Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Couple of Inconsiderate Clowns

Inconsiderate, rude, thoughtless, selfish people drive me crazy. I find inconsiderate people very annoying.  So pardon me if I rant a bit.

This took place on my drive up to Vegas the beginning of last month.  I left late enough so that it was starting to seem like a good idea to grab lunch on the road rather than wait until I arrived in Vegas.  These days, my preferred stop for a meal en route is In-N-Out Burger.  Once I get on the I-15 (which I'm on for about 3/4's of the trip), there are three to choose from, but they're all within about 30-45 minutes of each other, and all less than half way to Vegas for me.  It would be nice if they opened one in Baker, which is a lot closer to Vegas. 

Whatever, I prefer to stop in the middle one of the three because it's usually less crowded than the other two.  That's probably  because people tend to stop at the first one they come to on the freeway, which is never the one in the middle no matter which direction you're coming from.  That middle one is located on Roy Rogers Drive in glorious Victorville, a favorite vacation spot of fellow blogger Mr. Ben. I suspect that since the location is in a shopping center, most of their clientele is locals, not I-15 travelers.

It was a bit early too, about 11:15 AM, so I really didn't expect it to be overly crowded.  But when I got inside, the place was a lot busier than I'm used to seeing.  In fact, it was just like every other In-N-Out—crowded and most of the tables were filled.  Just at the In-N-Outs in my general neighborhood, it is usually difficult to find a table.  There were some tables outside available, but it was so hot out that seemed like a desperation-only option.  Anyway, in front of me were two guys, I'd guess late 20's—mid 30's.  When it was their turn to order, one guy went to the counter and the other stood off to the side.  Not once, but twice, the guy ordering had to ask the other guy to come over to clarify his order.  Really?  Hey, I get it, my own order is always a little on the complicated side and I wouldn't trust anyone else to relate to the counter person.  But in that case, there was no reason why both guys didn't go up to the counter so the guy could tell the counter person (who is almost always a high school kid) exactly what he wanted.  They were just needlessly taking extra time. Didn't they know I had poker money burning a hole in my pocket?

Anyway, they finally were done and I placed my order and got a cup for my soda.  After I filled my cup I went to look for a table.  When  I entered the place there seemed to be a number of open tables but now as I needed one I couldn't initially spot one.  And then I saw a  partial explanation for why there were no available tables.

There are generally two types of tables at an In-N-Out—two-seaters and four-seaters (there are also some booths that seat four).  And I saw the two guys who had taken forever to order sitting at two tables.  Yeah.  One guy was a two-seater and the other guy was next to him at a four-seater.  There is a very narrow aisle between the two and the four seaters but they are clearly meant to accommodate two different parties.  But these two selfish clowns were taking up two tables and effectively six seats, just the two of them!  Now I don't blame them for not just both sitting at the two-seater, they are pretty small and it would be cramped for two adults (and these guys were both larger than the average person).  The two-seaters are better suited for a single person (like me) or a parent and a kid (a common site at these types of places).  So it would be have been ok if they had taken the four-seater even if though there were just the two of them.  But to take up six seats like that?  How totally inconsiderate.

I managed to find the last available table (a two-seater).  It was on the other side of the restaurant from the two clowns but I managed to look over there a few times.  I wanted to see if perhaps some other people I hadn't seen were going to join them, thereby justifying their taken so many seats.  But that never happened.  Perhaps when they got their food they would notice how crowded the place was and the guy in the two-seater would at least join his buddy in the four-seater.  But that didn't happen either.

When I was done, they were still there, taking up extra seats.  As soon as I left my table, someone who was waiting patiently grabbed it because there was no other place to sit. 

It really pisses me off to see people are so inconsiderate and so thoughtless.

While I was thinking of writing up this incident, I was reminded of my visit to the newest In-N-Out in Vegas.  This took place in summer.  They put one in the Linq (the promenade portion).  This is a long shopping area between the Linq and Flamingo the stretches from the Strip to the parking garages.  It's the first In-N-Out on the Strip.  One night in late June I went over there for dinner.

I thought the ones in L.A. were busy, but this was unreal.  It's bigger than most In-N-Outs I've seen, but still not big enough to handle the crowd.  There was a huge line to order, and you had to get in line just to pick up your food when they called your number.  And there was no place to sit, all the tables were filled, the seats outside were all filled.  Fortunately I was smart enough to order my food to go.  I had to sit on the ledge surrounding an outdoor fountain.  Which made it real easy for me to get ketchup on my pants trying to eat.

