Pooter apparently sell s a lot of ice cream in the Sin City suburbs. _ Royal Hopper

Pooter apparently sell s a lot of ice cream in the Sin City suburbs. _ Royal Hopper

Buffets and Memories

By Royal Hopper

My hand hovered over the bin containing the pink cubes of greasy mass produced sort of food stuff wondering what I should do.. . . Believe it or not breakfast buffets in Sin Coty can offer a plethora of difficult choices . . . Spam or turkey _ salad or fried chicken. ..

This guy did the right thing he pulled over and parked to text _ Photo by Royal Hopper

This guy did the right thing he pulled over and parked to text _ Photo by Royal Hopper

On one hand I remembered those hazy days of childhood when my mother somehow made a tasty stir fry with left over rice and a can of the pink sort of food stuff because back then it was cheap . . . Because down south back then _ like beans and rice and cheap beef and onions that you boiled in gravy for four hours, like corn bread and butter or fried chicken and mashed potatoes and thick greasy gravy it was Po’ folks or in my parents case broke folks food it was cheap and it literally melt in your mouth biscuits and gravy good.

On the other I reminded myself I was an educated man and knew just how unhealthy this pink cubed meat was.. And how I was getting to old for southern comfort food.

On one hand as I approached the fried chicken section of the buffet I remembered the day I came home from the Army for a visit and my Mama (that is the way we say it in the south) fixed me ( and yes that is how we say it down south) fried Chicken and brown chicken gravy and niblet corn with generous helpings of butter. ( my mother was unique for those days because she actually used margarine made from soy bean and corn oil on occasion. I remember with incredible clarity ..like it was literally yesterday instead of 29 years ago how finger licking artery hardening good it was. I can see the smile on my mothers face and how good it made me feel as I momentarily forgot the southern manners I had been taught as a child and the serious deportment I learned in the Army and scarfed down that wonderful tasting unhealthy ambrosia. For a moment as I stared at that chicken I was lost in that memory. It was 1986 and I was a thin good looking infantry soldier in a peace time army in my late 20s and the future was endless. It was a beautiful rose colored memory.

I call this walking with a beard - Photo by Royal Hopper

I call this walking with a beard – Photo by Royal Hopper

Then I remembered the guy at who had a heart attack in his 40s because he just wouldn’t stop eating those wonderfully tasty unhealthy food and I remember all the things I have read about cholesterol and fat and white carbs and how bad they are for you.

In the end memory and taste won out and I surreptitiously scooped the pink cubes onto my plate like an addict an alcoholic shoveling bottles of Jim beam onto his plate and didn’t want anyone to see.

I picked through the salad and roast turkey and scrambled eggs on my plate and finally worked up the courage to confront the pink cubes shoveling two of them into my mouth and finding them _ . . . . . ordinary. The I actually took a bite of the buffet fried chicken and found it to be _ well _ awful. Perhaps I had expected to much but being raised on the best fried chicken in Southeast Texas I just could not eat this lesser chicken. It tasted pedestrian _ ordinary. The chicken was awful _ man _ not even in the same area code as my mother’s famous Mama Fried Chicken. . .

To much time had passed and the mass produced work of strangers never adds up to the carefully laid labors of those we love and who love us. It just isn’t possible.
Memories of marvelous days are just that marvelous memories and best left there in the memory or in pleasant day dreams.

You got me man _ Photo Royal Hopper

You got me man _ Photo Royal Hopper

Life is like that .some ideas ..some memories however wonderful are best left in the past like the swimming pool you u` se twice a year when company comes over. .. To be bathed in from time to time in moments of pleasant nostalgia and then left in the past where they belong. Spam and fried chicken are not ambrosia they are just food and the good old days are long gone . . Let them go . .

Driving home. . . Signs carried by street sign holders say Jesus Loves You .. And another says Hungry help. . One man stumbles onto a road lost and at another intersection. A man stands in the middle of the road dancing to ancient disco tunes holding a vintage boom box on his shoulder and glow in the dark dance clothes. He is not asking for money. He is a Sin City drama queen enjoying the spotlight on a busy Vegas intersection as commuters watch and consider running him over.

