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Vegas Tourney Journey — Stuck in Line at a Starbucks Edition

Special to Great Pacific Review - by Jason James Barry

Why do the simplest things never work out so simply? Of course I‘m talking about coffee. And in all places — Las Vegas. And at all moments — en route to a full morning of girls volleyball games. Last year I had cracked the code on all this, or so I thought.

At the time, rather than stand in line, defeated, and feeling like a shlub, I field-tested full-on breakfast — with coffee — at no less than three restaurants between The Luxor and Mandalay Bay (read the results of THAT adventure). But no! Just about exactly one year from then, here I am more or less loosely “intermittent fasting,” which to me is just Millenial-speak for “skipping breakfast”.

So, with breakfast out (for now), it’s back to square-one for my tournaments-at-a-casino coffee hacks. And I’m pleased to report, I have one! But not counting the importation-of-a-French press setup, like one of my new friends in the team parent realm.

Instead, I triangulated sociological theories of group dynamics, psychology, and a middle-age propensity for laziness to offer this: Walk. Just keep walking. And walking, until you’ve reached a Starbucks but are fairly far from where the tournament actually is. Huzzah!

Brilliant, I know. But with all snark aside, as they say, I have the receipts. This morning, I set out before 7, and walked against the flow of every other volleyball parent. Past the glimmer of slot machines. Past the still-closed buffet. Away from the tournament. At the foot of the escalator that leads to the Luxor, the proof was already clear: would-be coffee drinkers stood stone-faced in a line more than 20-deep that spilled out beyond the escalator itself.