Honestly, unless you go there an off hour (assuming there is such a thing) the only way to eat there if you actually want to sit at a table so you can enjoy your food is to go with someone else, and have one person grab a table (when someone is done with theirs) while the other orders the food (which, as I've already explained, could lead to other problems).

The food is higher priced than In-N-Outs located anywhere but on the Strip but the extra surcharge you pay for its location is actually lower than most such places on the Strip.

Anyway, I was walking back up toward the Strip after eating and I was holding the familiar looking In-N-Out soda cup (familiar looking to any In-N-Out cultists, that is).  Suddenly I saw in front of me this cute, quite young girl come running towards me.  She didn't look old enough to be allowed to drink or gamble. And she was dressed modestly.  I started to look behind me, surely she wasn't coming over to me, she must have seen her friend behind me.  But there was no one there.

Suddenly she was right in front of me, about to speak.  No!  She couldn't possibly be a hooker, could she?  She's not dressed for it and she is way, way, way too young.  But when women approach me like that in Vegas there's never any other explanation.

Thankfully this time there was.  She said to me, "Is the In-N-Out back there?" and pointed behind me.  That was a relief.  And the way she was running towards me, she was obviously in desperate need of a cheeseburger and fries.  I told her yes, she just had to keep going in the direction she was already headed. And then I added, "Just look for the huge mob of people, you can't miss it."  She  thanked me and took off, walking with alacrity. 

Back to my first day in Vegas in September. My poker session that night was short.  The most interesting thing about it took place when a white-haired guy wearing a Purdue sweatshirt showed me a picture of Kobe Bryant and a young woman. He had overheard me talking about the Lakers with a dealer pal and asked if I was a Lakers fan. Duh.  He explained that the woman was his daughter.  It seems she works as an assistant for George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame.  Apparently Kobe is a huge fan of the series, and wanted to meet Martin. They share a common agent so this was easily arranged.

However, Martin is a big football fan but doesn't follow basketball.  But he knew that his assistant (the daughter of this guy at my poker table) was.  Hey, you can't grow up in Indiana and not be a basketball fan.  So he made sure this guy's daughter was there at the meeting so someone would know all about Kobe.  Pretty cool.

As for the poker itself, pretty dull session.  I was down to $95 when I raised to $15 after some limpers with Ace-King off.   It was three-way and the flop was King-Queen-5.  One of the callers donked out a $25 bet.  I called and the other guy folded.  The turn was a blank and he bet $40.  With only $55 left I wasn't going anywhere.  Maybe I should have shoved the flop in response to his donk bet?  Anyway, in response to the $40 bet I shoved and of course he called.  Another blank on the river and he showed Jack-10 for a missed open-ender.   That propelled me from a losing session to a $45 win.  Sorry, that was by far the only interesting hand of the session and I know that I'm using the word "interesting" very loosely.

Speaking of loose, on my way to the parking garage, I was just about at the escalator to go down to it on my way out when this young lady suddenly appeared out of nowhere, started walking next to me and said, "You looked lost."

Hmmm, that was a new one to me, never heard a working girl use that one before.  I didn't get a really good look at her but she was rather plainly dressed but I had no doubt what she had in mind.  I said, "I'm not lost.  I'm just headed home."  I meant back to my room, but she took it mean literally home. "Oh, do you live here?"  Wanting to end the conversation, I said, "Yes."  I was actually testing something one of my MGM dealer pals had once told me.  He said that whenever he is approached by a hooker, he immediately tells them that he is a local and they lose all interest.  Sure enough, the girl didn't say anything, and just disappeared as mysteriously as she had appeared. 

Maybe I should have invited her to In-N-Out for a burger?


  1. Rob, I tried it on the way to Laughlin not Vegas... but sometime if you don't mind stopping a bit early, try the Steak 'n Shake in Victorville. IMHO much tastier (and much more varied a menu) than In-N-Out. Also, I would guess, less crowded.

    I like your idea about Baker. You'd think some enterprising individual would put up some fast food places there and I'd bet there are more than a few people who speed through Barstow without stopping, then regret it not long after.

    Finally... gotta say I empathize 1000000% about inconsiderate shitheads (to use the technical term). I won't go on forever but I haven't played at Hawaiian Gardens in quite some time now, based on a nasty incident last time I was there. Just glad I could keep myself out of a fistfight. Will share the actual story later on. :-)

    1. There's a Steak N Shake in Victorville now? I had no idea. I remember when they opened one at South Point (in Vegas) and they said it was the first one on the west coast. But that was a few years ago.

