Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

I went to Reno and all I got was this lousy divorce, posted July 17, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Just kidding, gay divorce isn't legal in Nevada. Yet.

Patsy and I hit the biggest little city in the world this past weekend to celebrate her 29th birthday (real ladies never reveal their real age). (She's 37). And boy did we have a blast. If I remember any of the highlights later when this hangover wears off I'll be sure to let you know...

I kid, I kid. But yeah, heavy drinking played a part. And gambling. And laughing. And laughing more. We arrived on Saturday at the Silvery Legacy Hotel, checked into our room, and immediately hit the casino. It hit us right back with a losing streak that would make your head spin. We had better luck at lunch, where I enjoyed a half dozen raw oysters and Patsy had steamed clams (and all along I thought Reno was in the desert).

Back down in the casino we fell in love with the Wheel of Fortune slot machines. Doesn't Patsy look great in that turquoise top?! And I bought this cool hat at the gift shop!


Anyway, in terms of gambling, eventually the slot machines started paying us some winnings (and we must have looked fairly insane jumping for joy when I hit 500 on the Wheel of Fortune!). Patsy's good at Roulette, but I lost my shirt pretty quickly there. I did much better at Blackjack, which is so fun and so slow at the same time it's almost confusing. We had a great Blackjack dealer named Diane, and a big drunk gamblin' expert betting $500 at a time (at our $5 minimum table) who helped me from time to time as to whether to hit or stay. It was a blast.

But good lord, next door at Circus Circus the gambling for kids is just as much fun. We roamed the midway playing games like racing plastic horses, popping balloons with waterguns and darts, and one game we'd never seen before: Chicken-in-the-Pot. Patsy squealed with delight when she saw it--rubber chickens launched with hammers through the air and into big soup pots! I don't know if we've ever laughed as hard as the three times she played that game. I could barely take pictures since I was literally doubled over with laughter. Here are two:

Here Patsy loads her chicken onto the launch pad (click for larger)...

And here, later in the day, is Patsy mid-strike, with her chicken flying through the air like a, well, like a rubber chicken (click for larger)...

Eventually two of Patsy's chickens made it into the pot. Later, we enjoyed a nice soup.

For non-gambling entertainment, we enjoyed a terrific cabaret act at the El Dorado. Chérie and Bob at Roxy's Cabaret were most enjoyable, as were the six huge cocktails we drank as they played and sang our requests: Misty, A Foggy Day, Blue Bayou, and three Patsy Cline songs (natch'). We also enjoyed other food-oriented entertainment... For Patsy's birthday dinner on Monday night I took her to Sterling's Seafood-Steakhouse, the hotel's upscale restaurant. The food and service there were both excellent. We both ordered huge steaks, but really should have shared one. I started with snails and Patsy had seared tuna. We drank some ol' California white with the meal, and had a trio of Creme Brulées for dessert (note to all pastry chefs: Patsy and I agree that Mojito Creme Brulee is a bad bad bad idea). Four adorable young waiters and I sang Happy Birthday to Patsy!

The hotel itself was quite nice--old fashioned and slightly tacky, just like us. We were disappointed by the fact that the pool had no bar anywhere near it. But the beds were very comfortable, the shower and water pressure were fabulous, and the room service was fast, hot, and cheap, just like us (we had a 2:30am snack of buffalo wings, fried chicken tenders, and Crown Royal--don't ask...).

Here's Patsy with an insane sea-horse fountain outside the cabaret at the El Dorado...

Our favorite thing of the trip might have been hopping in a cab and heading to the other side of town to check out the casino at the Peppermill. Oh. My. God. was it dazzling! Like Casino Heaven. We instantly knew we were staying at the wrong hotel! But no matter, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. The Fireside bar provided intimate cocktails, the casino was lively and fun, and the entire place had zero white lights at all. It was all pink and red and blue and green and purple and silver and mirrors. Like a big gay interior designer had been hired to gussy-up a casino and he put his hand on his hip and said "I know! Let's put in a dome! And line it with silver foil paillets!" It was seriously over the top. And truly awesome.

David and Patsy in the Coloured Spelndor of the Peppermill (click for larger)...

It was a wonderful trip. Happy Birthday, my love. I never want anyone else to put my chicken in the pot.

Comments (1)