Sin City Journal: Week of the Rainy Day 11-26-2013

Rainy Day in Vegas or The Ugliness of Beauty in Sin City
(A film Noir version of Sin)

By Royal Hopper

Does that tickle _ Las Vegas Boulevard on a rainy day last week _ Royal

Rain in the City of Sin is kind of an urban myth. We hear about it all the time but see it so rarely it always takes us by surprise.
It’s kind of like seeing Sasquatch and the Easter Bunny brawling with a Paparazzi at a café on Flamingo or the man who stopped his Porsche on the opposite side of a huge mud puddle, staring at the puddle like it was a communist plot to take away his right to drink and drive on a Saturday and get dirt on his $80, 000 ride to work.

“It does exist,” you say to yourself as the rain begins to cloud your windshield and Sasquatch lands a solid right hand on the photographer.

When I drove past him he was still standing in front of the puddle working up the courage to drive through the wet danger zone staring daggers at its greasy wet surface like he was looking for answers to the urban myth that was blocking his way to wherever he was going to spend his money.
As I eased my battered old mini pick up truck through the four inches of dirty asphalt colored run off and went on my way the wayward Porsche driver was still staring at the flood puddle.
Perhaps he was trying to enforce his will on the puddle of flood water the way he likely often did in his everyday life. Perhaps he was consulting his GPS and mapping ways to go around the four inch deep obstacle in the road  or maybe the images that danced across the water, the reflected portraits of the neon dragons that populate Sin City were so hypnotic he simply couldn’t look away. ( There was a film noir marathon this weekend. I picked up a few turns of a phrase)

A Sin City Silhouette on a crosswalk at Dusk Monday _ Photo Royal

The Rain makes Sinners rue the winter

Us Sinners are a strange breed matter how many times we see Sasquatch throw the Paparazzi over a convenient fence and his friend the Easter Bunny clapping with delight we still don’t believe it when we see it. ( Well maybe it was two local characters posing as Chewbacca and Hello Kitty but hey its Vegas right)
Today the rain let up and it was just cold. Driving down the strip a homeless guy sat on a corner trying to get warm while oblivious to the dollar bills he was being handed in the effort to keep his legs from going numb. Still further down the road a Storm Trooper and Darth Vader talk shop between souvenir pics, showgirls line the corners of Las Vegas sidewalks, and men still dug sneakily dig into the new stands where the flyers of naked women are stored. the men hide from public sight greedily scooping up the naked flyers with an air of triumph at their good fortune perhaps unaware that the flyers are free and no one cares.

The Sin City dynamic. Plebeian and Patrician in the same box _ Photo Roya;

On the way home

Before you turn off the Strip and head home a couple from somewhere runs across the road in $4,000 shoes blissfully unaware of how close they came to meeting their maker and throngs of Japanese soccer moms pose for pictures beside a man who has no idea what the whack jobs putting their hands on his shoulder and asking him to smile were doing. Apparently he actually dresses like a Smurf because that is how he dresses.

Once again That’s life in Si City of Sin

So Long Fellow Sinners

See you

A slice of Sin or the Urban Pizza
By Royal Hopper

SSShhh be very very quiet. I’m playing craps _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Someday you really try just staking out a busy part of a busy city and catalog what happens in that part of the city at a given time. Paint a portrait of the city in your mind based on a week of those slices of observations.

This week’s slice

In once slice of the Sin City Pizza a man with a rainbow Sombrero parades across the casino floor basking in the looks his fashion statement is drawing. He walks keeping time to the Funkadelic tune playing on the PA and plows right on through the angst filled Grunge Rock ballad then stumbles a both as the song ends and ancient disco dance tunes fill the air.
In another slice of urban pizza a couple from a small town quietly complains that the movies lied there isn’t anything in Vegas only to find out they were walking down  the wrong street and hadn’t actually been on Las Vegas Boulevard the infamous Las Vegas byway called “ The Strip,” They then discovered again that the movies hadn’t lied. Vegas was every bit as bizarre and over marketed as the movies portrayed.

All right everybody repeat after me _ Photo by Royal Hopper

In another section of the pizza a man well passed his prime bends over to pick up a prize tidbit or two and topples over the victim of Mr. Daniels and his friends Johnny Walker and the infamous Mr Seagram. In another a seven-year old stands obediently at arms length watching his father shovel dollar bills into a nearby machine because children aren’t allowed to gamble and keeping them at arms length while you do it is cool????

In another section two women are doing something that took even this Sin City Veteran a little by surprise. Thanking Jesus very loudly as they ply the one armed bandit with those pieces of green paper that dominate our lives.

