Saturday, January 01, 2011

January 1st, 2011

“People get really drunk in Las Vegas,
They get wasted out of their mind;
People get really drunk in Las Vegas,
And that’s where I’ll be spending my time.”
Size 14

There was a lot of gambling and drinking last night. Immediately, the difference between my brother's luck and my own became apparent. Within the first five minutes, I had lost twenty dollars on the slots . . . and he won five hundred dollars. It was the first machine he played (a Wheel of Fortune slot machine that several of us played throughout the weekend, though never to the extent that he did at the very beginning). My brother-in-law won a couple hundred dollars too, but lost it in the end. My sister, cousin, cousin’s friend, and little sister all won various times.

My brother was the big winner, though, at pretty much every machine or table he went to, and at press time is up over eight hundred dollars. I think the highest I ever got was playing a virtual Texas Hold’em, where I won $160.00 before losing it all in the end. That was my favorite game of the trip, and the best time I had was when we each put twenty dollars into it and played for more than an hour (all of us were up over a hundred at one point), before finally going broke.

So, we went walking, sightseeing, out to eat twice (Chinese and Mexican), drinking, and gambling. Man, my brother is good at gambling, whether it’s slot machines, Blackjack, Roulette, or Texas Hold’em. I’d say the other, what, six of us all together didn’t win as much money as did my brother. And as far as losing money, we all lost more than he did too (myself included). But I’m so much bad luck at the tables (and slots, and craps and virtual Deal or No Deal) that I could play William H. Macy in THE COOLER 2. Sometimes I would just have to walk away or stop watching my sister or brother play and they would win, or they’d lose until I turned my attentions elsewhere.

I dislike the filthy air of Vegas casinos. There's always the reek of cigarettes and cigars, and back in the days where you won coins instead of paper vouchers, there was always a grey film on your hands (and arse) from playing the machines. I asked my sister (who dislikes smoking at least as much as I do) why they don't have a non-smoking gambling area, or a whole smoke-free casino. Sure enough, during our drive to the Treasure Island the next afternoon, we saw a billboard for a hotel that had a cigarette-less area.

All of us were sharing a room, and that was interesting, since it probably was intended for three, maybe four people. The rooms at the Sahara (or at least the one we were in) were kind of a wreck. But my sister figures that people come here for a cheap place to crash at the very end of the night when they’re done gambling/partying, and spend so little time awake in the room that it doesn’t matter to them.

My sister and her friends annoy the hell out of me when they’re drinking. But they annoy the hell out of me when they’re sober too. They’re just annoying. And loud.

I'm not really a drinker, so the idea that waitresses will bring you free drinks if you are sitting at a machine is pretty awesome to me. And in case you're as ignorant as me, you can order stuff like water and Pepsi too . . . and it's all free! Kind of like that band said, "The liquor's always free, as long as you pretend that you're gambling."

Unfortunately, my brother pointed out the down side to that, when he ordered a beer, and played while he waited for it. When the waitress finally came, almost a half hour later, he had lost over a hundred dollars on the machine. "Most expensive beer in history," he told me. Dang.

To my delight, along with many ways to gamble, the Sahara also had a karaoke room on the casino floor. This really handsome Patrick Swayze clone was the DJ, and tried to maintain a lot of fun for everybody in that section whether they were singing or not. There was a fat black guy first up in the rotation, and though his singing was pretty bad, he was just so bloody jolly that I never groaned when he got up again and again. Apparently, he is a regular, and shows up three or four nights a week, between nine and two, singing multiple songs despite his almost Miley Cyrusian inability to sing.

I got up and sang one song, and wanted to do it more, but it was New Year's Eve, and we were all planning on going outside to do the countdown and watch the fireworks. My cousin had told me that people tend to just go crazy on the Strip for New Years, throwing themselves at whoever is nearby, and debauching with the best of them. She told me that her friend (and attractive female friend) went the year before and vowed to make out with ten guys before the night was through. And apparently, she doubled that.*

That appealed to me, and I was hoping we'd go outside at 10:30 or 11:00 or so, and get in on the fun. Unfortunately, the three girls (my sister not so much) took over ninety minutes to get ready for the night (despite having been dressed and gambling with us throughout the afternoon), and by the time we finally went downstairs to ring in the new year, it was half-past eleven.

The Sahara waitresses were handing out noisemakers and partyhats, and all of us got one. They may look silly, and in this photo I look stupid, but I was a little disappointed when everybody in our group got a hat but me, and was relieved when another waitress came along and gave me one.

I was itching for everyone to go outside, since there were gonna be fireworks and the aforementioned debauchery. But (and I'm sure I mentioned this yesterday), it was insanely cold in Vegas that night, at around thirty-four degrees, and nobody particularly wanted to go for a mile-long hike in it.

The crowd outside was really sparse compared to my brother-in-law's description of the last time he was there, fully to blame on the cold, but there were still thousands of people heading South down Las Vegas Boulevard, which had been shut down to traffic for the night. People were tooting their horns, laughing, and drinking, but I saw no making out, let alone participated in it.

We had only been outside for ten minutes or so before the fireworks started, and I was bummed out that the huge crowd wasn't even counting down to midnight. Guess we were just too late. Several of the big casinos had fireworks going off at the same time, and though I tried to take a couple pictures of it, they didn't much come out.

Maybe I spoke too soon. That one of the Stratosphere looks pretty good.

Because it was so chilly, the crowd started to disperse as soon as the fireworks stopped, and we trudged back to the Sahara. I guess I expected something more along the lines of the Santa Monica Boulevard Halloween parade I went to several times in L.A.. Only with less exposed scrotum.

Ah well.

Some of the others were disappointed too, and suggested we do a countdown of our own the next night at midnight. That seemed fine with me, and we continued the festivities inside the casino, pretty much doing what we were doing before the hoopla.

Rish "Mister Anti-climax" Outfield

*Jeez, just imagine what it must like to be attractive. Seriously. I cannot fathom an experience like that, as I can't muster up an orgy in even my sexual fantasies.

1 comment:

Big Anklevich said...

It's better to have an Anti-Climax than to never climax at all.

At least, that's what she said.