By Royal Hopper
This week I saw a lady who looked like a living anime doll, like a Gothic Japanese version of red riding hood. I saw an man in a rainbow colored tie dye T-shirt hanging out with paint ballers in camo and leather on their way to pretend to kill each other.
As usual I saw men exhausted from living on the street watching football and sacrificing their drink money to make bets.
I saw cyclist and bikers streaming down Las Vegas Boulevard past men asleep on the sidewalk and women wearing red polka dot hats sneering at 45-year old cocktail waitress wearing pantyhose and black skirts.
I heard fat men complain about buffets, drunken ones fall backward down a flight of stairs because they were to drunk to finish the fight they tried to start and was asked serious intelligent questions by a woman wearing a $40 take me home and cover me with whipped cream you stud cocktail dress. I heard the sounds of fake gunfire and splattering paintballs echo across a City of Sin Avenue as I walked to my car to go home after a long day of seeing all the things.
I saw all these things and more and after 14 -years-on and off in the City of Sin none of them really surprised me that much. It is the urban legend I heard in a quiet moment talking with a coworker about the good old days ( which men over 40 tend to do and its none of your business) that kind of surprised me and turned my image of the city slightly on its head. Cognitive dissonance can be a pain. (look it up)
I heard this legend from a coworker who has stalked the hallways of Las Vegas casinos in one form or another for a quarter century arriving here well before I arrived to work at the Mega Resort that began the corporate era in Las Vegas in 1989. What I heard about the the City of Sin before squeaky clean corporate image of modern Vegas full took effect might surprise you.
Once upon a time it was common practice, this legend goes, for local hotels to give homeless people surplus food and allow them to bath in some of their restrooms. Once upon a time the City of Sin had a heart _ sorts.
This Sin City veteran says he remembers personally handing packages of food to homeless men and women. It wasn’t an every day thing he explains, but it wasn’t altogether uncommon either.
This was the thing that threw a monkey wrench into the Sin City generosity or rather the lawsuits that followed.
The legend states that some lawyer apparently got the idea of suing the hotels for food poisoning on behalf of several homeless people who got an upset stomach from eating the donated food. The suits garnered the homeless a few thousand dollars each, the legend goes and the lawyers much more.
Now facing the possibility of more food poisoning lawsuit’s the casinos stopped the once not uncommon practice of donating surplus food to people in need. Many casinos now deal with the huge excess of left over food these places generate by dumping it in a special container destined for pig farms throughout southern Nevada. They are perhaps the very pig farms that provides pork chops and ham steaks many hotels serve in the buffets that
This guy was not homeless he was trying to get out of the rare Las Vegas
rainstorm last winter—yes I took it _ Photo by Royal
these places generate.
For the record, although I will not say where I have witnessed it, I have witnessed men and women going through trash cans for half eaten bacon cheese burgers and aluminum cans to cash in for cheap hotel fair. I have seen people sleeping on sidewalks for lack of a better place to sleep.
I have seen dumpsters full of food that graced the tables of local casinos minutes before or at least hours before. I have seen generosity in this city and cruelty. I have seen insanity in the City of Sin and cold selfish reasoning.
I have seen blind faith, petulant wealth and grinding poverty. I have seen true charity ( no seriously one chicks name was True Charity) and on and on and on – I have seen almost everything in this city.
I have seen all these things and I have seen it all on the Monday mornings commutes down Sin City Streets.I have seen all these things on the backs of T-shirts worn girls with multicolored hair and in the faces of people who simply sat down because they were two tired to walk or to drunk to get up off the carpet walk across the hallway to their rooms.
Such is life in the City of Sin
Til Next time
Rock on Sinners
Jogger report: This week the I want to look good in a bikini crowd good bad or indifferent began to drop away and were replaced by the I’m a serious runner what are you looking at