This sidewalk meeting took place last month when the cold was beginning to abate _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Something happens in Las Vegas when it rains. When the wind driven drops of water bounce off the oily sad covered sidewalks and months worth of dirt, car exhaust, dried beer, spit vomit and other and bodily fluids  rise from the pavement and pools begin to collect on the streets as the overworked drainage pipes struggle to keep the City of Sin dry something happens…

Rainy Day in Vegas or where are your parents

By Royal Hopper
Everybody goes inside. Even in Sin City we have the sense to come in out of the rain.

A local order keeper spies two young teen aged men wandering in and out of several banks of slot machines with cash in their hands drooling at the banks of one armed bandits like coyotes staring at rows of young rabbits. When confronted by the order keeper as to why they were wandering through banks of slot machines with money in their hands they had a perfectly logical answer.


Bus stop in the rain –RMH

They were wandering through banks of slot machines with money in their hands looking for vending machines, for a coke and some chips.
“Points for originality boys and by the way where are your parents?”
After all these years I am still not sure why on earth you would bring children into a Sin City casino. When you watch them staring wide eyed at the brightly flashing cut scenes of the newest video technology slot machines sitting in the lap of their paents who are usually sipping martinis or beer as their kids become the next generation of addicted gamblers and see the fake disgust on their face as you tell them they are violating the law you realize something.

The problem is the parents. Adults gamble drink and then go home go back to work. When you get hooked as a child the fever is in your blood . You see it In 1989 in 1999 in 2009 and you saw it last week. Most of them get caught and told to leave the casino but the damage is already done.
Years ago while I was working TI hotel/casino  I saw a child no more than ten years old sitting in his father’s lap shoveling quarters into a slot machine and sipping on a drink.

When confronted by the illegality of his act the man replied with consummate conceit. “It’s okay he is with me.” and got very angry when he was told that the law says differently.


The sign jungle in Las Vegas _ Royal Hopper



So what do we do about situations like this abolish gambling?  Of course not ..people are going to gamble and drink regardless usually in more dangerous places if. If there is no Vegas there will be hundreds of back room games full of dangerous people and cheaters and killers amd badly dressed conmen like the old west or  modern political campaign.
Parents keep track of your kids and dont let them gamble or drink. Its not that complicated.
The City of Sin is not a terribly sympathetic place especially not for those who are considered players. The feeling is if sit down at the table you take the same risk as the other players. There is no special treatment win or you lose. It is the price of being a player.
If you are not prepared to have your children become players then stop sitting them in your lap and teaching them how to do it.

Its a yard

Yes in rained in the desert last week  Cars slip and slide all over the road spraying water to and fro and they ungracefully plow through small makeshift ponds put in the road by mother nature’s wet fury. Tourists from Idaho yawn and wonder why they left home,  locals looked up at the sky in puzzlement and remembered they had  forgotten how to drive in the rain and people still let their kids run wild in the City of Sin…..

That is life in the City of Sin
Take Care sinners


Happy Valentines Day and Happy Mardi Gras fellow Sinners

When you hear about a man talking to himself at the top of a flight of stairs out of sight from the normal business in a casino reportedly trying to get someone to meet him you tend to think the worst. Sometimes you are wrong ..not often but sometimes..

Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day in the City of Sin

by Royal Hopper

A local order keeper (security officer) called to investigate confronted the man as was his duty  discovered the man was not only not up to no good he was up to very good. It seemed at first he was indeed up to no good way as he talked intently on his blue tooth telling a lady and her escorts to meet her at the top of the secreted stairs and would not tell her why.


