The City of Sin Sings for its Supper


Sponge Bob Square Pants wows a Sidewalk Audience on The Strip in Las Vegas late last week _ Photo RMH III


By Royal Hopper

The shirtless outcast street musician that worked the boulevard this week loved hats and hated shirts.

The rare mugginess (and yes that is a word)  that filled the desert air of the city this week and plethora of well fed pigeons hanging out hear his sandal clad feet picking at white spots on his silk designer tie like they were perfectly round kind of  white cord flakes the didn’t faze this aspiring Elvis. He kept on singing and kept on thanking the audience that wasn’t there for their kindness.
He braved the blazing sun and rare desert rain pouring his heart out in song strumming his acoustic guitar like a madman.
He smiled porn star tipping his hat at and adjusting his tie as he played the shirtless and sockless sonata.
This fearless asphalt minstrel  played like a champ somehow missing the fact  that he was surrounded by people trying to step around him and the piece of sidewalk he was occupying. They were not adoring fans or overawed music critics like the homeless critic sitting across the street from the street wise minstrel.


Taking out the trash on Las Vegas Boulevard. A worker or scavenger ???? takes out the trash late last week _ Photo by Royal Hopper

“Disco Sucks,” shouted the musician’s lone critic to his Chuck Taylor running shoes from his seat on the sidewalk across the street. Keep in iind he was shouting at his shoes.
No one was really listening to his rant. So this impromptu music critic sprang to life started playing air guitar and singing to a group of pigeons eating food scraps a few yards away.

People apparently just like to sing in this city.
…Some people do crazy singing  stuff for no reason. Just because….
Some people just drop off a resume when they want to apply for a job. Others stand in front of the small crowd gathered at the nearest job center and break into song and dance..some people do that ..I’m just saying.
Some people stroll down the boulevard in their Madonna meets….Wednesday Adams ..Disney Goth get up deliberately striking their black leather clogs on the simmering pavement silently Pantomiming a tune that inspired her perhaps one of the Material Girl’s 80s hits that occasionally still play on PA systems  throughout the city.
Anyway as the light changed and I was forced to drive on a couple of women themselves dressed like chorus dancers did finally elbow past the throng of invisible fans and star doe eyed at the shirtless streetie inching closer to him to listen to his muse shout its joy to the jaded Sin City sidewalk audience.


What are these guys up to _ hmmmm RMH III

Oh well perhaps their children will be talented.
Another generation of big dreamers of shirtless outcast rebels ..of born suckers…I mean tourists

….another generation of Vegas drama queens and another generations Elvi, girls named Bambi from LA and boys named Bill from Nebraska ….another endless summer in the City of Sin that does despite the legends …you know ..well end….

It was hot and muggy in the City of Sin this week. For a few days it was more like Atlanta or Houston than a city in the desert.

The heat seems to infect people’s brains with strange ideas right about this time of year. It could be the heat or the cheap alcohol …Whatever …..

Take Care Sinners
And Rock ON

The Sin of Being Clueless

by Royal Hopper

Sometimes when you are making the long drive down a City of Sin byway toward your suburban home you see someone who you just know has nothing to lose and nothing to gain by pretending they do….Help the helpless

I saw such three such men laying on the ground  on the way home one day this week.  The first was laying alone in a dirty white shirt on the sidewalk for all to see, and clearly he could not care less who saw or what they thought.
He lay within three feet of his precious shopping cart the bottom of which I swore was coated with old Bee Gees CD‘s. I could almost see the white leisure suits on the CD label from the road as I drove by.
“It was as if he was saying disco is gone..that’s it Im not moving. There is nothing more you can do to me…. I am staying right here on the sidewalk… Barry man why did you do it
Anybody got a leisure suit I can borrow….?”

white dress lady

Further down the road
Further down the road two men, brothers perhaps or perhaps just friends who squat on the same section of Sin City roadway lay beside each other baking in the afternoon sun. Inexplicably they ignored even the minimal shade of a nearby utility box and chose to half sit half lay in a boxed in corner created by an urban landscape crowded with concrete, asphalt and metal.
They looked for all the world like an ad for an imaginary sequel to Bill and Ted Excellent Vegas adventure. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was an 80s epic about two iconic stoners/rockers who repeatedly saved the world despite being  completely clueless and apparently without resources or education of any kind.
You could almost hear the conservation in your mind as you drove past these two….
“Dude want to do something…”
“Dude it too hot. Lets stay here…..
“Dude lets get a burrito….”
“Later dude. I just want to lay here on the curb with our long live the 80s hairdos…”
“Dude…you want to do something…” No dude lets just lay here…
Dude …..

