A fitting decoration for a Sin City casino..The piper is calling you to ....to blackjack and complimentary show tickets and showgirls named Bell etc etc ..Photo RMH III

A fitting decoration for a Sin City casino..The piper is calling you to ….to blackjack and complimentary show tickets and showgirls named Bell etc etc ..Photo RMH III

Telling stories and assorted mayhem in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper

Old guys, and by old I mean anyone who remembers disco and ever owned a leisure suit, tend to tell a lot of stories.
I once had a homeless tell me a long story of woe about how he ended up asking for hand outs on the street and then ask me if he had gotten it right..
Southern men and redheads and former small town reporters especially tend to tell a lot of stories and some of them are even true.
As you may guess southern (well it is mostly gray and brown now but hey) red heads who used to work at a small town newspaper tend to tell a lot of stories..
“I saw a fish with two heads and boobs ..I am telling you it was nine feet long,” A bear chased me up a tree and ate me and I fought my way out of its stomach and still made it home it time for the Cowboys kick off..you get the idea.. When I was 9-years-old me and a friend of mine once convinced the neighborhood girls that lettuce makes you pregnant.
“My sister still will not eat vegetables.”

We call it telling tall tales. No one is expected to believe these tales. They are told just for the glory, the mania of telling a good story.. . Tale telling is just the opposite from the form of story telling I practiced as a reporter. In the news facts are everything and the object is to tell the facts in an interesting dramatic manner. In tale telling facts are cool but sometimes only a distraction from the important duty of telling a good story.
One residentially challenged Sin City Sinner explained to me how he was actually wasn’t sleeping in his chair he was there to enjoy a little poker action and play pool in the week end tournament. The casino in question did not have poker room and had not for years. The pool tournament was months away.
Another Sin City patron I happened upon in my meanderings launched into a long story of why and how he had ended up standing all but naked on a Las Vegas street corner (not that I cared or wanted to know) .. . .he muttered on about something about losing his clothes in a poker game with aliens or politicians and being drugged by ET in the process.

He slurred his words occasionally making sense,  he explained why he was standing on a street corner in torn gym shorts and occasionally looking down the bottle in his hand as if not sure how it had gotten there.
He stopped suddenly as if remembering he was repeating himself and for several seconds looked like he was concentrating on a new story to tell before shrugging his shoulder and clearly giving up the bother of thinking and raising the lip of the bottle to his mouth. It was empty and he raised his arm as if to throw it on the sidewalk. Perhaps noticing the police officer just down the block approaching him in a patrol car he thought better of that idea and simply sat down on the sidewalk..

So I have to ask you what do you do when you are suddenly struck by storytellers mania in the middle of your tale and you realize you are repeating yourself .You have told this story before.You realize it before the people who are listening and still cannot stop yourself .
I actually did once chase a possum from under our house when we briefly lived in the country in those long ago hazy days of my late teens. I really did heft a brick at the thing to prevent it from biting my dog and it really did just blink and hiss at me.


Stories like that are good for one maybe two tellings and then you really need to move on.

As you may have guessed I started to tell this same story perhaps for the third or fourth time.and realized almost as soon as I had said the word possum but I could not stop myself man ..I could not stop.. Just like the coworker could stop himself from making the same joke about “a cement pond” and critters referring to the fact I am the only southerner on my shift..like the drunk who just could not come up with a good story for his condition people in this city _ the City of Sin _ sometimes get so caught up in the Sin City story telling that is part of the culture here they just cannot stop themselves.

Life goes on in the City of Sin _ a “working girl” hands out business cards to potential customers, a man found sleeping face down in a bathroom stall gets angry when he is told not to sleep face down in his own piss, some people spend fortunes others beg for gas money while the shopping carts full of his worldly possessions is parked on the Italian marble inside a Sin City casino and on and on and on..

Life in the City of Sin my friend
Take Care Sinners

PS I actually did see a fish with two heads once but it was in an aquarium and it was six inches long not nine feet and I hadn’t slept in two days..

I know most people are riveted to the news of bombing in Syria ..I wrote this two days before it started so I am going to just publish it and go back to watching the news..

