I absolutely cannot stand the casino they built around the corner from my house. I've mentioned it before; in fact, I wrote an entry several years ago on how I spent a miserable New Year's Eve at Parx Casino - this was back in the ancient times when this Web site didn't have a comment board - and after a couple of trips there, I vowed never to go back.
Here's why I hate Parx Casino:
1. In that aforementioned New Year's entry, I spent 45 minutes in line for a single drink and didn't even get one, and I also waited for 20 minutes in coat check because there were so many people. It completely ruined the night.
New Year's Eve sucks, by the way. Everyone makes a huge deal about it, and it always turns out to be a letdown. Hosting parties for New Year's never turns out well because people always go away or make other plans, and going places is stupid because you probably have to pay $50 at the very least to get into somewhere halfway decent. And because people are always going places, you have to either wait around in traffic or swerve around drunk drivers, who are trying to end your life.
2. Ninety-five percent of Parx Casino is comprised of slots. There are some blackjack and poker tables, and I'm sure there are other things like roulette wheels - though I've never seen them - but almost everything in there is a slot machine.
Slots are the worst thing ever. The odds of winning them are the lowest, and they require absolutely no skill. At least in blackjack and poker, you can win by using your intellect. For slots, all you're doing is pulling down a lever and hoping for one of the listed combinations that wins you money.
The worst part is that the slots are the most popular thing at Parx Casino. There are countless people who just sit at the machines and lifelessly pull levers all night long. They look like zombies; they're just so lifeless, staring blankly at the flashing lights on the machine, hoping to win some money, when they have absolutely no control over it. It just bothers me to see these rotting carcasses waste their lives away when they could be doing something way more productive like finding cures for cancer, ending world hunger or directing great lesbian porn videos.
3. Parx Casino has affected the surrounding environment. As you can imagine, it's created traffic problems. It once took my girlfriend's brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Chelsea an hour to get to my house, when it should've been a 15-minute drive. Casino traffic coupled with construction delayed them 45 minutes.
Parx has also wrecked the bar scene in my area. I used to write about my weekly trips to Whiskey Tango, my local bar, but it shut down because most of its usual patrons began going to the casino. Bars close at 2 in Pennsylvania, so Tango couldn't compete with Parx, which remains open 24 hours a day. They stop serving alcohol at 2 - another idiotic law - but people can just order a bunch of drinks at 1:45 and hold them for a couple of hours, all while gambling and having a good time. No bar stands a chance against that.
I promised never to go back to that abomination, but I was faced with a dilemma on a recent Saturday night. My girlfriend asked if I wanted to meet Jimmy and Chelsea at Parx. I was about to say no because I loathe that place, but then my girlfriend said something that made me change my mind:
"We can meet them for dinner at Chickie's & Pete's!" she suggested.
Oh, man. I love Chickie's & Pete's for their amazing crab fries and cheese dipping sauce. It's always been a personal dream of mine to own a vault like Scrooge McDuck, but instead of filling it with gold coins, I'd have Chickie & Pete's crab fries and cheese dipping sauce in there. I'd swim around in it and stuff as much as possible into my mouth until I suffer a heart attack. It would be so incredible.
Ultimately, I decided to go. Two reasons: First, I was starving. I can always eat, but I was so hungry that I could complete the Walter Post-Swim Meet Special that I used to do when I was a kid. Following a swim meet, I burned so many calories that I ate a whole large pepperoni pizza, an entire cheesesteak and then cheese fries. Oh, and I usually topped it off with ice cream or a brownie afterward. And people wonder why I weigh 5,000 pounds.
Second, I hadn't been to Parx Casino in a couple of years, so my hatred for it had dissipated. It couldn't really be that bad, right? Right?
WRONG! PARX STILL SUCKS, AND IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN I REMEMBERED IT BEING!!!
Sorry for the caps there, but I just had to do that for emphasis. Parx Casino is still a terrible place to be. I should have taken our experience in the parking lot as a bad sign. Reckless drivers were everywhere, and it took us forever to find parking. We had to walk 10 minutes in the blistering cold just to reach the front entrance.
Once inside, my girlfriend asked if I wanted to check my coat.
"NO F***ING WAY, ANYTHING BUT THAT!" I shrieked. She looked at me oddly, but I didn't care. Under no circumstances was I waiting 20 minutes to check my coat again.
We made our way to Chickie's & Pete's, where we were supposed to meet up with Jimmy and Chelsea. Before they got there, I gave the hostess my name. Her reply nearly brought me to tears:
"It'll be a 45-minute or an hour wait," she said.
Forty-five minutes or an hour!? What is this, some third-world country? How could they make me wait that long for crab fries and cheese dipping sauce? I felt like grabbing her book and slamming it against her fat face. But then I wouldn't get any crab fries or cheese dipping sauce, and I'd be even more upset.
I went back to my girlfriend, who was with Jimmy and Chelsea. I told them the dilemma, and Jimmy said there were other places to eat. I would've whined about not getting any crab fries or cheese dipping sauce, but as I mentioned, I was starving. I could've eaten the fat hostess's book as long as I had some cheese dipping sauce on the side.
