Atlantic City Diaries, Chapter 22: The Bachelor Party

Posted: June 16, 2015 by rorypatrick in Atlantic City Diaries
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It’s here.  After three years, and 21 posts of varying quality, I am having my bachelor party in Atlantic City.  Sure, there are places I could have thrown my bachelor party that would be cheaper, easier to get to, and more fun.  But it’s me.  Not having my bachelor party in Atlantic City would be exactly like cheating on my future wife, only worse.  I could not risk any bad karma prior to the wedding.

Along with me were 13 of the crassest, dirtiest scoundrels the east coast ever produced.  Sure, almost all of them are 30-years-olds in committed relationships, but that didn’t prevent them from drinking in slightly-above-moderation and spending a slightly-above-responsible amount of money.  All the AC Diary All-Stars were there: Keith, OB, Finn, and the little-seen Steve (from way back in Chapter 9).  There were many more, but I’ll introduce them as necessary along the way.  Let’s get this show on the road!

Saturday

2:00PM – My groomsmen (OB, Steve, and two new characters to the diary: Sharma and my brother) and I had spent the previous night drinking in beautiful Cape May, NJ.  If you’ve never been to Cape May, you better get your butt in gear!  Cape May is a quiet beach town, where old people will smile at you, every business has “Cape May” in it’s name (i.e. Cape May Brewery, Cape May Peanut Butter, Cape May Gynecology), and the bars actually play Semisonic’s “Closing Time” at closing time.  It’s basically bizarro Atlantic City.

Therefore, when we arrived in Atlantic City, we experienced quite the culture shock.  As loyal readers know, the bus from New York City is my preferred method to get down to Atlantic City, and it definitely prepares you for the world you are arriving in.  Going from Cape May to Atlantic City was like walking out of Disneyworld and into a slaughterhouse.  Everyone looked like they wanted to kill us.

Our hotel this time was Caesars.  For those planning a bachelor party, I would highly recommend Caesars as a base of operations, mainly due to its central location.  When checking in, OB realized he left his wallet in the car, and had to run back.  This left four of us abandoned in the lobby area, awkwardly waiting and slowly adjusting ourselves to Atlantic City’s angry nature.  Then we met Caesars security.  Yes, the following below was an actual conversation.

Security guard: You guys checking in?

Us: Yeah, we’re waiting for a friend.

Security guard: Did you guys just arrive?

Us: ….yes.

Security guard: Were you here last night?

Us: ….no….

Security guard: So you just got here, and weren’t here last night?

Us: …yup.  That’s correct.

Security guard (eyeing us suspiciously): ….alright.

You gotta love that AC hospitality!  So charming!

Keith Stone: Rory would’ve loved the bus ride down. The door to the bathroom was open the entire time and it smelled like Nets all-time great Gheorghe Muresan had just evacuated his bowels after an all-you-can-eat Indian food buffet. I survived by drinking vodka out of a soda bottle for my 83rd consecutive bus ride down to AC. As we were disembarking, two cute girls were confused about the casino vouchers that come with the bus ticket. Being the gallant gentleman that I am, I tried explaining it to them, but it turned out that the problem was that they were only 18. I took that as my cue to leave and meet up with the guys.

3:00 – After a slight issue with check-in, we’re up in the room.  My groomsmen decide to take a nap, while I receive word that the first group of friends have arrived, and they are both hungry and itching to get drunk.  Not wanting to disappoint them, I tell them to meet me at Harry’s Oyster Bar.

When I get there, I meet up with Brad (of Brad Bogner Show fame), Danny (of Danny Thoughts fame), and Bongo (of drinking tons of beer fame).  We watch some important soccer game and drink beer from the Cape May Brewery (yes, there really is a Cape May Brewery, it wasn’t just a throw-away joke earlier.  In fact, they were at the AC Beerfest!).  By the way, it is worth noting that Brad has arrived with just the clothes on his back – no change of underwear, no toothbrush.  He plans to stay up the entire night, like a true bachelor party champion.  Keith finally makes his first appearance, handing the waitress an empty bottle of vodka, and chugging directly from our pitcher.  What an entrance.

MKS: Best entrance not involving a zamboni.

5:00 – We head to the Wild Wild West Bar (officially known as the Mountain Bar).  I selected this bar as the main focal point of the night – it would be cheap enough for people who were focused solely on drinking, but close enough to the tables for those interested in gambling.  However, unbeknownst to us, this was the last night of the WWW Bar’s existence as we know it: it is being renovated over the next three weeks to become a low-budget gambling attraction for young people, something I’ve been pushing for since the first AC Diary.  So I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a proper goodbye to the Wild Wild West as I know it, and I look forward to the future.

By now, all of my friends have made the journey down (and kudos to Finn, who survived a tire blow-out on the way down).  We watch American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown, and then lead the bar in a chant of “USA! USA!” as well as “Fuck Affirmed!  Fuck Affirmed!”  If this section seems a little abbreviated, it is for good reason.  At this point, the drinks have been flowing for hours.  With dinner still a while away, I get talked into playing blackjack.  Hoo-boy.  Here we go.

