Telling stories and assorted mayhem in the City of Sin
By Royal Hopper
Old guys, and by old I mean anyone who remembers disco and ever owned a leisure suit, tend to tell a lot of stories.
I once had a homeless tell me a long story of woe about how he ended up asking for hand outs on the street and then ask me if he had gotten it right..
Southern men and redheads and former small town reporters especially tend to tell a lot of stories and some of them are even true.
As you may guess southern (well it is mostly gray and brown now but hey) red heads who used to work at a small town newspaper tend to tell a lot of stories..
“I saw a fish with two heads and boobs ..I am telling you it was nine feet long,” A bear chased me up a tree and ate me and I fought my way out of its stomach and still made it home it time for the Cowboys kick off..you get the idea.. When I was 9-years-old me and a friend of mine once convinced the neighborhood girls that lettuce makes you pregnant.
“My sister still will not eat vegetables.”
We call it telling tall tales. No one is expected to believe these tales. They are told just for the glory, the mania of telling a good story.. . Tale telling is just the opposite from the form of story telling I practiced as a reporter. In the news facts are everything and the object is to tell the facts in an interesting dramatic manner. In tale telling facts are cool but sometimes only a distraction from the important duty of telling a good story.
One residentially challenged Sin City Sinner explained to me how he was actually wasn’t sleeping in his chair he was there to enjoy a little poker action and play pool in the week end tournament. The casino in question did not have poker room and had not for years. The pool tournament was months away.
Another Sin City patron I happened upon in my meanderings launched into a long story of why and how he had ended up standing all but naked on a Las Vegas street corner (not that I cared or wanted to know) .. . .he muttered on about something about losing his clothes in a poker game with aliens or politicians and being drugged by ET in the process.
He slurred his words occasionally making sense, he explained why he was standing on a street corner in torn gym shorts and occasionally looking down the bottle in his hand as if not sure how it had gotten there.
He stopped suddenly as if remembering he was repeating himself and for several seconds looked like he was concentrating on a new story to tell before shrugging his shoulder and clearly giving up the bother of thinking and raising the lip of the bottle to his mouth. It was empty and he raised his arm as if to throw it on the sidewalk. Perhaps noticing the police officer just down the block approaching him in a patrol car he thought better of that idea and simply sat down on the sidewalk..
So I have to ask you what do you do when you are suddenly struck by storytellers mania in the middle of your tale and you realize you are repeating yourself .You have told this story before.You realize it before the people who are listening and still cannot stop yourself .
I actually did once chase a possum from under our house when we briefly lived in the country in those long ago hazy days of my late teens. I really did heft a brick at the thing to prevent it from biting my dog and it really did just blink and hiss at me.
Stories like that are good for one maybe two tellings and then you really need to move on.
As you may have guessed I started to tell this same story perhaps for the third or fourth time.and realized almost as soon as I had said the word possum but I could not stop myself man ..I could not stop.. Just like the coworker could stop himself from making the same joke about “a cement pond” and critters referring to the fact I am the only southerner on my shift..like the drunk who just could not come up with a good story for his condition people in this city _ the City of Sin _ sometimes get so caught up in the Sin City story telling that is part of the culture here they just cannot stop themselves.
Life goes on in the City of Sin _ a “working girl” hands out business cards to potential customers, a man found sleeping face down in a bathroom stall gets angry when he is told not to sleep face down in his own piss, some people spend fortunes others beg for gas money while the shopping carts full of his worldly possessions is parked on the Italian marble inside a Sin City casino and on and on and on..
Life in the City of Sin my friend
Take Care Sinners
PS I actually did see a fish with two heads once but it was in an aquarium and it was six inches long not nine feet and I hadn’t slept in two days..