When you live in a City where you have a paramedic crossing at a busy intersection very little surprises you _ Royal Hopper

Now this sounds ominous on its face and experienced Las Vegas order keepers might be forgiven for thinking the worst in this situation. It turns out he had been drawn into the plan by the sincere pleadings of the man.
The lady’s escorts were in fact on the plan and led the unknowing young lady with the aid of the order keeper sent to check on the situation. As they reached to the top of the stairs the lady’s eyes widened as her escorts spread out in a semi circle waiting for the coming surprise.
She looked up and the puzzlement on her face turned into surprise as she saw …….Her significant other on one knee with a ring in his hand. There on the balcony of a nearly 50-year old theater in a casino that was built when their parents were children and with the sounds of slot machines and black pit bosses and music from a canned music on the PA system echoing in the background…..He Proposed. He proclaimed his love and that is was permanent and asked her to marry him on the balcony of a theater in a Las Vegas casino where Elvis played 837 sold out shows in the days of disco, polyester and leisure suits .

He told her she was the only one for him and with her eyes beaming with adult joy she said yes. The plans were for a Valentines Day celebration of love as fiances.
That is Romantic Dude….punk couple walking.JPG
Mardi Gras and Valentines Day are at opposite ends of the Romance spectrum one is truly and un-apologetically decadent and the other is dedicated to Romantic Love and aspires to be something better than it is …. Then as you walk back down into the casino you see an older man making his way across the floor of a Sin City Icon aided by his walker and eyeglasses as thick as your fingers.
“Phil (not his real name) where the hell are you going ? snaps a shrill female voice as Phil stops and rolls his eyes as he turns his head with considerable effort takes a deep breath and starts to turn his walker in the direction of the voice.
Aint love grand even after many many many years …

As for Mardi Gras the City barely even noticed. In the City of Sin there is no stolid morality to rebel against ..There are always strangers in costumes women willing to raise their tops for cash and beads  and free flowing alcohol  24/7. Its Vegas man Mardi Gras is every day of every week every year. Just ask the man who was hauled in ambulance with a smile on his face uncertain of how he had arrived in the City of Sin..


Las Vegas Baby – Royal Hopper


Happy Valentines Day and Mardi Gras from the City of Sin

Love You Sinners






Valentines Day in the City of Sin

February is a month filled with glow in the City of Sin
As Mardis Gras and Valentines Day occur end to end to end
One is for Sinners Le Bon Temps Roulet
The other for making someone special say Yay
After Ash Wednesday its okay to Sin and confess
Valentines we hope makes the sepcial one say yes
The Pros on both days still hop to get paid
On Valentines and Mardi Gras men young and old hope to get laid
One special lady told a rube two for one
She slipped him a mickey and took his wallet for fun

The Lights and the drama occur again and again and again
Mardi Gras and Valentines are just other days in the City of Sin



A man and his possessions Photo by Royal Hopper

As you drive down Russell Road in your daily commute to pay the mortgage you see a man sitting on the sidewalk with a football team T shirt sprawled there waiting for nothing. Every week he is there and every week he has a different team’s shirt on and that week that team won. Last week the day of the Super Bowl he wore the shirt of the New England Patriots. Apparently the reason we have to put up with the Patriots for another year is the lucky bum and his lucky t shirt.
Tempers flared during the Super Bowl weekend. Drunken football fans hit each other. One couple presumably with a laundry list of preexisting problem abused each other after an argument, preumably over football. Racial slurs were issued by angry and drunk footbal fans , although I dont have the slightest idea what that has to do with football. \par
Now lets talk about the title the City of Sin.


A tourist in Oatman, Arizona proves some things don’t change

The day after the game the City of Sin was back to its normal not giving a crap self. There were sign holders, and Hos, tourists and showmen selling their wares.
Many Cities lay claim to the mantle of the City of Sin. I have been told the New Orlens and New York have laid claim to the mantle of City of Sin. There is sin and decadence everwhere. There was sin in the sleepy little burg I was a police beat reporter in There is likely decademce and Sin in your city.


There are signs everywhere in the City of Sin – Photo by Royal Hopper

However lets be clear there is only one City of Sin ….only one city worthy of wearing that mantle out loud. The City of Elvis of Bugsy Segal, the place where old acts go to die, the place where good looking girls pretend to like fat old men so they can steal their wallets…the city of fakers and fake things…… Las Vegas Nevada …
There is decadence and sin everywhere //the City of Sin is just more honest about it and sometimes proud of it.
It is here where people go to watch fake valconos, fountain shows in fake lagoons set to show tunes and pretend to be 22 if only for a few days.
That is life in the City of Sin
Love you Sinners

I was in the middle of writing this weeks blog when my computer had a mini crash and the document disappeared ..The computer Gods have screwed me again. One day I will have to have a talk with them. With a baseball bat and a roll of tape.


