by Royal M. Hopper
First of all a belated Happy Freakin’ Thanksgiving for the City of Sin. It may sound odd for a guy who has seen every vampire movie ever made, I mean my daughter’s first song was Crazy Train, but Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It plays honestly to the appetites of the human animal without necessarily encouraging the worst of its nature something those of us who live in Vegas can appreciate. There is a certain honesty about a holiday that tells you to pig out once a year surrounded by people you care about and then feel guilty about it.
Two flyers from the same table show the dualistic nature of the City of Sin..well not really: photo by R.M. Hopper
You know I consider myself a fairly polite person but I really must have been off my game Thanksgiving Day on my way to work in the city when I stopped at that bastion of modern capitalist existentialism the gas station/convenience store to get a tank of holiday gas.
“Good morning chimed the clerk ( a surly looking serial killer candidate with the I’m to lazy to shave but don’t have the nerve to grow a beard look) and the manager, a dark haired living manikin with the Mortician Adams meets Buffy the Vampire slayer look. Sexy….
“Good morning,” they said in unison with a practiced commercial phoniness like two dangerous robot werewolves who were trying to lure the humans into their lair.
“Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving,” I said trying to put on my best charming polite southerner face and voice. Now I’m not a religious person and haven’t deliberately attended Christian church in decades but I thought I was being polite and friendly.
“From the look on their faces you would have thought I said …”good morning and by the way your mother’s a livestock loving prostitute and you smell bad ….” As I left I swear one of them was holding a voodoo doll wrapping the pocket lint I had left on the floor around the dolls head.
Later that morning I came upon two casino guests having a conversation in another language I need help with. “Does anyone here speak drunkese, the language of alcoholics and generic drunks alike, a language that is widely spoke in \Las Vegas and so prevalent in parts of the world our customers come from I hear the UN is considering giving them an embassy. Imagine …..” and now the ambassador from Drunkland will address the assembly ….” “hiccupp…Do IIII know u people ….”
Anyway during the course of this conversation I heard something about football and how ‘we have you by the balls’ and a few other things but could not make out what she was talking about, The other guests seemed to understand her. Perhaps he spoke drunkese and with the Alcoholics anonymous group in town, perhaps he simply had experience.
“We’re from the Midwest you’d understand if you had lived there,” she said smiling the intoxicated grin the besotted often do.
The other guest an older gentleman who was by the way stone cold sober simply nodded his head seeming to understand, Perhaps the sober gentleman was simply being polite or perhaps he was a member of the Alcoholics Anonymous 45th annual Vegas Roundup and spoke drunkese fluently but whatever the case I made my excuses and walked away from the conversation not exactly sure what I had just been told.
One hotel was filled with AA alumni.
The board they post above their meetings appealing to a higher power to guide them away from their addictions and in keeping with the dualistic nature of Sin City.
The AA itinerary listed many events and apparently these sober worthies came to the City of Sin and have been coming to the City of Sin for 45 years to play golf, eat ice cream, ride motor cycles buy coffee mugs, flirt with cocktail waitresses who can sell them anything drink lots of coffee.
People here pray a lot sometimes in very odd places right after they’ve been rolled by a prostitute and are worried the thief will call his wife on the throw away cell phone he programmed with his home phone number in a state of drunkeness.
The dog in a bag fad is back. I thought I was hallucinating when I saw what I thought was a stuffed animal in a bag look at me then wag its tail beneath the bag hesitantly. It turned out it was a dog in a bag strolling around the casino with its master. Another super genius was seen rummaging through the trash and when security approached him to see what eh was doing it turns out he “accidentally tore up a winning betting ticket and was desperately searching for it.
Another female guest decided the restroom was a good place to do the wild thing with a perfect stranger.
Lastly do you know what you see in the bottom of a swimming pool in Las Vegas when it is drained and closed for the season. The remains of unidentified gangsters maybe or the occasional losing sports betting ticket sure but I’ll tell you what I saw in one. …Coins a couple of quarters, a nickel and a penny or two. Well maybe they fell out of people pockets and then I spotted two bottles of red hot sauce. I then realized that these things hadn’t fallen out of people pockets they had been tossed in there to make a wish. That’s just crazy. I mean who throws away perfectly good bottles of hot sauce. It also turns out one of the coins was actually a washer a fake coin that once upon a time when casinos slots still used coins was a tool of slot cheaters who would use them in place of coins or tokens. It is the quintessential Vegas paradox that someone trying to make a wish in a half empty swimming pool would use a fake coin to do it.
From this weeks City of Sin Missive
Til Next Week