As many of you on Facebook may know, I was searching for something to do on New Year's Eve. My Facebook friends promised me a good time in Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and even Australia, but with the NFL season going on, I thought it would be irresponsible to travel thousands of miles a few days before Week 17. I mean, who else was going to do a write-up of that thrilling albeit meaningless 49ers-Rams game? This site doesn't write itself on its own. I have to pay attention to these crappy quarterbacks and head coaches.
I called my friend Schmidty (from the forums) to see what was going on. He said that he, his girlfriend and two of our mutual friends were going to the race track.
Race track? It's 20 degrees out, and there's horse racing going on? That's hardcore. I don't know the first thing about horse racing, but my palms were already sweating in anticipation of throwing down tons of money on dumb animals running around in a circle.
Before I could ask how many horse races were going on, Schmidty explained that they just opened up a new casino called Parx Casino right near the race track. He said that his girlfriend and Rachel (one of the two people we were meeting there) wanted to check it out.
As a degenerate gambler, I thought this was a great idea. What better way to spend New Year's Eve than by drinking yourself into oblivion, and losing thousands of dollars playing poker or putting all of your money on red at the roulette table?
I picked up my neighbor Melissa (Schmidty's girlfriend's sister) and we drove up to Parx. The place just opened a few months ago, so I hadn't been there yet. As we were pulling in, I was distracted by all the bright lights. I think I ran three stop signs in the parking lot. Melissa pointed this out once, and I just shrugged my shoulders. Stop signs are for losers.
Melissa and I finally found a parking space after searching for 15 minutes. The place was packed. I somehow managed to find the worst parking spot in the whole lot. We walked through the rain, and after about six minutes (it was literally a 6-minute walk) we arrived at the casino.
As we walked in, we noticed an ambulance truck parked out front. It looked like someone had too much fun - and it wasn't even midnight yet. I pointed to the ambulance and said to Melissa, "Wouldn't it be funny if they're taking the guy out on the stretcher, and he's still gambling? ?Tell ?em to put it on red! Put it all on red!'"
Ah, my first douche bag comment of the night, and I wasn't even drunk yet.
As the 80-year-old man at the front of the casino carded us, we spotted Schmidty, his girlfriend (Staci), Rachel and Strum. We went to the coat check line, which was our second big mistake of the night (the first was actually going to Parx Casino). After about five minutes, I made the observation, "Hey guys, I don't think we've moved at all."
It was true. We hadn't moved an inch. Apparently, coat check was full, so the fat lady at the desk was waiting for people to claim their coats (that, or she was searching all of the coats for food.) At that point, Melissa said, "Can't they just throw our coats on the floor? We don't need hangers!"
**Sidebar: I couldn't agree with this more. Hangers are stupid. It's my dream to one day live in a hanger-free world.**
It was about 11:40 when our coats were finally checked. We then ventured onto the casino floor. A row of slot machines here... a row of slot machines there... another row of slot machines... and another... and another... I kept thinking, "Where are the poker tables? Where are the blackjack tables? Where's the roulette table? Where are the hot women who are supposed to give me drinks so I can drunkenly gamble all of my money away? More importantly, where's the bar?"
I brought this up, and someone (can't remember who) told me that Parx Casino was all slots.
Even as a degenerate gambler, I know that slots are bulls**t. They provide you the lowest odds of winning. Betting on the coin toss in the Super Bowl is more lucrative than playing slots. Why would they build a casino with only slots? And where were the damn bars?
Apparently, the genius who designed Parx Casino built only one bar inside the whole place. In fact, there was a line to get to the bar. And by "line," I'm not talking 10 or 15 people. There was a 30-minute wait to get to the bar. Thirty freaking minutes! And we're at 11:55 at this point. Were we going to wait in line for drinks as the ball dropped in Times Square?
Hell no. We decided to leave right after midnight. We watched the ball drop and then bolted for the coat check area which was surprisingly empty. I guess the fat sloth behind the desk searched through all of the coats with no luck (I know she was unsuccessful because there were no crumbs on her shirt.)
As we left, I vowed to Strum that I would berate Parx Casino and tell everyone who reads my site never to go there. So this is what I'm doing now. Parx Casino on Street Road in Bensalem, Pa. is the worst casino known to man. They have nothing except for slot machines; the coat check lady steals your food; and you have to wait 30 minutes to get a damn drink. If Parx Casino is not a jerk, I don't know what is.
We all decided to meet Rachel's other friends at the Buck Hotel bar, so, Melissa and I made the 6-minute trek through the cold rain back to my car...