There were others like the clueless over groomed  dip thong, I want to be a corpse genius who ran across a busy Sin City Street staring at his I Phone Sunday paying no attention to cars whizzing by him must surely have had nothing to lose. As I have said before drivers in Las Vegas will run you over even when they see you and are sober enough to react in time and when they are stoned which they often are they will surely run you over and laugh about it on their way to the drunk tank.

I suggest to this gentleman that he visit the nearest recruitment center.
If you are going to risk your life crossing the street at least get the glory and a pay check for doing it because brother you almost met maker at least three times I saw while I was waiting for the light to change.
I hear the Marines and the Rangers are looking for men who don’t mind risking their lives crossing the street You should sign up.

Such lack of care is common in the summer time here. One woman who should have cared is the one seen walking down the boulevard hand in hand with her significant other. She had been burnt by the desert sun had turned bright lobster red and was turning redder by the moment like her mop of reddish hair. She was so bright red you could see this woman from 100 feet away you could almost see the oncologist standing close by fishing in his wallet for a business card.

On and On and On

Most days in the city of Sin are fairly normal. People do all the normal things in the normal way. They walk their dogs and wait at the bus stop in neon pink tutus. They run to the sports book before work to make bets because 930 is their  lucky number.
step over homeless guys, and drunken pediatricians on their way to tip Elvis impersonators lining the boulevard  for photos they hope no one in their Wayne Newton fan club will see them taking  and they have walking pose offs in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard with random strangers next to the My Pretty Kitty Character who is mocking their every pose as they walk by.

It kind of like the suburbs here in Vegas. People are normal.  Really???? No not really. This is Las Vegas Dingbat. People arent normal here. People here are weird  even in Cleveland and here they are proud of it but when no one is looking they do all the normal things. They do ride the bus. They dream about the glories of the past . They drink to much. They complain about work and silently clutch the voodoo dolls hidden in their pockets as they bet the rent money on a hard eight with stack of purple on the table and a girl named Sugar they barely know reaching in their pocket as they roll the dice….

Not to long ago I once told a Sin City denizen to grow up and get a life…..”No,” they quipped without sign of anger or attempt at satire. There was no retort or rationalization or explanation they just said one word and stalked back into their Sin City Zone of reality.

That’s life in the City of Sin

Rock on Sinners
Rock On

It might surprise you to know people drink

Sin City Characters pose for picture takers on the Strip late last week _ Photo Royal

It might surprise you to know people drink a lot here, the gamble on occasion and they party all night often with people they barely know.

A Real Man Can Walk and Eat Nuggets at the Same Time

by Royal Hopper

There was a time when being “invited to party” by another man on the rebound, because he is broken hearted over the actions of his philandering boyfriend would have made my redneck blood boil.

There was a time when I would have let loose a stream of invectives, stalked away and watched Patton the movie repeatedly and talked about football at every opportunity as a way of feeling more manly.
When it happened this week I found it mildly flattering ( since he was far younger and better dressed than I) and typical of the City of Sin. One of the advantages of being a jaded Sin City veteran is that it takes a great deal to surprise you. here you have to be very weird to impress anybody. As I have often said when I first arrived in the City of Sin all those years ago I was a different person. Weird things made me stare in disbelief and being from BFE Texas everything was weird to me. Now I can walk past cartoon characters, half naked panhandlers, schizophrenic performance artists and Republicans without blinking an eye.   Last New Years I complimented a casino guest with purple clad like an 80s Hair Metal diva on his costume. he smiled then looked at me and said with all seriousness What costume ?  (Thank you novelty fortune cookie and reruns of Kung Fu for all philosophical references)

Vegas is not for the Socially Faint of Heart.

Consider that this gentleman armed only with Jack Daniels and Armani opened his heart to a perfect stranger with a Texas drawl, twice his age without fear of consequences and then think about what you would say to them.
“People come to this city to do three things,” I said as he related the level of his heartbreak but not giving any details. “They come to drink, they come to gamble…” I said thinking for a moment,”  and they come to break hearts,” I said preparing to catch him as he wavered forward apparently on the verge of falling down as Mr. jack Daniels appeared ot be getting the better of him. My words seemed to make a connection in his perfectly dressed, perfectly quaffed, ethanol soaked brain. ( once again Thank you novelty fortune cookie and the crazy guy who talks to himself very loudly)

A Foreign car stops in front of a British themed Pub in the background _ Photo Royal

Winning his subconscious fight with Mr. Daniels  the black clad partier caught himself before he toppled  to the floor thought for a moment stood upright looked at me and said..”You have to come party with us….”
It could have been an innocent comment or he could have been serious. Probably he was trying to make a fat old guy feel good in a two day drunk kind of way. “I’m too married, to old and to broke for that kind stuff anymore but thank you for asking, and” I said pausing for emphasis and adding “I am thinking about becoming a Democrat.”
“Oh,” he said smiling and walking away. Apparently this gentleman had trouble being drunk and depressed at the same time so he gave up and decided to be just drunk.

