First post...be kind! This happened way back in the dark ages, 1986. I was 21 at the time and working for a gas station that was associated with a certain grocery store chain in Washington state. It was owned by a company not affiliated with said chain, but had locations at nearly every one. submitted by
As this was long before the days of debit cards, this was a cash only gas station. We didn’t even take credit cards. Customers would pull up, pump their gas and then come to my window to pay. We also sold cigarettes. No drinks, no snacks...customers couldn’t even get into my booth. I had been working there about a year when the company announced it was closing the location. My manager and I were offered positions at another location upstate and we both accepted. We moved our respective families and started our new jobs. As new hires (ugh).
This station was incredible busy. We did more business in 8 hrs than my old location would do in a week. This location also had a different set up: here you would pull into the station from a single entrance, pump your gas, and then drive forward to a single exit where the “Pay Here” booth was located. There were always 2 cashiers on duty. Each cashier had a cash drawer.
One thing I should note, there were also no computers. So closing the drawer down between shifts was timing consuming and tedious. We had to manually count the cigarettes remaining, and count the cash drawers. We would fill out an end of shift report listing the starting balances and the ending balances. We also had to list the gallons sold from each pump. At the end of the shift the total of gallons sold and the total cigarettes sold should equal the cash balance. It is important to note here that not once in the year I had worked for the previous location had I been off by more than 10 cents.
The following morning after my first shift I was informed by the manager that I was short $50. Impossible I said, I balanced out yesterday. He said that I must have stolen that money after I had completed the paperwork. I just looked at him and said, no I didn’t. He gave me a verbal warning and said if it happened again I would be fired and the stolen money would be deducted from my paycheck this week.
In the 5 days that followed I realized quickly the manager was up to something. My old manager who was just another worker now, was also accused of stealing. As was one other new employee. I can’t vouch for the other employee but I’m pretty sure she did nothing wrong. The employees that had been there awhile were never accused of anything. I did some checking and found out this manager was relatively new (had only been there about 6 months) and the other cashiers had been here before him. Only new cashiers were being accused of stealing. And that location had been having “stealing problems” for about 6 months and the turnover was high with the new employees.
I came to work at 6am on a Monday only to be told I was being fired. For cause. The manager accused me of taking $500 out of my drawer the previous Friday. He said he only discovered it this morning (even though he had worked Sat and Sun). I said ok and left. I was pretty angry and instead of going home, I parked in the grocery store parking lot and proceed to settle in to watch the gas station. I knew that at 9am sharp, he would take the cash in the safe and make the weekend deposit. At 9am he left the gas station and headed to the bank. But instead of walking into the bank, he walked into the Indian “casino” next door. It’s not really a casino like we think of today, but more of a betting parlor for the races. It did have slot machines, but no card tables.
I think “Well, this is interesting”.
He comes out of the casino at exactly 10 am, walks next door to the bank, does his business and then heads back to the gas station. I head home with a plan.
Every morning I follow him from the gas station to the casino. I take a picture of him leaving, and one of him arriving at the bank and walking into the casino. I take pictures of him coming out and then heading to the bank. I do this for 5 days straight. He even went on Saturday. On day 3 my old manager was fired for “stealing” $150.
I get the film developed (no digital camera in the dark ages) note the times and dates on the back of each one. Then I call the main office of the gas company. It’s after 5 but I’m hoping someone is there. And there is. I speak to a woman and explain my situation and she says she knows exactly who I should speak to and transfers me. By some grace of God, she has transferred me to none other than the President/CEO of the company!
I tell him my story and tell him I did NOT steal from his company and could prove who actually did. He took down my information and said he would be in touch. I’m thinking to myself “yeah right”. The next morning I went to the station to perform my usual observation of the manager. At 9am he leaves for the “bank”. At 10 am he comes out. At that moment 2 stern looking gentlemen approach him. One pulls out his wallet and shows him something. The other one is talking. The manager goes pale and takes a step back. Next thing I know he is being escorted to a car I hadn’t noticed and they drive off. I lose them at a traffic signal so I head back to the station. They all show back up about 5 min later, and a few minutes after that a police cruiser pulls in. The officer talks to the stern gentleman and proceeds to place the manager in handcuffs. The other man says nothing but is glaring daggers at the manager.
The President called me later that after noon and informed me that the manager had been arrested for embezzlement (turns out that in 6 months he had managed to steal about $5k). He would take the store cash into the casino and gamble with it; if he won, he would make the normal bank deposit. If he lost, he would make the deposit and note in his records that we had been short the previous day. The CEO had already been focusing on that location because of the stealing and high turnover rate, but my information helped them figure out what exactly had been going on.
