana.  Here, Keith begins his reign of terror/awesomeness.  First, he spills his wine.  Then, he spills his water.  Then, he spills more water.  By the end of the meal, he cannot serve himself, as he requests my assistance in shoveling mountains of penne alla vodka onto his plate.  Later, my mom arrives with two of her coworkers, who will also be running the race.  Immediately, Keith becomes infatuated with one of the coworkers, and before he can cause any permanent damage, Realtor whisks him away.  To Hooters.  Realtor, you da real MVP.

MKS: Or maybe this was just an act I pulled so we could leave the adult table and go to Hooters. No, I was horribly intoxicated.

unnamedPerusing the Hooters menu. I’d like to order some breasts please.

11:30 – After joining Keith in Hooters (where his conversational skills have been reduced to single-syllable utterances as he stares at the Hooters girls’ butts), we head to Bally’s. On the way to Bally’s, we pass the corpse of the Trump Plaza, and, I must say, it didn’t really feel that different.  Now, instead of a lit up building with a few drunks hanging outside it, it’s a dark building with a few drunks hanging outside it.  The only surprising thing was that the Rainforest Cafe is still open!  We cut through Caesar’s, where Keith and Realtor take up some blackjack, while my girlfriend and I use our bus vouchers on the slot machines.  While the Jeopardy slot in Caesar’s proves fruitful, the Ferris Bueller and Iron Man slots just beat us up and take our lunch money.

MKS: At the table, we tread water for a bit and I even go up a little. Realtor loses a rough hand and says “fuck” in a fairly straightforward way, expressing his anger at the bad beat and not directing it at anyone in particular or in an over the top manner. Honestly, I don’t even notice. The dealer does, though, and admonishes him like he’s a 2nd grader, “Sir, if you use an expletive again, I’m going to ask you to leave the table.”

Realtor doesn’t like this show of disrespect and quietly tells me that we should leave the table. Unfortunately, my blackjack etiquette has disappeared along with my sobriety and I tell him to hold tight. This is a lesson for all the kids out there. If your buddy has a legit reason why he wants to leave a table, get up. Karma promptly reared its ugly head and I hit a cold streak. We finally decide to meet up with the Rorys.

1:00AM – Now would be a good time to mention that the race starts at 9:00AM.  My girlfriend and I reunite with Keith and Realtor, the three of us much closer to Keith in inebriation at this point.  We head back to the Tropicana, where we decide to play blackjack.  I hadn’t truly gambled all night, and my money was burning a hole in my pocket.  Unfortunately, we had Jeannette, The Meanest Blackjack Dealer In The World.  There were enough warning signs when we sat down.  For instance, Jeannette, The Meanest Blackjack Dealer In The World, immediately scolded Alex for using his cell phone, while she was shuffling all the cards to put into the shoe.  Then, Jeannette, The Meanest Blackjack Dealer In The World, lectured us about cursing out the table, and how she would kick us out, despite none of us cursing at this point.  Both these events happened AS SHE WAS SHUFFLING THE DECKS TOGETHER.  That’s right, the cards weren’t even IN THE SHOE YET.  I should have noted the all caps in the previous two sentence and left that table.  However, it was a $10 table with three empty seats, and I’m very dumb.  So we all stayed, played, and lost.  Fuck Jeannette, The Meanest Blackjack Dealer In The World.  (It should be noted that at no point did a waitress come by to offer us drinks.  They had the good sense to stay away from that table, too.)

MKS: Maybe the bitchass casinos in Atlantic City wouldn’t be closing down if they didn’t fucking care about cursing so much and focused on things like creating a memorable motherfucking customer experience.

At some point, we end up at a Dam Good Sports Bar, which has conveniently turned itself into a dam decent nightclub for the after hours set. Also, it has pop-a-shot basketball. I strike up a conversation with a pretty blonde, and while I like to think that we shared an erudite discussion about politics and literature, I’m pretty sure most of what I said was slurred sentence fragments.

She eventually mentions that she scored 63 points in pop-a-shot, beating my previous score. So what do I do? Commend the young lady and buy her a shot for her efforts? Of course not. I spend $3 trying to impress her by breaking her record while she starts talking to some other guy. 

3:00 – We’re back at the Chelsea, for sleep.  Did I mentioned that the race starts at 9:00AM?

Saturday

8:00AM – Fuck, the race starts at 9:00AM.  Somehow, Keith is still alive, and ready to race.  And guess what?

10:00 – He finished it!  In fact, he beat me by about 5 minutes.  My girlfriend completed her 5K, too.  Realtor, taking the OB role of this trip, slept in until about 11:00AM.  What a champ.

After that, Keith and Realtor went their separate way, and I had lunch with my Mom.  While I’m trying to reduce my trips to Atlantic City (I have a wedding to plan for), I feel that every trip is not only fun, but educational.  Here’s what we learned this time around:

1. Atlantic City, despite all reports, is still alive.  Is it depressing?  Yes, but I wouldn’t say it is more depressing than the previous 5 years.

2. If you are drunk, you want Realtor in your corner.  Especially if you like boobs.

3. Keith can run 6 miles with a BAC of 0.14.

4. Stay the fuck away from Jeannette, The Meanest Blackjack Dealer In The World.

MKS: It was a really rough morning, but once the race started and the adrenaline kicked in, I was OK. It wasn’t my fastest pace and the post-race beer wasn’t as fun as it usually is, but I survived. As for Realtor…

Somehow, despite having all morning to prepare for our departure, he forgot his wallet and bus ticket in the room. Separately. That’s right. His ticket wasn’t in his wallet. He forgot both of them. Luckily, he remembered his wallet as we were getting into the elevator to go to the hotel lobby. Unluckily, he remembered his bus ticket as we were about to get on the bus. His little mistake tacked about two hours onto our travel time, but you just can’t stay mad at a guy that’ll get you to Hooters when you really need it.

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