Okay Landscape with Yucca _ Royal Hopper

Okay Landscape with Yucca _ Royal Hopper

Later man Love you guys 

You gotta admire a confident man in a wheelchair _ Photo by Royal Hopper

You gotta admire a confident man in a wheelchair _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Sin City : The story tellers Paradise

By Royal Hopper

Two men walk into a busy casino past crowds of sweaty anxious gamblers and mutter to themselves .. . . “This is the stupid one . . . . “ as they briefly stop and sit down to watch one of the ball games displayed on the big screen in the vintage casino they walk through.

What the ? _ Photo by Royal Hopper

What the ? _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Several gamblers turn to look at the men thinking perhaps they are the stupid ones and clearly consider jumping on the two men and teaching them some manners until a strolling security officer settles nearby taking a break from his appointed rounds to catch a glimpse of the big screen action. Eventually either bored or hit with the sudden realization they are outnumbered and surrounded by drunken angry gamblers they stand and walk away.

Another gambler stakes a different approach. He tells a complete stranger about the good old days when he was a Hippie..roaming the wilds of Michigan with his then Hippie cousin doing Hippie things.
“Back when I was a Hippie,” says Tim or Mark or Dave ..yeah lets call him Dave. Dave’s eyes widened and he smiled broadly lost in thought recalling the good old days of being a Hippie. I don’t think the details even mattered and as his wife walked up probably an ex Hippie too . . . And he politely excused himself and looking more like Ma and Paw kettle than Grace Slick or Timothy Leary he wandered off to spend some of his retirement money ..lost in the memories of the Summer Of Love and the decade his soul obviously still resides in

There are several ways of telling stories in the City of Sin.

getting the attention of customers is a vital part of business in Sin City _ Photo by Royal Hopper

getting the attention of customers is a vital part of business in Sin City _ Photo by Royal Hopper

There is a technique in the City of Sin called the drive by insult where an insult is muttered just within earshot and just loud enough that several people can hear and wonder if the hard words were aimed at them. Perhaps relying on the natural tendency of people to care what well dressed strangers think about them. This tells the story of a spoiled aging 14-year old mind and heart in a rich grown man’s body_ a common thing in the City of Sin.

Then there are the life story tellers who will tell strangers intimate stories of their past 20, 30 or 40 years ago. I have always been one fo those people who strangers love to talk to. Strangers on a bus will stop to tell me about the acid trips they took in the 60s and how their children arent mutated as many experts said they would be. I kid you not this happened to me about 35 years ago.
I also seem to be fated to be the target of the drive by peripheral insults. There are certain kids of Sinners that just attract the drama queens and the people who like to tell stories.

Then ther are guys like the scraggily guy who asked me for spare dollars which as it happens I actually didn’t now have. His dress and manner told a story. He hair style wild and crusted with hair spray and grease told a story.“Not today buddy,” I said and he moved on. Which in Sin City lingo means .”I’m a local dude. I am broke and not the mood. I told a story without effort or extra work.cityscape 2

Every day I go to work I radio blasting and that Sin City wall of cynicism fully in place .I hear the words of that old TV cop show echoing in my mind..”There are a million stories in the naked city and this is one of them. . .” I know that somehow some way I am going to hear bits and pieces of dozens of stories before the day or shift is over.

It is not a great mysterious conspiracy no great problem to be solved .It is just one of the stories orf life in the City of Sin.

Take Care Sinners. Its my day off and I am going to chill and relax if it drives me crazy

Hey look at what I can do _ photo Royal Hopper

Hey look at what I can do _ photo Royal Hopper

Hiding from the rain _ Royal Hopper

Hiding from the rain _ Royal Hopper

It was just a good shot sue me _ Photo by Royal Hopper

It was just a good shot sue me _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Faith in the City is a funny thing

By Royal Hopper 

A woman well passed her prime walks with determination across a street in front of 12 angry Sinners waiting for the light to turn so they earn their daily bread. They are impatient _ that much is obvious ..but the walker doesn’t turn back or hesitate or alter her steps in any way. She continues her steady small steps, slightly hunched over either from age or an effort to keep the desert sun out of her eyes she doesn’t change her pace one iota.

Chick on a phone ???Photo by Royal Hopper

Chick on a phone ???Photo by Royal Hopper

The well worn citizen of Sin City apparently believes that the cars will stay put until she crosses the intersection to the relative safety of the sidewalk. Perhaps knowing there is nothing to lose she carries herself like she has guardian angel on her shoulder _ like she has faith in the City she calls home _ in the spirits that guide her life she keeps walking head down and determined to make the light.