I was thanked and sent a substantial check as a reward. My old manager was offered the manager’s job and I was offered my old job back. I declined as I had already found another job that I liked more and paid better. The gambling manager was sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to attend counseling for his gambling addiction. His wife divorced him and took their 3 children to California. His house was foreclosed on and he ended up in a homeless shelter.
Don’t accuse me of stealing. I will get revenge.
Thank you for the likes and awards!
Update 2: this was my first post and I really didn’t expect all the awards. Thank you!
Love? Give it six months
Warning: this story will contain mentions of unhealthy relationships and adult themes. The main character also has some character traits that may differs from your own, please do keep that in mind.
Review and comments will be appreciated (Customisation)
There once was a dashing bachelor
(That looked like )(uses the OH male feces)
James Bond (black slick backed)
Don Diego Vega (dark brown wavy hair slicked back long neck)
Steve Rogers (Short blonde side swept hair)
Agent J (Short kinky curls)
Is this him?
No (go back to customisation)
What is his name?
There he meets
A beautiful woman
A handsome man
A beautiful woman
Face 1 (Asian; has pale skin, dark almond eyes, straight black mid-back hair with a mid-part)
Face 2 (Hispanic: has tan skin, deep brown eye and over shoulder-length volumes wavy hair with side bangs.)
Face 3 (Afro-American: dark skin, expressive brown eyes with long blackish brown chest-length kinky curly hair.)
Face 4 (Caucassian: pinkish skin with freckles, clear blue round eyes, collarbone length layered dirty blonde hair)
A handsome man
Face 1 (Asian: pale skin, dark almond eyes, straight black hair put up in a pompadour style)
Face 2 (Hispanic: tan skin, with slicked back wavy hair that always looks like it is coming undone.)
Face 3 (Afro-American: dark skin, expressive brown eyes, with a crewcut with tight natural curls.)
Face 4 (Caucasian: pinkish skin with freckles, clear blue eyes, dirty blonde hair in a Taper haircut.)
As the two peoples eyes lock across the room. The sensation of a pull drives them to get closer to one another.
As the dashing bachelor offered his hand his partner gladly accepted it. Leading into a dance that lasted the rest of the night.
The whole world faded away to the sound of the Jazz band, their breathing and their dancing.
As their lips moved to meet...
???: “Oh come now Joanna, you know that is no way that would ever happen.”
Joanna: “Oh for craps sake, George I was getting to the best part.”
George: “Forgive me for finding it uncomfortable that you have decide how my love life is going to go.”
Lance: “He does have a point there sis.”
Joanna: “Way to stand up for your sister Lance.”
Lance “Look I’m all for love conquers and all that jazz but it is kind of difficult to make a love life for someone else.”
George: “Thank you.”
Lance: “I mean he isn’t a completely lost cause. I’m sure some desperate soul will take him.”
Lance: “I mean he’s got dads looks, and he managed to get with mom when they were young.”
Lance: “That might make up for his zero tact.”
George: “Your faith in me is awe inspiring.”
Lance: “Oh cheer up. With your upcoming trip to Vegas, maybe you’ll have luck in love and not just on the poker table.”
Joanna: “Maybe you’ll meet someone special!”
You snort, finding the idea silly.
George: “I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Chapter 1: One night in Vegas
In an underground speakeasy decked out in old decor from the 20th centuries first half. You sit there nursing your drink. After a long day at the office you love nothing more than when you can enjoy your secret fancy. Dressed up in an old-fashioned pinstripe suit and a fedora. You feel like a king, this little piece of haven in Chicago that seemed to be frozen in time.
You feel your friend beside you stir, he himself having to relax from work as well as dreading an upcoming event.
After his fifth sight you opt to actually talk about it.
You take a swing of your drink and decide to talk about the elephant in the room.
Or more accurately you decide to talk about the issue in pre 1940’s slang
George: “Your bear cat of a sister still giving you a hard time?”
George: “Look Pally, I known you since we were scrubs and had squat. What's eating you?”
Jeremy: “That dame will chisel me out of every dime I own.”
George: “Stephie acting like a Big cheese cause she is getting hitched?”
Jeremy: “She wants everything spiffy and I’m quite sure her ankle biters will be paying the bills. My folks are on my case regarding my dame.”
You think for a moment. Jeremy and Katie had been together for four years. They got one another, they lived together.
George: “Stephie’s lucky her guy thinks she’s the Cat's meow.”
You said reflecting on everything you ever heard regarding Darren, he was a good guy. Definitely not the smartest but he loved Stephanie like she was the only woman alive. You just wondered why anyone would want to spend time with that woman.
Jeremy: “Alright, real talk.”
Jeremy said as he dropped ‘the act’, we were no longer hot shots in the prohibition era. We were now just George Bishop and Jeremy Jackson a financial advisor and a computer wizard.
