Vegas and Our Impending Casino Deal

Howdy, Clampadres! I’m fresh from the hot desert hell that is Las Vegas, where I was just at a convention for the job that kind of pays me. I’ve seen some things, and some stuff. Here is an abbreviated list of some of the eyebrow-raising shenanigans I observed:

– A drive through pawn shop and payday loan place.



– A guy with white tube socks and sandals with a chinese symbol tattooed on his neck.

– An entire shop dedicated to those dumb bowler/trillby hats that men’s rights activists and neckbeards flock to.

– Pete Rose signing autographs inside a store with no one there. Two days in a row.

It was like this except worse.

It was like this except worse.

– A drunk man hanging halfway out of his motorized wheelchair.

– Walking into a bathroom stall that I thought was empty except a drunk teenager was vomiting in it.

The casino culture here got me thinking about what will eventually happen if the proposed casino development at Suffolk Downs goes forward. What will those casinos be like?  We have so much local flare here on the Noath Shore, of course it’s going to carry over into our assuredly world-class gambling facility. There’s no way we can be as insane as Vegas, but we can try our best. Therefore, I assume the following will happen once this casino opens:

– Stripper poles will all be equipped with cupholders that are large enough to hold a Dunk’s iced with a hot cup over it.

– 75% of the casino will basically be the part of Tedeschi’s where people just sit around a table and watch the KENO screen.

Like that, but with more Miracle on Ice shit on the walls.

Like that, but with more Miracle on Ice shit on the walls.

– Scratch tickets everywhere. Like, more than usual. Enough to blow onto the tarmac at Logan. I mean, they have all that snow removal equipment anyway, they can probably just use it year-round now.

– Cirque de Sully: Instead of breathtaking acrobatic feats, it’s just a bunch of former frat dudes with basketball shorts and Sox hats on who joined Crossfit and want to show off their sweet-ass squat jumps. Yo, Petey can even do a backflip. It’s epiiiic.

– Carl Everett signing autographs at the big dinosaur outside the Science Museum.

Google Image Search comes through with another winner.

Google Image Search comes through with another winner.

– A guy with white tube socks and sandals with a chinese symbol tattooed on his neck.

I, for one, am looking forward to the casino. I mean, look at Vegas. We’ve got all those pretty lights and a casino company raking in profits, and then the crippling poverty a few miles away. It’s what America’s all about!



Brooke Special Bonus: Clam Travel Insert : UK Part 2, Electric Boogaloo

Because it was election day Brooke only got 1/2 day on this excellent post. We’re re-posting it so it gets the glory it richly deserves.

Hello again, Clammunists. It’s time to continue my travel feature, mostly because KT and James occasionally need a damn day off from filling the blog with actual content that people want to read. So, enjoy some stories about a faraway place, off the island!

I’ve been to Britain twice, and most of that time has been spent in the city of Bristol. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s ok, most Americans haven’t. As I said before, Bristol is neither London, nor anywhere near Downton Abbey. It sits a bit to the south and west of London, in an area of Britain imaginatively called The West Country.
HISTORY! It’s full of so much history that Bristolians (I’m not certain that’s a real word, but I want it to be) pretty much ignore it, walking past things like the ruins of a 1000 year old castle, Tudor architecture, and more medieval churches than you can shake a tortured heretic at on their daily errands without so much as a second thought. That said, it probably loses some wonder when you see it every day. God knows I no longer gawk in awe at the Gorton’s sign.
One of my favorite historical bits of the city is St. Mary Redcliffe, an amazing example of Gothic architecture in the form of a huge, ancient church. Go ahead and Google it, I don’t mind. Take your time, drink in those pictures.
This building is gorgeous and slightly terrifying. Heading inside, you pass through remarkably intimidating doors only to get smacked in the face with the sense that, holy shit, you’re actually standing knee deep in history. No actually, it would be more like chest deep.

Picture 8
All through the place are the tombs of the rich and/or pious , who are buried right in the damned floor of the place, with a big marker slab embedded in the tiles. A lucky few have above floor tombs with carved likenesses of stone. On a pillar of one of the stone tombs is carved “WM 1699.” Yes, some bored kid sitting through a boring sermon over 300 years ago carved his or her initials into a medieval tomb. Pretty badass move, WM. I hope you didn’t go to hell for it.
PIRATES! I couldn’t possibly touch on it all here, but Bristol has a ton of interesting history, including a lot of pirates. You can still see caves and passages carved out of the sandstone harbor cliffs where they hid their booty (heh..heh.) Blackbeard himself was from Bristol! How cool is that? That horrible pirate accent you hear in Movies? It’s a shitty, heavy handed Bristol accent. That said, a lot of the history of the city is bleak. Sadly, pirates were not the cheery rum swilling ne’er do-wells Disney would have you believe. On top of that, Bristol was a major slave trading port in the mid 1700’s, which is not exactly something the average vacationer likes to think about, so we will move on.

