Terrible Things, Silly Things and a Paradimes

By Royal Hopper

I often talk about the wonderful apathy of the City of Sin. This week’s happenings in Sin City emphasized that paradigm in dramatic  fashion.
First there was the eccentric gentleman who proudly stood on a Sin City street corner on Flamingo Road with a bright yellow sign proclaiming the Evils of Zionist domination of the world and how Jews were evil or short or something equally nonsensical.
Anyway in keeping with the standards of that wonderful Sin City apathy no one was really paying attention to the crazy Zionist hating guy as he waved his bright yellow sign at impatient commuters.
Even the guy in the pick up truck who by appearances could been on his way to marry his cousin or sell his swastika collection to pay for  red neck conspiracy theorist school seemed more annoyed than interested in the tin foil hat protesters.

Strangers in the intersection

Everyone within sight was uninterested until this gentleman, and I use that term loosely,  walked out into the intersection holding his bright yellow conspiracy sign high above his head Now he was in the way now the light was turning and it was time to get home for that last beer of the day and now people were angry.

A busy city of Sin intersection early afternoon day this week—photo R.M. Hopper


Drunk People and lots of them

This week several people were seen wandering around a casino drunk randomly sitting down at next to another patron speaking unintelligibly about no one is sure what in a language I have called drunkese.
Drunkese spoken with an accent can even be more confusing than normal American drunkese. One gentleman was English or Ausie it was hard to tell and was upset that no one seemed to understand his dialect of that ever so common Sin City language, drunkese.
The other gentleman was Indian or Pakistani perhaps.
He spoke some English judging by how he nodded his head when security guards spoke to him, but of the guards had some knowledge of drunkese perhaps from his days as a police officer. 
People tried to help them but he couldn’t be understood so he grumbled and walked out mumbling in his heavily accented drunkese.

People disappear here all the time. Every week or so anyone who has access to LVPD press releases gets a notice about missing person in the metro area and I’d be willing to bet there are many more who are missing and never get reported on.
As I have often said the City of Sin does not create these problems it just doesn‘t hide them.… The following press release from the Orange County Texas Sheriffs office proves this point.
Mark Julian Oldbury was last seen by family members on February 2, 2012 at approximately 4:00 pm in the Mansfield Ferry Road area of south Vidor. Since that time Mark Julian Oldbury Jr. has not had any contact with family or friends. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Mr. Oldbury, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

These things happen even in Texas


This city is not an oddity many people assume it is. It is simple constructed physical and culturally in a way that concentrates normal madness and reveals it to the world….
Sometimes the madness is deliberate and harmless if sad.
For instance perhaps it was a pile of clothes seen leaning against an orange construction barrier on Las Vegas Boulevard unmoving and unnoticed by passersby tourists and locals alike for a good two hours at least.
Perhaps a practical joke. Perhaps it was a residentially challenged man bundled up against the cold catching some ZZss. Perhaps it was something worse. But none the less people stepped around him on their to famous pawn shops, free cocktails and giggling while taking snapshots of naked women statues and they  kept moving and he kept laying there.
 In another part of the city a residentially challenged man piled his meager stack of personal belongings in a heap as a shield against the stiff winter breeze that was blowing down the street.

The Ying and the Yang of Las Vegas beauty as broad as desert mountain Vista  as breathtaking as city sized Picasso cityscape and as shallow as a neon corn dog.


Such is life in the City of Sin

‘Til next week

Take Care



Author Phillip Garbarino who seen was seen jetting around town dressed in red and looking like an extra at a Buffalo Springfield reunion and promoting his latest literary effort ( an ebook for all you heroes under the age of 30. )
I caught Phil going through the Riviera Hotel when he stopped to ask for direction in the ancient labyrinth like Rat Pack era casino.

I read the treatment and it looks like an interesting book to read, but it caught my attention because when I read the summary of the book I could picture the Devil walking down Las Vegas Boulevard. I could picture him ash covered wings, diabolic smile, red sun tan  and all posing for pictures with busloads tourists and trying to convince people he was the real Devil.  People here wouldn’t run screaming or smite him with their Bibles although some might try to steal his wallet. People here would pat him on the back and buy him drinks at a local casino. In Vegas the Devil would have to do more than wear a red leather suit to be believed or even noticed.

