Road tripping, part 2

Just got back from exotic Verona, NY where I manned a booth for the Zoo at a regional travel trade show. Whoever said getting there is half the fun is a butthole. I got some affirmation that I am not a casino guy, as I wandered into to work a little before 8 yesterday and the amount of people at the slots inside the Turning Stone Casino was impressive.

Setup the day before was the bigger deal. The Turning Stone facility is impressive in its vastness. I found the door I thought I needed to go. I asked one of the valets the best route to my exhibit and he did indeed send me to it “Family Circus” style, wandering through all sorts of hallways that I didn’t need to be in. At the registration table, they couldn’t find me because apparently The Buffalo Zoo was registered under “The.” Set up my table all nice and neat and went back to my cheap hotel, “The Inn at Turning Stone,” where my reservation was screwed up and I needed my own card which had just enough sitting on it to cover the night. The Inn was right along the highway so it was laden with trucks and other sundry casino driven folks, most of whom were primed to lose what was left of their shirts sometime in the immediate future.

Back to the Turning Stone, where exhibitors got a reception/dinner (Yay! free food), but I had some time so I wandered the shopping mall, tried to understand craps (ain’t happening) and generally killed a little time. One of the clubs was a sports bar where I went and had a seat to watch Wolf Blitzer (for a broadcaster, dude says um an awful lot) talk about Ted Kennedy. This is where the Oneidas are genius. They don’t or can’t serve alcohol publicly. They’ll take the money but you can’t get a beer to cry into, brilliant! The ultimate screw you. Upon receiving the knowledge, I started to feel like I was Clark Griswald in Vegas vacation.

The private exhibtors reception had a couple saranacs to soothe my gradually ruffling feathers to go along with the nice dinner. Drove back to my Inn, did some email and relaxed a little, and retired for the night.

About an hour later, a thump against the wall from next door. Then another, and another followed by the requisite moaning. A lovely couple was celebrating their casino fortunes with enough vigor that I wanted to have a cigarette. They were not making love, they were performing some serious stress tests for their headboard. Perfect end to a malaprop of a day.

Yesterday, as the show was getting to start after that restless night, I’m prettying up my booth when the guest relations manager wants to know my thoughts on my stay. His mistake, I told him. He handed me a $20 match card for card games, like I was staying after I finished working. Show starting packing up at 2:45. I was on the 90 by 3.

Like most of those gatherings, I’m all set for writing implements now, but was glad to be able to keep an appointment at Pearl Street at 6 last night.

Life in show biz.


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