Turf Wars take all forms and the various uniforms of Sin City Denizens

By Royal Hopper

What do you think when you see a woman wearing pink shoes, a multicolored striped skirt, short enough to draw looks from even the most righteous casino visitor, big red-orange sun glasses and ‘’’’ughhhh …..assets to make any girl envious????
I walked by the woman three times trying to figure out what team she played for and what her occupation was and you know I never did.
It’s part of the allure of the City of Sin. Things that would often what would stop traffic and attract undesired attention in more normal environs doesn’t always warrant a second glance here.



A family enjoys the shade on The Strip

For Instance there was this Girl ?????
Even in Vegas there are times its so quiet you can almost hear the crickets chirp or could if someone would turn down the medley of golden oldies playing on the PA.
(These days Golden Oldies means Led Zepplin, David Bowie and those 60s guys I only got to listen to on the juke box at old cafes  or on trips when my father was too distracted to change the radio station.”)
In one corner of the casino a slot player won a jackpot and waited patiently to be paid. She was immaculately groomed and dressed to kill. I don’t know if she was a pro but it was the decided opinion of several people on the scene that she wasn’t …a she that is. She, It seems, was a he in well tailored leather lined skirt,  crossing her/his clean shaven well muscled legs crossed daintily and he/she waited patiently.
The thing is no one was bothering her. She was left alone either because it was O dark thirty in the morning and the place was more than half empty or because this is Vegas and in Vegas you have to be more than different to be _  well different.
No one bothered her except for the guy who I saw hitting on her/him not half an hour after she was paid his/her jackpot.


 Perhaps the would be suitor did so not knowing his/her’s secret or perhaps precisely because of the secrets hidden under her/his well tailored skirt.
Later in the week you see three drop dead gorgeous girls dressed in leather skirts in the middle of the day walking in a group toward rooms on the far side of a hotel what is the first thing that comes to mind. Mormon choir group ? the cast of the leather Vegas version of Cats? On dress rehearsal …stockholders in the leather and hairspray? Members of the nice girls of America Drill team ????? Really sexy Nuns????
Your right there is only one conclusion. There were leather skirt models on their way to make a big sale in a Las Vegas hotel room in the middle of the day.

Lastly The Turf War of In Microcosm
Its not often you see a turf war break out right in front of your very eyes but I saw it happened this week in the city of Sin right in front of my handsome forest green peepers
The turf war, and the turf,  I’m talking about probably won’t make the news in the City of Sin.
It wasn’t a turf war between rival mobs of gangster which were supposedly chased out the City of Sin in the 80s by the FBI. (no really that’s what they said)
It wasn’t a turf war between rival casinos who always play by Marquis of Queensbury rules in the competition for the billions of dollars that comes through the city every year. (no seriously) 
It wasn’t fought by men with nicknames based on body parts or snack cakes. There were no Louie the Noses or Joey Bag of ding dongs in this fight and no Steve Wynn’s either.
This turf war wasn’t over billions of dollars or control of the City of Sin streets.
It was over a corner of the sidewalk just large enough for a man to sit on where he will be noticed by the tourist as they pass by and lasted around ten seconds.
This turf war was between two men and enough money to buy a hotel room or a new hat and a couple of Pepsis.
One residentially challenged man, ( PC for a crazy looking homeless dude) who honestly looked rough even by residentially challenged standards of Sin City tried to sit down near where another younger or perhaps better cared for residentially challenged man was sitting.
Scary looking homeless guy clearly wanted a share of a lucrative panhandling corner and
was depending on his younger colleague’s empathy to accomplish it.
He got unceremoniously pushed down on the sidewalk for his effort. The victor went back to work and the victim stumbled down the sun baked sidewalks of Sin City  his defeat already forgotten in the struggle to survive or because he couldn’t remember the event 20 seconds after it happened.
Like in all cities in the City of Sin those more deadly, more powerful or perhaps simply more desperate have the advantage in conflicts of turf, pride and survival.  Still later in the week a shirtless panhandler stood near the same corner as a salesman peddling time shares or show tickets perhaps. The salesman was well dressed and taken care of and seemed to be slick and good at his job. People tried to avoid  him with far greater effort than they made avoiding the homeless panhandler. What does that say exactly ?

Here there is there is wealth and poverty, there is loyalty and abandonment. There is gritty uncaring honesty and flattering deception raised to an art. Here you will meet friends you didn’t know you had and adversaries you won‘t remember when you wake up in the wrong hotel room. There is the kindness of strangers and the chutzpah to sell you T-shirts they stole from you two days ago.

