On the Boulevard you can buy water and lots of other stuff _ Photo by Royal

Who has a $40,000 and wants give a couple of thousand to strangers?

Anybody…anybody ???? I swear you will get your money back.

By Royal Hopper

It was the week of hats in the City of Sin.  The weather got hot ..Not

hot by Nevada standards but hot …In three weeks you will be able to fry an egg on the sidewalk at 10 a.m. This is the time of year shirts come off, people sell water on the sidewalks and  The Strip fills up with pretty people wearing ugly hats and as always everyone has an angle.

You see people in Vegas have Moxie. They have nerve. They have ugly hats okay boob jobs and  many have several different diseases and or mental conditions and excellent singing voices when they serenade their invisible friends.
Some of them, the crazy and dishonest ones, will look you in the eye and tell you the craziest things.
“Listen I have a sure fire betting system based on the mating cycle of the Antarctic Penguin and I have a cashier’s check of $60,000 for you to use to test it. All I need from you is $500 processing fee…and your social security number and your birthday and the name of your first pet fish.”
I have spoken before on the inexplicable confidence people display when coming to a city built on working the angles. When your in a city built on glitz and BS you should know really know better than to believe what anybody named Bambi or Bud tells you.
If you ever hear the words..
“Really Buster…I really like fat, old, smelly guys from Bismark….really…here drink this champagne …” Don’t you believe it and don’t drink the Rufi spiked sparkling grape juice the girl named E. Norma Butz hands you and don’t leave your wallet on the table when you do….

Walking signs talk to tourists in the bedroom _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Listen for the record if someone offers you money for just cashing their $50,000 check they are scamming you….No ifs ands or buts, and no butts, either. People don’t give you money just to cash a check and no they do not give you thousands of dollars to make a football bet for them. Your not that cool get over it.
Don’t give them a room, don’t give them your debit card and don’t give them you underwear…seriously.

This week looking down the back streets near the boulevard you could a car bumper laying in the road where it had been cast off..its former owner to drunk or to busy to care. You see pretty people stumbling across a busy Vegas street at night blissfully unaware how close to being crushed like a well dressed road kill.
People in this city will run your ass over even when they are sober and can see you…oh look “Bob you hit a tourist ….no really …Bob….”

That’s life is the City of Sin

Rock On Sinners

A local resident hides from the wind …Photo by Royal Hopper


It’s spring in the City of Sin.

These two Sin City denizens were waiting for their bus early this week and did not sleep on the sidewalk or sing for passersby like other Sin City denizens this week.

Bus Stops singers and the invisible tunes of Spring

By Royal Hopper

Always bring a date to the City of Sin

As always in the Spring City streets are full of families, hustlers, colorful characters, and homeless guys who hold up signs saying “My family was kidnapped by Ninjas and I Need Money for Karate Lessons to Save Them. Many Sin City denizens simple dance and/or sing to the weird invisible tunes of Spring that make this city

such a colorful place to be this time of year.
I spied one such gentleman laying on a Sin City sidewalk near a Sin City bus stop. In Sin City many of the bus stops have a metal barrier between them and the sidewalks of the casinos they border. The wall is perforated and transparent I imagine so people on either side can see each other and in time honored Sin City fashion glare at each other and occasionally flip the bird at random strangers but not throw random object or at each other.
This man was lying on the ground flat on the concrete face down on the casino side of the bus stop. To be honest I thought the dude was dead for a minute. He was not.

A small crowd had gathered to watch him laying on the ground. Perhaps sensing he had an audience the dirty plaid clad bedraggled ragamuffin of a man struggled to his feet and confronted his audience.
Glaring his anger and frustration at the crowd that had gathered to watch his struggles the dirty, dusty and drunken dude darted around the perforated metal wall of the bus stop as fast as a dirty, drunk dude who sleep on the sidewalk can dart and glared at his gathering audience.

