You Can’t Eat Money and then there is Mario

By Royal Hopper

For the man fishing for consumable carcinogens in Sin City a trash cab Friday, somehow managing to look like he is on a shopping trip at Macy’s making a difficult choice of which item to purchase – simple and cheap is good. Having something, anything is enough.

we pay cash

Mario is a Cuban refugee who doesn’t mind expensive food or hotel rooms because he has something to spend his money, something not so certain in his native Cuba. Mario does however sometimes get nostalgic for the USA he first arrived in when he escaped Fidel Castro’s Island empire. I spoke to Mario briefly last September while he was enjoying the sun and a dose of nicotine at a Sin City swimming pool.

“Sodas cost 5 cents and they gave you 2 cents back when you turned the bottle in,” Mario said remember the cost of things when he arrived in the United States 40 some odd years ago.

For another Sin City visitor lets call him Earl (because I never thought to ask his name) visiting the City of Sin From LA the old days were indeed better. There was, a kind of balance in Sin City Earl and I agreed
You could take the bus to Vegas spend your money and still have enough for the 50 cent breakfast or $2 lunch. Spending money on some things was good if everything else was cheap. There was we both agreed a balance of sorts.
“It’s just not like that anymore,” he mused as the decently dressed middle class man waited for the bus going to downtown Vegas. His hair was matted his clothes torn and you could see madness in the eyes ( or it could have been Jack Daniels) and you didn’t need to talk to the homeless man shopping for smokes in a convenient trash receptacle to know he wouldn’t mind limited choices if the things he needed were easier to get.
World War was raging across the globe in 1942 when Mario ( we wont use his last name) was born on the Sunny shores of his native Cuba. Food was cheaper, life was simpler and things usually made more sense in a plain desperate kind of way.


SIn City Shopping Cart

Mario is from Cuba originally and from California lately and his dual socialization, gives him a unique insight into differences in economies now and in the past. He fled Fidel’s Cuba with few regrets despite the orderly way of life offered by the Castro regime.
You could walk up to the corner and see the buses lined up,” Mario explains about his native Cuba. Not only does the bus service in his home city of Los Angles just stink gasoline prices are through the roof so driving is expensive but that is okay he said restating his position of few regrets about leaving his island home.
Earl as a frequent visitor to the City of Sin over a 30-year time frame and I as an off and on again resident of Sin City since 1989 reminisced about the day when you could break your last five before pay day and eat all day starting with the 49 cents breakfast buffet at Westward Ho. Life was cheap and money went a long way if you were careful.
“Ahh well we agreed things are just not that way,” we agreed.
The gentleman shopping ion the trash cans actually managed to look like he was in the middle of a difficult shopping decision as he grabbed several empty beer cans and one that was half full before holding several items of personal hygiene in his hand for several seconds deciding that using a discarded toothbrush was even to much for his pragmatic standards of survival. He crushed the beer cans drank the remaining beer in one and crushed it to for easier carrying to the recycling center for cash and continued his shopping trip.


People talking in the City of Sin as people often do

The world was a very different place “in the old days,” Mario said on a Sunday on last September between sessions of the convention he had come to attend. Things were cheaper back then in Cuba and here in the States he said., the busses ran on time.
Money doesn’t buy as much these days not Cuba or in the US, his adopted country not nearly as much not even close.
Mario doesn’t let that fact phase him because this country, the US, in spite of all its problems is a land plenty.
“We,” Mario said, including himself in that inclusiveness, “are still a wealthy nation,” and there is still plenty to spend what money you have on.
The man shopping in the trash can finished looking and moved on obviously disappointed in this week’s bargains brushing his greasy dirty hair back with a greasy dirty hand as he walked away.
Earl’s arrived and he bid a pleasant farewell as lost in thought as he hopped on the bus in his black business suit.
As he finished his cigarette Mario finished his verbal essay on the effect of modern prices on every day life. This is still a wealthy nation he repeated and you can get what you need if you can somehow find the money.
This was not always the case in his native Cuba. Money bought very little in Cuba then or now because despite low prices there was nothing to buy.
“You can’t eat money,” Mario said appearing to be lost in some memory he would rather forget.

Bugsy’s Ostentatious Neon Emporium

Woody and Buzz seem to ponder great questions like should there be mayo on hotdog at a recent secret meeting on Las Vegas Boulevard surrounded by cartoon secret service agents named Barney. No Really _ Photo by Royale

Is B.O.N.E a good name for Sin City

By Royal Hopper

This week we will talk about money back deals on naked dancers, the sanity of March Madness, giant killer trucks and address the burning questions of the year. Should we change the name of Las Vegas and does mayonnaise really belong on hot dogs.

In some parts of the City of Sin there were very ordinary things going on. For instance at one end of town the one I live in there was a giant metal monster that shot fire from its mouth as it tore apart a old Buick. At this same location huge mechanical vehicles ran over random valuable objects and smashed the objects.

There were sanity defying leaps by bicycle riders over piles of twisted metal. There were hordes of leather loving boot wearing ( I can say that since I grew up in such a place) rabid fanatics screaming approval at the destructive scenery in front of them and of course there were curly fries.