George: “In all do honesty I do not see why you need to go there? Aren’t bachelorette parties strictly female?”
Jeremy: “They used to be, but I am quite sure I am not going with them to be pampered like the bridesmaids.”
George: “Then your function is?”
Jeremy: “If I were to guess, fall guy and pack mule.”
Jeremy: “I think she is also doing it to brag, that ‘she did it first.’ To rub it in Katie’s face.”
George: “You never really care what your sister does. Why now?”
Jeremy: “Because they are pressuring me and Katie. Not just my family but next to everyone we know. ‘When is the wedding? What is the venue? How many guests? Are you going to have it this year?’ Look I love my girl, but none of us is in rush to walk down the aisle.”
Yeah, you know, you were the first one Jeremy told about his plan to propose. You were happy for him but at the end of the day it was up to Katie and Jeremy. Not you or their families. However the rest of the world seemed to think differently.
Mom: “Oh sweetheart, happy valentine’s day! Are you spending it with someone special?”
George: “Mom, you know I am not looking for someone.”
Mom: “Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find that certain someone sooner or later.”
Yeah, it isn’t enough your sister is married and your brother is utterly twitterpated with his boyfriend. You need to ensure your oldest is also with someone.
Boss: “Mr. Bishop, I must say. I am impressed with your work ethics, but we have decided to go with Mr. Robinson as the face of the company.”
Never minding the fact that you worked twice as hard as said college.
George: “I understand. May I ask what made you choose him?”
Boss: “We did research and found that your college would be favourable, due to circumstance.”
Translation: we wanted a man that was married and not the workaholic bachelor.
Stranger 1: “You see that guy over there?”
Stranger 2: “You mean the one with the RBF?”
Stranger 1: “Yeah, probably one of those loners, will never find anyone.”
Stranger 2: “I mean who goes to a restaurant like this alone?”
Honestly? You can’t have a meal alone?
George: “Yeah, I know that feeling.”
Both of you take a sigh.
Jeremy: “But in all honesty. Thank you for coming along, I really appreciate it. Would probably loose my mind if I went alone.”
George: “Of course.”
- It would be a shame to lose my partner in crime.
- My boss would be pissed if I didn’t.
- Who would turn down free drinks?
Jeremy: “Yeah sounds about right.” *Choice 1*
George: “Remember how we got back at Marcus Thatcher?” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “Oh, I remember. Too bad he didn’t check the file we sent, it might have saved him some embarrassment.” *Choice 1*
George: “Big tough football star being fooled by ‘two scrawny’ freshmen.” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “And we were hailed as heroes for a month.” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “Wait, don’t tell me HR department has been on your case.” *Choice 2*
Geroge: “Yep, too much overtime.” *Choice 2*
Geroge: “Never mind I make sure that everything is quality controlled.” *Choice 2*
Jeremy: “Geesh. Well glad to know I could be of service.” *Choice 2*
Jeremy: “Ah there it is, I knew you had a hidden agenda. *Choice 3*
George: “Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, when have I ever hid something from you?” *Choice 3*
Jeremy: “Alright fair, you are honest to the point of insult.” *Choice 3*
Geroge: “You asked for my opinion, besides those shoes where ugly as sin.” *Choice 3*
Both of you laugh, you had been in each other’s life since kindergarten. You where the odd ducks, most kids and adults always considered you to be cold or judging. Even if neither of you had that intention.
Jeremy raises his glass.
Jeremy: “To intellectual companions.”
George: “To intellectual friends.”
You said as you raised your own drink in a toast.
The weekend finally arrived for the trip. You arrived at O’Hare airport with a good three hours to spare. You crack open the book you brought with you.
It was a supernatural detective story you received as a gift on last birthday a few months back. While you applaud your sister for trying, it was still jarring to follow all the supernatural deus-ex-machinas that discarded real detective work.
So that is how a 31 year old was reading a supernatural book in broad daylight.
George: ‘ with gun drawn, Duskraven made her way down the basement, the surroundings smelled of blood and muck.’
Geroge: ‘Romano’s empire was now in full display in front of her. Fae, lined the walls, eyes hollow and only the movement of their chest indicating they were still alive.’
George: ‘Duskraven took out her polaroid camera, it was a risky but if this would ever have a chance to justice. Her leads and information would need to be solid if she wanted to take down the vampire cartel. She just hoped the light for the camera would be noticed.’
George: ‘With a blinding light the entire basement lit up temporarily blinding her, when she regained her sight again a new horror met her eyes. Multiple pairs of hungry red eyes.’
You tear your eyes away from the book in your hand.
There is Jeremy and Katie, hand in hand. Seeing them together was always a happy occasion.