He clenched his fist perhaps in anger perhaps because of a muscle cramp and looked prepared to take action from the protection of his big city bus stop fort
Banging his fist violently on the see through metal bus stop wall  the bedraggled man made his displeasure known by and shouting something threatening in a foreign language no one present understood then took a deep breath …and began to sing.
“I kid you not ..he started to sing and he was pretty good.,,good enough for those observing him to applaud quietly and encourage him a little.

Dude I’m thirsty …Lots of people sell water on the Boulevard during the hot months in the City of Sin – Photo by Royal

Sin City has Talent
The whole scene was like a really strange version of Sin City Has talent. After the applause the bedraggled man moved on and so did the small crowd.

The city is of course full of tourists, working girls, salesmen, preachers and people who sleep on the sidewalks, because you know sleeping on the sidewalk good for your back or something.  (anybody who can guess what group made the Song Sleeping on the Sidewalk and the name of the album that B side song came from gets a brownie )


Later in the week I spied several other people lying on the sidewalk unnoticed by the people walking over and around them. I spied people with blow up dolls, people carrying kids in one arm and souvenir drinks in the other and a man who must have weighed 400

pounds diving in a Sin City swimming pool and posing for onlookers after his swim and the tidal wave of a wake he left behind.

The tourist season is here and the Dancing Days of Summer are just around the corner…

Rock on Sinners

and keep cool…

The making of Champions and To each his own world. In the City of Sin


Las Vegas is where old acts go to …Dance

By Royal M. Hopper III


People love to talk hear to friends, to strangers to invisible bunnies named Fred..everybody _ Photo by Royal

This week I watched a man push his shopping cart full of possession like a champion. In fact lets call him that ……

Champion is proud of his profession and shows it smiling broadly and basking in the afternoon sun and the attention he received as he pushed his stainless steel chariot down the boulevard expertly weaving in and out of an obstacle course so well made no one else could see it.

A times he raced in from one Sin City fire plug to another clad in skin tight racing shorts dark running shoes with out socks of course and nothing else besides some athletic support hose of some kind wrapped around his thighs hitting the brightly colored hydrants with the front of the cart and then spinning on a dime turning 180 degrees and hurtling off to the next hydrant.
Perhaps his minimalist clothing was just the ragged remains of racers jump suit he couldn’t bring himself to take off for the past 15 or 20 years, perhaps but whatever.
Wherever Champion went he went shirtless as he raced against an unseen time clock looking around at his many likely imaginary admirers pumping his legs with the effort stopping only to pick the finest of leftovers from Sin City trash cans, a hat here, a sandwich there and an occasional left over beer.


There are always people behind the scenes cleaning and trimming and making this city pretty and wearing really big hats _ Photo by Royal

He is generous this Champion. At one Sin City trash can he fished a particularly attractive piece of trash out of the less attractive flotsam and jetsam and when he saw more conventionally dressed tourist staring at his trashy prize. This shirtless Champion generously offered the prize left over to the better dressed gentleman who of course politely refused.

This city is full of normal people believe it or not. We have thousands of boring suburbanites, millions of ordinary working stiffs and some of our rich people are even ..you know kind of not crazy. ..But we also have a lot of opportunist, drama queens and compulsive hedonist

I never will understand what it is in this city that inspires such confidence in the people who visit who come here.
I mean the express purpose of the City of Sin is to get you to spend all your money…everything is an angle or a failsafe to catch people working an angle.
Every casino in Vegas with cameras designed to catch people doing things and employees whose livelihood depends of their ability to catch you doing things.
According to one Sin City urban legend a decade or so ago authorities were chasing a man who darted into a local casino in an effort to escape by getting lost in the crowd. The man who may very well have gotten away if he had kept running and you know not been a moron, stopped to play slots near the front doors with some of the booty still on him.
Surrounded by cameras, security guards, and was captured (you think..)