The next restaurant we saw was some fancy-shmancy-looking place with a fire place and wine bottles. More than half the place was empty. I had some trepidation about eating there because fancy-shmancy food is the worst. Like, you can go to Five Guys and get a bacon cheeseburger and fries for $10 and be extremely satisfied, yet you'd spend $75 at a fancy-shmancy restaurant on something called fu-fu a la tu-tu, and you'd walk out hungry, wishing you had just devoured a bacon cheeseburger and fries.
My girlfriend suggested to at least look at the menu, so I went inside and asked for a menu. The blonde hostess, who had the longest legs I've ever seen, handed me a menu, and I brought it back outside for everyone to peruse. I looked at it myself, and of course I didn't recognize any of the food items.
"What the hell is all of this garbage?" I complained. "I don't know what any of this is!
My girlfriend pointed to the chicken parm, which I somehow missed. "You'd like that ... except that it's $23!"
Wow. I had to stare at it to fully comprehend what I was seeing. This restaurant was charging $23 for chicken parm - and save for the appetizers, that was the cheapest thing on the menu!
"We're not eating here," my girlfriend decided. I agreed. I stormed back inside and aggressively handed the menu back to the leggy hostess. I thought about making a remark about how overpriced their crap food was, but I'm sure they make plenty of money from pretentious douche bags who pretend they like fu-fu a la tu-tu.
We reached the food court next. I could've eaten anything on the menu, but it didn't look appealing to the others, as the portions looked small. We all got drinks at the bar, and that in itself was frustrating. There was no line this time, but a bottle of beer cost $8! You can buy a 24-bottle case for $30, yet you'd spend more than that on five bottles at Parx Casino!
I complained about the price of the chicken parm some more, and Jimmy commented that he was able to get a hot dog, a cheeseburger, fries and a couple of beers at some place near the Art Museum earlier that day for $20. Again, it amazes me how tasty food can be so cheap, yet you have to take out a second mortgage on your house just to afford the appetizers at a fancy-shmancy restaurant.
Having said that, we were still stuck with the dilemma: What were we going to do for dinner?
"Maybe we can try Chickie's & Pete's again," my girlfriend suggested. "Maybe their wait time went down."
It didn't. The fat hostess still told us that we had to wait at least 45 minutes. I did what I should've done in the first place - put our names down just in case. My girlfriend and Chelsea decided that they both wanted to play slots in the meantime. They did so, and of course, they both lost, since no one ever wins at slots in the long run.
Here's how indifferent I am to slots: My girlfriend asked me if I wanted to take some turns pulling the lever, or whatever she was doing. My answer: "No. We'd both we doing the same thing, since there's absolutely no skill involved." She gave me a dirty look, but it was the truth.
After about 15-20 minutes, we got bored and decided to leave.
Girlfriend: There's an Outback Steakhouse on the way back home; we can just go eat there.
Me: OK, that's fine. I'll just check Chickie's & Pete's before we leave since it's on the way out.
I approached the fat hostess for the third time and asked her for a status update.
"You're actually next on the list, so you'll be up in a couple of minutes!" she said excitedly.
I wanted to smack her in the face with her book again, since she lied to me about the wait time and put me through an incredible amount of grief. However, I was just too overjoyed at the prospect of devouring crab fries with cheese dipping sauce in the near future.
We were seated, and the waiter, a douchey-looking dude in his 20s, asked us what we wanted for drinks. I made sure to ask him for the crab fries and cheese dipping sauce as well.
I waited patiently for him to bring out the crab fries. I waited... and waited... and waited... It seemed like hours, but our waiter was nowhere to be seen.
I had to take a piss, and I figured that going to the bathroom would make the time pass by, so I went. To my chagrin, there was a bathroom attendant standing by the sink. I absolutely hate bathroom attendants. You feel bad if you don't tip them $1, but in doing so, you're touching money after you've washed your hands, which defeats the purposes of washing your hands in the first place.
Nevertheless, I tipped the guy and then went back to the table. The food had arrived, so I plopped down and began stuffing my face with crab fries and cheese dipping sauce.
Girlfriend: Do you want an onion ring? I ordered some too.
Me: NOM NOM NOM CRAB FRIES AND CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE NOM NOM NOM!!!
The waiter came back with our entrees after another hour of waiting. I ordered a chicken parm sandwich - it was $15 cheaper than the chicken parm at that fancy-shmancy place - and while it looked great on the menu, I was highly disappointed when it was placed in front of me. Take a look at it:
Look how small that thing is (that's what she said)! It's so tiny that Matt Millen could get one of his young stallions to fit that entire thing into his anus.
I was not pleased. Yes, I had my crab fries and cheese dipping sauce - as you can see at the top of that image - but the chicken parm sandwich was way too small. It was good, but it just wasn't filling.
I left Chickie's & Pete's pretty hungry and unsatisfied. The silver lining was that I paid little money for good food rather than selling my kidneys just to eat fu-fu a la tu-tu.