Just walking along singing a song ….RMH

Two people functioning as a single social and romantic unit are a couple. The need to be part of this modern archetype is a hallmark of civilized _ one of its greatest strengths and most profound vulnerabilities.. When it fails when there is a break up it is the definition of existential pain. When it works .it is a truly uplifting life affirming experience

The tale of two couples

by Royal Hopper 

What the ???? RMH

Two men stand face to face on a small elevated walkway above a Sin City swimming pool at one of the city’s many Gambling Houses.
It is the middle of what passes for a peaceful night in the City of Sin and the two men are literally buckle to buckle backs straight and shoulders arched heads lowered grimacing with emotion and manly pride. They stand like two pit bulls growling at each other in the I am a man and I am going to smack you across the room posture men often take before attempting to smack each other across the room. It is clear to an experienced eye they have been drinking.
It is the middle of the night and for all appearances and the two men are arguing and clearly upset with each other.
A security guard mindful of his duty to keep the peace in the casino he works at approaches from a safe distance carefully putting the railing that separates the elevated walkway from the pool between him and the men as cover and maintaining the two second reaction gap he will need to defend himself if the men turn on him.

It is a routine call and the men would have to either leap the four foot tall fence and manage a seven foot drop or run 20 yards down a ramp and around the corner to get to the guard so he feels confident as he walks up to the men. He stops in front and to the side of the two men squaring off ask in that time honored casino security guard manner.
“Is everything all right gentlemen,” at once feeling both bold and a little silly.
“I am tired of your crap,” says one of the men and for a moment as the tow men look like they might attack each other the guard an old Sin City veteran regrets not calling for back up before approaching the quarreling gentleman.


“Fellas is there something going on here. Is everything all right. Can I help you with something?” the guard asks repeating the time honored security guard questions. Asking if you can help someone is a good non accusatory way of finding out what is going on without provoking a reaction from a customer.

There is no hesitation. One of the men, the larger of the two at more than six feet tall turns to the guard and says with tears in his eyes.
“The problem is he doesn’t care about me and never has,” he says.

The two men are a clearly couple. Thirty years ago that realization would have left this security guard flabbergasted, wide eyed and open mouthed with confused shock but after so many years in the City of Sin he simply asks the men to keep the peace and walks away without cracking smile. The couple continues to argue at a lower volume and eventually walks away to their domestic ire exhausted having not thrown a single blow or cursed at each other even once.

Earlier that same night, a mismatched couple, a woman barely five foot tall swings her heavy purse with all her might hitting her lover a hefty guy with a shaved head with it several times until police are called by security at a nearby casino.
A romantic triangle of three women resolves itself also without a single blow or curse one woman retiring to the emotional safety of her hotel room and the other two walking off hand in hand and arm in arm.. An older couple together for 30 years both rattle on likely saying the same thing to each other they have said for 30 years and both pretending to listen to the other as the ramble and vent and a man assist his drunken wife to their hotel room perhaps returning the favor she has so often bestowed on him.

Such is life in the City of Sin..
Take Care fellow Sinners

Rock on

Question: What do you say to someone who is so obnoxiously drunk his own best friend wants to knock him across the room ? ..stayed tuned

Even in Las Vegas people get bored _ Photo by Royal Hopper

A Half a bottle and the week in question

By Royal Hopper

“Oh look a car almost hit me ..Is that a half empty bottle of Budweiser I see,” White T-shirt homeland guy seemed to say as he stood unconcerned standing in the middle of an intersection during rush hour shift traffic on a street in a city where 40 percent of drivers are drunk or stoned at any given time.

On the way to work last week I saw this man who we shall call Crazy Homeless White T-shirt guy standing in the middle of the road, his pristine white T shirt in stark contrast to greasy hair and Jack Daniels tan. His six foot tall 120 pound frame stood as straight as an arrow cars zooming back and fourth around him around like angry two ton hornets.

Open Bar in Vegas really ???? Yes this is the City of Sin _ Photo by Royal

Just down the road another man dressed in the shorts and team jersey popular with the mainstream these days decided to simply sit down where he was. He sat by a newspaper rack unmoved by the throng of late night Sin City sight seers who “thronged” around him as he sat on the section of Sin City sidewalk he had claimed either to tired or to drunk to care people were watching him.