A group of pleasant looking people stand on a sidewalk a little further down this Sin City byway. They hold signs proclaiming God Loves the reader. There are several of them standing on the sidewalk ..In a city that barely notices naked people running down the avenue at rush hour and boasts dozens of signs holders per street on any given day they are waving their signs at noon in the desert _ perhaps having faith someone will read and listen. We are very cynical _ us Sinners _ and very used to signs on streets and strangely dressed performers. It takes a lot to get our attention. I picture the day aliens land in the City of Sin something like this.
Two Sinners talking at lunch.

The family that holds signs together. This family was proclaiming God's love of everyone on a Vegas street corner Saturday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The family that holds signs together. This family was proclaiming God’s love of everyone on a Vegas street corner Saturday _ Photo by Royal Hopper

“Hey dude did you see the UFO land near Harrah’s.” “Yeah man Venusians I think..hey did you hear they are closing the gangster exhibit _ bummer dude..
Alien: “Earthlings can you tell me the way to your planetary resource distributor of fuel.” ( somehow the alien looks like Dan Akroyd in my mind)

“Down the street by Planet Hollywood dude.”
“Thank you earthling.. . .” as alien departs for the nearest gas station
“Freaking tourists dude they never change.”
“Yeah man.”

In yet another part of the city on a Friday ..You drive down the road and on every corner you see a man with a sign asking for help, for food for shelter for karate lessons to defeat the ninjas who stole his family or pet or karate teacher. They have faith their fellow man will spend part of their pay check on a donation to creative sign holders .

There are shade tree mechanics in every city _ Photo by Royal Hopper

There are shade tree mechanics in every city _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Faith is not something you expect to hear about in the City of Sin but we have it here.. . . . our own twisted cynical version but we have it ..

That is life in the City of Sin Bro’
Take Care Sinners

photo by Royal Hopper

photo by Royal Hopper

yes it does rain in the City of Sin _ Photo by Royal Hopper

yes it does rain in the City of Sin _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Road Rage and what you should do when confronted by reality

By Royal Hopper

This is the story . . . . .
You drive down a busy Las Vegas road .,..traffic is thick the tourists are already drunk and you are already in a pissy mood _ perhaps fired up by the Heavy Metal you were blasting from your stereo or the ten idiots trying to cross the four lanes of traffic in the middle of Sin City rush hour on foot.

How much is the doggie in the window _ Photo by Royal Hopper

How much is the doggie in the window _ Photo by Royal Hopper

You see a sports car with California plates suddenly pull an illegal U-turn into your lane finally putting his blinker on when he has already planted his plastic toy car squarely in your path causing you to swerve into another lane to avoid a collision.
Cursing and screaming at the other car through the tinted window of your 2003 Dodge Dakota. It is a classic case of justifiable road rage.and for a moment it looks like something that will make the news in the bad road rage erupts in Sin City more on Action News at Five kind of way. Wonder what happened ? Stayed tuned Bat Fans . . . . The answer will be at the end at the missive.
Everything in this city is designed to push people right to the edge so they gamble, drink and party more than they should _ and drive like idiots trying to get to the places they can do those things.

Sometimes the drive the rush to get there _ to do these things makes people lose their minds but before we get into the Las Vegas version of road rage that occurred above lets review the things you should not do when you come to the city of Sin.

Things not to do in the City of Sin  
A guy and his cell phone _ Royal Hopper

A guy and his cell phone _ Royal Hopper

There are some things you simply should not do when you come to the City of Sin. You should give $100 for beer to the woman you met on social media especially if her rather large dangerous looking boy friend insists he doesn’t mind if you “are with his girl”. You have been rolled dude ..

You should also not come to the City of Sin with no money in your pocket, no job and no way to get home except pan handling and stealing people’s slot tickets. Man this is Sin City you got to have the green when you come here.

Lastly don’t bring your kids. Leave your freaking kids at home. Its Las Vegas babe _ you know _ the City of Sin. If you gotta bring the kids find a baby sitter and no the kid is not allowed to slug back a shot of JD or play a roll of nickels while waiting for the topless review to start.