7:00 – Danny, Keith, Dane (a new character to this tale), and I head to Bally’s to try to find a cheap, empty table to get in a few hands of blackjack before dinner.  Now, if you’ll recall from the AC Beerfest diary, I got rocked the last time I gambled.  I retell this story to my cohorts, imploring them not to lose too much money before dinner.  A bad gambling experience can ruin an otherwise amazing night.

After perusing the floor, we sit down at an empty $15 table.  This doesn’t bode well.  However, the four of us proceed to go on one of the best gambling runs I’ve ever seen since I started the diary.  With Keith and I coaching Danny and Dane, we’re hitting every split and double down, and taking the dealer to the cleaners.  Dane, who started with a modest $45, leaves the table with $120.  Danny and Keith both double their winnings, and I leave with $50 more than I started.  And that’s all I gambled for the weekend.  It was a fantastic run, and there would be no way I could top it that night.  I’ve worked up an appetite, so the crew heads to dinner.

MKS: Leave it to us to turn a few hands of blackjack into a few hours of blackjack. It really couldn’t have gone any better, though. If you looked up “How to have fun playing blackjack” in the degenerate encyclopedia, you’d find a picture of the four of us. We were cracking jokes, cheering each other on, and keeping the drinks FLOWING.

It was hard to tell if the dealer was annoyed or entertained with our constant complimenting of her inept play and the “finger guns” we shot imaginary bullets in the air with for every big win to commemorate the WWW closing. As far as cowboys go, we may not have been John Wayne but still had Tony Romo beat.

9:30 – OB, fulfilling his duties as a groomsman and Atlantic City man-about-town, arranged a dinner at Morton’s in Caesar’s.  It was a prix-fixe meal with an open bar, and boy did my friends get their money’s worth.  As the waitress took our orders, we gave each man his rightful applause (with the exception of Bongo, whose choice, while nothing special, got mercilessly booed).  Speeches were made by OB, my brother, and myself.  The table sang “Happy Bachelor Party To You,” as is traditional at bachelor parties.  Even Finn, who was turning 30 on Sunday, got a piece of cake and a celebration.  Truly, it was the bachelor party dinner that every little boy dreams of.

12:00AM – After dinner, we have no plans.  OB instructs us all to disperse, but I jump in and say that we should all go back to the WWW bar.  OB, who has put off gambling long enough, hightails it to the nearest blackjack table.  Much of the group heads to the WWW bar, where we were pleasantly surprised to find a cover band playing in the Party Pit.  They proclaimed themselves “the best cover band in Philadelphia,” and I had no reason to doubt them.  All the hits were played, from the old classics (like “Walking On Sunshine”) to more modern hits (like “Shut Up And Dance”).  At one point, my brother and Sharma got into an intense dance-off during “Shake It Off.”  My brother’s elbows were swinging wildly, like Dikembe Mutumbo in the paint, and I feared him striking someone and causing a fight.  A cartoonish brawl in the Wild Wild West scored to “Shake It Off,” sadly, was not in the cards that night.

MKS: Let’s not forget all the chicas we forced Rory to talk to during one of his last nights of freedom (sorry, future Mrs. Rory). I went with a few of the rookies back to our table at Bally’s where the slaughter continued. There were lots of drinks and finger guns.

1:00 – Needing a breather from the booze, music, and flashing neon lights, much of my crew goes outside to chill on the Atlantic City boardwalk.  Bongo is puffing cigars, while Steve hangs onto the boardwalk railing like a wrestler trying to stay in the Royal Rumble.  This was easily one of my favorite moments of the night, as I just got to relax and shoot the shit with a bunch of good friends, talking about upcoming weddings, upcoming babies, and all the other stuff that, even though it makes me feel old, touches my heart.  One of my favorite moments was when I saw Dane walk up, I asked him how he did gambling.  He shouted to all of Atlantic City, “I’M UP $150!”  A rookie mistake, Dane, but nothing bad came from it.

Also, if you were looking to start a business in Atlantic City, I would just start selling cigarettes to drunks on the boardwalk.  If I had $75 for each person who asked me for a cigarette during this time, I’d almost break even for my last couple trips down to AC.

2:00 – I realize I haven’t seen OB since dinner, and decide to check in with him.  I find him playing blackjack at Caesars.  As I arrive, he’s bet the majority of his chips on one hand.  I immediately know what’s going to happen, but cannot pull myself away.  In slow motion, he is dealt a 16, while the dealer deals himself a blackjack.  It was like witnessing a hate-crime.  OB acknowledges my presence with an angry scowl, and I hightail it out of there.  Back to the boardwalk.

MKS: I joined Rory for this excursion. However, unlike my kind-hearted friend, I had to see how this OB gambling roller coaster would play out, so I threw down a few hundred bucks, strapped in, and prepared for the ride of my life. Finn eventually joined us. For the next couple of hours we experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Well, experienced them through OB.