The City at night in early May _ Photo by Royal

What do you call someone who comes to Vegas for a job interview as an “exotic dancer” with $20 in their pocket and a maxed out credit card. Brave ??? Confident??, silly ????
I call it Tuesday…almost every week.

That’s life in the City of Sin brother
Rock on
See ya’

People are Strange in the City of Sin

Zion National Park last week – photo by Royal

People are Strange in the City of Sin and in Utah

By Royal Hopper

This week I went on vacation. My wife and I and several dozen other nature freaks (tourists) hiked down a well traveled trail at Zion National Park. Most of my fellow hikers spoke foreign languages, took lots of pictures, wore strange clothing and looked lost and appeared to have consumed a great deal of alcohol.

hey there ..thank you very much – Photo by Sin City’s Royal Hopper

It was a lot like being on Las Vegas Boulevard  or in a Las Vegas casino except of course the mountains were real and there were no cocktail waitresses and the air conditioning didn‘t appear to work.

As I was walking down the trail at the Emerald Falls train  I had a Sin City flash back.
I responded to natures call just like any Sin City tourist ..I  tried to ask  what looked like a security guard directions to the bathroom and craps tables.
It turned out he was a tourist from Belgium who upon hearing my East Texas drawl looked like he had just walked into a real life remake of Deliverance despite the fact he didn’t seem to speak English.
“I no have money ..I no squeal like pig…”  (watch the movie)

….No not really I just asked him where the falls were and he looked at me muttered a few words of French and smiled  causing the young woman behind us to attempt to hide behind my and my wife as the strange looking gentleman approached the group of us walking up the trail.

Now I really felt at home. The frightened Frenchman was actually a drunken tourists making passes at women way out of his league in a foreign language and annoying said women to the point of pretending to be family members of strangers to avoid them.
( and no I wont tell you how I know about this technique)

My beloved (center) takes in waterfalls at Zion National Park trail last week with several
other tourists _ Photo by Royal

Overcome by a sense of Sin City serendipity ( I don’t actually know what that means I once got a pat on the back for using it in a feature I wrote for a local newspaper. I actually once had an argument about what it meant and won even though I was wrong.)


Waterfall on the rocks in a canyon _ Photo by Sin City’s Royal Hopper

Overcome by a sense of Sin City familiarity I immediately did a visual search of the surrounding vistas for the life sized cartoon characters who often pose for pictures on Las Vegas  Boulevard thiking they had them in Vegas why not here in nature’s glory.

As luck would have it I  saw what looked like Elmo and Big Bird. There by a large rustic looking bench near a fork in the trail ( it was a rock okay) was  a tall yellow clad man with a bird themed costume and a shorter figure dressed head to toe in fuzzy red fur. They were standing by a fork in the trail waiting to take pictures with eager tourists for a tip or beer.

Unfortunately it wasn’t Big Bird or Elmo standing by the fork in the road. It was a couple from the Ukraine with bad fashion sense and an even worse sense of direction than me. They didn’t seem to mind having their pictures taken and even started posing and flexing a little….They were ….odd….and kind of scary …Just like Vegas I thought as I hiked my past the couple for here on known in my mind as Big Bird and Elmo…

Later I swear I saw Elvis hiking down the Emerald Falls trail and chorus girl with a fur lined coat and a homeless guy sleeping on the sidewalk.

IT turned out it was just a guy with a bad hair cut and a button up shirt, a child who carrying a small dog on her shoulder and a German tourist taking a nap after a long climb. I assume he was German.  He was talking to himself in what sounded like German  as others hurried past him hoping he would not wake up and ask for money…

Just like the city……

I arrived back in the City on Sin just as the sun was setting and back where the Elmo’s and Spider men posing for pictures were actually posing for pictures and the people laying on the ground weren’t resting. Here life is not simple, the air is polluted , the lights never go out and there are miles of neon and anything you want to buy is sold somewhere…

Such is Life in the City of Sin
Rock on Fellow Sinners

See you soon