. Such is life in the city of Sin.

Til Next Week
Take Care
This week’s Jogger Report:
The latest fad in Sin City pedestrian travel seems to be backpacking down the Strip which makes about as much sense as streaking through a barbed wire factory. That’s right hordes of Bermuda shorts wearing, polo clad hikers cheap sunglasses and two dollar souvenir shop straw hats snd all walking down Las Vegas boulevard wearing backpacks that look big enough to carry days of supplies. Bicycles were sighted on the boulevard and while riding a bike on the Strip is not quite Brave Heart material it is certainly a bit dangerous to cross the street against the grain and ride down the middle of the street traveling where a red corvette driven by an all night drinker of free cocktails is screeching his brakes trying to stop before hitting the old lady crossing the street like one gentleman was seen doing  is not without elements of risk.

This week 100,000 convenience store owners descended on the City of Sin’s famous main byway desperate perhaps to find someone who charges more than they do for indestructible hotdogs and yellow spongy snack cakes.

Its Freakin hot

By Royal Hopper

Some people make it into the elevator when stumbling back toward their room or out of it. Some just pass out on the floor and some are found laying half in and half out of the elevator and this week all three happened within a short period of time.  
Later in the week some just sat down on the floor and didn’t get up. I guess he was either to drunk or to tired decided he was going to sit down and wasn’t going to move, talk, open his eyes or wake up and tell people he wasn’t really deceased and that was only the drunk people.
Las Vegas is in the desert southwest that from time to time it gets hot and is seldom humid here. Tourist who come here however seem to find the fact a city located in the desert gets hot endlessly surprising.
“Wow its kind of hot today,” one guest presumable from a cooler northern climate said. “No, not really It’s actually kind of nice (for this time of year),” I answered because it was in the high 80s on the Fahrenheit scale at the time which is really not all that hot by southern Nevada summertime standards. Today it was an even 100 degrees somewhere around 10 am, and promises to get hotter as the summer goes on.
In other words it gets really hot here in the summertime.

I remember a T-shirt I saw several years ago that shows a man crawling through the desert on the verge of drying up like a piece week old pepperoni and the caption read. “But it’s a dry heat,”
So many times a tourist from the far north shows up in the city of sin drinks his or her fill and passes out at a convenient location not because of the 14 cocktail they consumed the night before, they passed out because it was 110 and hadn’t drunk any water in days.

Silly questions were the second order of the day her in the City of Sin.
I also had a tourist ask me where area 51 was. He actually asked me for directions to the infamous UFO/Air Force research center.  I must confess I have no idea where the place is and directed him to the Hertz rent  a car counter where they book tours for the area and was tempted to say ask agent Mulder he’s available channel 43 at 5 p.m. every day. It  may come as no surprise that I discovered that thee was someone I work with who did know where area 51 was having flown over it in days gone by and having been escorted out of the area by jet fighters on more than one occasion. I’m not joking I work with the guy every day.
A few minutes later a guest walked up to of


File Photo of Las Vegas skyline you guessed it in the summer time


the security guards on duty at the information booth and wanted him to check him into his room because the line at the front desk was to long. People had their pants stolen, they had panic attacks because of the multiple 5-hour energy drinks they had consumed to stay awake all night and man with no home, no soles on his shoes and no hope managed to catch a few zzzs and drunk his Pepsis on the planter in front of a northern strip hotel before a security guard reluctantly ran him off so he wouldn’t bother Bingo players inside the hotel and incidentally it was hot in the City of Sin this week and by hot I mean it’s the freakin’ desert dude.
Homeless people here aren’t just resourceful and tough they are hardened sun baked survivors. Rock On

Such is Life in the City of Sin
Til next week
Take Care


PS Dont forget to read the jogger report below the photo….take care


                     This one is the screen name on my cell phone I took it on a sunny days a few months ago
Jogger report:
Power walking was the order of the day and the order of the day was Power walkers with no shame or sense of Fashion. ( Not that I have any but the women I talk to say this too) The order of the day was a power walker wearing a bright yellow green shirt and gray shorts, black shoes and tall black socks arms pumping and swinging back and forth like some old newsreel footage of British soldiers marching through Paris drawing the unabashed attention of normal tourist and somewhat normal joggers as he power walked down Las Vegas Boulevard.
My favorite power walker was a guy dressed in blue jeans and a dark blue T-shirt as if to say there is no point in pretending I’m an athlete, I’m fat and I love MacDonald’s and soon as I have convinced myself I’ve had enough exercise I’m going to run across the street and get  Big Mac and a side of fries. You gotta love this city it tolerates everyone loves no one and ignores your faults with the same intensity it ignores your virtue ….most of the time 


First dates with cross dressing cousins and assorted weirdness in the City of Sin

 By Royal Hopper


Some things in Las Vegas are like first dates with a cross dressing cousins and the free hotdogs you get at downtown casinos.

