Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Vegas Revisited: Part Deux


Below is my second entry from my inaugural trip to Vegas in May. I'm going to Vegas this weekend and I promise to act like an idiot and share such tales with y'all. I think that's why I'm re-posting the stuff that I originally posted on my MySpace page. If you only suspected I was a dope, these stories will assure you. Anyway, enjoy, and don't bother telling me that they're too long--I already know...

VEGAS BLOG PART 2 (Wednesday, May 16, 2007)

The following passage is part two of my trip to Vegas. Scroll down below this to read part one if you haven't yet read it. Enjoy...


At 6:30--only fours after falling asleep--I was wide awake, and my heart was trying to leap out of my chest. I blame the makers of Red Bull. Oh yeah, I was still drunk. I woke up Party Dan (my roommate), but he wanted to stay in bed. I called Colly in the other room-just to wake him up--and guess what? First ring, he answered. He was just as awake as I was. And twice as drunk. Together, we hit the streets.

Only minutes after exiting the Tropicana, the shenanigans continued. Colly and I came upon an empty escalator, and it seemed to be going faster than your garden variety escalator. So what did I do? I bet him ten dollars he couldn't make it down the up escalator in 25 seconds. He agreed to the challenge. He made it in less than 9 seconds. Money well spent, the way I saw it. This was HTBTM #17.

Note: Colly performed the same stunt the next day, only it was early evening, the area around the escalator was semi-crowded, and he had to finish in 9 seconds instead of 25. He won again. This was HTBTM #18.

After a couple of hours, our Friday morning drunkenness morphed into a Friday morning hangover. We were still wide awake, we just felt like crap. Our solution turned into a trend that reared its ugly head the rest of the weekend: we stood around and stared into space, waiting for someone to say, "Hey, let's do this..." This time it was just me and Colly (at the MGM), but-for the rest of the weekend--the four of us probably wasted a half hour or more, in a circle, staring at each other waiting for someone to make a suggestion. This was HTBTM #19.

And yes, I just wrote a "paragraph" about standing around. Perhaps I need to pick up the pace...

But anyway...Colly and I did meet three interesting characters Friday morning...

Corona Guy...We went to a tiny Corona Store because Colly needed swim trunks and batteries for his camera. We were there for two minutes and I don't recall screwing around (much)...Colly paid for the trunks and asked if they had batteries (they didn't). Really, that was it. But the lone employee (Corona Guy, a thirtyish fellow with a thick Boston accent) managed to make us laugh with a smart ass remark. As we were headed out I asked Corona Guy when he left Boston for Vegas, and also, about his accent. Colly asked me how I knew he was from Boston, and right after I asked how it was possible that he didn't know, Corona Guy butted in with a raised voice to offer an answer: "He probably didn't here the accent cuz he was too busy yelling at me about batteries!" I'm not sure if he was hip to our goofball vibe or what...regardless, we agreed that Corona Guy was legitimately funny. Especially with the accent. The lesson: I'll always appreciate a smart mouth more than a kiss ass or phony. This was HTBTM #20.

Note: We let Corona Guy have it (it) every time we passed by his store after the "yelling at me about batteries" incident. He appreciated the playful banter. The lesson: This world would be a much better place if everybody didn't suck.

Coconut Guy...Colly and I saw this dope, a fortysomething douche bag, first, but Matt and Party Dan had a healthy dose of him before the end of the weekend. And we all agreed that he was the most annoying human being alive. In fact, as I prayed last night, I asked for Coconut Guy to suffer a massive heart attack, or maybe to get run over by a Nissan (or whatever). Anyway...

Coconut Guy spent his days in front of some crappy shop, loudly begging pedestrians to come inside. He walked back and forth (probably twenty feet each way), getting in everybody's face, offering some sort of pamphlet about his place of employment. Oh yeah, he had slicked back thinning hair, and (of course) he reeked of coconut. I'd love to see Coconut Guy's job description: Spray yourself with coconut fragrance (any kind will do...no need to get the good stuff from Bath and Body Works), slick your thinning hair back so pedestrians can see your scalp, and generally just act like a stalker or child molester.