Paradise Way a street in the “thriving” Ghost town of Oatman, Arizona _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The best Little Orehouse or Meet the New Boss

By Royal Hopper 

There is a sign above a store in a dusty windblown Arizona town that reads “The Best Little Orehouse.”

As the sun rises above the mountains in the distance characters right out of an old western B Movie, men in big hats and women in long dresses move around sleepily preparing their wares for the gathering horde of camera toting tourists and local media …all ten of them. Of course down the road away from the fantasy someone still asks for food with a sign written in magic marker and someone with more money than sense still stumbles out of a door regretting what they did last night.

donkeys and tammy 2.JPG
Just down the road a small heard of furry horde of four legged beasts wait for the tourists to eagerly buy buckets of dried alfalfa cubes to feed their semi tame stomachs. You gotta love donkeys. They don’t care how you dress or how much cash you have in your pocket. They don’t even care how bad you smell or what religion you practice or what language you speak.

As long as you have a cube of alfalfa in your pocket you are welcome by the four legged population of Oatman.
Just so you know the Mormons have not taken over the City of Sin and the furry four legged creatures being fed by tourists aren’t Dead Heads waiting for the Grateful Dead seance/ reunion concert. It was actually two places a mini Vegas for older people called Laughlin and a sleepy little tourist old west recreation called Oatman, Arizona.

My wife and I took a break from the City of Sin and traveled south to the Nevada/Arizona border town called Laughlin and while we were there traveled to the “Ghost town of Oatman.” Laughlin was just as fake and just as dedicated to selling you things you dont need and taking your money but it was quiet and the people were polite and the music was free so it was totally different.
Oatmen was designed to look like a old ghost town in the old west and was about the size of one. The donkeys who are semi tame come down from the surrounding hills when the temperatures warm up in the morning. I swear I thought for a moment one of them was staring at my wife’s butt and then for a moment in looked like he was staring at mine. It was very uncomfortable. The senior donkey brayed to me that he had just been appointed to the National Security Council.

tammy looking.JPGWhen we left the City of Sin to go on this week end adventure we went past an intersection with a sign holder facing every direction, a man in his pajamas running walking down the road lost and one sleeping under the remains of a tent buried in the sand and a bus load of tourists heading for the Strip.

At then end of the week end when we got back to the City of Sin nothing had changed. There were still people living outdoors huddled against the short desert winter, still bus loads of tourists heading for week ends they can’t afford, and a whole seven mile long stretch of pretend places to do it in. Pretend jungles, seashores, gardens and deserted Islands and pretend 30s night clubs run by pretend gangsters.

. Driving down this Paradise of a road on the first day back you see the usual. A woman leaned against concrete wall her worldly possessions in the shopping cart beside her as she dug into her prize possession a stale 7/11 sandwich.piano player.JPG

Perhaps and by the looks of it her gusto she exhibited was undoubtedly in an effort to pretend she wasn’t leaning against a concrete wall on a back alley commuter street in the middle of winter in Las Vegas eating a sandwich she either purchased with charity or shop lifted at a convenience store. Eyes closed savoring every taste of the sandwich she seemed determined to block out everything unpleasant which in her terms was everything but her sandwich.

It is what it is
Life in the City of Sin
Love you Sinners


Your hungry I assume

The other day I heard not just one but two tourists say something wise about their trip to Las Vegas.
“I lost everything in my daily budget and I had to quit for the day whether its 9 in the morning or midnight,” said the man as he headed for his room. I about fell to the floor when I heard another tourist repeat the same wisdom. “I had fun,” said the all American type with the Midwestern accent generic polo shirt and curly over groomed hairdo, “but I my budget says I need to call it a night,”


Two people sitting on the sidewalk talking ??? _ Photo by Royal Hopper

These men understand Las Vegas surprisingly well for young men. They read the signs and listen to the lore. They understand that In a strange way Las Vegas is the most honest place in the world. It is as if you walk in the doors and it shouts at you ” Hey I am going to take your money. Dude seriously this is Vegas I am going to take your money.”