      Anyway, thanks for the tip but honestly, I was unimpressed with it the one or two times I tried it in Vegas. The only thing I really liked is the shake, which of course I shouldn't eat. And it was very small burger. Also, it wasn't a fast food setup, it's a dinner where you have to wait for a waitress to order and then bring your food. Who has time for that on the way to Vegas? :) I like the speed of In-N-Out.

      They have almost all the usual fast food joints in Baker, just not an In-N-Out. But there are usually fewer of them than the other places. One day.

      That sounds interesting--wait, I mean terrible--about The Gardens (new name). Sounds like fodder for a good guest post. Hint, hint.

    2. Hi again Rob. I tried to respond to your response late last night, but the site ate my post. So let's try this again:

      1., LOL, hint taken. I'd love to write up the incident for a guest post. Will be in touch shortly and thanks for the opportunity.

      And 2., Re Steak 'n Shake, I admit I'm a bit more interested in them because IMHO they have so many more good choices than In-N-Out (like chili and sliders), although I enjoy them both. BTW, the Steak 'n Shake in Victorville has a drive-thru, so you don't have to stop and go in like at South Point.

      Tell ya what... if I can ever meet up with you at South Point, I'll treat you to dinner at Steak 'n Shake. :-) Would be worth it to me.

    3. If you think I'd turn down a free meal, you're crazy. You're on!

  2. Next trip to glorious Victorville will be December the way back from Palm Springs. I'm opening up the Tourist Information centre next year !!

    Come to VV, home to uummmmm, In N Out and Steak N Shake..... Come all

    1. So exciting!

      Hitting Victorville on the way to Vegas?

  3. I actually thought that the hamburgers at In-N-Out at The LINQ were not nearly as good as the ones I've had just on the other side of the Interstate. As for Steak 'n Shake, you can get a triple hamburger and fries for $3.99, which is an outstanding deal. Their regular hamburgers are not that big, so the standard size is really a double.

    1. Interesting about the burgers at the LINQ location. To be honest, the circumstances of eating the burger sitting on a ledge around a fountain were such that I didn't enjoy my burger either, but I blamed it on those conditions, not the burger itself. Plus by the time I settled on that location to sit, the burger had gotten cold.

      Interesting about Steak & Shake but you must be referring to ones in your neighborhood, not the one at South Point in Vegas. I just checked and the triple with fries there is $5.99. It wouldn't be such a bad price but as I recall I had the triple and it still was a rather insufficient meal.

    2. Back when the Linq was the Imperial Palace I loved to eat at Hash House a Go Go. I have not been to Vegas since HHAGG took up residence at the Plaza Casino downtown. Of course, getting a burger at HHAGG involves a pint of whatever fine beer as well!

    3. I think the Hash House is still at the Linq. I ate there last year. I didn't hear that they closed it. There's also one at the Rio, I believe. They used to have one at M Resort but I think it's gone.

  4. I was surprised to see what you said about the triple burgers since their big marketing effort is on all the meals for less than $4. I checked the South Point website and saw the following on the Steak n Shake page: "This location does not participate in all corporate specials and meal deals." Nothing like giving a big FU to its patrons. Next thing you know, they will be charging for parking.

    1. Haha. Yeah, anything in a Vegas casino is gonna have a surcharge for sure. The Subway at Monte Carlo charges me about three bucks more for the same meal I get at a local Subway.

      On the plus side, at least South Point, for now, does NOT charge for parking.

  5. I once read that In-n-Outs won't expand out East because the distribution centers wouldn't work. Which I think is BS; if the business case is there, then build new centers.

    I think the real reason is: In-n-Out just isn't that good. Take away the mystique and all you have is another burger joint that gets beat by Five Guys, Shake Shack, Whataburger, or a little home grillin'! :-)

    1. Well, I bet that if In-N-Out expanded eastward, they would do just fine. I've never seen one ever that wasn't busy. You can never find a parking spot at the stand-alones, I try only to go to ones in a shopping center where there are spaces for the other stores I can park at.

      All these fast food burger joints seem to have their cult. I've tried Five Guys and was underwhelmed. I just ate at Shake Shack last month and it was ok, but I do prefer In-N-Out. Never even seen a Whataburger, I guess they don't have them in the West. But I know there are people that swear by all of these places. It's sort of like the Coke/Pepsi wars, everyone has their favorite.

      Your mileage may vary.