Seriously God, can you push Coconut guy off a cliff before the end of May? This was HTBTM #21.

Ginne...The plan was for the four of us to spend a portion of Friday afternoon at the pool (hence the Corona trunks). And since Vegas allows you to carry open containers everywhere, we took advantage of the rule by purchasing a case of Miller Genuine Draft (aka "MG-Danls" or "MG-Danl Dogs" or "MG-Danl Doggers," but that's a story I might explain later. Or maybe not.). Let me tell you, you might receive free drinks in casinos, but the gouging is pretty severe in the stores, because two 12 packs...of MG-Danls...ran us...THIRTY SEVEN F**KING DOLLARS!!! Anyway, as Colly and I lugged our beer through a food court in the MGM, I hear the beautiful sound of a drunken party girl. "Heeeeeeeey," said the twentyish black girl named Ginne (pronounced "Janay"). She had braided hair, a tight body tucked into a whorish white dress...and a busted grill (hey, two outta three ain't bad). Needless to say, I was in love. While she was hugging all over me, I managed to find out she was from California. While she was grabbing my narrow white ass, I managed to find out she had already sucked down three Captain/Cokes (before noon!) and was ready to start drinking O.E. While I was rubbing her curvy black posterior, I managed to get her phone number. I invited her to our pool, and-after her friend pulled her away-she made me promise to call her later. Long story short, I threw her a few texts and a phone call the next two days and she never responded. Oh well. This was HTBTM #22.

Note: Colly doesn't think I would've acted on my desire for gap-toothed Ginne, but I happen to know he's wrong. Look, we all have 'to do' lists, right? Some people want to go fly-fishing in Oregon before it's all over. And some people want to absorb a shotgun blast to the face. And some people want to sport a halo and dress up like David Pollack for Halloween (and I did!). And some people want to befriend midgets. And some people want to try drugs. And some people want to go to a Nickelback concert (just as dumb as the people who want to try drugs, as far as I'm concerned). And some people want to conquer Everest. Me? I want to conquer a young lady with a much MUCH darker complexion than me.

One more thing: Feel free to contact Ginne (and remember to pronounce her name "Janay") if you're around the California area in the next fifty years or so...951-965-0869. Go for it, kids!

As previously mentioned, the afternoon gameplan was swimming. The problem? It was f**king freezing; the high was 78 degrees. Before visiting the pool area, the four of us spent time in Matt and Colly's room, listening to music and-I can't remember why-spraying cans of MG-Danls in each other's face. Was it asinine, frat boy behavior? Obviously. But sometimes acting like that feels like the right thing to do. I blame the Tropicana for being such a piece of trash. This was HTBTM #23.

The "spilling" of MG-Danls continued outside, where-sadly-only four people were actually in the pool. Our spirits were buoyed, though, as we noticed several hot butts belonging to several tan 19 year olds (not as "tan" as Ginne, but still) hanging around outside off the pool. We decided to double the occupancy in the water with beers in hand (note: the lifeguard didn't enforce the NO DRINKING IN THE POOL rule until we gave him no other choice). Also, I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that any of us emptied pockets of urine into the Tropicana pool, but I do know this: Colly laughed really hard when a group of kids swam (swum?) directly in front of him underwater. Draw your own conclusions. This was HTBTM #24.

Note: the most depressing moment of my trip took place at the pool. Keeping things brief, I'll just tell you my 'A+ game' wasn't enough for a young woman. A young woman that looked lovely as she lie on a blue towel.