Katie and Jeremy met at your favourite speakeasy a few years back. You didn’t blame your friend for becoming interested in the ICU nurse. Curly red hair and big blue eyes. Even if the courtship had started out rocky due to both of them being so shy. They overcame that hurdle and found something they wanted.
Sometimes however you wished you didn’t feel like you were interrupting them.
George: “Good morning, is Stephanie and her friends also here?”
Katie: “No they had a sleep over at Daria’s house. So they will be carpooling.”
You look at your clock and it was about two hours before the plane would take off, your bags where checked in and you were ready to leave and get to the section where the gates would be. But there was still no sign of Stephanie.
As you though you heard a rumbling sound.
Both you and Katie looked at Jeremy as a sheepish grim grew on his face.
Katie: “Told you, a ham sandwich wouldn’t hold.”
Jeremy: “It will hold till lunch, which is a few hours away.”
George: “You sure that is a good idea?”
Jeremy: “Tell you what, I’ll go if you come with me and Katie.”
Katie: “So what do you say?”
· Sure, I could have a bite. (💎12)
· Perhaps we shouldn’t Diamond Choice: George: “Alright, let us have something to eat.” Jeremy: “Good! Airplane food leaves much to be desired.” Katie: “You always think with your stomach.” Jeremy: “Yet you love me.” Katie: “Yes, odd isn’t it?” You make your way inside and stay in line. You look at the menu and order
· Breakfast burrito
· Bacon and scrambled eggs
· Fruit and oatmeal You order your food along with a big coffee. You all slide into the booth, Katie had her yogurt in hand both of you looked worryingly at Jeremy’s breakfast. (Tilting tower of pancakes) (Holy crap!) You swore for a moment both you and Katie was reading each other’s mind. ‘He is going to puke.’ George: “Hey Jeremy, think you can get some napkins?” Jeremy: “Sure.” As he left you plied a few pancakes away, making sure that you saved the top one so he wouldn’t notice. Katie making sure the tower didn’t fall. She gave a thumbs up, thanking you. George: “So Katie, how have you been?” Katie: “There is always a lot of things to do at the ICU, sometime I wonder where humanity is headed.” George: “Really, that bad?” Katie: “How would you explain having a locomotive lodge up your rectum?” George: “How did that happened?” Katie: “They claim they fell on it, if I had a dollar every time this happened I wouldn’t have any student debts.” You shake your head, you have been thinking a bit about what Jeremy said at the Speakeasy. You had also noticed that something was up with Katie, she was on edge. George: “Katie…” 1. “Did you want to go on this trip?” 2. “Has Mr and Mrs Jackson been pressuring you?” 3. “Do you want to get married?” Katie: “In all honesty no, but Stephanie has made me a bridesmaid. I need to partake in these things. Even if I wish I didn’t.” *Choice 1\
* George: “Why?” *Choice 1\
* Katie: “I wish I could care as little about protocol as you do, but she is Jeremy’s sister, if I say no it might affect my relationship with Jeremy and his family.” *Choice 1\
* Katie: “Yes, I mean no, I mean… it’s complicated.” *Choice 2\
* George: “How come?” *Choice 2\
* Katie: “I’m 30 years old George, time is ticking. They want grandchildren to spoil.” *Choice 2\
* George: “And you have to be married to do that?” *Choice 2\
* Katie: “Of course I love Jeremy.” *Choice 3\
* George: “That wasn’t the question, do you want to get married?” *Choice 3\
* Katie: “It is just so big, all those expectations. I… it scares the crap out of me.” *Choice 3\
* George: “Listen, I will tell you something.” You said using your stern voice. George: “Jeremy loves you, he chose you. You chose him. That is the truth at the end of the day.” Katie looked at you, a shy smile graced her lips. She mouthed a thank you. Jeremy made his way back to you with a great pile of napkins. You all begin to take part of the meal. During the entire meal Katie and Jeremy’s shoulders touched and they looked as content as they could be. (‘Loving it’ you had breakfast at McDermott)
None diamond choice:
George: “Let us just sit down and relax, we should be in Las Vegas at 1 am. Knowing Stephanie we will probably eat something there before heading to the hotel.”
Katie: “Maybe, I’ll get some water at least.”
Jeremy: “Good idea.”
(‘Not hungry’ you didn’t have a McDermott breakfast)
As all of you wait for the supposed ‘bride’ you hear commotion.
Sure enough you see a brunette with a close to permanent scowl on her face. Followed but two very flustered women.
“There you are! WHERE have you been?!”
Her tone is as pleasant as you remember, nails on a chalkboard.
Jeremy: “We have been here waiting for you.”
Stephanie: “You aren’t even going to help me with my bags. What type of brother are you?”
Jeremy: “Well we are here, we have about half an hour before the plane leaves. So let’s get to the gate.”
Stephanie just huffed. Storming away.
George: “Wow she is in a good mood.”