Picture 9

CULTURE The city has a hard to describe laid back sort of a feel. I can’t really put it into words, other than to say that it didn’t feel like anyone was hurrying anywhere, if that makes sense. It has a ton of charm, in architecture and just general feel.  We spent a few days in Nottingham, and the difference was stark. Nottingham was all angles, harsh looking buildings, and people without character, hurrying to get somewhere. Bristol is different, and I think this might owe something, at least in part, to the history of the city and how Bristolians (I’m keeping that word, dammit) lay claim to it and process the shittier parts of their shared heritage, some of which as I said before, is pretty goddamned bleak.

Bristol has been an epicenter for art for a while now, with a lot of poignant cultural commentary coming out of its fairly rough inner areas. Remember Trip-Hop, fellow 90’s kids? Tricky, Portishead, Massive Attack, they all came from Bristol, bringing with them a dark sort of weird aesthetic. Also hailing from Bristol is that favorite of White People who like to pretend they know about art, Banksy. The thing is, art is everywhere in Bristol. Even in the bleakest parts, buildings are covered with amazing works of graffiti. I don’t recall if there were any painted crosswalks, but there may have been.

NOT CULTURE! Know what else Bristol has a lot of? Chavs. What is a Chav, you ask? Think of Snooki and the other Jersey Shore kids, add more teenage pregnancy and drunken stupor. Wrap it all in Burberry plaid, and increase the violent tendencies. I saw a pack of them, all decked out in their finest tracksuits and wanted to take a picture, but my husband convinced me that I probably shouldn’t.

Picture 10
As lovely as Bristol is, it also has a lot of trash. Literal trash, as in garbage. Say what you will about good ol’ Merica, but our cities in general are much more tidy. Husband and I walked a few blocks to breakfast one morning and had to dodge multiple sets of stairs full of vomit and piss (remember that drinking culture I mentioned in my last article? HERE YOU GO), beer cans, and trash all over the sidewalks. On the plus side, I did find multiple fliers for the Lady Boys of Bangkok show, so there’s that. I think the Gloucester Arts Council may want to think about booking these gals.

Picture 12All in all, Bristol is great. Given the opportunity, I would spend a lot more time there. There’s so much to it, and so much I don’t have the space to tell you about (Let’s face it, this is already dangerously near TL;DR territory) so here’s a list of some stuff I didn’t get to tell you about, since you people like them so damn much. Google these things, or use your imagination, kids.
•    St. Nicholas Market – a fabulous 18th century market, with vendor stalls selling everything from meat to old records.
•    The River Avon – yes, THAT river Avon, of Shakespeare fame. It runs through the city, and you can take river tours and drink in floating pubs.
•    The Food- British food is actually excellent. It gets an unfairly bad rap. Bristol has a ton of fantastic food and I ate an embarrassing amount of it.
•    Historic Pubs – All sorts of stuff went down in the old pubs which are still standing in Bristol today. The Royal Navy Volunteer, the Llandoger Trow, the Hole in the Wall and others have all been host to a lot of shady pirate dealings, and have inspired a lot of writers. Go get drunk in history.

An Imagined Speech from Red Squadron Leader on Hoth, out by the Transports

Hey, guys? Guys, form back up. Get back in formation for a second, OK?

Hobbie, what the Hell was that? Don’t look stupid you know exactly what I’m talking about. The whole, “Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?” outburst in the middle of the the Princesses’ briefing.

Oh, man I could so punch you in the face right now, Hobie. And get a haircut.

Oh, man I could so punch you in the face right now, Hobie. And get a haircut.

It’s not just you, Hobbie, it’s all of you. You guys’ meeting behavior is terrible.

I know it’s a stressful time and the AT-ATs have just blown up the power generators and everything, but we have to deal with this now otherwise it’s just going to get worse and you all know I’m a big believer in dealing with problems as they come up.

So what the fuck was that, Hobbie? What the fuck? Princess Leia is A) my boss, B) all of our boss and C) a member of the royal fucking family. You don’t go interrupting her in the middle of a briefing when she’s trying to evacuate the whole frikin base with some bitchy little comment. You don’t think she has better shit to do than come out here to the hangar and explain how to escort a transport to you idiots?

And it was a stupid question. I know I said there are no stupid questions but that was, actually stupid. You didn’t remember we have a fucking ion cannon? You don’t ever look down during training flights and think, “Hey, shit, I wonder what that giant round ball WITH THE HUGE FUCKING GUN STICKING OF THE MIDDLE OF IT might be?” You don’t assume this piece of surface-to-orbit weaponry will factor into the evacuation somehow? You can’t just wait till the end of the briefing to find out what the whole plan is rather than get all snippy with the goddamned leader of the entire Rebel Alliance?