Predictably, talking to Blue Towel clouded my perception of time, and I was late arriving to Leroy's to place a bet on the Florida Marlins (my lock of the day). My rage for missing out on the Marlins wager (a winner, of course) was forgotten after Colly and I screamed "Sags" a couple hundred times in five minutes. And it turned into helluva time after more MG-Danls were sprayed everywhere inside of Leroy's. Staying true to form, Ron (the original Sags) wasn't bothered by our antics. This was HTBTM #25

Note: Remember when I told you the story about me and the "other guy" giving Ron s**t? Well, the MG-Danl scene was the reason.

Important story note: If you were wondering why I haven't mentioned gambling much, there's a reason...and it's not because I didn't spend 83% of my time awake either at the tables or with a pending sports wager. It's because gambling, the second greatest adrenaline rush imaginable, mostly provides boring stories. Except for occasionally plunking down $200 on one spin of the roulette wheel, it just seems boring to write about. I mean, you don't care about the countless $50 blackjack hands I played, right? I didn't think so.

Our Friday night...can only happen in Vegas.

Before grabbing a bite, the four of us stopped at a bar that served $18 blender drinks in an ultra gay, three-foot tall vase-shaped (or water bong-shaped) object. To counter the gayness, I ordered a peach drink in a yellow glass (container?). Booze drinks in hand, we headed to a food court for dinner. This was the first time I ate Panda Express, but not last. I would go on to eat it for breakfast Saturday and Sunday mornings, where Matt joined me each time.

Five minutes after sitting down with my Chow Mein-based cornucopia, I locked eyes with an exotic young lady, a super-sexy 5'2 firecracker. Drunken courage taking over, I invite her and her friend (another very nice looking gal) to join us. After giving Party Dan a "look at me, I'm a smooth mutha f**ka...I'm Double Down Trent" nudge, he quickly pissed on my parade: "They're hookers, idiot." Deflated but hopeful, I asked Party Dan if he was messing with me. "What do you think?" he replied, which was 100 times more damaging than being called an idiot. After taking in the situation for an extra second, I conceded that-unless my life has morphed into a Cinemax film--the girls had to be working girls. I am not a smooth mutha f**ka. I am not Double Down Trent. I gained my composure when I realized that a meal with whores still has endless opportunities.

The 5'2 firecracker, Camille, looked half black and half something else (maybe even white). It turned out she was half Korean-half Puerto Rican, although her accent sounded like that of an early 1800's southern belle. She was dumb, friendly and surprisingly, not very flirtatious. She would later reveal her tattoo (located on her stomach near her right hip): "F**k Love, Love to F**k." Camille enjoyed being a prostitute.

Stacy, the other girl, was a white girl from Arizona (or something). She had a pretty face with semi-big teeth. She looked like someone I would have hung out with in high school. Besides that, she epitomized the hooker stereotype. She was more than a little jaded, and claimed to being retiring after this weekend; none of us believed her. She was 21, married (although supposedly getting divorced), and one of the most insecure people I've ever met. She had a nervous giggle and ate like a horse. She was the walking definition of a "tragic figure." There isn't a chance that she has parents who love her.

I made casual conversation-mostly with Camille--for maybe ten minutes before I encouraged Colly to come sit in the open seat next to Stacy; he had been seated a good ten feet away, and unable to hear our conversation. I did so because I thought Colly would say weird s**t to the prostitutes, which would (a) confuse them and (b) make me laugh. What happened-honestly--blew my goddamn mind: Colly asked these girls every question one would ever want to ask a hooker. Except he didn't operate like a creep or sleazeball, he did so matter-of-factly and they didn't bother answering. He asked about cost (note: $200 for one of them to get in the room, and an extra $100 to consummate the relationship). He asked how long they'd been doing this (note: I can't remember their answers). He asked why they chose "having sex with fat guys" for a profession (note: Camille's tattoo told us everything we needed to know; I don't recall Stacy providing an answer, although our guesses probably would have been somewhat accurate). Colly went on to ask several more questions before we (of course) got their cell phone numbers. Whether Stacy and Camille would receive calls from us would probably be determined at a blackjack table.