“Thank You Jesus”

As the words “Thank You Jesus,” echoed across the dry, smoky, processed air of Sin City’s elder gambling houses patrons and employees alike seemed in shock.

I must admit that after 14 years off and on in the hedonist environs of the City of Sin the last I words I expected to hear echoing across a Las Vegas casino were “Thank you Jesus.”  Those words of praise and worship were belted out repeatedly and in unison by this mini chorus of believers with a passion normally reserved  for weddings, funerals and the occasional heavy metal reunion concert.
“Thank you Jesus,” said the pair of soccer Mom gamblers as they shoveled bill after bill into a gaudy, theme song spouting one armed bandits apparently not without some success. “Thank You Jesus,” they repeated as another ten bills rolled from their fingers to the bill opening of the slot machine.
“Thank You Jesus,” they sang as their protestations of faith were rewarded with enough credits to keep their game going for another two or three choruses of,  “Thank You Jesus.”

How do you like my shades _ Photo by Royal Hopper

You know there used to be churches in Vegas casinos not wedding chapels real churches and it was not uncommon for people to say prayers while rolling a dice or shoveling quarters into a slow machine or making a tired old pass at a cocktail waitress who was way out of their league. In the old days Vegas was a dangerous place run by dangerous men and seldom did you hear words of praise in a casino. These days, the days of sanitized  billion dollar corporate, adult Disney Land Vegas those words are apparently more common.
“Thank You Jesus,” the two churchy young women chimed as they cashed out what was left of their Vegas stake and headed for the urban neon wilderness that is Las Vegas boulevard.

uuhhuuh Thank You very much

Look around the the urban pizza. One man tries to reclaim his cocaine at a security podium in a casino and another swears someone swiped his gray duffle bag he had stuffed full of books to read while on vacation in Las Vegas. Three Elvi lounge on the sidewalk next to Darth Vader and from Idaho who looks lost.

That’s life in the City of Sin boys and girls

Take Care Fellow Sinners

Thank You Very Much

Sunset in Las Vegas _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Holidays in the City or the Devil and two for one drink specials


Holidays in the City or the Devil and two for one drink specials

By Royal Hopper

Three devils walk down the street in Las Vegas hand in hand….one has pink hair, one has red ears and one has horns…Who are they and what does it mean…? Is this the beginning of a bad Vegas joke or a Goth remake of Bewitched ????
Answers at the end of the story and remember things are not always what they seem in the City of Sin.

Celebrating the holidays in the City of Sin can be a lot like hugging your sister at a wedding, military service or going shopping with your wife.  All three can be full of danger and all three are just something a man has to do now and then.    

In case you missed it was Halloween last  week in Vegas.
SAs usual there were  princesses and power rangers, goblins and fairies parading past houses on a Sin City street looking for handouts and threatening tricks if they didn’t get their preferred treats and as always there were lots of treats in the City of Sin the past ten days.
Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of tricks in Sin City holiday season.

 Like the one gentleman who reportedly stood on a Sin City street corner reportedly complained loudly about all the people with their cheap tourists cameras stopping to take pictures on his street corner on his small corner of Sin City panhandling territory.
Reportedly right about that time a tourist who was stopping by Raggedy Man’s panhandling territory to take pictures on that corner offered to lend  the raggedy man his practiced eye and his $4,000 camera to take photos…”What is your email address I will send it to you..”  …

Or the one gentleman who turned to a group of friends apparently shouting angrily knowing the music being played would cover up his supposedly angry rant while his friends looked on in bewilderment. When there was a pause in the music the joke was apparent. Being several times larger than his friends he was just singing along with the beat playing a Halloween prank on his buddies.

There was a time children were simply not allowed in Las Vegas casinos. These days it is not unusual for parents to be seen sitting at a slot machines shoveling quarters into one of the city’s famous one armed bandits with one infant child laying in their laps next to half finished Mai Thai and a toddler staring wide eyed at a slot machine with a picture of a scantily dressed fairy princess in a Calvin Klein bikini next to them.

The holidays are one of the few times you get to see kids being kids
It was Halloween in my neighborhood and it was awesome. The holidays have come to Sin City. The holidays are the closest thing to innocence this city will ever see. Pass the eggnog and has anybody seen that 2 for 1 parley card I left it here somewhere…..


As to the three witches walking down the street. They were coming from a costumed party genius.

 and No there is no punch line you cynical jaded reprobate it wasn’t two for one night at The Elvi ..The costumed candy panhandlers were children on Halloween night and the three witches were just getting into the Holiday spirit. Sheesh what is wrong with you people.

Thats life in the City of Sin
Carry on Sinners

Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving,  Hanukah, and Freaking Harvest  Day. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years that most Vegas of Vegas Holidays….