Strangers in your bed and dont look at me dude

Sometimes people come to this city to be noticed. Some come to the City of Sin to not be noticed which is kind of silly when you think about it. It’s a lot like a rooster hiding in a flock of peacocks hoping to be mistaken for a crow. The most memorable stories occur when these would be party animals wake up, not only wondering how they got in an elderly man’s bed but surprised they are in Las Vegas in an elderly man’s bed in their underwear. 

 Waking up drunk in an old man’s bed
Shortly after calling paramedics for a 78-year-old man who passed out at a bill change kiosk security guards falling over and striking his head, security guards at one casino were called to a room by a hotel guest who said he walked into his bedroom and discovered a strange drunk guy was laying in his bed passed out and snoring.

It some cities this would be cause for surprise and doubt but here in the City of Sin the gaurds just sighed and followed their elderly guest the his room.
Sure enough when they arrived the gaurds discovered a man not registered to the room passed out and, lying on the older man’s bed in his underwear. his clothes strewn about the strangers room.
When first interviewed by the guards, when they were able to get him awake long enough to speak, the inebreiated gentleman didn’t know his name or what city he was in, Colorado Springs being his most consistent answer.
He had no ID or even a wallet with library card in it and kept spelling out loud  CALL, calleusse or something to that effect, which is not his name by the way nor is Michaels or Smith, names which he also gave to guards who were trying to check the hotel registery to find what room to take him to.
After several abortive attempts the guards managed to get he man to put on enough of his clothes to stumble into the elevator and ride downstairs,  where they retrieved a wheelchair for him and took him to the security squad room and tried to find out where and with whom he belonged .
Paramedics were called because in Vegaas thats what you do when you have someone who can barely speak and doesn’t know who he is.

 By the time paramedics arrived ther man was sober enough to speak in short sentances and senior medic managed to coax the man into giving them his wife’s phone number. 

The man’s wife agreed to come and get the inebriated gentleman and she was understandably upset when she arrived. Security guards who were in the room nearby writing a report about the day’s incidents giggled as they listened to the man explain his adventures to his unsympathetic spouse.

Anyway it turned out not only was he in the wrong room he was in the wrong hotel …The right one being across the street and several blocks down the street.
Hey don’t look at me
Another young man was spotted walking down the Las Vegas Blvd. moving quickly and apparently trying not to be seen.
The hood of his jacket drawn over his face and black band T-shirt he wore with the appropriately rebellious slogan on it and his black beatnik jeans made him stand out like a sore thumb. However, fortunately or unfortunately as the case may be, even though his self defeating attempt to go unnoticed was a failure, as is often the case in the City of Sin  no one who noticed actually cared. Even the nearby female tourist decked out in red headed Goth Gear seemed to giggle a bit and roll her eyes at the determined fast walking black dressed “ghost” as did a nearby Country and Western Couple a, an Asian couple snapped pictures of each other and giggled at the bronze sculptures of scantily clad women and a few other more mainstream tourists were completely oblivious to the young man as he passed by them determinedly down the street, perhaps waiting for the man to stop so they could take a picture with him. “Hey Mommy, that one looks like the character in that serial killer show lets get a picture with him….”

Roll reversals and the future generations of Sin City Partiers

In some cases modern men feel so taken for granted that the conversation you over hear in a casino goes something like this.
“How is it I’m supposed to know everything,” this guy said to his attractive girlfriend who was holding her tongue trying to appear sympathetic and have the slightest clue what he was talking about.
 “Can’t we just walk and figure it out,” he added.  I guess roll reversals are in full force now with the men feeling underappreciated and not listened too and the girl feeling somewhat confused and annoyed and trying to fix things logically and being rebuffed for her lack of emotional intelligence and intuitional insight.
One can only picture what the parents of children who were seen carrying them down Las Vegas boulevard as the entire family stared wide eyed at the sights will say 20 years from now when on the next family vacations.

 “Look baby that’s where your Dad got so drunk he forgot his name and was found in another man’s bed. 
Not such a rare thing in this city anymore.
As they used to say when I was in the service..Huuuaaaahhh
 Such is life in the City of Sin…

“Til Next Week

Take Care

The Singular Sadness of the City of Sin and Sunbathers are scary

Blessings and Prayers for the family of singing great Whitney Houston in their time of grief. A great singing talent by some accounts one of the greatest, has left the surly confines of this earth far to soon.