Note: give Camille a call if you're in Vegas...602-789-5641...you're welcome.

We decided to spend the early portion of our night playing blackjack at the Excalibur. The topic of discussion on the walk over, predictably, was Camille and Stacy. But in a different tone than you might expect. Colly lead the conversation and routinely expressed how saddened and disturbed he was. Me? I didn't care; hookers have been around forever, and they'll be around long after we pass. But Colly...I mean, he's a heartless bastard. He's the kind of guy that laughs in your face if you sprain an ankle. I've known him for ten years and he's never once shown remorse. Ever. And now his mind is f**ked up over some prostitutes? Weird. This was HTBTM #26.

Excalibur is the best casino in Vegas for the poor man. It's a big place, so you're never cramped, and $10 blackjack tables are readily available. Plus-and this may be a coincidence-the two dealers we spent significant time with were infinitely more friendly than the assbags at the Tropicana. And since-to the best of my knowledge-the cost of staying at both hotels is relatively equal...just why in the hell would anyone stay at the same s**thole that we did? You know, other than f**king with Sags?

We sat down at an empty blackjack table and cranked up the smart-ass meter. Something about our dealer, a fiftyish lady named Kathy (or maybe Katherine), seemed inviting to our desire to screw around. This is probably because she laid down the gauntlet with this doozy: "You guys couldn't do a single thing that I haven't seen before." No sweeter words had ever been spoken to jerks like me, Matt and Colly. Unfortunately, Matt lost a wad of cash in a hurry and didn't get to partake in the good times. We ordered vodka/Red Bulls (even though we swore them off earlier that day), and much to our confusion they didn't have Red Bull. But they did have Sobe (remember Sobe?) So we drank vodka/Sobe for the next few hours, and they were delivered to us by a sixty year old waitress (seriously!). And they were terrible. This was HTBTM #27.

Note: Remember the TV ads for Sobe, starring the fat redheaded catcher from The Sandlot (aka Hamilton Porter)?

Note #2: I could be wrong but I believe Kathy told us cocktail waitressing in Vegas is unionized. Think about that for a second. Am I nuts or should Vegas have nothing but the hottest cocktail waitresses in the world? I mean, why should a senior citizen be allowed to push up her stuff and serve me drinks? Fix that, Vegas.

Anyway...me, Colly and our gauntlet-throwing dealer, Kathy...

You need to know something about me: yes I'm an a-hole, but I'm not a relentless prick. If this sounds like a pre-story apology, it is. But here me out. Colly and I gave Kathy a whole ton of s**t, just as we did to Sags, but both of them found us to be flat out entertaining, as do most of the people we mess with. It's pretty simple, really: we're given a green light and we push and push until a breaking point is near. And sure, sometimes we go too far but our track record is better than you might imagine.

Here are samples of our behavior at the table...

-Every winner, whether it be a dealer bust or a blackjack, resulted in uproar. By uproar, I mean "we just won the 7th game of the World Series" uproar. Remember, this place was fairly empty, so every outburst was amplified. This was HTBTM #28.

-Colly-only after a loss--asking Kathy the following questions: (1) "Has anyone ever flipped a table?"...followed by him standing up and acting like he was actually going to do it...and (2) "Do you think I can push a hole through the table?"...followed by pushing down on his chips-and holding it for an extra second-while they were in the betting circle. This was HTBTM #29. And #30.

Note: Colly's actions are a great example of 'having to be there.' I guess I'd just ask you to visualize the scene, and remember that it probably happened fifty times in a half hour.

Note #2: It would have been a much funnier act had Kathy not been as cool as she was. This is the kind of thing you actually want to do to an angry dealer, because there's no way they would have let him continue.


-Two of the funniest trends on this trip may not have started at the Excalibur, but they were certainly taken to new heights at Kathy's table...

Dynamite jokes.