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Buck Hotel Bar Patrons
Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the Buck Hotel. It's about a 3-minute drive from my house, but I hadn't been there since I was 13 (some adult party.) As Melissa and I were walking in, I spotted my friend Vinnie smoking a cigarette outside. After exchanging pleasantries, here's how the conversation went down:
Me: Have you been here the whole night?
Vinnie: Nah, we came from Parx Casino. That place sucks.
Me: Really? We did too. We couldn't get drinks.
Vinnie: Yeah, that place was beat, so we came here.
Me: How is it in there?
Vinnie: (Laughing) It's bad, dude.
Me: What do you mean?
Vinnie: Haha, you'll see.
And see I did. Walking in, I spotted a good-looking woman... for her 50s. And then the guy with her - also in his 50s. And the crowd of 10 people trying to get drinks at the bar - also in their 40s and 50s. What was going on here?
As we came to discover, excluding Rachel's friends, our group, Vinnie and his friends, and a few other people, everyone in there was 40-plus. I needed a drink.
Double-fisting a Bud Light and a Jack and Coke like some alcoholic college senior, I scanned the bar for weird-looking people. In the back, there was a 50-year-old man having an argument with another elderly gentleman. This guy had the most obvious toupee I had ever seen. His side hairs were gray, yet the toupee was jet black and brushed down his forehead. He's lucky animal control wasn't at the bar, or they would have captured his toupee.
Standing next to the wall was a very large man (not fat) who had a sport jacket on. He looked pretty normal except for his hair. Imagine what Fabio would look like with a perm. I really don't get what this guy was thinking: "Hmm... I look way too masculine. I need to grow my beautiful blond hair out and then get a perm so people think that I like to ride motorcycles."
At the bar was a 60-year-old dweeb wearing a full suit and glasses. He was just standing there by himself and smiling. He wasn't even ordering any drinks. It's like he was transported out of a dimension where looking like the biggest nerd of all time is a cool thing.
When Schmidty and I were getting our second round of drinks, we bumped into a guy who was our age. I'd like to say he was normal, but he pretty much looked like The Situation from Jersey Shore. Schmidty struck up a conversation with him, but since it was so loud in there, I don't know what The Situation's clone was saying. I imagine it sounded something like this:
"Haha, eh yo... uhh... yo, eh yo... haha eh yo."
During our third round of drinks (that's three Jack and Cokes and three Bud Lights in a span of 80 minutes if you're counting at home), I finally stopped noticing the weirdos and began arguing about politics with Strum.
**Sidebar: When intoxicated, Strum and I always argue about everything. Always. One time during a game of beer pong, we argued the rules for 20 minutes - I'm not exaggerating. Someone later pointed out to us that we were actually agreeing on the rules, but we were so used to arguing that we just kept on arguing for the sake of it.**
Anyway, I was making the case that if George Washington were still President of the United States, Osama bin Laden wouldn't be around anymore (quite obvious). At that point, the lights came on and we were told to leave because it was 2 a.m. and the place was closing.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: State Liquor Laws and Mississippi
Bars close at 2 a.m. in Pennsylvania. I knew that going into the night, but I thought that because it was New Year's Eve, they'd extend it. I didn't even hear the announcement for last call, so I thought they'd let us keep drinking for an hour or two. Apparently not.
Eventually, the bouncer came over to kick us out. I then drunkenly told him that I ran a large Web site and that I wanted to interview him about why they had to close at 2. He told me to use his Spanish name (which I forget) instead of his regular name (which I also forget), but here are the contents of the "interview" regardless:
I stated that it was a bad business model to close at 2 because they could make so much more money by staying open an extra hour or two. I argued, "I know that PA says you have to close at 2, but is someone from the government actually going to come down here because you stayed open on New Year's Eve for an extra hour or two?"
He just shrugged his shoulders and said that it wouldn't be good if the word got out to the cops, and that they could eventually lose their liquor license.
And that's all I can remember.
That night, while driving home with Melissa - don't worry, she was behind the wheel - I declared that I would open up a bar in Philly and not close until 3 or 4. And what if the cops found out? Here's my plan - if any cop or firefighter shows up to WalterFootball.com's Pub, drinks and cover are on the house! The best way to deal with the law is to have the law on your side.
Can you imagine if some douche bag from Harrisburg showed up wanting to shut us down?
PA Liquor Guy: Raahhhh you guys are closing past your allotted time of 2 a.m. raahhhhh!!!!
Random Cop in My Bar: Freeze! You're under arrest!
How would this not work? It's a foolproof plan. Everyone they sent over would be thrown into prison! The state of PA would have to send tanks and armed guards to shut us down!