Does this look familiar to anyone?

Does this look familiar to anyone?

If this wasn’t an emergency she’d have busted you down to Assistant Tauntaun Groom Third Class on the spot and I would have processed the paperwork.

And you know what else, you assholes? This is a military operation not some rich boy flying club on Coruscant. If she tells you or I tell you or anybody of a superior rank tells you to go up against the Executor herself in a first generation Y-Wing with one engine pod and no droid, YOU FUCKING DO IT ion cannon or no. Got me? This is a war, remember?

And I’m so mad right now because this isn’t the first time. You were total dicks to beardguy on Yavin when he was telling us about the Death Star attack he’d figured out. Yeah, it seemed pretty implausible to me at the time too, but you have to admit it fucking worked, right? And you were all, “Two meters is impossible blah, blah, blah” and some fucking farm kid from The Eastern Spiral Arm of a Banta’s Asshole goes out there, has never even been in a dogfight before, and he blows the fucking thing up first shot.

One week later he's showing you how to fly the most advanced fighter we have.

Vroom! One week later he’s kicking all of your asses

Did any one of you remember that considering some piece of shit like a T-Sixteen can bullseye a wamp rat you supposedly highly-trained ostensibly cream-of-the-crop space-pilots in advanced fighters should be able to hit a freaking exhaust port? Did it cross your minds that even though it sounded a little nuts, this was the best option we had considering we were up against a planet ass-fucking Death Star? No?

You did not consider that, apparently. That is why most of the squadron got wiped out. I figured that would knock some sense into your heads, but no. Apparently you cannot learn on your own so I am going to have to tell you.

Ok. Here goes: You want to know why Farm Boy became the hero? Because Farm Boy listened. Farm boy didn’t interrupt when people were talking. He applied his folksy pluck or whatever the hell it is they have out there in the sticks to the problem and blamo! Next thing you know the Princess is hanging a medal the size of a dewback turd around his neck and two days later they announce in the Officer’s Bulletin he’s a fucking Squadron Commander while those of us who have been slaving away for years with you half-wit Gungans are still waiting for a promotion.

Man I’m pissed off right now. Oh yeah. You know what else? This is why some vest-wearing yahoo who hangs around with a Wookiee keeps showing you guys up. In a freighter.In a fucking freighter. Think about that.

You guys are outclassed by a ship with a permanent board game station

You guys are outclassed by a ship with a permanent board game station


Go Vote Now!

The Clam is delaying posting today’s humorous piece by Brooke Welty until we feel we’ve berated enough of you to go vote in today’s primary.

So go do that. Polls open at 7.

polling locations:

Ward 1 Precinct 1                                        Ward 1 Precinct 2

East Gloucester Elementary School            Veterans Memorial School
8 Davis Street Extension                               11 Webster Street

Ward 2 Precinct 1                                   Ward 2 Precinct 2
Our Lady’s Youth Center                                Our Lady’s Youth Center
140 Prospect Street                                      140 Prospect Street
(Changed from McPherson Park
to Our Lady’s Youth Center
on 10/01/2012)

Ward 3 Precinct 1                                      Ward 3 Precinct 2
Gloucester HIgh School Field House         Gloucester High School Field House
36 Leslie O’Johnson Rd                                36 Leslie O’Johnson Rd
please note  above is a WARD 3 Polling location change as of July 2014

Ward 4 Precinct 1                                   Ward 4 Precinct 2
Beeman Memorial School                          Lanesville Community Center
138 Cherry Street                                         8 Vulcan Street

Ward 5 Precinct 1                                   Ward 5 Precinct 2
Magnolia Library Center                           Magnolia LIbrary Center
1 Lexington Avenue                                     1 Lexington Ave
above is a 5-2 location change 
                                                                            as of July 2014

Vote, humans. Or the robots will elect an electro-president who will destroy us all.

Vote, humans. Or the robots will elect an electro-president who will destroy us all.

The Gloucester Clam’s Beach Awards

The kids are back in school, the tourists are noticeably fewer, and it’s the end of beachgoing season, almost. While we mourn another amazing summer on our island, we figured we’d have a little awards ceremony for our beaches. So many are worthy!

The Gloucester Clam’s 2014 Beach Awards Winners Are:

Best beach for cutting your feet: Plum Cove


Best beach for picking up a used syringe: Half Moon


Best beach for the faint smell of raw sewage: Pavilion


Best beach for after hour man pick-ups: Annisquam Light


Best beach for watching a family of assholes surreptitiously leave their litter behind: Good Harbor


Best beach for occasional rancid whale parts: Long Beach


Best beach for seeing soiled diapers: Niles


Best beach for experiencing that rotten dead fish smell: Braces


Best beach for having someone expose themselves in public: Wingaersheek

Best beach for almost getting run over by some asshole on a speedboat on your way there: Ten Pound Island.