After many losses--or sometimes as the dealer was checking to see if he/she had a blackjack-we would threaten to blow things up with dynamite. Here are some examples...

"If you turn over another face card I'm going to drive to my grandma's house and blow it up with several sticks of dynamite."

"If you didn't bust right there I was going to blow this place up with dynamite."

"Give me a goddamn blackjack before I strap myself with dynamite and end the misery."

The dynamite jokes were HTBTM #31

Also, there were Mom jokes. Many of them. Such as...

"Kathy, you remind me of my Mom...before the fire."

"You know, my overwhelming blackjack earnings would make me happy if my Mom hadn't died this morning in a fiery auto crash."

"Don't you just love Vegas? My Mom would have loved this place...had she not fallen into a stream of boiling lava."

The dynamite/Mom jokes stayed in heavy rotation through Sunday. Sometimes-naturally-we even combined the two...

"My Mom was going to come on this trip until she burnt to a crisp in a house that was ambushed by dynamite-lobbing teenagers."

The Mom jokes were HTBTM #32.

Thankfully, nobody took the dynamite jokes seriously, but the Mom jokes...most people didn't know how to take them. I suppose I'm responsible for this, considering that I usually sold it with the tone of a melancholy son.

Amidst the joking of dynamite and burning mothers, we actually gambled. Gambling! And at the Excalibur, we freaking won. At least I did. Matt-as previously stated-lost a bunch. Quickly. Party Dan...well, it just wasn't his week. That didn't keep him from giving his best effort, though (he was the winner of the first annual Vegas Participation Award!). And Colly...he may have won, he may have treaded water, but he definitely didn't get killed like Matt and Party Dan. Either way, after Kathy relocated to another table, he and I stood up from the blackjack tables; Party Dan continued to grind and Matt had wandered off. With $500 apiece in our pockets (and I started the night with $150!) we tried our hand at roulette.

That...was a poor decision.

I placed $25 on black and watched the ball spin around for a moment before realizing a very drunk Colly placed $100 on odd. And wouldn't you know it, that little f**ker landed on red…even. I only lost $25, so I wasn't deterred. Neither was he. In fact, he plunked down another $100 (this time on black), and encouraged me to wager the same amount. For purposes of solidarity, I also bet black. Stop me if you've heard this, but it landed on F**KING RED! That's okay...I'm still up $225, you know?. As for Colly, I don't give a s**t how much he's lost. So, we'll just scale back our bets or...we'll do the smart thing and simply walk away, right? Ha. I'm Brad Spieser, and I refuse to be bullied by a goddamn roulette wheel. Scared money don't make money, brother. Colly stayed with his customary bet of $100, while I inexplicably bumped my wager to $150. (Note: I have a tough time acting rationally when I'm losing cash. Just ask any of my ex-bookies). Again, we bet black. And once again, the little white ball stuck it in us, Teddy KGB-style. "F**k it" I said. "We gotta win, right?" Colly's arm didn't need to be twisted. I placed my remaining $225 on black, and Colly joined in the stupidity by placing $200 on the same. This time Matt was watching, and our friendly dealer (roulette spinner?), Giovanni, had a look on his face that was easy to interpret: "Are you guys sure you want to do this?" The pressure was rising. Just spin the freaking ball before I swallow my tongue, homey! This was my first legitimate "What the hell, it's Vegas" moment. And-finally-after what seemed like an hour—

Giovanni let her fly...

And it kept spinning...

It wouldn't f**king stop...

Holy S**t! It's slowing down...

Come on black...




Ladies and Gents, Brad Spieser is officially on suicide watch.

Take away the dynamite before he makes the nightly news.

That's right...Colly and I lost $1000 on four spins of the roulette wheel. We're talking five minutes. Tops. One thousand American dollars. A grand.

I've had better times.

For example...

The first time I rode the Vortex...that was a better time.

The first time I saw a Playboy...that was a better time.