Even further an ordinary looking 50 something stood on the corner of a Sin City median showing off his middle-aged physique for all four of he observers standing on the corner nearby by and several early morning commuters who were to tired to comment or care.
“Look at me I am a middle-aged stud,” the shirtless posing middle -aged guy who we shall call shirtless middle-aged posing guy seemed to say _ “and it only took four cases of beer a day to look like this.”

Driving down the streets of any city in this country is like walking through a art gallery. If you don’t look closely at the canvas you are driving through it all blurs together like a really bad photo of a kids birthday party. If you really look around while you are driving

Cities are the same way. The individual pieces are easy to ignore. If you don’t look all you see is blotches of paint of paint on antique canvas, under paid security guards in uncomfortable uniforms and a sea of anonymous faces just as confused as you are.. But of you pay attention you will see all the mini melodrama going on right underneath your nose.

This is also Las Vegas _ Photo by Royal Hopper

What do you do when someone is so obnoxiously drunk his own best friend wants to punch him in the face ? I don’t man .I am still trying to figure that one out.
Jogger report:
This week is the official beginning of the scantily clad good looking jogger showing off their assets to onlookers part of the season. I am not sure how you manage to jog half a block with your bare bottom hanging out for all to see but hey such is life in the City of Sin..

Take Care Sinners

Rock on


Keeping order in the City of Sin _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Question a very nice older couple from Denmark comes to Las Vegas for a week what do they do ?

Stay tuned for the answer.

Zigging and zagging in the City of Sin

This regular Strip commuter rides his unusual  device down the Strip ;ate last week

This regular Strip commuter rides his unusual device down the Strip ;ate last week

By Royal Hopper

Sometimes working every day in a casino full of drunks, gamblers and assorted bad actors and hordes of talented people who spent years zigging when they should zagged seeing things like seven foot tall transvestite hookers, androgynous couples making out by the side of an empty swimming pool and middle aged men dressed like fashion impaired super heroes becomes so common that it fades from your mind almost as it occurs..

Like the man who fell off his bar stool.

“I’m good was all the intoxicated man sitting at the bar would say.”

What is your name Sir ? Answer: “I’m good.”

“Where are you staying?” Answer: “I’m good.”

“Why did you fall off your stool?” Answer: I’m good

“Do you know where you are???” Answer: I’m good

The abovementioned super hero fan strode through a local casino hauling his luggage dressed head to toe in pale blue green tights including head dress pale blue green boots and gloves and an orange mask hanging from his neck.

Larrypsychic ereadings

This week I also talked to a musician named Larry (lets leave it at that Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and all that). Larry, now in his mid 60s explains back in the day he had a shot at fame and fortune. He was offered a cent and a half for every record sold that he played on by a studio executive an unheard of price for studio musicians in those days. Driven by bad advice he insisted on 25 cents a record and the executive stated they more than 500 guys like him on retainer walked out..

“It is probably a good thing I didn’t get rich and famous. You have no privacy,” Larry explains that he works for a living between gigs sometimes 12 hours a day and it is these wages that financed his trip to the City of Sin.
As he waits poolside for the Vegas hotel he has booked a room in to have a room available Larry explains he has played every end of the musical spectrum form country to rock. For awhile he was oldest white rapper in his musical community Larry says breaking into the rap that earned him the label Papa Rap.

Vegas is a City full of talented smart people who somehow zigged when they should have zagged. Larry can make a list of great gigs he has played and now famous musicians he has jammed with.

Former Guns and Roses “axman” Slash played on a band Larry was a member of he says. His band once went up against BB King for a gig and sold out many of the small arenas in southern California,

Those kinds of wrong turns is probably something the man who wandered around a casino stone drunk barely able to speak telling anyone who would listen he was missing $30,000 and was staying Jan Hammer who is incidentally the Czech composer who wrote the theme song for the original Miami Vice.

old guy in haiwaiin shirt taking a pic
The couple who only stopped in Vegas to rest for a couple of days and to give their RV a rest ended up selling personal possessions for gas money can also relate to.

