Final Trip Recap (Recap #10), March 10th, 9th day of the trip. As promised, literally and figuratively a lot of ground to cover. First off, on 3/10, this blog got to check out an extremely expensive mall along the Boardwalk. It's probably within 2 blocks of Boardwalk Hall, but this blog had avoided it because it looked small and overpriced.
This day, Pun City had some extra time though, and found out that it was way off. The mall is large and overpriced. Deceptively large actually. Three levels of ridiculously expensive stores, including a Fila that was passing itself off as "high-end". This blog doesn't know, maybe that's their business plan these days, but it seems really weird coming from a company that sells low-quality shoes.
After going through the mall and mainly window shopping since this blog wasn't going to be getting anything at Coach or Nieman Marcus anytime soon, this blog headed to Boardwalk Hall's "Fan Zone" to watch as much of the Wisconsin-Illinois Big Ten Semifinal as it could. Pun City was fortunate in that the Badger game was on the in-house TVs. Also fortunate was that those suckers are effectively locked on any channel they're set at because the channel changer is locked up and the Best Buy-supplied plasmas didn't have any buttons on them. So this blog just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the game as fans around it kept futilely trying to switch to either the Big East or SEC games in progress. This blog was almost laughing at them until some gambling addict got the arena control supervisor to open the lock and the channel changed. Not awesome. Luckily Wisconsin had virtually clinched it by then and they did end up pulling through. However, this blog wasn't thrilled with George Washington's fans based on this poor representative.
George Washington did pull the win out though, a pretty competitive affair where the game was in doubt until around 4:41 remaining. Coach Karl Hobbs celebrated just in front of this blog's seat with the Colonials' fans.
After the Atlantic 10 final finished, this blog headed over to a casino sports bar and caught some more games on TV, then ventured back to the hotel. As always when it came to this hotel, things got interesting then.
1. On cue, the room key didn't work (typical).
2. This blog headed to the good ol' front desk to retrieve a new one. While Pun City was there, this blog figured it would ask for a wake-up call.
2a. This blog knew it was going to be a a rough going asking for the wake-up call, because the dude had missed 2 out of 3 calls previously.
2b. Adding to the problem is that it was Daylight Savings Time. Not just any Daylight Savings Time, mind you, but the first Daylight Savings Time since they switched the date.
3. Dude doesn't speak English well, and acts like he speaks it worse. There is very little chance he's going to understand Daylight Savings Time. If he does understand, there's really no way of knowing.
4. This blog needs a 4:00 AM wake-up call. This will seem like 3:00 AM with the "Spring Forward". If this dude blows the wake-up call, Pun City isn't going to naturally wake up at that time.
4a. Let Pun City emphasize the NEEDS part of that "This blog NEEDS a 4:00 AM wake-up call" sentence. There's a huge drive ahead, and then a flight to catch. Granted, there's a little wiggle room in there for travel time and possible extra gate-clearing time built in, but it would be very easy to oversleep this by 3 hours.
Did you ever NEED a miracle but the only way you're getting it is from one of, if not the most, incompetent, ill-equipped, miserable jaghole you've ever met?
After an extremely long and frustrating conversation in which the dude seemed convinced at multiple times that Pun City wanted 2 wake-up calls, the dude showed a thorough misconception of Daylight Savings Time, and made it clear that he did not have an automated system for the wake-up calls. It was probably about midnight, so this blog seriously doubted dude would be awake to make the call, but dude repeatedly assured Pun City that the wake-up call would be made and that this blog didn't have to worry. He said this in a voice that made Pun City feel convinced that this dude wanted Pun City out of his office above all else. At this point, this blog was tired, knew that it had a long day ahead, and chose sleep over arguing with some Indian idiot that might actually be helpful.
Needless to say, this blog set its phone alarm. And its watch alarm.
April 11th, 10th day of the trip - 4:00 AM. Feels like 3:00 AM. Watch alarm goes off. Shortly thereafter, the phone alarm goes off. Pun City wakes up. This blog finishes packing, washes up, and gets ready to check out and go. It's probably 4:15. No wake-up call.