Now back to the Road Rage in the Sin City story. Yes the driver car that was cut off by this almost road kill sports car was yours truly and this is what happened.

eating lunch _ Photo by Royal Hopper

eating lunch _ Photo by Royal Hopper

I honked my horn I flipped him off and he flipped me off and that was all I cursed a little more turned Ozzie up as much as my ancient car stereo would allow and drove to work. The dude was an ahole and probably a bit intoxicated but apparently not psycho to start a road rage scenario over something that was likely his fault. Even in the City of Sin you have to be psycho to start a scrap over a lane change _ just flip each other off and go on with your life.

That’s life in the city of Sin Bro
Take Care Sinners
Love You all

Now where did I put that cell phone _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Now where did I put that cell phone _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The Paradigm of Practiced Crazy and Perfect Apathy

From Fashion show Mall a local looks out on the City_ Photo by Royal

From Fashion show Mall a local looks out on the City_ Photo by Royal

People in this city have three basic states of being. One and two are more common _ the practiced apathy that gets you through the day in a city that lives and dies on drama, greed and hedonism ..and the practice crazy that inspires them. The third is not so pleasant.

The Paradigm of Practiced Crazy and Perfect Apathy

by Royal Hopper

mall shot person good

Tell me the view from your mall food court looks like this _ Photo by Royal Hopper

A mysterious looking man walks quietly down a Sin City sidewalk eyes fixed on the commuters passing him by on their way to work and rendezvous. As if on a sudden whim the strange little dude waves and looks directly at me and waves as if waving at an old friend he is certain is happy to see him.
Approaching in the Sin City suburbs you see a man with leather skin hauling a plastic basket full of clothes across a busy intersection. His considerable mid section bulging out from underneath a tan t-shirt that likely hasn’t fit for two or three decades _ his face covered by a shaggy Woodstock like the one his dad probably wore as he carried him on his shoulder at that infamous celebration of hedonism 46 or so years ago. There is no Laundromat in sight. Across the intersection a man wearing an ankle length black leather coat practices grimacing as the light changes and the people behind him begin pushing forward.
A woman in a brilliant blue jogging suit hauling an ancient green backpack around gestured wildly at unseen foes who are interrupting her communion with the invisible spirits of the City.
The crazies are out in force on a busy city byway. It is mid afternoon in the City of Sin and barely anybody notices. Barely anybody except un or under employed reporters ( unfortunately I now have a real job) on their way back home from a trip to the mall with their daughter who like most millennials is blissfully unaware having put aside the anger irony and angst of her father’s generation in favor of letting the world be the world.

The couple that wheels together _ Photo by Royal Hopper

The couple that wheels together _ Photo by Royal Hopper

Practiced crazy is a skill set common to most urban environs _ almost as common as the practiced apathy of the Sinners who drive past them every day on the daily commute. Waving at random strangers and talking to street lights or imaginary friends is almost as common a skill as rhe ability to yawn and reach for the radio button as a stranger with issues moons the passersby and a sign holding panhandler actual tries to convince people ninjas kidnapped his family and he needs money for Karate lessons to win them back.

Its not purgatory brothers and sisters its just life in the City of Sin
Take care Sinners

PS.
There is another less amusing Sin City paradigm to deal with.._ ie the thin skinned drama queen a paradigm that seems to defy the nature of the city and runs across income, station and culture and is becoming far more common these days.
I know the people who hand out flyers for Hoo I mean dancers are annoying but pretending to be outraged by it because you got rolled by a dancer named Snow Bunny in the desert no less is a little much. If you don’t want your kids to see people gambling and drinking why do you bring them to Vegas?

The doggy in the car window _RMH

The doggy in the car window _RMH

I will say this about working in a Sin City casino. You have to have a sense of humor. You have to understand that you don’t work in a church and you cant get offended at every thing that doesn’t fit your perfect vision of the world. People come to Vegas to drink gamble and let their freak flags fly. That’s all I am going to about it
Adieu

Just sittign along singing a song _ Royal Hopper

Just sittign along singing a song _ Royal Hopper

Everybody has a job to do - Photo by Royal Hopper

Everybody has a job to do – Photo by Royal Hopper

Sunrise by Nature Photo by Royal Hopper

Sunrise by Nature Photo by Royal Hopper

The guys are almost ubiquitous in Sin City now

The guys are almost ubiquitous in Sin City now