The difference between wings and tenders

Last night, I played trivia at Rivers Casino.  Of late, trivia has been a bit of a struggle – the game was cancelled last week due to a casino poker tournament (but not before most of the trivia teams showed up, not knowing that trivia was cancelled that night), and I’m still getting used to the new host.

That being said, my usual routine on trivia night is to order some food from one of the casino’s restaurants – Johnny D’s, Flipt, Mian – and nosh on it during the questions.

I stopped at Flipt and ordered some chicken wings, along with some waffle fries and a diet cola.  Paid for everything.  My order was placed in two clamshell canisters, and I walked over to the Van Slyck casino bar for a night of trivia.

First few questions weren’t in my wheelhouse, and out of 11 teams, I was in seventh place.  Urgh.  Well, at least there’s food.

I opened one of the canisters … waffle fries were okay … I don’t think I needed sixteen provided packets of ketchup, but hey.  Stuff is stuff.

Okay, now for the garlic parmesan wings.  Now the best garlic parm trivia wings can be found at Graney’s Stout, but that’s also a Wednesday night game and I can’t be in two places at once.  So let’s try these and –

Hey, wait a second.

These aren’t wings.

They’re chicken tenders.  Garlic parm chicken tenders.

And before you tell me, “Christ, Chuck, chicken is chicken, stop kvetching and eat your dinner.”

I say to you … you really think that thigh meat and wing meat are the same?

Do these look like chicken wings to you??

This is not good.

I gotta work around this.

Trivia’s currently going full-tilt forward.  Flipt is at the other end of the casino.  If I run over there and replace my food, I might not get back in time for the rest of the trivia game.  And this new host doesn’t repeat questions.

Only one chance to pull this off.  Short of hiring a bunch of friends and doing my own Ocean’s 11 remake – either the Sinatra version or the Clooney version, I don’t care.

There’s a question in this trivia game called the huddle round – five answers to on question, three minutes to answer it.  I figured if I scribbled out my answer quickly – then calculate three minutes for the other teams to write down their answers, five minutes for the host to score the answers, a minute to read off the answers … I might have just enough time to get to Flipt, complain about my food, and get back to the Van Slyck in time for the next round of questions.

I’m still in seventh place.  It’s not like I’m going to win tonight anyways.  So the wing caper begins …

Right …

“Name the five states whose western border is the Mississippi River.”


Scribble scribble scribble.  Hand the slip to the host.  Don’t even worry about whether they’re right or not.

On my way to Flipt.

I show the cashier my receipt and my order.

Apparently my garlic parm wings were mixed with someone else’s garlic parm tenders order.  Figures.

They credit me with a $5 food voucher.  The cooks make me a new set of chicken wings.  Mistakes happen, can’t really fault them, they did make right what was wrong.

Tick tock tick tock.

A new clamshell canister – six wings, celery and carrots, and a canister of dressing.

I check the TrivTrak app on my phone.  Totals for the round have already been scored.  I only got two of the five states correct.  Nuts.  Still in seventh place.

But I gotta get back for the next round.  And you can’t run in a casino.  You run in a casino, next thing you know, the guards are chasing you, thinking that you stole chips or something.

I make it back to my seat at the Van Slyck – and the host says, just as I’m sitting down, “Okay, this time we’re going to take a five minute halftime break before the next question.”

For the love of …

And for the record … the garlic parm wings at Rivers Casino are not as good as the ones ta Graney’s Stout.

Oh well… all that effort wasted.  May as well finish the game.

Final question coming up, and I’m still mired in seventh place.  Final category is hockey.  May as well bet all my points.  All chips in.

“The Vegas Golden Knights are the first team to reach the Stanley Cup finals in their first year of existence in 50 years; what was the last team, in 1968, to do this?”

Holy Peter Puck, Batman.  I know this.  I know this cold.  For the 1967-1968 season, the NHL expanded from six teams to twelve, and they placed the six new teams in the same conference.  Because of this, one expansion squad was guaranteed to play for the Cup.

And I knew it was the St .Louis Blues.  But was it enough to leapfrog six other teams?

Two teams bet nothing.  A few other teams bet everything and wrote down the Philadelphia Flyers or the Buffalo Sabres.  One team wrote down the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Don Cherry’s not happy with that squad.

In reality, it was the St. Louis Blues.  They played for the Cup in 1968, and I won the trivia match last night.  Another $100 gift card for me.

Hey, $100 meas at least a dozen more orders of chicken wings at Flipt.

Or maybe a dozen or more chicken tenders masquerading as chicken wings orders at Flipt.  Ha.