The Monster Jam, a Monster Truck rally visited Las Vegas’ own Sam Boyd Silver Bowl this week as the  rest ofSin City continued drinking, gambling eating and posing for cheese cake pictures with life size cartoon chracters and women named Lolita wearing feathers on their head.


Now to business. For the last time. There is no refund for the services of strippers, massage artists named Candy or how shall we put it ….women of leisure…naked princesses you know (censored)
Believe it or not prostitution is illegal in the City of Sin and in Clark County Nevada wherein the city lies aaannndddd ….Believe it or not some of the women who are seen of flyers advertised as naked dancers don’t do anything but dance….
One gentleman who was from the country that gave us wine snobs, five vowels in a two syllable name, good pastries, bad cars and croissants insisted the hotel security get him his money back from a woman who came to his room and took $400 of his money, took her clothes off and then refused to do anything else.

Dancing naked, as advertised on the flyer he had picked up, was all she did it seems. She gave him back some of his money but would not give him back the rest. A Girl has to make a living apparently and stripping in private has a price.
The gentleman insisted hotel employees call the police for him despite being told several times the police would arrest him …for soliciting a prostitute and he would still not get his money back. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, Nevada. It is legal in every other part of the state but not here in the City of Sin…go figure.

A Mechanical T-Rex "rests" in between shows at the Monster Jam atSam Boyd Silver Bowl Friday - Photo by Royal

A Mechanical T-Rex “rests” in between shows at the Monster Jam at
Sam Boyd Silver Bowl Friday – Photo by Royal

This City is full of operators, magicians, performers, and hustlers who make a living letting you think what you want to think and then making off with your money while you scream about how this never happens in your country. Sometimes people win and sometimes they win a lot and sometimes they don’t. It is the nature of the City.

I will say one thing about March madness. In Vegas it is practical in a depressing kind of way. One man was overheard cursing the University of Indiana for their performance in a recent game. He had taken the Hoosiers and the 20 and one half points they were favored by and was upset when they won by only 20 points..sheesh ..were they even trying…..
Those bastards made me bet $7,500 and only won by 20 points the man seemed to say.

Fun City ??????

There are some people who think the City of Sin should be renamed something more fun. 

It should be called something like Bugsy’s Ostentatious Neon Emporium and Magical Escapade land. Or B.O.N.E M.E. Land for short.

There has been some suggestions that we call this city in the desert the City of Sun until someone pointed out there is already a place called Sun City Summerlin and that sounds to much like the City of Sun.
It gets very hot in the desert …because you know it’s the desert so Sun City could work.

My favorite is Fun City or the City of Fun. It has a ring to it. Of course it sounds more like an amusement park in Nebraska than a city devoted to gambling, drinking and other non Sunday school activities. But it does have a ring to it ….
BTW This may brand me as a Sinner in my native Texas but I have discovered that mayo isn’t so bad on hotdogs. Apparently its something they do in New York, New York and apparently in Vegas you know what it aint bad.

Jogger report:
Does someone running down the street stoned with a Gatorade in his hand count as a jogger ????

Experts Say Sin City Irishness is put to a Test and Polyester is not cool

By Royal Hopper

The collective IQ or the City of Sin went up a few points this week and then it went down and got very drunk and practiced being Irish for day and it was like Junior High in the City of Sin this week.
There were exceptions as I have mentioned from time to time to time _ the billion dollar casinos, bikini clad chicks, life sized cartoon characters posing for pictures and the guy standing on the corner who says what costume when you comment on how great his Sponge Bob foam rubber head looks.
All the Junior High cliques were here in the City of Sin this week. The nerds were there as groups of teachers from all grades came to town for an annual convention.
“I want bacon B-A-C-O-N,” one of the teachers was reported to have said to a waitress in a Sin City restaurant. Perhaps more used to talking to inattentive 6-year-olds or intoxicated co-eds the tourists I mean the teacher reportedly continued ..“I want American bacon ….A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N ….,” perhaps referring to the restaurants Canadian/English style breakfast meat that comes standard with their breakfasts…

Dude I’m Batman _ Photo by Royal

The waitress reportedly bit her lip a bit soldiered on and politely complied with the request but it was clear what she really desired to do was say something like …Kiss My ASS…A-S-S …
The jocks or wannabe jocks were in town as  thousands of sports fans loaded up on belly fulls of beer in preparation for watching the team they had wagered their wages for the week (two Pop /Rock song references a cookie for anyone who recognizes where those song lines originated.) One enthusiastic sports fan was seen running down the the Boulevard in the middle of the street waving a pair of Red Pom Poms.

The drama queens rode into town and ……..people named Rico, Ang, Billy Bob, Dikimbe, and bald headed guys from Brazil imagined they were named Sean and had an O in their name….

The head cases were there.
Imagine your so drunk you wander into a party you weren’t invited to and pick a fight with the Billy Bad Ass with a Marine Corps Crew cut ( a high and tight for all you Jarheads) and get your ass handed to you. Now imagine you decide to pick a fight with the people who come to evict you and you lose again.

