Last night I went to Crown Casino and had the most disappointing night of my life, and I’ve picked up a hot transvestite in Phuket by mistake before.
When you have 3 young kids and live in the bush, date night is rarer than finding someone who finds Clive Palmer in Speedos attractive.
However, after some solid planning in the mould of Qatar rigging the World Cup soccer voting, we found a babysitter and booked a room at the Best Exotic Marygold Hotel (name changed to protect the innocent) in Melbourne’s CBD.
We would go to Crown Casino’s “Groove Bar” and watch the comedy genius of Dave Hughes.
A fellow country boy, a Carlton supporter and mildly amusing. We have much in common.
Dennis Does Date Night.
Knowing that my marriage depended on the outcome of my planning, I checked how to get tickets via three different ways.
I checked the website, called Crown directly and asked the bouncer on the door.
All three times, I was given the same message. Tickets would be on sale only at the door from 9pm. There were no pre-sales. The show was to start at 9.30pm.
The message was always given in English, which is convenient, as English is my native tongue. For good measure, Mrs Dennis and I hit the Crown at 8.30pm, just in case I misread the time. I didn’t want to be like the English cricket team during The Ashes and turn up late, or in their case, not at all.
The bouncer on the door at Crown told us clearly to return at 9pm. The private party in the venue had to be cleared out first.
I snuck my head around the corner and saw a mass of people, possibly of Asian descent, wearing paper hats and waving Union Jacks. Perhaps it was an Sino-Australian gathering of royalists? No one will ever know the truth.
Anyhow, after the bouncer told us to return at 9pm, we ventured downstairs to a bar where a chap who looked rather unfortunately like Jesus on a bender was playing covers. He was pumping out his rendition of Crowded House’s “Better Be Home Soon”. It wasn’t quite good enough for The Voice, but may have scraped in to the X Factor.
A bourbon and coke later and it was 8.50pm. I gestured to the bride that we should make our way back upstairs and get our tickets. The early bird gets the worm or something like that.
When we arrived at the nominated venue 1 minute later, a small queue had formed. It was similar to the amount of people who can recite the 2nd verse of Advance Australia Fair. Not many.
At about 9.15pm, our line stretched back and included probably a couple of hundred people. No problem. We were in the first 30 or so. We were pumped for some comedy gold.
To my horror, another queue appeared opposite us like a flash mob. On closer inspection, I noticed these people had tickets in their hands. How did they get them? There were no pre sales. The website told me that. The nice girl on the Crown helpline told me that. The bouncer told me that.
Like Julia Gillard and the carbon tax, I soon discovered that they all had lied.
ON DATE NIGHT!
WITH MY MARRIAGE ON THE LINE (overemphasised for dramatic effect).
I became aware that although the bouncer had sent me away at 8.30pm and told me to come back at 9pm, what he really meant to say was:
“…just hang around sir. We will be selling tickets at the door at 8.32pm and not the 9pm as previously advertised.”
Finally, at 9.25pm, with the “other” queue fuller than Anthony Mundine’s ego, the same bouncer informed us that if we were lucky, there may be standing room available…maybe…if we were lucky. Did I mention that Mrs Dennis had a bloody sore hip and was unable to stand for any amount of time? Standing room was an unacceptable outcome.
So, after planning our annual date night for quite some time, checking the ticketing arrangements multiple times and turning up early twice, Crown screwed us over.
CROWN CASINO SCREWED US OVER.
I felt like that time in my 20’s when picked up what I thought was a hot chick in Phuket, but she turned out to be a transvestite and…oh never mind.
Crown’s slogan is “A World of Entertainment”. Well, that’s clearly misleading. It’s a World of bloody Disappointment.
Night blown, and not in the way that a bloke usually associates with date night.
We took the $12 cover charge each that we saved and headed to one of Melbourne’s random bars on the way back to the hotel. It was all the cash we had on us. We are usually card users.
” Two bourbon and Cokes please”
“That will be $12.50 each please. Cash only”
I let both Dave Hughes and Crown know via twitter about the ticketing issue here:
— Dennis Does Cricket (@DennisCricket_) June 9, 2014
Dave Hughes promptly made contact.
We can’t wait to see the great man in action
Crown Casino did finally respond 4 days later with this:
Shame, we couldn’t make it as they presumed.