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X-E Invades...Atlantic City!
Matt - 07/30/00

Well, I'm back from another adventure. Through some of my wonderful chats with you guys over ICQ and AOL IM (ick), it seems like some of you wonder why I'd want to plaster my real life on this site like this. I'm not really sure. I look back at those posts and it looks like I had a much better time than I actually did. It's like the diary of all the cool stuff I do. I don't show you the weekday interims when I just sit here staring at the site's hit counter and watching barely viewable old Atari commercials begging for them to be funny. Besides, I want everyone to understand that fucking peanut...and pictures speak louder than words.

So, with that, we were off to Atlantic City - the east coast's fastest way to blow a shitload of money and have nothing to show for it. Throughout the glitz and glamour of the many themed casinos littering the shoreline, there remains one constant: 99.9% of the people go home rabidly depressed.

The call it the 'city of dreams' for a reason. 'City of reality' would only result in about 500,000 false advertising lawsuits against the city a year. I walked through these casinos to notice something very interesting about the people who actually win money. They're universally:

A) Over 100 years old. These casino types are smart. First, they get these fossils to hit the jackpots. When the winners are all jumbled by the crazy flashing lights, they get 'em to sign the 'yearly payout' contract. So by the time they die, they've only gotten about 25 bucks of the 2 million they initially won. It's brilliant.

B) You don't win unless you're dressed like one of those fanatics in the audience on The Price Is Right. I'm not kidding - unless you're wearing a t-shirt that in some way says 'Atlantic City', the casino name, or 'Gone Slottin', you have no chance in Hell of cashing out with anything more than one fifth of what you put in the machines. So, unless you have no problem dressing yourself up like a walking billboard for the Tropicana, give up all hope from the start and spend your hard-earned money on overpriced hotel keychains instead.

C) If there's a 50/50 chance for victory - you always lose. The friends I was with and I, between all of us, must have played the 20.00 roulette wheel at least six hundred times. Everyone around us won constantly, because they realized the very simple, very effective way to win. Just bet on the exact opposite of what we bet on, because we always lose. It got to the point where I was putting 20.00 on red, and then 40.00 on black just to bet against myself. Course, then the fucking roulette ball would land on those two green '0s'. I love casinos.

Let's move on before I get more depressed...

If you think I went to Atlantic City with the sole purpose just to lose money - you're right. But after I lost money, I dreamt up a new reason to be there. Find an official mascot for that fucking Green Bamboo Peanut. I'm only so effective as a spokesperson. Honestly, I might be able to convince people who want Transformers tattoos or liked the movie 'Fever Lake' that Green Bamboo is where it's at, but really, that's where it stops. Most other people will just look at me like I have two heads and then ask me why those two heads have clown hair. So yeah, we need somebody with a bit more grace than myself. Where else to find it but the...


Whoa! Stop the fucking press - a peanut shop?! Think about that for a second. Not a store that just sells peanuts...a store that sells and is entirely devoted to peanuts. I was in my glory. I was sure that Green Bamboo's new spokesperson was sure to be inside. But, as fate would have it, nobody was inside. Now, while we did use that to our advantage to pick up some peanuts that were evidently free....I was still without my spokesperson.

It was a little dissapointing. So dissapointing in fact, that we all decided it was time to get our loads on. Despite my losing my ID and having to get what is quite possibly the worst generic ID you could ever have, I didn't have too much of a problem getting into the bars. Here's a note to the kids out there - if you're ever getting photo identification, try to get the woman working the booth to use something other than scotch tape to hold the ID and laminate together. Most places won't buy it. Anyway, the bar...

Carl: So, I'm gonna be on your little website now, huh?

Matt: Yup!

Carl: Cool. What kinda website is this, anyway? Is it funny?

Matt: Well, it's like this. I curse a lot and italicize some random words, and people assume they're supposed to laugh.

Carl: That's fucking genius!

Matt: HA!

Now, what would any of my trips be without a venture to the local 99 cent store? Understanding my obsession with these places is kinda like trying to understand why masochists like to get fucked with nails. You can kind of grasp the concept, but it still won't make very much sense. Well, the ones in Atlantic City were, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the absolute worst 99 cent stores on the planet. Firstly, they all smelled like shit. I don't mean shit like, 'they smelled like cleaning fluid', or 'they smelled kinda musty' folks - they smelled like shit. But the smell was far better than the content, let me tell you...

Take the above picture, for example. It really sends a chill down my spine when I realize that yes, some people actually do shop for food in these stores. Our personal favorite was the bottle of Heinz Tomato Juice marked '1988', but this was a close second. Cows! Hard-candy...with a dairy edge. And they came in a variety of flavors! What poor souls are out there now eating these, I really don't want to know. Fact is, it's bad enough that all the food in these stores is so far past the expiration date that they're literally considered collectible items, but why does all the food have to be so frigging nasty to begin with? What is this, the poor man's Chocolate Reisen? How poor can you fucking get?! When you've gotta go for the ghetto version of even candy, you know it's time to either start searching for a job that pays something other than two Triscuits an hour, or blow your head off.

Oh GOD. Why? WHY?! Why is there a plastic cock in the spices aisle? Why does that have to be there? I knew what I was going to do. I tried to tell myself it was a bad idea. I knew it was a bad idea. But how the fuck could I resist? How could I possibly deny could I pass up the opportunity to take a picture holding the fucking plastic cock?

I couldn't. I'm too devoted to my craft. Even at the risk of having actual pictures of me holding a penis circulating the internet, some picture opportunities are too golden to pass up - even at personal risk.

Fucking 99 cent store.

We went to the Hard Rock Cafe there. I really don't have much to say about it, but I thought it was really, really cool that they gave us a tortilla chip shaped like a cactus. That is all..

In from there, it was back to the bars. We met a lovely waitress who insisted we didn't overtip her, and gave us a ton of pretzels to boot! I don't know her name, but she was the shining star of the city. If there's anything about Atlantic City that could be remotely construed as 'reedemable' - she was it. And here's her picture...

Yup, not only is she cool, not only did she really really spike my bloody mary, but she's also one of the select few who can truly grasp the greatness that is the Green Bamboo Mystery Peanut. And she's also one of the less-than-a-dozen people I know of who have actually touched the peanut and felt it's warm, radiant glow for themselves. Appreciate this woman, readers. She knows her shit.

Our story isn't complete, my friends. I obviously lost sight of my mission amongst Atlantic City's numerous wonders. There's a peanut out there than needs a mascot. And I intend to find it.

Continue To Part Two!