There seemed to be a lot of drinking in the City of Sin this week even more than usual.

The inability to do two things at once is a common Sin City problem. On the way to work early one morning this week I spotted a group of well dressed Sin Citiers striding down a Las Vegas street late after a long night of drinking. One of these gentleman was gnawing on a chicken nugget like he hadn’t eaten anything other than bar food in three days which he likely hadn’t.
The hungry drunk as I will call him henceforth walked in a zig zag motion with a noticeable pattern. He would bite the chicken nugget he carried in his left hand, take a step, come to a complete stop, bite the nugget again come to a complete stop and take another step. He repeated this pattern as he walked the length of a cross walk on the corner. Finally perhaps realizing he was in a cross walk he stopped completely to chew then took a few steps and stopped again and swallowed.

It as if he was so drunk he could bite a chicken nugget, or chew or swallow or take a step but could not do perform two of these complex tasks together without falling down. He could either walk or chew nugget or swallow but not two of them at the same time …what….////

I guess the same could be said of the man sitting down on the grass in front of a McDonalds on Las Vegas Boulevard/ Now this occurrence is not unusual in and of itself, However this gentleman didn’t look like he was in distress ..It appeared that he had gotten his food walked outside for some reason and after three steps decided ..he was to tired or two drunk or both to go any further. This is far enough.” he seemed to be saying. “.Ill eat my egg McMuffin right here.”

Just another day in Vegas along with the cartoon characters, the parents dragging their kids to endless half priced stage shows, themed casinos and a sea of neon.

It is all here in the City of Sin

We all grow up a little as we grow old ..some more than others,….. I am guessing the woman in the neon striped pajamas jogging down the Strip this week and the guy shouting at his girlfriend 30 seconds after she had stopped listening and walked away and was taking pictures of clowns have a ways to go.

Rock on Sinners

One Hundred and Holy Hell Hot

A Sin City drama queen denizen who often carries his message on his T-Shirt and waves a flag while blowing a whistle waits in traffic with commuters and tourists Monday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

One Hundred and Holy Hell Hot

By Royal Hopper

It was so freaking hot that the transvestite who hangs out on Tropicana decided to forgo wearing a blouse and went with the simple strapless low cut black sundress instead. He even trimmed his beard.
It was 116 degrees according to a porch thermometer on my Mother’s porch. In technical terms it was a hundred and Holy Hell Hot and everybody was pissed off about it.
A man sporting a crop of gray hair was seen on a nearby corner sporting a gray biker/punkabilly leather vest.

Being noticed is paramount in a city populated by showmen, drama queens and cartoon characters _ Photo by Royal Hopper

I’m sure the heat was what he used to convince his wife the reason he had the retro punk ability biker gear on in the middle of the day didn’t mean he was having a second childhood it cooler wearing my sleeveless leather vest its cooler than a T-shirt. The heat made tempers flare even in the early morning when temperatures were a chilly 85 to 90 degrees.

For Instance: Trash Cans Piss People Off

Heat and Trash cans really piss some people off…and those plastic trash bags ..forget about it …I stood watching one Las Vegas man who was so angry at the cheap clear plastic trash bags that are scattered throughout the city he scooped it off the ground while the hotel employee who was

collecting the trash stood by watching and I think smirking…and tossed the trash bag into the street.

He then showed the trash bag who was boss by kicking the crap out of it and scattering several dozen empty

water bottles, soft drink cups and assorted empty containers of alcoholic beverages across Las Vegas Boulevard in the wee hours of the morning.

Imagine an open top tour bus when temperatures top 115 _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The display was followed by a series of  loud pops as morning commuters ran over the air filled plastic and paper containers. I imagine street wise Sin City residents and their equally streetwise cousins from LA must have jumped  a bit as the gun shot like thumps of exploding drink bottles and cups filled the air.

It was a hundred and Holy Hell Hot this week in Vegas.

While walking the dogs after work I spied a gentleman laying under a tree with a can of Foster’s beer near his head.

Shortly after that I spied a $5 bill on the ground not far away.
I thought for minute, I picked up the bill, though for a few more seconds then deposited the fiver back on the ground certain he had seen it and walked back to my truck -_  my ancient Labrador Retriever Spazz in tow.
Maybe he was homeless, maybe just drunk and tired but I didn’t leave the bill where he could see it because of that. I left it because it was clear that why ever he was in the park crashed out underneath a tree in 115 degree day he needed the beer money a lot more than me. Foster’s is imported from Australia and is not that cheap brother.

That’s life in the City of Sin
Rock On Sinners
And for the love of Foster’s stay frosty

two guys on a bike