The time I struck out of 11 of 12 batters in a wiffle ball tournament...that was a better time.

The time I punched my Grandpa for cheating at euchre...that was a better time.

The time I rescued the baby that was trapped in a well...that was a better time.

The time I ate dinner with Akeem Olajuwon and convinced him to change his name to Hakeem...that was a better time.

You get the idea--losing $100 a minute for five minutes should never be anybody's goal in life.

Fast forward an hour-and I honestly couldn't tell you what happened-we find ourselves in New York, New York. Using my best judgment, I took out $200 from the ATM. Showing the patience of a hungry wolverine, I placed all of it on black (are you sensing a theme here?), and Colly joined in for $100.

I'll buy you dinner if you can guess what happened next?

I'll give you a hint: it landed on red.

There was officially a ZERO percent chance of meeting up with Camille.

I'd lost $700 before I knew what hit me. I was like one of the 6'5 hairy-chested white dudes that entered a ring to face Mike Tyson in 1987, loaded with bravado and unafraid of this up-and-coming monster. And, like them, I was seeing stars 48 seconds into the first round. The Excalibur-New York, New York roulette debacle was HTBTM #33.

It would be fair to say I was legitimately miserable for the next half hour. All I did was roam around New York, New York while Party Dan played blackjack and Colly talked to three semi-attractive girls. As for Matt? He apparently never joined us at NY/NY, due to chest pains. I'll spare you the suspense: No Matt didn't die, and no, we never even thought about checking on him. So anyway...I was miserable at this goddamn place, and I hated myself for it. Try that on for size...I hated myself for hating myself. And then I remembered I was in Las Vegas, and I'd hate myself even more if I allowed my losses to take a mental toll on my vacation.

For the first (and what turned out to be the only) time, I took off by myself.

I'd love to tell you that I found myself in wild situations on the streets and in the casinos as I left Party Dan and Colly behind, but then I'd be a lying liar. I mean, yeah, I got offered coke outside the MGM, and was basically challenged to a fight by a squatty Latin fellow inside the same place, but I never once felt unsafe. That might not make sense if you've never been to Vegas, but if you have...you're nodding your head. Coke offerings and the squatty Latin fellow were HTBTM #34

Colly and Party Dan eventually met me at MGM. We were all hammered, and thus, we did some more standing around. We settled in at the bar, sipped buy-one-get-one MG-Danls and played video poker. But we were too drunk (and tired) to keep the night going, although that didn't stop us from giving it a shot. At the excessive urging of the other two morons, who thought I wasn't partying enough, I bought another round of beers (six MG-Danls) and a shot of Jag (Yeg?). The bartender must have had hearing problems, because he didn't serve us shots of Jag...he served us glasses of Jag. With fear of not meeting Westside standards, we drank those f**kers down, gulp by gulp. By gulp. Hands down, one of the dumbest decisions of my life. Colly and Party Dan agreed. I didn't have to ask them, either. That was a universal knockout blow. My head hit the bar and so did Colly's. Dan? He did a better job of hiding his pain, but I've closed down many a watering hole with that man, so he can't fool me.

Like Thursday, the rest of the night was a blur. Despite staying out for a few more hours, the majority of the details are escaping me. I remember loaning Party Dan $300 because he'd already reached his bank's one-day limit. I also remember embarrassing myself as I talked to a pack of honeys. But that's about it. Like I said, we were out for a few more hours, then again, I haven't been that bombed in a long time.

That was Friday.

I'll certainly write about Saturday and Sunday, but I think it would be wise if I significantly shortened the length. Thursady and Friday alone approached 8,500 words. And that's not fun for me. I am not a writer. I have no idea what I'm doing. Writing 8,500 words takes me forever. I have better things to do. Like napping. BUT...if the demands are great enough I will write the Saturday/Sunday blogs the way I did Thursday/Friday.

I hate myself.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)