Monday, October 27, 2008

Low Rollers: A Postcard from Atlantic City

I have no idea how people can gamble all day and not die of boredom.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions regarding fun times in Atlantic City:

Freeze your ass off running down the boardwalk in monsoon conditions.

Borrow a hair dryer from the hotel so you can dry your pants while watching Antiques Roadshow.

Visit the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, argue over whether or not to believe it.

Stay at the Chelsea Pub and Inn, a former synagogue and Jewish rooming house that underwent a stunning transformation into…an adorably quirky B&B and 24-hour bar. It’s like a Denny’s for drinkers! Your room reservation includes two free drink tickets! And your room key has a bottle opener keychain, and it’s run by your friendly neighborhood crazy people, and you can solve the age-old mystery of, “Exactly who sits in a bar at noon on a Sunday?” Answer: Pensioners who ran through all their money playing video poker at the Tropicana.

Eat dinner at midnight.

Lose a dollar at the nickel slots, get bored, go elsewhere.

Lose a dollar at Skee-Ball, decide it’s a better deal than the slots.

Watch the intricate mating dance of Guidos vs. Women in Glorified Tank Tops. Recall the Law of Dressing Pretty Without Looking Like a Hooker: The higher the hemline, the lower the heel…unless you’re in Atlantic City and it’s butt-ass freezing. In which case, wear even less than what you’d put on in July. (And, yes, I’ve become the grumpy old lady who thinks girls ought to cover up a little.)

Walk past a bar, wonder if it's karaoke night, then realize that's the house band...and they're really that terrible.

Spend the drive grousing about tolls, and telling each other New Jersey should be paying YOU to visit, and not vice versa.

Wonder why, in the glorious state of New Jersey, it’s illegal to pump your own gas. Is it just to add that extra dash of suck?

Wonder why, with the lousy weather and the Jersey-ness of it all, you're really having the most wonderful time.


Lemmonex said...

Well, generally if you are with the right person you can have fun doing just about anything.

Well, I don't think I could have fun at a Sandra Bullock movie, even if I were with Ryan Reynolds...but you catch my drift.

lacochran said...

Where's my salt water taffy??

I think the Jersey gas thing is to keep people with limited job skills gainfully employed. But you're right, it definitely adds that extras dash of suck.

Shannon said...

Lem - Oh, come on. You didn't love 28 Days? I mean, it made rehab look so gosh-darn fun! And Sandra Bullock as the plucky alcoholic? She was robbed at Oscar time.

Ibid said...

When I went to Oregon as a kid they had the same issue.
The law was first passed in California in 1947. Handling flammable chemicals like gasoline was considered just too risky for amateurs.
The idea caught on and many states passed similar laws. Jersey passed a state law employing pump jockeys in 1949. Oregon passed theirs in 1951. Most states eventually dropped their law.
It's still a controversial decision. Some say it would make gas cheaper if they stopped it. Others argue that all those gas pumpers would be out of work.

Shannon said...

Lacochran - Weirdly, I didn't buy any saltwater taffy. Or gamble for longer than 10 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I can gamble for hours on end as long as I'm staying about even, the free drinks keep coming, the people at the table are fun and interesting, and the dealer doesn't suck.

Man, now I want to go to AC. Yeah it's nasty and sort of depressing, but I've had so many good times there that I just keep getting drawn back.

Justin said...

I was jealous when I got your text - an NYC friend of mine keeps suggesting we go to AC. I've never been, so I'm curious to see what it's all about.

Glad you had a good time :)

Arjewtino said...

You get bored gambling? How?

Oh, you must lose all the time. You should try winning when you gamble, makes it much more fun.

Shannon said...

Ibid - The gas prices were pretty low in NJ, so I really think pumping gas just something for people to do on a Sunday.

Thoughts - "Yeah it's nasty and sort of depressing, but I've had so many good times there that I just keep getting drawn back."...AC is kind of like dating.

Justin - I recommend it, if only for the people-watching.

Arjewtino - I find slots dull, and tables intimidatng, and I don't care enough about money to want to risk more than $10 or so. So I can gamble for half an hour, then I'm bored out of my skull.

Anonymous said...

You should become a guidette.

LivitLuvit said...

I HATE the not-pumping-your-own-gas thing. It always makes me feel like I am expected to tip, but then mad enough about the imposition to NOT tip, but then when faced with a person who is expecting a tip, I can never actually NOT. Curses of having worked in the hospitality industry.

Shannon said...

Anon - Is that anything like a Rockette?

Liv - Oh, man, I have no idea whether or not you tip. While my traveling companion was pumping gas, I was busy being told that, no, you cannot get cash back when you make a purchase with your debit card. You can, however, pay an assortment of fascist fees over at the no-name ATM.

bh said...

Gambling makes me tired.

Bad New Jersey makes me tired.

Thus, in Atlantic City, you have instant Coma.

Anonymous said...

Guidettes try to hook up with mafia guys (guidos), have big hair in buns, talk with a jersey accents, and wear way too much makeup and fake fur coats.

Shannon said...

BH - Atlantic City is like a turkey dinner, then?

Anon - Omigosh, I think I found a Halloween costume!

Doug said...

HEY! Don't be offensive. You can -never- lose money at skeeball. Why? Cause skeeball is like the greatest game ever created. I would, at pretty much any moment, be willing to pay to play skeeball. If they had a machine at work, I would be willing for the company to deduct funds each month (pre tax of course) just so I could play. It's all about the 50 point hole.

Shannon said...

Doug - Dude, I'd shank my mother to play some Skee-Ball.

KassyK said...

Hey no DISSING THE JERSEY..again I will state how my area of NJ is beautiful and makes most of VA/MD and DC look like a trailer park.

I am so good with no making fun of the DC Metro Area, and there is SO MUCH, don't make me go there...pleaaaase.

Atlantic City is SOUTH jersey people--its completely different from central and north Jersey.

That's like my visiting DC, only seeing Anacostia and claiming everyone in DC is on drugs and living in the projects.

Just backing up my home state people.


PS People in NJ are convinced that people in VA all have mullets and five teeth total.

Stereotypes do go both way you know!!

Shannon said...

Kass - Remember, I'm from WOODBRIDGE, aka, Hoodbridge. Which has three trailer parks, an outlet mall, and the sort of people who keep chickens as pets. Indoor chickens, moreover. So I'm used to being mocked.

KassyK said...

Hahahahaha nooo I don't want to mock. I love. :)

But that's the thing I grew up in posh upper class suburbia and most of my area (like a half of the entire state) is like that so the Jersey stereotypes are so confusing to me.

But I do love the working class areas...we produced the Jon Bon himself and the Boss!!