Rumor has it, Players and Spectators (AKA Cactus Jack’s) is Closed and the Rock has new owners. Not Really but close.

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Closing Business in Spokane Valley
Tags: , , , ,

Below is a blog that I wrote when Cactus Jack’s closed down. This January Bumpers re-opened the bowling area and put in lots of  kiddie arcade games in front. The bowling area is already doing well and they are soon to open a minature golf course. It will be down in the lower area just west of the lanes.

They are waiting on their liquor license to open the bar and have no current plans to open the casino. It should be the ultimate place for family parties just as soon as they open the bar so Mom and Dad can slip off from time to time for a quick nerve-settling shot of booze.

One of my very biggest pet peeves is the human propensity to revel in the give and take of hearsay, rumor, gossip, innuendo, or whatever you want to call the passing of some juicy tidbit from one person to another. Like the habit of smoking cigarettes or sending money to Jimmy Swaggert or the making and the watching of the JackAss movies, the inane passage of gossip from someone who is sure they got their juicy details exactly correct to an eager listener who is equally sure they are hearing the gospel truth is one more proof that we are a species capable of complete stupidity.

On the one side you have the dispenser of gossip. It seems to me that we get a  positive charge that flows through our bodies  when we believe we are dispensing a piece of gossip that our listener is hearing for the first time. It is a bit like a hunter bagging a trophy. As we deliver our salacious revelations, our sails fill and billow like a Buddha’s belly as we watch the amazement spread across the face of our audience. We love to shovel crap into the empty caverns of our listeners’ minds as though we are giving them something of great value. In a sense we are because they will be able to go forth and get their own rush when they spread our newsworthy tripe.

Then on the other side you have the receiver of the gossip, the listener. That a person even listens to gossip proves they are foolish and weak. I could not compose a more profound sentence, nor write one less believed. Adults love gossip like kids love a robust fart: they love to pass them and those little stinkers  are  always fun to hear.  Gossip and farts, however, are no more than the stinky vapors of crap. People simply do not understand that humans are poor communicators. They don’t say things clearly, and they don’t hear things clearly. Most would give that premise lip service but when it comes to the gossip, most believe that their friend got their facts right,  and furthermore that they heard them right. We simply want to believe.

I owned a bar for 4 years and nothing that I learned in that time made me ashamed of people more than the free-flowing give and take of crap. I could go on and on because Elaine and I were somehow fair game the entire time we owned the Rock Inn. I think it was mostly because people are petty and stupid and cruel, but that is just a guess.

One night my aunt  came into the Rock Inn and she took Elaine aside and said that she had to come in and  find out if what she had heard was true. With her eyes filled with tears, she asked Elaine if  we were separated and only pretending to still be together for the sake of our bar. She said that her daughter-in-law, my cousin, had told her that. Elaine told her we were still happily together.  But it made  Elaine cry as well  to know that such an ugly rumor would be out their about us, let alone that it would ever pass between people we loved.

Another night a good friend of ours came into the Rock Inn and was surprised to see that I was still working there. She told Elaine that she had heard that I had gotten some young girl pregnant and had moved to Walla Walla. Elaine was dumbfounded and hurt and sad that anyone could be so gullible. This friend had known us for many years and we had never demonstrated anything to her other than we were completely in love. But someone who she knew not as well as she knew us let fly with some flatulence of gossip and she just had to believe in the crap and not in her friends.

Elaine was always having to squelch the rumor that we did cocaine. Though we are no angels, cocaine was something we both feared and always stayed away from and yet for years people told us they knew that we were cokeheads. One customer who was actually a cop got into a heated argument with Elaine because he supposedly knew for a fact that we did coke. He had absolutely no proof other than he had heard we did the stuff.  Another supposed friend believed this rumor so strongly she recreated her own memories to support what she wanted to believe. When she  argued the issue with Elaine she actually told Elaine she remembered doing lines with Elaine in our women’s bathroom. When Elaine blew up and told her she was  a complete liar, the woman stopped and thought about it and admitted she was wrong and realized she never had actually seen either one of us doing the drug.  I doubt, however, that it stopped her from retelling her made-up story.

And so when I heard two moist and pugnent bits of gossip from good and trusted friends this week I said to myself that while I may really like these guys, I hate gossip and do not believe anything that I hear no matter who I hear it from. I may love the bearer of gossip and enjoy the titillating tidbit as much as anyone, but my life has taught me caution in regards believing anything that I hear. And so I reserved judgement until I could find out for myself.

As proof that I am right  consider this:  on Saturday I ran into a great friend who owns a distributing company  . He told me that the Rock on Trent had traded hands again. My friend is in the loop on such goings on because his company is a distributer to the Rock and all the other bars and restaurants and yet when I went there myself two days later, I found  that what I heard from my insider friend was wrong. He might have said that the old owner was getting two new partners but I would have sworn he said that the Rock had switched hands for the umpteenth time. What I heard him say was the old owner had sold out, the truth is that the old owner took on two new partners and they are having a big celebration Saturday with the grand opening of a new volleyball court connected  to the old patio.

As further proof to my premise that people are full of farts if not plain old crap, today a Valley bar owner told me that Players and Spectators just closed. So I was surprised when I called the place and a voice answered the phone. I said I heard from a reliable source that they had closed. No, he said, they had not  closed though they had changed the name to Cactus Jack’s a few weeks before and the casino portion of the business did shut just this very day.

While  I guess there was some truth to those two rumors, they were pretty inaccurate considering how fresh and relatively direct they  were. Had they had the chance to circulate from cellphone  to cellphone and bar stool to bar stool a few days or weeks, who knows how far off they would have been. People don’t seem to understand that when it comes to talking about others that accuracy matters not to mention fairness. Close is not good enough and a lie believed in is still a lie.

My experience with rumors has been so ugly and hurtful that I will always be ashamed of anyone who tries to bring me one that might shed a harmful light on its subject. The truth is that whatever crap someone wants to spread about another person is not as ugly to me as their desire to spread crap. And that is something all will nod in agreement with as they carry on their way stimulating themselves with the irresistible urge to share shit.

Update: It turns out that the inaccurate rumor that I heard about Player’s on Monday became accurate the following Sunday. I drove by the place shortly after hearing the news to see for myself. There was a lone white pickup with a long trailer in the parking lot and so I pulled up to find Cactus Jack himself, cowboy hat and all, getting ready to pull out. He told me that he had had enough of the local government taking 12% from the gambling right off the top.

Through the years I have heard a lot of different things about the guy but never took anything to heart nor formed any conclusions having never even met the man myself until Sunday. All I knew from that meeting as he spoke with dissapointment in his eyes and bitterness in his voice was that this was another sad story of high hopes and big dreams slowly shattered apart by a myriad of unforeseen factors and  greedy state and local governments. Having gone through my own version at the Rock Inn, I found myself feeling very sad and reminicent as I watched him slowly drive away from his shuttered business and the huge investment of time and money it represents.

Ironically the date was Sept. 4, exactly one year after this story appeared in the paper.

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t feel sorry at all for the old man or his wife. Those people had no idea how to run a company. Did me very wrong not to long ago, guess he got what was coming to him.

    • Well, I have had to get in my car and drive away from our dream and immense investment of money and effort. It is not a thing I would wish on anyone. Maybe he had it coming. Not my call.

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