By Royal Hopper

 This week there was a rare desert rain shower and even rarer rainbow against the backdrop of distant mountains and the foreground of the Las Vegas cityscape.
There was beauty, and silliness like the man spotted standing in the road with a sign and what I think was a rounded cap of some sort holding a sign and making small bows and staring at the oncoming traffic daring them to run into him or perhaps praying that they would.
Sometimes, however you hear of things in this city that cannot be called beautiful or silly. You hear about things there is no other way to describe but sad and sadly intrinsic to the human condition in any city.
Imagine sitting and drinking or laying and drinking in one place for so many years you couldn’t find your bed when you stood up _ for all the castaway empties surrounding you and your favorite drinking spot.
This week I heard from a friend about the death of a local woman and what investigators found when they arrived to catalogue the contents of her house and I saw the pictures.
Investigators report, and have photos to back it up, that they found a huge pile of discarded wine and/or champagne bottles stacked three feet high and at least a dozen feet wide in the bedroom of a Clark County resident.
. The woman’s bed was completely covered as was most of the bedroom the bottles lay where they had been drained and discarded for quite sometime.
In other rooms more champagne and wine bottles were stacked in neat rows standing up neatly in long lines like Soldiers or Marines in formation. Dozens maybe hundreds by count. In the kitchen empty cat food cans were piled up in such numbers that investigators had to use shovels to clear them away from the counters.
The woman had died in bed surrounded by discarded champagne bottles and cat food cans.
We all have our demons and our virtues
 As I have often said the city of Sin does not often create the dysfunction I write about but it does seem to put it on display more effectively than most adult Disney Lands.

The refuse from a single night of excess

On one morning commute I spied an older couple who was standing in the middle of a busy median trying to find a way across the street, perhaps not understanding what it means to cross a street in the City of Sin with no cross walk or street light to help you along.
This city can be a wonderful thing with its wonderful apathy that allows the eccentric and the desperate to be their most colorful or desperate and fun seeking selves, but it is also a “demon” friendly place and if you let it and sometimes if you don’t it will eat you alive.

And now for the lighter side of the news….

It is a shocking thing when Las Vegas area hotels first open their swimming pools for the preseason sun bathing crowd and trust me it is an ugly sight.
The first tentative sunbathers that tested the gentle warmth of the February Nevada sun were how shall we say it …not tan. Now I’m a pretty fair skinned guy and pretty furry too but when you nearly blind several people in the vicinity when you take off your robe to sit on the lounge chair maybe you should keep it on.
When one glow in the dark soccer mom sat down bare legged on the sun chair provided by the hotel I screamed and grabbed my eyes and shouted ohh the pain.

A Las Vegas hotel pool in the early morning hours before the sunbathers invade it

Well no I didn’t, because it would have been rude and this chick was pretty tough looking.
but needless to say the first group of sun bathers this season were Viking white and glowed in the morning sun.
There were also a sizable crowd ( okay their were two) of tourist who sun bathed ( is there such a word) in the shade of the swimming pool area completely clothed sipping on the $1 a can Texas Pride beer that no one in Texas drinks or buys. ( a good hint that its not worth the discount)
Then there were the two Indian tourists who were as tan as a cup of cocoa but who also decided to sunbath in the shady end of the hotel pool on a day when the sun was mild by Nevada standards.
The music improved this week with a sampling of 80s and more modern music creeping into the hot mix of 70s disco. Fleetwood Mac and Diamond Dave and the Van Halen crew and host of Weird Al Yankovic satirical imitation. “Eat it ..eat it ..eat it “ The music improved this week with a sampling of 80s and more modern music creeping into the hot mix of 70s disco. Fleetwood Mac and Diamond Dave and the Van Halen crew and host of Weird Al Yankovic satirical imitation. “Eat it ..eat it ..eat it “

The music improved this week with a sampling of 80s and more modern music creeping into the hot mix of 70s disco. Fleetwood Mac and Diamond Dave and the Van Halen crew and host of Weird Al Yankovic satirical imitation. “Eat it ..eat it ..eat it “  I actually found myself unconsciously dancing to tunes I listened to in High School.
Perhaps in keeping with the updated music I saw another casino patron that time forgot. He was dressed in the perfect Punker get up.