The thing these men realized and the thing we all love about the City of Sin is its honesty about being dishonest. It is a crass place dedicated to greed, lust and decadence and doesn’t pretend otherwise.street walking two.JPG

That is why it calls itself The City of Sin and the Big Apple or the Windy City or the City by the Bay. This is the City of Sin and we exist to take your money, make you drink to much, make you take strangers up to your room who will steal from you when your in the bathroom (robbery involves force or the threat of force).
Somehow after more than 80 years of taking people money and proudly shouting to the world that this is the city of sin and we are going to take your money somehow people still come here thinking that this city loves them.


Two guys walking down the street in the City of Sin – Royal Hopper

They still think the nice girl at the bar is really attracted to them and they still sometimes wake up minus their wallets or spend their vacation money in a day or an hour. By all means come to the City of Sin have fun. Blow off some steam and go home.
You will be fine as long as you stay in budget and remember what this City is called and why it is called that and that it is here to take your money.street meeting two.JPG









Now a poem about a particularly deu@@@ couple dedicated to all the drama kings and queens who sit in corners and on stools expecting the world to kiss their ass and one particularly obnoxious goat roper couple who spent several minutes staring into each others eyes, checking to see if anybody noticed and muttering insults just loud enough to be heard but not understood. This is Vegas Baby you aint crap….

Get over your self

By Royal Hopper

To all aholes who dress like cowboys and who look like they just got buried
Who tell every tell every passing stranger that they just got married
Who act like little children pouting and scowling when somebody stares
Get over your self .. This is Vegas _ nobody cares
We say we do smile and clap like its Ellis and we just got off the Ferry
But truly to get you gone wed give you cab fares
We dont care about your cursing anyway what is a Fu@@berry
So get along little doggie and by little I mean 5 foot 4
Chuck Norris you aint so there is the door
It’s not because we care or because we have pity
Its because you are an ass and this is Sin City
So whether you drink wine or whiskey or gin
This isnt Nebraska
Its the City of Sin
Tale Care fellow Sinners

street walking three.JPG


“Since my baby left me I found a new place to dwell I’m down at the end of lonely street at Heart Break Hotel,” Elvis Presley.


This statue of The King of Rock stands in the lobby of the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. Last week it was covered by Garlands and flowers in honor of Elvis birthday. Presley who died in 1977 would have been 82 Jan 8 if he would have lived —-Royal Hopper

The ghost of Elvis

by Royal Hopper
Recently at a Vegas hotel a man wearing a leather jacket sporting “An Elvis hairdo” was walked out the casino for being drunk and harassing guests and being a general all around ahole.

“I’m looking for my pink Cadillac,” he swore as the local order keepers escorted him off the property they were hired to protect. Elvis had left the building …the very one the real King played more than 800 ties in the 70s ..the one his fans were informed he had left so many times after a show in the days of polyester and jogging suits. Elvis left the building and the parking lot walking down Paradise Road in imitation of a man who had already been ghost at least 15 years before he was even born.
The ghost of the Mississippi Bard Elvis Aaron Presley sometimes in his white V neck sequined jump suit, sometimes in his standard issue rebel leather jacket is everywhere you go in the City of Sin. In the summer Fake Elvi populate the streets putting on shows for tokes and tips.


Crossing the street Royal Hopper

I once spied a man dressed like Elvis on a holiday and told him “what a great costume” he looked right at me and said “What costume.”
Men in certain age groups still sometimes sport the famous Elvis Pompadour hair. Songs that were golden oldies when I as in high school still blast from PAs in casios throught the City of Sin ode to the “good old days” when white guys in white sequined jump suits who knew a little karate could be considered rebellious, cool and sexy.