Now as to what a nice respectable older couple from Denmark does???

Do they Listen to music?, take pictures of the Belagio fountain and other tourist sights?. Do they take in a few shows graze the urban landscape of cafes and restaurants ? Do they prowl the showrooms of Sin City looking for autographs of the lounge acts that populate the city.

No silly they spend all night drinking and gambling get drunk off their ass and finally get so drunk they need help getting back to their room to sleep their all nighter off.

This is after all the City of Sin.
Take Care Sinners
Rock on

Jogger Report
Jogging season has once again reared ugly well manicured head as day time temperatures finally drop below 100 degrees in the City of Sin..

Jogging season is a big event in this City. It is the precise moment in time when people suddenly assume everyone actually wants to see them trotting down the boulevard in their name brand running shorts and the temperatures dip low enough so they don’t pass out in the desert sun doing so. _ Jogging season.. Jogging season started with a bang this year in the City of Sin.

Well no actually it didn’t. It started with a man my age wearing $2,000 or so of Gucci jogging outfit actually stopping from time to time to allow people to take pictures of him. A meticulous hair cut and shoes that he wears once a week. The really hot female joggers show up much later in the season.

“Look at me you peasant I am a jogger,” this well dressed pedestrians seem to project as they pound the pavement down the man street of the country’s preeminent tourist town pretending they don’t want to be bothered.

Maybe they are afraid of being mugged for their $800 pink running shoes or Gucci running accessories who knows.

Chick sitting _ all Photos by Royal Hopper

Chick sitting _ all Photos by Royal Hopper

good city scape

Cityscape By Royal Hopper

A long night _ Photo by Royal Hopper

A long night woohoo_ Photo by Royal Hopper

The call of the drunken Speckled Belly Woohoo

By Royal M Hopper III

Sometimes while you are sitting quietly near a swimming pool in the City of Sin you will hear a quiet tentative wwooohoooo echoing across the still desert air from one of the most common of Sin City critters.

Looking across the glittering neon confines of the local casino or hotel pool or tourist trap I mean attraction you see the source of this plaintive woohoo. Badly dressed and ardently clutching the remains of its favorite, prey the novelty drink cup shaped like a guitar, dog or cartoon character full of an alcoholic beverage.

an even rougher night woohoo _ Photo by Royal

an even rougher night woohoo _ Photo by Royal

These exotic creatures are called many things by residents of the City of Sin including exotic names drunken aholes who help me pay the mortgage, but many simply refer to them by their proper name _ the Drunken Speckled Belly Nerd and their cousins the Drunken Speckled Belly yahoo and rarer but no less obvious speckled Belly Deuce or simply the Woohoos after their plaintive alcohol induced mating calls.

These critters are from many out of the way locales flocking to Sin City from exotic places like Cleveland, Canada and South Dakota. They gather at select habitats where cheap liquor is sold. Quiet at first the shy Drunken Speckled Belly creatures beginning by letting out a tentative “woohoo” and waving their favorite brown glass and clear plastic beverage containers around in the air.

It is quiet at first but soon, perhaps encouraged by the presence of other Speckled Belly Drunken woohoos or the haunting melodies on the overhead PA.a chorus of slurred woohoos begins to erupt from the scattered crowd of ordinary tourists.

Soon other soft faint woohoo’s join the chorus of Budweiser inspired cat calls and soon the entire pool or sidewalk is boohooing and shaking their brown bottles and plastic cups in the air like the wild animals they are and those that can stand attempt to dance and warble through the words of the song currently playing.

Rough life ...woohoo ? _ Photo by Royal

Rough life …woohoo ? _ Photo by Royal

“Woohoo,” says one Speckled Belly yahoo dressed in overalls but wearing no shirt. “Woohoo,” answered another wearing tuxedo pants cut off at the knees.Woohoooo called a third .. .. .. Who wore a black leather bikini top with his purple Power Ball T-shirt and gray pajama bottoms.. . . Soon there is a chorus of woohoos echoing across the smoke and alcohol laden desert air..

