So the weekend trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey. To be honest, we sort of decided to go after a weekend bender of playing Monopoly. That’s always fun until someone throws the board on the floor, scattering the worthless little houses. Yeah, I said it–worthless–and the blood of puppies will run in the streets before I pay you $1200 to sit on Marvin Gardens.
Anyway, neither the girlfriend or I had been to AC before, and we wanted to see our favorite deeds in person.
Growing up on the Atlantic Ocean, I have been to many seaside resort towns. For me, the beach is Dippin Dots stands, endless repeats of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, rooftop pizza joints, and the smell of Thrasher’s/Boardwalk fries. A beach without a boardwalk is just sand and some water. There must be a boardwalk.
Atlantic City is more like Gotham City. You’ve got these stores like Gucci, Coach, and some store called Trust Fund Baby, and then you’ve got some homeless guy on the boardwalk with shriveled-up stumps for hands. Then of course, there’s the casinos, the grimy smoked-filled caverns with the dirt hidden under Persian rugs. We stayed at the Days Inn next to the Tropicana, so that’s where we did all our gambling, at the Trop. This is where I had my big win.
I only planned to spend $20 for gambling each night. But I started right out the gate with an early win of $40. Immediately, I transformed into a high roller. It was time to buy me and my girl a round of drinks. I led her confidently to the bar. We sat down. I motioned to the barkeep. I noted his odd name, Tuan, and ordered us two Coors Lights. I had many bills in pocket now, six tens, which is a lot of money to me. I pulled one out.
The barkeep came back with two Coors Lights. “That’ll be $12.60.” I gasped. Six dollars and thirty cents for one watery beer? I almost told Tuan he could take those beers and pour ’em on the floor, but I kept my cool and achingly pulled out another ten. Then I grumbled a lot and swore off anymore beers at thid place. I could have 12 beers alone in the bathroom of the Days Inn for these prices.
Then it was back to gambling. I accrued two more good wins on the slots, $30 and $35. But my biggest win was still to come. All the machines blur together after awhile, and I don’t try to play machines that fit my personality. I like Tabasco, but I don’t feel lucky playing the Tabasco Tripler. Yeah that Dean Martin one looks cool, but I’m avoiding it. I play the ones that are generic looking, and maybe there’s a theory that those hit more because they’re played less. So whatever machine it was, I pulled the arm, the machine whirled, and up came 7 —- 7 —- 7. I won $100.
By this point in the evening, I was totally cocky and unsurprised when I won. Only adding to my self-assuredness was the fact that the girlfriend was losing, and nothing helps your lucky feeling like someone else’s misery. I walked out with over $200 and spread it out on the bed later. Then I dove into it like Scrooge McDuck.
Gambling is not the only thing to do in Atlantic City however. There is also a boardwalk. Yes, that Boardwalk, just like the one in Monopoly, and I’ll be eating living babies before paying you $5000 for landing there. Fuck your hotel. There, now it’s on the floor, crushed under my shoe.
The Boardwalk had a few traditional candy shops, beach shops, and pizza stands, but they are overrun by dimly-lit holes that sell dollarstore-quality merchandise and bootleg Betty Boop bags. A lot of things on the boardwalk left me with an unhappy feeling.
Here are a few examples of the unhappy that I found on the Boardwalk. I am a fan of things that are crappy–afterall, THE SURFING PIZZA is your source for crap, but here’s a warning–this was the sort of crap that’s abandoned-Disneyworld-depressing.
1) Cat in the Hat Movie Gummies
At first you think nothing, because nobody saw the adapted film version of the Cat in the Hat. It might as well have came out two months ago. But no, it actually came out in 2003! That these gummies were prominently displayed in the front of the store is even worse. If I were a parent, I’d smack my kid’s hand away from the boxes so fast, they would develop an adverse reaction to Dr. Seuss.
And I know other parents wouldn’t know what year the Cat in the Hat came out. Sure little Jonny, you can have those gummy bears with kitty cat, they’d say. (Unless they had first noticed that the green ones inside were, in fact, now GRAY.)
2) Peanut World
Peanut World was barren and freezing inside. The outside sign advertised hot dogs like it’s a main thing, but you walk in and there’s all those bootleg Betty Boop bags, and you think, where do they sell hot dogs in here? At the cash register of course, where there’s a small grill roller with one hot dog on it, which is not rolling.
3) Turtles in Time Arcade Cabinet
Hand made signs are always a little depressing, although the person who made this put a little bit of effort in. I mean, look at that “ninja” design. It’s pretty good. Still, the game isn’t called Ninja Turtles; it’s called Turtles in Time. In 1991, there’s no way the Turtles would have gotten this kind of shoddy treatment. And even if it is a thrill to see in person again, an eighteen year old game probably shouldn’t still be in arcades.
4) Special Lady
a) a beach coverup
b) a nightgown
c) a muumuu
d) not an indication that the wearer is special
5) Children Statue
This creepy Child Swinging From Nothing statue is an actual depiction of Hell.
Go with God.
Monday: Part 3 of the Atlantic City Trilogy — My Crappy Souvenirs, although these are crappy in a good way!