Think a Clash reunion complete with the hair sprayed punk pompadour, off green leather vest with the raised collar and Dock Martins in dark blue. He and the tall willowly ash blonde woman with him with the waist length Cher style 70s hairdo looked lost in what I call the Old Days Daze perhaps remembering the time when the salt and pepper pompadour he wore was raven black and her long straight hair was the height of counter culture fashion.

Such is life the the City of Sin

Til next week

Take care

By Royal Hopper…

By Royal Hopper

A blurry photo of me

The last thing you expect when you are sitting quietly in a casino waiting for the work day to end is a question that goes something like….
“Can you get Viagra over the counter here on Las Vegas…?”
That is not a joke. It happened.

This week on the morning commute I saw a man standing in the roadway with his zipper partially undone his hand  laying flat on his abdomen just above his family jewels. He was facing a car whose occupants I could not see and he was moving his hand in a way that seemed to threaten to unzip his pants the rest of the way.
You know I don’t mind watching people dance as long as its in a safe indoor environment  there is at least one chick in the mix and they have

In short , what appeared to be a residentially challenged individual was doing a strip tease on the morning roadway threatening to show his stuff or not show it as the case may be. The same lady dressed as a statue of liberty hid behind a sign advertising tax services.

A Las Vegas “news stand” sits alone on the strip on a gray February day —photo by R.M. Hopper                                                                          


Also in the City of Sin this week. A person gambled and then complained when they lost and tried to get their money back, another was sighted eating toilet paper and yet another seen talking intensely to an invisible friend.
There was the kid on a leash trick and the young girl dancing to tune that were new when her grandmother was a teen holding her mother hand with one of hers and cupping the other over her ear because the version of “Stayin’ Alive playing on the PA was to loud for her young ears.
Las Vegas was full of something stranger than pool players and more numerous than Roller Derby fanatics and louder and drunker than a whole town of rodeo riders…ie an entire town full of football fans in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Drunken football fans from as far away as Germany and France packed the City of Sin in to cheer their teams and their betting tickets on to victory.
One fan desperately failed the redneck fashion sense test. This test, as I have said before, simply means that when the red neck who has no fashion sense and doesn‘t need or want one ( me in this case) can tell your outfit is a disaster then you should probably change clothes right away with no hesitation.
As a rule I don’t give a rats left toe what someone wears. For all I care you can wear a tuxedo in the bathroom or a pajamas to a formal dinner but the whole black button up dress shirt and black gym shorts , black leather tennis shoes and black dress socks is a bit much even for a anti-fashionista like me.
There was also the opposite number, the female joggers wearing their pastel velour jogging suits by Gucci with pampered over groomed poodles with painted toenails in tow. “Like totally, cliché much for sure..” 
One particular Austrian dressed head to toe in a Buffalo Bills jersey was determined to tell his life story to security guards who after several warnings and ejecting the man from the gaming tables twice sent him to his room still telling his story to a friend and asking for the number to his embassy to complain about his losses at the tables and the reason his Bills were not in the Super Bowl.
It never ceases to amaze me how much women are able to overlook differences and flaws that men would find difficult to ignore. Or is it in reverse
This week I saw my second couple with a huge difference in height. The man was at least 6 foot 5 inches tall and the woman was lucky if she was 4 foot 5 inches.  They looked happy but to be honest I had trouble seeing them together, ( you know what I mean and you all do it)
I saw another couple where the woman was a little person and the guy was large and I mean large around.

Ya gotta love Las Vegas

 I’m  proud to announce that the same casino that revisited the 70s last week this week made its was into the 80s in a light hearted poppish kind of way …
”Words are very unnecessary they only get in the way…..”  ….The City of Angels lonely as I am …..“I made it through the wilderness somehow I made it through….” etc etc etc
Lets see if the decade of Me and Glitter, and big big hair and bright pastels holds true or is Kurt Cobain and his irony laden ilk that will be the next on the list of casino background music favorites or will the incomprehensible glitter rock of the modern age resume its horrid rule.
Will we be serenaded  with speed metal, death metal, ghost metal and dead metal puppies or will we continue down the path of bell bottoms and earth tone leisure suits with the occasional break for Led Zepplin, Madonna and The Human League.

This week another man also went missing in the City of Sin  ..this time a young man simple vanished.

You gotta love Las Vegas

So long from the City of Sin

Til Next Week take Care