This blog is checking out anyway, so it figures it's going to let him have it. Here's a rough paraphrasing of the conversation:
Pun City: (This blog) was supposed to have a wake-up call at 4:00, why didn't this happen?
Idiot: It's not 4:00 yet.
PC: It's 4:15!!! (Pun City) just explained this to you last night!!
Idiot: Why would I give you a wake-up call at 4:00? You're checking out now.
PC: What?! Wait, WHAT?! It's 4:15 RIGHT NOW! You were supposed to give (Pun City) a wake-up call FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!
Idiot: You didn't ask for that, I can only give you one wake-up call.
PC: (Pun City) DID ask for that! I only wanted one wake-up call! Last night, we talked about it for 10 minutes! You said not to worry about it!!
Idiot: (shakes head)
PC: (Completely exasperated and just astonished anyone could be this dumb): "You have (Pun City's) keys. This is all you need for (this blog) to check out, right?
PC: So we're good, we're done?
Stunning. Just stunning. How can anyone stay in business with that little grasp on the English language? How can anyone stay in business with that little grasp on common courtesy, common sense, and rudimentary intelligence? This blog finally just left so that it wouldn't have any of the stupidity rub off on it. Frankly, this blog was just ecstatic that it didn't have to deal with him anymore.
Long ride back to Richmond, Virginia, this time without having to deal with Washington DC's rush-hour traffic (since it was a Sunday). On the way up, while running late, this blog had noticed that the University of Maryland was on the route between the two cities. There wasn't nearly enough time to stop then, but today there was a little extra time. This blog was able to check out the Comcast Center, home to Terrapins basketball, and even got to go out on to the floor.
They also had the floor from Cole Field House, Maryland's old home stadium that was where Texas Western beat Kentucky for the NCAA title featured in "Glory Road".
The trip moved on to the Richmond Airport, sat in the Sam Adams Lounge for a while, eventually succeeding in getting the bartender to switch from Meet The Press or something over to basketball. Shortly in to that, it was time to fly out from Richmond to Chicago, where Pun City would have a layover during CBS's Selection Show, and then a flight back to Milwaukee thereafter.
At O'Hare Airport in Chicago, this blog settled in at the Chili's, which was the first place this blog could find with TVs. CBS was on already, so this blog just sat back and enjoyed as they listed the top seeds.
During a commercial break, a woman wearing fur approached the bartender. This blog could only hear the bartender asking "Is that local fox?"
This blog assumed he was asking her about the fur coat. Turns out it was "Is that local Fox?" that he was asking. She wanted NASCAR on. No. Frickin. Way.
The highest-rated, most-watched, most-relevant part of March Madness, and you are switching over to some Snoozecar Race? The woman said we could switch it back, she just wanted to see who was winning. This is fair, alright, cooler heads prevailed.
But wait. Some rube trying to score points with the woman jumped on the Nascar bandwagon and said we should just leave it there. That was it. This blog had already closed its tab there so it had no real claim (other than common sense, which clearly had no value at this bar) to switching it back to CBS, so Pun City immediately bolted the scene in search of more sane pastures.
Pun City found refuge in some type of family diner that had the Selection Show on, just before a table was being cleared. This blog didn't care, Pun City just sat at the table with its notebook scribbling down the brackets, even with a heap of dirty dishes in front of it.
No white trash Nascar monger, horny idiot, or stack of crum-ridden plates was going to prevent this blog from knowing what the brackets were. Especially since it would have relative "communication silence" for the Chicago-to-Milwaukee flight.
In the end, this blog was able to get the brackets filled, hear some analysis, and laugh at Syracuse's exclusion before the flight, during which Pun City looked for possible upset potential. The picks made that night led to an eventual 8th-place finish in this blog's pool, which wasn't too bad given the large number of high-seeded teams that lived up to their seeding this year. This concludes the Pun City Trip 2007, hope you enjoyed it.
Labels: Atlantic 10, Atlantic City, Boardwalk Hall, College Basketball, George Washington, Idiots, Karl Hobbs, Maryland, Nascar Sucks, Roach Hotels, Terrapins