You state sarcastically.
Jeremy: “Yeah she gets like that some time.”
Jeremy: “Just try not to set her of, she can be a handful.”
Katie: “I mean how bad could it possibly be?”
You were never the very superstitious type, but you were quite sure that Katie just opened Pandora’s Box.
From the time the plane touched ground in Nevada everything that could set of Stephanie did.
Stephanie: “URRGH!!! where is that shuttle! He is LATE!!”
Jeremy: “They told us like five minutes ago there is traffic jam.”
Stephanie: “Then he should have planned it earlier!”
Stephanie: “I will not wait an hour! WE have a schedule to follow!”
George:’ This coming from the woman that almost missed the plane to her own bachelorette party.’
Daria: “They say it is only another 15 minutes.”
Stephanie: “I DON’T CAREEEEE!”
Stephanie: “What do you mean that our suits where not booked?”
Receptionist: “You never sent in the deposit for your stay.”
Stephanie: “THAT WAS GEMMA’S JOB!”
Gemma: “I told you, the suits needed to be paid for by the same person that booked them.”
Stephanie: “You are a bridesmaid, you are supposed to make things work!”
Stephanie: “THIS ISN’T WHAT I ORDERED!”
Waitress: “Yes it is, you wanted a calamari.”
The poor waitress looked exhausted and probably wanted to be anywhere but here, not that one could blame her.
Stephanie: “NO IT ISN’T! I wanted the pasta with bacon and cheese.”
Katie: “A cabonara?”
Jeremy: “Stephie we are at a seafood restaurant.”
George: ‘IS she ever
All of us where back at the hotel, Stephanie insisting that they ‘needed’ a new set of clothes for the casino and club they were planning on hitting. Jeremy looked ready to just give up.
George: “You know, you could simply say no to her.”
Jeremy threw an exhausted glair at me.
Jeremy: “If it was so simple neither me, you nor Katie would be here right now.”
George: “And you wouldn’t be here doing this Sisyphean task, which obviously brings you missery.”
Jeremy: “Yeah well, I still want my parents in my life, if I didn’t do this, they would never let me live it down.”
What to wear to the casino?
· Tuxedo 007 (💎 15)
· Basic black Diamond option: Jeremy: “You look like James Bond.” George: “I’ll have a martini, shaken not stirred.” You said and an amused smile spread across Jeremy’s face.
None diamond choice
“I Think I’ll stick with this.”
“Fair enough, I am too exhausted to care anyway.”
Jeremy said with a tired smile. You both left the room, making our way to one of the pulsing centres of the strip.
There in the golden casinos you thought finally your luck would finally turn for the better. That the glamorous atmosphere would rub off on the soon-to-be bride. Causing her to stop doing her impression of a screeching barn owl and let ALL of them enjoy Sin City.
Well it seemed to have worked, for now.
Both you and Jeremy where at the black jack tables, enjoying yourself. While the ladies were back at the slots machines.
Jeremy folded a while ago, it is just you and one more. You looked down at your cards a jack and an ace. You opponent opposite you had this confident smirk on his face. But you saw how the sweat was running down his face. He was bluffing.
- Act as if you have a bad hand
- Act arrogant and self-assured
- Do not react at all and watch the man squirm
You decide to let your brows furrow in what would look like frustration. The man opposite you lets the edge of his mouth turn in a smirk. His confidence boosting with every minute. *Choice 1*
You decide to put on the theatrics, giving a smile like the cat that ate the canary you look at your opponent. That is growing more and more agitated by the minute. *Choice 2*
You keep your face natural, a lot of people often comment that you look angry whenever they see you. You could only assume it was true because your opponent was practically squirming in his seat. *Choice 3*
When he reviles his hand, you pause for a moment before reviling yours.
George: “I’ll be taking these.”
You said as you dragged them back chips and split them evenly between you and Jeremy. You had started with the same amount of tokens. Even if you did work with money daily, this was one of those occasions you allowed yourself to be a bit more relaxed regarding that subject.
Jeremy: “Nice one.”
George: “All in a day’s work.”
Jeremy: “So what next?”
Before you could answer you hear commotion from the opposite side of the casino. The screeching voice meant that Stephanie was somewhere in the middle of it. Both of you sigh, knowing that your happy hour was over.
Sure enough there at the era leading into one of the shows where Stephanie and her entourage, all of them except Stephanie wearing baby pink dresses and Stephanie herself wearing a sash reading ‘all hail the bride’ along with a tacky tiara probably worth a five dollar bill at most.
She was screaming at a bouncer, while all the others tried in vain to calm the soon-to-be bride.
Stephanie: “You are an idiot! What service is this!?”
When we had arrived there was already an audience forming. Yeah this was common whenever Stephanie was involved. ‘Drama Queen’ had been your nickname for her during high school for a reason.