Suddenly perhaps realizing they are in Vegas stone drunk and broke the woohoos trail off into the desert night and the Speckled Belly Woohoos return to the quiet confines of the nearest casino to spend what money they have left.. . .

Such is life in the City of Sin
Woohoo Sinners
Rock on

Just because it cool ....woohoo _ Royal

Just because it cool ….woohoo _ Royal

The Perfect Vegas Strip Mall..Liquor World

The Perfect Vegas Strip Mall..Liquor World

Drinking In Your Under Wear

By Royal Hopper

People stopped to look at the man quietly sitting on the parched, sun baked bricks of a Las Vegas Landmark sipping on a cold brewed ale. Perhaps they stopped to listen to the jaunty tune he was reportedly humming to himself. Lets call this man Mickie the drunk mellow naked guy. 

Perhaps they were stopping to listen to the tales of woe and adventure Mickie was relating to no one in particular or perhaps they were watching as the desert breeze gently wafted through his unkempt hair.. .. ..
Or perhaps and more likely they were caught off guard by the sight of a man quietly sitting on a planter on Las Vegas Boulevard with a brew in his hand wearing nothing but his tightie whities.. Yes this denizen of the neon jungle was drinking beer n his underwear six feet from the busiest street in Las Vegas.NV.

There is an old saying in Vegas that goes something like anything that is worth doing is better done in your underwear._ ( okay I made it up sue me )

Bearded dude on a bike

Bearded dude on a bike

I am sure that is what another man,  lets call him Speedy the naked running guy, running down Las Vegas Boulevard in a set of dark blue skivies he was thinking as he ran with all the barefoot might he could muster about 100 feet ahead of his girlfriend who was much more modestly clad in a short skirted pajamas.

Speedy and his clothing optional cohorts jetted down the boulevard on some time sensitive mission weaving in and out of the throngs of tourists pausing occasionally to tuck in a stray body part that had flopped out of its resting place.
They dashed down the sidewalk like extras in some kind of romantic comedy run of shame back from a recent rendezvous.

The City of Sin in the morning _ Photo by Royal

The City of Sin in the morning _ Photo by Royal

The pair then continued to run up the escalator near Planet Hollywood with the guy, the younger more athletic of the two who was also less weighed down by clothing bounding up the escalator his bare feet apparently immune to the sun heated pavement and metal.

“Wait, wait,” the woman seemed to say, “we’re married you don’t have to run.” The man kept on running his long legged skivies flapping in the wind. As he ran up the escalator like a gazelle who had drunk a fifth of JD and followed it with a whole quart of Red Bull and a mouth full of prescription medication.
Maybe they just liked running half dressed down a busy Las Vegas street in the middle of the day. Who knows?

Later in the week another tattooed genius (lets call him tattooed genius guy or TGG) strode down the middle of a Sin City roadway wearing nothing but swim trunks and his late period Elvis Homage body art with a bag full of bottles of water. Strangely enough no one was buying water from the almost naked guy with the Elvis portrait on his chest At lest I think it was Elvis. At least I think it was Elvis.
It could have been Mickie Mouse or Brett Favre ..but I think it was Elvis.

Perhaps feeling that it was too hot even for swim gear _ TGG ripped the swim trunks off and continued his trek down the medians and crosswalks of the City of Sin wearing just his underwear and his tattoos. 

mom and kids

Lastly as the week was ending I saw the underwear phenomenon arrive on intoxicated fashion deprived wings to my own little Sin City suburban subdivision. One night unable to sleep because of a combination of night shift circadian issues and reoccurring insomnia I took one of our family pets for a late night walk. As I turned the corner around on of the gated communities many theme named streets I spotted a man wearing only long legged underpants and a pair flip flops the shoes made popular in the 70s by beach combing stoners and old people.

He wasn’t walking his dog or running a quick errand sans clothing he was just out for a walk in our cozy little gated family friendly complex in the relative cool of the desert night and decoded putting on a pair of pants was just to much of a hassle..

“Who the hell needs clothes anyway.”

For whatever reason people who come to this town seemed determined to take their clothes off in impropriate moments..

