Thursday, July 15, 2010

Golf, Poker, and ... Business?

Yet another Vegas trips looms in the mist.  August sixth marks the date of departure, and the Father Man and I will pack up the SUV and blast out into the hundred-plus-degree heat in the dead middle of summer.  I hope the air conditioner doesn't crap out again.

Contrary to any other Vegas trip I've driven, there will be a stop up front this time around.  A two-day pre-gamer in Mesquite, Nevada is booked from the 6th-7th.  Father Man and I are meeting up with two good friends of his to hit the yellow links out that way.

I haven't golfed since the beginning of last winter, and hadn't even picked up a club in the same amount of time.  I went to the range the other day for two buckets of balls only to find: 1) I can only hit the ball straight one out of every two buckets; and 2) my knuckles aren't in as good of shape as I previously thought.  I awoke the next day with pins and needles hounding the middles of my phalanges.  With as much keyboard/controller/camera action as I see on an every-day basis, I didn't think shooting a round with a club in hand would hurt.  I definitely felt the after effects.

The good/bad news is that on our second day of the trip we'll be golfing Wolf Creek, a PGA Tour stop.  Considering that I can't even shoot par at the 9-hole POS in Mexitown, Ventura, I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to book me a tee time in a stop so grand that I'll be walking the greens that pros have slopped around on for the past decade.

The problem with the first two days, even aside from possibly being thrown off the golf course for sucking so bad, is that the only hotels and casinos around are small, and third-rate at best.  It's not until the third morning that we venture from Mesquite to the City of Broken Dreams.

The first couple days we get into town will be awesome.  The usual antics and degeneracy will occur.  Father Man will get drunk, I'll follow suit.  We'll hit every video slot with every zany bonus round that we can, while we whistle, hoot, and hollar at the drink girls to bring us beers faster than we can hit the "SPIN" button.  The big opening tips always help.

From there we hit video poker machines.  That elusive 50-play payout is around the corner.  Father Man once put $300 into a $1 100-play machine during a friend's bachelor party.  With a beer in one hand, he wrapped his other arm around his good buddy.  "Whatever I win," he said, "I'll give half to you for your wedding present."  As if he already knew what was coming, he hit the button one time and smiled before the virtual cards even flipped over.  That hand, he won $6,000.

Since that time Father Man has been fighting age and illness.  In any past trips since those fading years, he's been shortstacked, short-healthed, and struggling to hang like the wolf he once was.  His gambling hasn't gone much better.  Without the zest or youthfulness he once brought to Sin City, the rowdiness and general camaraderie necessary to have a fully successful Vegas trip have been absent, as have the wins.

Recently his health has started to shape up.  While his pot-belly may be the only shape he'll ever be in until his last breaths, at least he has full control of motor functions, muscle control, and the ability to "gambol!"  Well...muscle controls aside from shitting his pants.  I don't think he's ever known how to not do that.

With an influx of energy and regaining youth, bowling, golf, and Vegas trips are starting to occur more frequently.   Hopefully this will be the trip where he and I blast each other of the sky in drinking wars, laugh so hard we can't breathe due to a huge payout, and come home more hungover and with more cash in our pockets than we've experienced in the past two years.

Then again, we're in town for a business convention for the last two days.  Pretty boring?  Perhaps.  But then again working for oneself has crazy advantages.  Showing up for a convention hungover out of your mind, shirt untucked, with blurry speech and slurred vision -- not something a boss would be happy to see.  Self-employed and showing up that way next to the Father Man?  Well I wouldn't have it any other way.


By the way, Operation: Robusto is dead.  Click here or simply scroll down to see the last, burnt-out message for that one.


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