Jeremy: “What happened?”
Bouncer: “Your friend here slapped one of your dancers, something about them stealing from them.”
Stephanie: “I am the BRIDE! I am not supposed to have to pay for anything during my bachelorette party.”
Jeremy: “Stephanie, what about we get some fresh air, okay?”
Jeremy said as he tried to deescalate the situation. He gently grabbed her arm, but Stephanie was having none of it.
It felt like it all happened in slow motion, Stephanie turned around and a closed fist and rage connected it with Jeremy’s face. Your friend flew back and hit his head on the floor pretty hard. Stephanie didn’t even care to check what state her brother was in. Katie flew to her fiancés side and the sight of your friend’s bleeding face was enough to make you see red.
George: “Alright enough.”
- Scold her
- Embarrass her
- Give her the evil eye
George: “Stephanie, you are way out of line.” *Choice 1*
Stephanie: “No I am not!” *Choice 1*
George: “You have taken no responsibility during this trip, you have been rude to every member of the party, you have caused a scene at every place we have been to. Do I need to keep going?” *Choice 1*
Your voice is like ice, you swear the temperature just dropped a few degrees. As you pointed out everything she has done during the less than 24 hours you been together. *Choice 1*
Stephanie looks angrily at her bridesmaids as is she is waiting for them to defend her. *Choice 1*
They do not, they know you are just stating the truth. *Choice 1*
George: “Your own brother did not want to be on this trip, he begged me to come along. Doesn’t that tell you just how vile you have been acting?” *Choice 1*
Stephanie: “You listen here…”*Choice 1*
George: “No you listen for once in your life!” *Choice 1*
You rarely let your emotions out but Stephanie was a special case. *Choice 1*
George: “If this is how you treat people, do not be surprised when Darren leaves you at the altar. He deserve better than this.” *Choice 1*
With that as a closing line you left, Jeremy might need to get to the hospital. He was worth more than Stephanie would ever be in your eyes. *Choice 1*
As you leave you are quite sure you hear someone applauding. *Choice 1*
With determined steps you made your way to one of the waitresses. *Choice 2*
George: “Excuse me.” *Choice 2*
You hand her a 50 dollar bill as you grab a big jug glass filled with beer and briskly walk back to Stephanie that is still screaming profanities. Because of her back being turned to you she didn’t see you. You saw how people began to take out their cameras and phones. No one made a move to stop you. *Choice 2*
With one quick movement you had poured it over her and a shriek of surprise entered your ears. *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “What the fuck is wrong with you!?” *Choice 2*
George: “Are you done with your little temper tantrum?” *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “What!? How dare you!” *Choice 2*
George: “You have been acting like a spoiled five year old since the moment we landed. I am surprised no one has done anything until now.” *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “You are so not coming to my wedding!” *Choice 2*
George: “It isn’t a loss, I was never here for you. Now excuse me I have more important things to deal with.” *Choice 2*
You left Stephanie to deal with the people that had gathered for the ‘show’ and she began to scream at them and calling them all sorts of names. But no one was intimidated, they found it hilarious. *Choice 2*
You grab hold of Stephanie, until she has no choice but to look at you. She is screeching, calling you every slur and bad name in the book. Your hands are firm on her upper arm, you just hold no squeezing, no pushing. You keep your eyes locked on her, you must have stood there quite a while until finally her defiant stare became weaker and weaker. *Choice 3*
You kept hold of her until she burst out into tears. At that point you let her go. Knowing you had knocked her down a peg. *Choice 3*
But Stephanie wasn’t your main concern, Jeremy was. You moved to stay with Katie and Jeremy, the crowd parted as the red sea as you walked by. All in stunned silence. *Choice 3*
George: “Are you sure you’ll be alright?”
Jeremy grimaced at the questing, blood still trickling down his face from where he had been punched. Luckily the nose would heal, the only question was what colour it would be in time for Stephanie’s wedding.
Jeremy: “I’ll be fine, Katie is here too. She knows what she is doing.”
Katie: “Having your fiancé being a nurse does have its perks huh?”
Jeremy: “Yeah one of many.”
The two of them smile at one another, before Jeremy turn back to you.
Jeremy: “Think you can manage your own?”
George: “I think I can stay out of trouble for one night.”
Jeremy: “Maybe, see you tomorrow George.”
Katie: “Have a nice night.”
With that the two of them made their way up to the hotel rooms.
You decided to check out the hotel bar. Despite being 10 o’clock it was surprisingly empty. Some people where there, some having already had a few to many.
But what caught your eye was a stranger sitting at the end of the bar.