Why you got me .

That’s life in the City of Sin

Rock on Sinners

Take care

The Road to Eureka

By Royal Hopper

My wife and I took a long overdue vacation into northern California last week. In my mind I began comparing northern Cali tourists towns like Eureka and my home in the City of Sin. Stay tuned for my conclusion.

Giant statues of American mythological figures Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox stand near a cafe frequented by visitors to northern California tourists stops _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Giant statues of American mythological figures Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox stand near a cafe frequented by visitors to northern California tourists stops _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Leaving the City of Sin neon jungle behind for a few days we drove past the drunk guy standing by the side of the road in his skivies and leather jacket waving us impatiently onto the on ramp as he pointed to the sky and then to his watch and jumped on the Interstate headed to Eurka, California. We traveled north along the coast through Yosemite toward the Redwood National Forest and toward Eureka.
There few trees in the City of Sin and quaint and tranquil is not an adjective often used to described Las Vegas. Eureka is a quiet tourist town a short drive from the Redwood forest in the northern part of California.

The Riv

The Riv

Lets Compare Eureka and Sin City

As you travel the City of Sin down the infamous tourists corridor known as the “Strip” you might notice several men dressed like Elvis..

A beach lighthouse in the fog at a Northern California beach _ Photo by Royal Hopper

A beach lighthouse in the fog at a Northern California beach _ Photo by Royal Hopper

As you enter the great state of California through the back roads and stop for gas as you prepare to enter the land of nuts and flakes you might notice a man at the gas station who dresses much a younger Elvis with a pony tail tied with a braided leather cord and a John Bonham mustache.
You might say .”Great costume,” to which he may reply ..”Thanks .I mean what ?????,” because apparently this Elvis dresses like that all the time while he is at work, at the gas station. Does Vegas indeed have a lot in common with the forest of California ????

In the tourist traps in and near the Forests of California toward Eureka you can eat a hamburger near a giant statue of Babe the Blue Ox or buy gas by a giant wooden carving of Big Foot or eat a hotdog by what owners of the establishment swear is the largest and oldest tree in the state, Grandfather Tree.

You can buy gas under the watchful gaze of Big Foot at this gas station in northern California _ Royal Hopper

You can buy gas under the watchful gaze of Big Foot at this gas station in northern California _ Royal Hopper

In the City of Sin on the other hand you can get married at the Church of Elvis, you can pose for pictures with Big Bird and Little Orphan Annie and the Transformers and listen to street musicians who play impromptu disco versions of Green Day songs while occasionally checking their black felt hat for donations and you can watch women ( or men if that is your taste) dance half naked and tell well worn hand tooled jokes.
cityscape traffic 2
As you travel up the coast toward the mountainous beauty of Yosemite National Park and then up the coast toward the ancient Redwood forest on the northern Cali coast you can stop at the Church of Religious Science to get married which also has several outlets in Las Vegas according to Google.

In Vegas you can get married with $100 in your pocket and an hour to spare. If you a few more bucks in your pocket you can make the temporary acquaintance of a sidewalk Princess and all you have to do is hide your valuables avoid the spiked grape juice.

Driving down the highway going toward Eureka you spy things like Hooker Avenue and the exit for Weed, California. ( You have to wonder what the week ends are like in that town) and Liberal Street.

In Vegas people with signs are everywhere. Signs telling you how their families were kidnapped by ninjas and they need money to take Karate Lessons are normal parts of the Vegas experience.

the beach _ photo by Royal Hopper

the beach _ photo by Royal Hopper

In Eureka the horde of sign holding homeless seem to consist of the same six guys who cluster together on the dock near the beach smoking weed and one older woman holding a hand written sign asking for leftovers and actually taking them when offered.
As you drive down the highway passed the turn off for Hooker Avenue and the town of Weed and stop for gas by the Church of Religious and the Science you think to yourself the tourists towns of California and Las Vegas are a lot alike. ,..
Hopper avenue exit
No don’t be a moron of course they are not alike Eureka is much smaller ..

That is life in Eureka .I mean in the City of Sin

Take Care Sinners

Rock On