As mere mortals playing next to a gambling god, Finn and I tried to stay out of OB’s way. On particularly big hands, I prayed that I wouldn’t have to make a decision that would fuck his cards up and luckily none came up. As usual, we had fun with our neighbors. Early on, an Asian woman who didn’t speak English settled in next to us. While we were contemplating our hands, she would often talk to us in her native tongue, presumably giving advice. We responded in English (well, OB yelled back at her in English) and had the type of conversation one can only have at a blackjack table after midnight.

Things were generally going well for everyone until our foreign friend decided to split 9’s on a hand OB had bet big on. You can see where this is going. The dealer ended up pulling a 20 she otherwise would have busted on, beating the table. Of course, this led to a spirited discussion between OB and our friend about blackjack strategy in two different languages. The table karma had taken a huge hit and our chips followed likewise.

At the end of the shoe, the dealer gave OB the cut card. Being in no mood to cut, he asked, “How about we let this lovely lady do it?” and passed it across the table. It appeared to be a mea culpa with his adversary but as she took the card, OB clarified that he meant the pretty girl behind her watching our table. He promptly lost the rest of his chips.

OB mumbled something about cigarettes and bolted from the table. Finn and I looked at each other and didn’t need to say a word. We were both thinking, “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy.” At this point, our Asian friend spoke up and began motioning (I think) that I should play two hands. Being drunk and insane, I complied and did pretty well although I’m not a fan of having to process two hands at once or facing the risk of losing my money so quickly.

We found a nice rhythm and were getting used to playing in a more relaxed atmosphere when I noticed ripples in my vodka soda. OB had returned.

3:00 – With the night getting colder and the crazies slowly taking over the boardwalk, a group of us head back to my room to relax and drink.  While Brad discusses the finer points of getting raped on the bus back to Atlantic City, I notice one of my friends, let’s call him Dr. J, getting ready to go.  Now, Dr. J isn’t extremely drunk, but he definitely has a drinker’s gait.  He is also staying at Tropicana with two other friends.  As Dr. J announces that he is leaving, everyone says goodbye.  Fearing for this man’s safety (with the night going so well, I didn’t want anything to go wrong at this point), I volunteer to walk back to Trop with him.  Eventually, my other friends realize what I’m doing, and soon there’s five of us of walking to Tropicana.

On the way back, I notice OB, Finn, and Keith playing blackjack at Caesars again.  They are playing with Hasidic Jews, and OB is toasting them with every hand with a mixture of actual Hebrew words and drunken gibberish.  Rather than stick around to see if OB lifts up in their chairs and starts singing the Hava Nagila, I sneak past them for fear of giving him more bad luck (discussing these gambling partners in the morning, OB assures me that “they were jerks”).

MKS: We had found religion with our new friends and it was very lucrative for all of us. OB rallied with all the splitting and doubling you could imagine and more often than not ended up a winner. Even as I had money on the table, I found myself not paying attention to my own hand and rooting for OB. We even had a few group hugs on big hands that ended well. Remarkably, there was very little drama as well. It got a little dicey every time there was a 12 on the table, though. OB likes to request a 9 by screaming “NEIN!!!” like he’s Hitler’s secret love child. The sight of a drunk man pointing at a group of Jews and yelling “NEIN!!!” was a bit intense but luckily nothing came of it. Well, the Jews left but that was it.

Victorious, we cashed in our chips. OB was up the GDP of a small African nation while I made a couple hundred dollars. Upon returning to my hotel room which was being shared by six guys (bachelor parties FTW), both beds were being dominated by a single person so I grabbed a pillow and hit the floor. 

4:00 – The room party slowly has dissipated, and Steve and I try to get some sleep.  We will have to leave at 9:00AM the next day to travel to New York City to see Weird Al Yankovic at Govball.  We lay down, try to rest our eyes, but then…

5:30 – OB returns to the room.

5:37 – OB begins snoring.

And man, OB’s snoring was cranked up to record levels.  It doesn’t even have a steady rhythm that you can get used to – he switches it up and constantly keeps you on your toes.  There are times where he’ll just stop snoring for 30 seconds, and I’ll think, “Oh my God, OB’s dead!”  Then, I’ll think, “….good.”  Then, sure enough, the monstrous snoring starts up.

8:00 – I’ve given up trying to sleep.  So, I try the maneuver of “packing up loudly” to try to wake up my other roommates.  Eventually, somehow, we’re all up, packed, and ready to go at 9:00AM.

And that pretty much wraps up the time in Atlantic City.  For those looking for closure: most of my friends who gambled won money, everybody got home safely, and we made it to Govball in time for Weird Al.  Overall, it was exactly what I wanted for a bachelor party.  Sure, there were no strippers or such, but that was never my scene.  It was all the best moments of AC rolled up into one night – good food, good drinking, good cover bands, good blackjack, and most importantly, good times with good friends.  I believe Steve summed it up best: “Even though every time I lay down I feel like I’m going to die, it was a great weekend.”

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