There sitting in a knee-length ocean blue dress was a woman, leaning over resting her elbows at the counter. She had a faraway look in her face as she absentmindedly stirred her drink. *♀*
There sitting a young man, nursing his drink. His blue vest and slacks combo suited him well with the crisp white shirt. His attention seeming being elsewhere. *♂*
You sit down by the bar and is about to call on the bartender when I noticed a man, clearly intoxicated made a move on the man/woman at the end of the bar.
Drunk Idiot: “Hello there, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
The person in question just rolled hehis eyes. Clearly not in the mood to be the object of drunk admiration.
Drunk Idiot: “How about you and me go up to my hotel room and get to know each other a bit more.”
Haven seen the man/woman in question do every none-verbal que but slapping the idiot you decide enough was enough. He had disturbed you and the rest of the bar enough.
With the smoothest and coolest tone of voice you could muster you cleared your throat to get the drunk man’s attention. It wasn’t appreciated to say the least.
Drunk idiot: “What the hell do you want prick.”
The smell of alcohol radiating off him, one would think he had bathed in vodka. It was surprising no one had tossed him out from being a nuisance earlier.
George: “I do believe that you are bothering him/her. Please stop.”
George: “Look we are old friends, its noneofya business so bug off.”
George: “Oh really, then what is your friends name?”
Drunk Idiot: ”What?”
George: “What. Is. your. friend’s. name? If you are old friends you should surely know it.”
Drunk Idiot: “It’s ummm… Terry.”
???: “That is not even close.”
With both of you staring straight into him, mentally cornering him.
Drunk idiot: ”Screw this.”
The man declared in frustration and with that the idiot stormed off leaving both of you alone.
After making sure the guy was out of sight you turned back to the stranger.
He/She gave you a grateful smile.
???: “Thanks’ I really appreciate that?”
George: “It was nothing.”
You said making yourself ready to go back to your seat.
The stranger called after you, out of sheer politeness you turned back around.
He/she Seemed a bit nervous, what now?
???: “Can I at least buy you a drink?”
You thought for a moment. You were on your own, Jeremy was probably nursing the bruise with some painkillers and you did not want to risk running into Stephanie or any of the bridesmaids. It also felt wrong to not take the opportunity to experience Vegas however.
So you accepted.
???: “Well What’s your poison?”
He/she asked in a joyous tone.
- Old Fashioned
- Red Wine
With a quick wave they called the bartender over.
???: “So what brings you to Vegas?”
George: “Bachelorette party.”
???: “Did it have anything to do with that brunette that slapped one of the dancers and had security physically lift her out?”
???: “No one got seriously hurt?”
George: “Thankfully no.”
With that the bartender served the drink and the stranger slipped a 50 dollar bill.
You lift the glass in a gesture for a thank you. And let the beverage slip down your throat. It was nice, it was a good year and the taste was strong but not overpowering.
You noticed that his/her eyes were on you, almost as if they were trying to decipher your character.
George: “What are you doing?”
???: “Trying to get a read on you, some say what you order is often an indication of who you are.”
George: “Really? Then what can you say about me?”
You asked, deciding to humour them.
???: “I can say that that you are a man that know what he wants and how you want them.” *Martini*
???: “You are an old soul, you probably know your liquor well. My guess you have a great library at home.” *Old fashioned*
???: “You are quite classy, and you can find a way to get drunk before noon.” *Red wine*
With that you give an amused chuckle.
George: “Well there is some truth to that statement.”
You take a look at the drink they self are nursing.
(Dark n Stormy)
George: “If I were to do the same to you, I guess you have a sweet tooth and might have wanted to be a pirate at some point.”
At that comment the stranger began to laugh. It was the infectious kind of laugh that made someone warm form the bottom of their stomach.
???: “Alright you got me there.”
He/she then stuck out their hand.
(My name is..)
(Default name: Skyler)
George: “‘Skyler’ it is a pleasure to meet you.”
You said as you shook it.
You take in Skyler’s look. You had to admit that they were an attractive specimen of a man/woman.
George: “The name is George Bishop.”
Skyler: “George Bishop, how professional sounding.”
He/ she said as if they were tasting your name in their mouth.
George: “Well I do hope so, would be difficult to be an advisor if people believed I was a joker.”
Skyler: “Ah, so you are one of those people that look at you and stamp ‘rejected’ on every paper?”
George: “I believe that I am fair in my judgement.”
George: “How about yourself?”
At that their eyes fell.
Skyler: “Right now, I’m a 30 year old trying to figure out my next move.”
George: “How come?”
Skyler: “Lost my job due to relationship issues between my manager and her boyfriend. Apparently, me being friendly was mistaken for flirting.”
Skyler: “What, they want a grumpy Greeter at the door?”
George: “That is unprofessional.”
Skyler: “Yeah, well relationships are messy.”
Skyler: “I must say the way you handled that woman, it was surprising.”
