Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Crown Casino

If there's one place where we spent a lot of our time in Melbourne it was the Crown Casino.

And I didn't wager 1 red cent, but I sure felt sorry for those on the pokies pushing their life away with a button.

On the first night of my stay in Melbourne Chris and I found a comfy little cafe that played episodes of Seinfeld! It's been ages since I've seen Seinfeld.

We sat there for hours and hours, all the while sipping large coffees.

As we sat there I couldn't help but look out at the sea of elderly people playing away on the pokies.

"A part of me wants to slap these people round and get them out of here," I said to Chris acknowledging another newcomer who had come to sit at an available slot machine, "but another part of me says that they deserve everything they get."

Chris nodded, but really wasn't paying any attention to my ranting.

"And to think that even if they win something big they'll be back continuing to flitter it away in the hopes of getting more money. Greed is an insatiable beast."

Chris laughed, but it had to do with what was happening on Seinfeld, and on that note we decided it was time to head back and get some shut eye.

I wasn't terribly tired or jet-lagged. My body clock was 3 hours behind Melbourne time, and I had drank waaay too much coffee.

Upon us exiting from the casino, James Packer (the owner), obviously wasn't happy with us. As we walked outside towards the King Street bridge we were almost cremated!

Think this is an innocent looking pillar?



THEN THINK AGAIN!!!



And you think it's just a small flame, right?...



This thing's only just getting started! And to think that the camera hadn't melted and that I hadn't turned into a pile of dust by now...



The fury of James Packer upon all those who didn't waste their money at Crown Casino...



Here's what it looks like from a distance...



I was tempted to go and grab a stick and put a marshmallow at the end of it, but I couldn't find anything long enough.

So that was our first night at Crown Casino.

But before I leave the topic of the Crown Casino there was one thing that irked me during our travels there, and I'll sum it up in two words...

Allocated Seating.

Huh?

Yep, I had never heard about it before, but apparently at Crown Casino's Village Cinemas when you purchase a normal ticket you are allocated a seat number on that ticket and this is the place where you sit.

So, being unaware of this on the first night that we saw a flick we walked into our respective cinema and found a nice comfortable seat at the back.

Easy.

It wasn't until the movie started that a group of latecomers walked in and as they were fossicking away for their seats, one just so happened to have the seat that I was sitting in.

"What number are you Dorcas?" asked the boy who sat down next to me.

She said some number.

"That's... here," he said pointing to me.

By now I was wondering what the hell all this noise was about and I turned to him. His girlfriend excused herself as she made her way towards me and said,

"Ah, you're sitting in my seat?"

"Huh?"

"It's allocated seating. You're sitting in my seat."

"Allocated what?" Are you nuts?

"These cinemas have allocated seating."

"Allocated what?" I said as I got up to reach for my ticket in my back pocket.

"You're down there," she said a little too smugly.

It was at this point that I wished I had brought a drink in. A nice big bladder bursting jumbo sized Coke, and to have... ummm... let's say "accidentally" spill ALL of it onto something, say... a particular seat I had warmed to.

Drat! Out of all the times I wanted a drink, even though I wasn't thirsty, NOW would've been the perfect time. Drat, drat, drat.

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said as I alighted from my seat (alighting seems pertinent to use at the casino!).

As Chris and I were booted from our comfy seats we then tried to figure out where OUR seats were.

"What does your's say?" Chris asked.

"G19. And you?"

"J5."

Huh?

Now we were sitting at opposite ends of the cinema?!?

"This is crazy?" he laughed.

"Stuff it, let's just sit down in the middle there."

Being rebellious we found some available seats and watched the remainder of the movie.

On our second trip back, we asked the guy behind the ticket counter about this so-called "allocated seating" and believe it or not the guy said it was true and in force.

We then booked two tickets at the end row and when we entered the cinema had the pleasure of kicking somebody else's ass out of our seats (it actually felt quite good).

"Watch that drink," I said to the boy who had now become a bootee.

But our booting started a domino allocated seating effect - those boys kicked someone out of their seats, and in turn the new bootees kicked someone else... etc etc.

And all the while we were sitting at the back enjoying the mad shuffle before the movie started.

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