I have no idea…really I dont and yes I took this one too

If you are going to be a Sinner do it with style..Seriously Im Irish
How about a five for some green beer _ Photo by Royal

Imported Nerds
The nerds even imported a player or two for the week.
Usually as the weather gets warmer here in Sin City the joggers get leaner and less well clothed but this week there was an exception.

You got to admire a guy who is so dedicated to the art of jogging that he will run down the avenue in the City of Sin in broad daylight wearing a polo, cotton dockers, deck shoes that would have been nerdy in Kansas and large rape prevention eye glasses. ( so named because the chances of having sex while wearing them even against your will is slim to none).
I watched in horrid fascination as this unconcerned tourist ( an Asian gentleman from someplace exotic like California perhaps) jogged down the boulevard dressed like he was going to a business lunch at some nerdy country club. Man that self confidence. Nerds rule the future baby because we just don’t give a crap. Fashion sense we don’t need no stinking fashion sense…( movie reference ..a sandwich and a cup of coffee for the first one to get that reference and show up at my house Tuesday.

I see a new trend coming _  a new kind of nerd flash mob. You dress in the nerdiest get up you can find and meet up on Las Vegas Boulevard and jog down the street unconcerned by the hordes of cool looking hedonist gaping at you as you travel.
What is next jogging in tie dye or plaid  or heaven forbid polyester? Oohh the horror …oh the horror

The temps were warmer, the bikinis were shorter, and even homeless guys holding signs wore green.
Such is life in the City of Sin.
Rock on fellow Sinners


It’s an amazing thing when you see someone with shoes so ugly its makes you gasp and then realize they look just like the ones you have in the closet ….

“Hey man look at the old guys shoes what a nerd he hehe he…oh wait oh damn..” you get what I am saying.

Sin City Shopping Season, NASCAR and the bold and the homeless

By Royal Hopper

For some reason this shot just appealed to me _ photo by Royal

NASCASR, volleyball players and helicopter pilots called the City of Sin home this week.

This City has got Swagger and confidence like no other..even when it doesn’t make sense on any level…
Good things and bad things happen in this city. A woman won a fortune playing slot machines at a Vegas casino. I was there and brother this chick needed a break trust me. It hailed and rained in the desert this week as thousand of NASCAR fans converged on the city for the big race in the desert shopping season hit the city with full overpriced retail force. Sometimes people leave with more than they arrived here with and people who have sometimes had less of it.

Sin City canine heart strings. This panhandler takes an original approach on a Sin City street Thursday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

You gotta admire a panhandler who knows how to pull on the heart strings of pet lovers as he stands in the middle of a busy intersection.
“Laid off” proclaimed a sign carried by one man as he strode down the middle of a Sin City street while traffic was stopped at a traffic light…”Help me feed my dogs…” the sign read. You know it might work. I think of a grown man going without I might feel an overwhelming urge to but him a hotdog. I see a dog starving I want to take it home. That is of my wife will allow it.

The grandma with the great legs has got to be right there up on the list of Sin City denizens that exist on self confidence and broken eye glasses and lots of Jack Daniels. When you see a pair of legs that look toned and sexy frosted hair Debra Harry ( look up 70s and music) would have been proud of you take notice and then when the eyes look up and the heavily made up face looks older than your 69-year-old Mom …damn I mean damn….OMFG and damn…
A few minutes later I saw a young blond woman with a bandanna and 60s style sunglasses saunter by rockin the Beetles era hipster look with real skill. She wore bell bottoms too and looked really cool man…stop laughing …no damn it stop laughing
Maybe there was a time warp and it was the same person I saw twice …maybe …She looked a lot like the hot chicks in junior who wouldn’t have anything to do with me even then.

The homeless here are bold and down opportunist and loyal _ Photo by Roya

There is a couple that can be seen from the road driving  Tropicana Blvd. tucked in a corner between roadside trees and sidewalk barriers laying on the concrete consuming their hard won victuals like a pair of hungry badly dressed wolves. Another is camped on a median of a highway off ramp where she knows traffic has to stop before darting off onto the residential road even if they run the light. Yet another couple can be seen rolling down a Sin City road wheel chair and shopping cart in tow.
Maybe she reasons that if they want to run into her with their car they would have to put some effort into it _ to do it on purpose so she sits on this concrete and gravel island with thousands of pounds of metal and plastic on either side apparently fearless of the consequences of one of them jumping the curb.
She might weigh 100 pounds on a good day, but I doubt it.

The Strip was full of shoppers from hundreds of countries, cartoon characters, kids, fans working girls and aliens named Fred. (actually I made that up her name was Bligafu which I think means Cocoa Butter Sunset in English either that or Linda)

That’s life in the City of Sin
Rock fellow Sinners
Until next time

PS There may be justice for those killed in last weeks tragic shooting and car wreck that claimed three lives. Las Vegas finest have to prove to an LA judge that the person arrested is indeed the suspect they have sought….