Skyler said in a genuinely impressed voice.
George: “You were watching?”
Skyler: “Kind of hard not to, I’m surprised half the hotel didn’t hear her.”
George: “Someone had to show her she isn’t the Queen of Sheba.”
Skyler: “What are your thought on marriage?”
You shoot up a bit, a bit startled by the blunt question.
George: “My thoughts?”
Skyler: “You seem like a guy that know what he thinks. I want to pick that brain a bit.”
It had been a while since someone had so blatantly flirted with you. To be fair you were a bit surprised. Dating had often been a minefield for you.
- It’s an institution
- It’s a partnership
- It’s indescribable
George: “Historically it was a way to ensure land, money and heirlooms where added into a new household.” *Choice 1*
George: “It was also a safety for children back in the day, since basterds often faced quite a few challenges from being born out of wedlock.” *Choice 1*
George: “It is a symbol of trust, that you do have someone that you can count on.” *Choice 2*
George: “But at the end of the day, if you are unfair to that partner hey might not stay.” *Choice 2*
George: “To describe marriage is like trying to describe oceans and water. Even with similarities we can see, gathering it all in an explanation would probably not give a fair judgement.” *Choice 3*
Skyler: “To me it’s a promise. ‘To have and to hold’ it is silly in this day and age were people divorce left and right for trivial things.”
Skylers eyes became dark, falling into deep thoughts. You had never been the poetic kind, but there was a sweet sentiment in Skyler’s view on things. Your parents where still married over 30 years now. Your sister was due some time in December, your brother was off celebrating a two year dating anniversary and your paternal grandmother still loved her deceased husband dearly.
To you it just never happened, perhaps it wasn’t for you.
George: “That we can agree on, people are so afraid they will settle. At the first sign of trouble they leave.”
Skyler: “So that woman form before… how long do you think her marriage will last?”
George: “If she acts like she did tonight, I wonder if her husband will even stay for the ceremony.”
You looked at your new companion and in an unusual turn of events you called the bartender over.
George: “Can I buy you a drink?”
With that Skyler smiled, deciding to keep you company.
Sometime later you awake to the sound of your alarm clock.
You feel a splitting headache, you drag you hand over your face as you do you feel a cold metal band around your finger. Pulling back as your eyes focus you see that it is a plain sliver coloured band.
· Oh no…
Feeling more sober than ever before you realised just what a mess you got yourself into.
George: ‘I just got married in Vegas.’
Well, you’re screwed.
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease.
If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas.
However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean.
We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me.
Anyways, onto the play by play. Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show. http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm
Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this.
The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA.
I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read.
I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding.
I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight. http://imgur.com/a/dygil
The savages. Literally. The savages.
I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon.
The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L.
My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383
has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate.
First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple.
I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail.
It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP.
I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled.
FC: Is this a restaurant?
Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door.
He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it.
I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno.
Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious
later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving.
Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha.
We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday.
I look down and I am agape at what I see.
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.
I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha.
As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question.
Bart: ever go hunting?
Me: Ducks a little bit but not much
Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game?
Me: Like on african safari?
Bart: No, I mean like.........man.
Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny.
Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt......
Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had.
We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough.
Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell.
I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( )
Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel.
He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see.
Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck.
I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach
instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo. Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One
I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit.
The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha.
I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec. http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB
It's a shot counter. For your gun.
A digital odometer, for your gun.
The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count.
UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT!
I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space.
Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death.
I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention.
A few take away facts from the keynote:
When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is.
One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry.
After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any.
Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative.
Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which.
The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems.
I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this.
Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint?
"No, we haven't"
Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc?
One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away?
"That's a good question that I don't have an answer for."
Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach
to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart
Bart: What do you want to eat?
FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon.
I begin vomiting.
God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure?
We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die.
Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever.
I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun.
I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut
has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling.
Metro: You can't park your car here.
FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park?
Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk!
I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway.
Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.
We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel.
Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears. Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show.
Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth.
I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup
and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees.
The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4. Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show.
Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950
and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking.
FC: What a bunch of fucking jews
Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7
FC: I should
We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine.
He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes.
ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!
Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND.
It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait.
So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me.
Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission
Me: Like when you buy the hook? short pause
Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this!
So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me.
Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all. http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj
I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up. Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show.
Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep.
It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways.
I get in his line of sight.
Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay?
The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up.
Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know.....
I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk.
Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex.
(This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.)
Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open.
At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum.
Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it.
The clerk nods.
Clerk: of course. may I see your ID?
Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly.
Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID?
The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause.
I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline.
My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well.
For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises)
Scene: Emergency room
Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?"
I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner.
The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!"
Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A....
I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word.
I look over to the parents.
Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids.
Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse.
I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening.
After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song?
Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
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