They are unusual,  perverted, a little wrong and always offer a surprise no matter how many times you see feel and taste them and no matter how much mustard, onions and chili you put on them before you bite them.
Other things are not such a surprise and shouldn’t be for anyone who has patrolled environs of this city for any length of time. Some incidents just send out undeniable signals to hose who have lived here awhile.
For instance when you see a moderately good looking woman with shaggy windblown hair that is heavily dyed teased and held in place with four pounds of hairspray and vaguely reminiscent of the look worn by an extra in the Movie Pretty Woman, a romantic flick about the world’s oldest profession, walking with a guy that could best be described as Mayberry’s homely best, a guy who is cleanly dressed and likely has a couple of dollars in his pocket you can guess one of two things.


Old Vegas showrooms are where old acts go to do two shows a night


Either this or that

One…The cast of Pretty Woman the stage production is in town six inch heels she is sporting are part of the dress rehearsal for an upcoming show or she is a working girl and the homely guy walking with her does indeed have money in his pocket and is looking for ahh……directions to …..well you get the idea…..
This week among other things the City of Sin was invaded by a force of reprobates 7,000 strong armed with custom made tools of the trade concealed in leather cases slung across their backs or carried in eager hands to the place of battle in the back in the same old hallways that were once patrolled by Sinatra and his gangster pals.
Professional Pool players came to the City of Sin. These hard drinking, sun shy bar flys  can often be seen crossing the stretch of ground between the pool and the hotel convention center with their two piece custom made pool cue strapped to their backs their eyes shielded from the light, their pale skin   _ glowing in the early morning Nevada sunlight and their pool playing eyes are unfamiliar with the outdoors. They look like really unhealthy looking pool playing vampires with ponytails and badly fitting T-Shirts.
As they walked across that unfamiliar sunny terrain they walked past the lap swimming guy. Lap swimming guy was bald and the neatly cut remnants of his hair were shock white but the dude could swim man. I got tired just watching this guy swim lap after lap after lap and show off for the ladies when he got out. Unfortunately the lap swimming guy’s confidence did not change the fact he was way past his prime and had love handles as large as any self respecting couch potato like me.
Still you gotta admire his Chutzpah at that age swimming like otter and showing off in spite of pale skin and love handles.

Was he a retired SEAL who just couldn’t lay off the French fries or a former Olympic swimmer who took the lifetime supply of Coca Cola he received from his endorsement contract way to seriously. It doesn’t matter you just have to respect that kind of confidence even if, especially if it isn’t really justified.
The same can be said for the tiny temptress who stood at a local bus stop putting the moves on a man half her age and at least twice her height. She was so tiny when I first happened upon the couple I almost called the PD to report a child molester. A second look told me she was sun worshiping 40 something who just liked much younger men and brother she was putting the moves on this guy and he was lapping it up like a Labrador licking a bowl full of milk. 

A really big shoe

In one corner of the casino two women argue one of them insisting she be listened to and the other asking her what she wants the other to do and making suggestions and of course the other frowning her frustration at the others lack of emotional intelligence. Then they stop arguing and walk away arm in arm perhaps expecting to be noticed but nobody here does.

It a city where Mickey Mouse hangs out downtown taking pictures with strangers and where you stop someone dressed like Elvis and ask them where the costume party is and they look at you puzzled asking “What costume party???”  and where rock stars have walked around in full stage get up barely drawing a glance such things barely stir a whisper’s notice. In a city where people come upon a friend passed out on a side walk and whip out a cell phone to post pictures of their friend plight on their face book page and paramedics have at leats on some occasions have had to push eager gamblers out of the way to help a person passed out at a gaming table.

Two women or two men holding hands doesn’t rate gasp or even a blink unless of course their is a cell phone handy……



A really big shoe


Such is life in the City of Sin

Til next week

Take Care


This weeks Jogger report: This week jogging teams seemed to be the vogue of the day. Several groups of joggers were seen traipsing down Las Vegas Boulevard in identical outfits running in close step with one another and at the same pace. It was rather like watching a group of military men training for the job at hand, except of course for the whole geeky older yuppie scary looking talking to the hookers as they jog kind of thing and the rubber ducky on the sleeve thing was also a give away, and I swear one of them had a cigarette in his hand as he jogged and another jogged inside a casino in her path and stopped to pop a quarter in a nearby machine running in place as the reels spun and then running out the door to continue her run.