One year in the 80s an Elvis imitator drunk off his ass jumped head first into three feet of water and when they pulled him out he was still singing ….”You aint nothing but a hound dog,” as bllod and black hair dye mingled on the ground in front of him. His imitators abound. There are Asain Elvi, African American Elvi, Irish Elvi. Mexican Elvi ( I mean literally from Mexico of course) The flying Elvi parachute team and Elvi of all shapes and sizes visit the City of Sin to model or salute their Icon. I even met three female Elvi once
Elvis packed Vegas showrooms right up until his death even when he was so heavy he had to have his jump suits specially tailored.


Elvis the King Plaque with flowers celebrating his 82nd birthday

He is a much a Sin City icon as pin striped gangsters, crazy reclusive billionaires and aging superstars.

That is Life in City of Sin Houndog
Love You Sinners


A meeting of elite street level figures discusses 2016 on the street _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Two days before the New Year began a child of about 10-years old walked up to me while I was at work looked me squarely in the eye and stated out loud “You stink.”
After a few minutes of trying to covertly sniff my underarms to see if my deodorant was failing I realized something in this young child’s mind and experience had made me the symbol of his ” no good very bad” (Winnie the Pooh) 2016.

It says a lot about 2016

By Royal Hopper

It was a relatively safe New Years Eve by Las Vegas standards. No one was killed as a direct result of New Years activity in the City of Sin. They got drunk and ran off the road, they took to much medication and forgot that head butting cars would hurt, they forgot they were old and tried to do the twist all night long but New Year’s Eve itself didn’t do anything to them.


Las Vegas is a colorful place _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The Beetlemania band they listened as they remembered the old days likely werent even in first grade when the Beetles broke up. That didn’t stop one Baby Boomer from doing the twist like it was 1965 and this trendy new band from Liverpool was Rocking her world. Somehow she didnt fall over or pass out. She was an experienced drinker. She was an experienced everything as the vintage clothing she retreived from her closet and her knowing all the words to 50 -year old songs, even stoned, drunk showed.


A man and his dog _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Because of truoble in years gone by casinos tend to double up on security and local police go on high alert and go into the “Don’t you cause no trouble and there won’t be no trouble mode they are justly famous on infamous for.
This usually means trouble makers are faced with the stare of authority figures every time they make a move and must wait until after New Years to commit a crime. Which is often here.

As he left the place I was standing the young lady or man I was talking (I honestly could not tell)  to, their face still lit with the rage of whatever pissed them off, stalked away secure in their clueless anger. 2016 was a lot like that youngster. Mean, loud and clueless and I for one am grateful it is gone. Take Care fellow Sinners. I love you guys.


This is the desert too _ Photo by Royal Hopper

A Few Facts:

By this time last year there had already been three murders with 17 being logged by February of 2016.
More than 36 million people visited the City of Sin in 2016 paying an average of $126.00 and change for a night’s stay. based on 2015 stats 47 percent came to the City of Sin for pleasure, 11 percent came to visit relatives, 10 percent said they came to gamble and 32 percent lied their asses off and refuse to press charges when the hooker rolled them because their wives and/or husbands were scary bitches who trained UFC and love shotguns. street meeting2.JPG
They spent an average of $578.00 and change and 67 percent of them were employed. Please tell me .. I mean. If you don’t have a job what are you doing in Las Vegas?
9 percent of those 36 million visitors go to conventions . In my time I have seen Target shooting conventions, PH.D conventions, Anime conventions, black hat and white hat hacker conventions and a My Pretty Pony fan club convention… I kid you not……You haven’t seen anything until you have seen a grown man wearing pony ears, trying to look intimidating as he asked for directions ot the My Pretty Pony convention. I swear to you I didn’t giggle. Events on tap for this year include The World of Concrete, (I kid you not it is a huge convention) The Asian/American Business Association, The Sports Licensing and Talgate Association folks The Adult Entertainment Conventions (It means Porn genius)and the country’s car and acessories show CES that starts in a few days.

Thats life in the City of Sin
Have a great 2017 Sinners