Diamond Dave wannabes and the return of Hair nostalgia

Sometimes you can see more in the city of Sin by quietly observing the people it attracts than you can partying like a “Big Dog” with people you wont remember in a couple of days anyway.
This week the city of Sin was full of mortgage brokers, horse racing fanatics fight fans  and hordes of older men who don’t understand the passage of time and things are really all that cool 30 years after they weren’t all that cool in the first place except an isolated high school outside of LA.
Among the denizens slaking across the byways of Sin City this week I saw a huge mop of  frizzy Van Halen style waist length bleached blond hair walking across a hotel pool. That’s the first thing you noticed about Blondie as I call him his hair because it was almost as large as he was.

No don’t do it …No really don’t do it
 The 70sor maybe the 80s are coming back I thought hopefully remembering pictures of me clad in bell bottoms and leather jackets from the corresponding decades that I have concealed from prying eyes for years now.
I wondered if Diamond David Lee Roth had decided to relieve the Golden Years of Van Halen or had a young hipster rediscovered those hazy hyper active, long haired days of yore or was it a slightly masculine very tall woman who owned stock in hair stylist salon and an interest in hydrogen peroxide manufacturing. Was hair metal making a come back ?????
Maybe the boys from Motley Crue were coming to Vegas on the promise that some of their fans had come to the City of Sin in a drunken haze in 1982 and never left.
No none of those were true, Blondie was a grown man who just happened to have hair longer than entire Crazy Girls chorus line who shamelessly rocked the David Lee Roth ensemble without apology flipping his yellow mane to and fro and ‘accidentally’ turning into the wind to show it off.  Hurrah David Lee wannabe the 80s were an intense decade and Van Halen one of the best “Party on dude pass the grass oh look its an asteroid,” bands of all time.
Next their was Mr. Chipmunk. Mr. Chipmunk wore a frizzy half mullet with the Chipmunk mustache and beard with the section taken out near the middle of the lip and two buck teeth the size of Texas peeking out beneath his oddly trimmed whiskers.
It took ever ounce of  professional discipline and all the inbred politeness of a southern upbringing I possessed not to laugh, point my finger at him and shout Alvin (See animated series Alvin and the Chipmunks) are you sure your old enough to gamble. Alivin was a poodle sized Chipmunk who could talk by the way.
Now back to drunk people(okay not the best transition).
On one morning in the city of sin in one casino on one shift three people were found sleeping in their cars another was rousted from a restroom where he had stopped to see man about a dog and was just to tired or to drunk to get out of the stall and another man just sat down at a slot machine and fell asleep sitting in a chair.
Call my hotel for me and make my neighbor stop smoking marijuana.
I’m not sure how you feel about people who stand in the road holding signs and staring face to face with SUVs revving engines and drivers eager to get home at the end of the day but the sign guy who hangs out at a Flamingo Road Cross Road.

 A Sin City side street in a rare quiet moment

This week jogger report….
A new report suggest jogging helps extend you life span by as much as six years. To quote my teen’s favorite text message fad OMFG. The fashion joggers, grunge joggers, heavy metal joggers (okay maybe they were running from the disco on the PA)  picture taking joggers, confused joggers and old joggers and cute couple joggers and on and on and on. They are all apparently here to stay now as much a part of the landscape in the city of sin as the cartoon characters posing for pictures and the businessmen who party the last day of their convention away with women named after food items, holidays and seasons of the year can you say …”yes my name really is Easter Mocha Autumn Johnson

Such is Life in the City of Sin
Til Next Week
Take Care

Have you ever been hiking in the desert and suddenly come upon people who look like they stepped out of an old British movie about desert hopping archaeologists, like extras in a Indiana Jones movie or the scary elderly extras in a 1970s desert horror movie, short sleeves and unfashionable Bermuda shorts  exposing earthy tans and scary smiles who seemed to disappear into the desert.

                                                                              Anyone know of desert hiking ghosts who drive a late model Chevy. I mean its not like two older overly tanned archaeologist could out hike me ???? I was in the army for heaven’s sake in the infantry…..25 years ago but still….


 Just because its cool—Photos by Royal