Trendy Burritos, cheap food  and being an ahole

It is always the weeks when nothing happens that make you the most sure something is about to happen…

By Royal Hopper
Once upon a time Vegas was a very obvious place dedicated to very obvious pass times with obvious costs. It was like a trip to a saloon in the old wet.. It had cheap food that was actually cheap and gaming tables and machines that were not and people who would hurt you if you didn’t pay your bills.


I just Thought this one looked cool. The water on the street and the weird trick the light was playing that day. This is a stretch of Sin City street late last week _ Royal Hopper

Modern Las Vegas is kind of like a trip to a trendy Yuppie Burrito joint. You walk in expecting a cheap meal and easy odds and end up paying through the nose because they charge for everything. The half ounce container of dressing, the less than half ounce of sauce and cheese they put on your burrito and that extra three piece of chicken the size of a dime  _ cost extra.
                                                                                                                                                                    Nothing in the City of Sin is actually cheap anymore. Although there are deals to be found the days of the .49 cent Westward Ho Breakfast buffet are long gone as are the days of behave or we will break something. In modern parlance it is fairly common to be ahole these days. It is the way it is now.

cute black chick

A young woman out for a walk in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

 That being said there are still rules. There are still obvious situations that should be avoided even in the City of Sin whether you are at a trendy burrito joint or a Sin City casino.  If you take a dump in bath tub with the commode just feet away. You are not a rebel or a party animal. You are an ahole. Someone who works for a living has to clean your crap up before the room can be rented  again you nasty SOB.  One more time. You are an ahole if you crap in the bath tub.


Not just any yard sale a “Big Yard Sale” _ Royal Hopper

When someone lends you a few bucks and then you steal their keys and then their car. You are an ahole. Even thieves should have some manners.  When you and four buddies go on a long night of drinking and carousing and they ditch you in the lobby of a local hotel when you are so drunk you cant remember your room number and have to be rousted out of their rooms by casino security to come and get you –  they are aholes… Ditch them for good.
Now for the trendy If you ask a customer if they want sauce on their burrito and don’t tell them each dose cost a dollar you are an ahole because someone who works for a living just paid $25 for two burritos instead of $16 which is still to much.
It’s not a fairy tale. It’s a fact
It is life in the City of Sin
Take Care Sinners

It is always the weeks when nothing happens that make you the most sure something is about to happen…

guy sitting in shadows

A Las Vegan (Sinner) hides from the heat of a summer day. Oddly in rained shortly after this was taken _ Royal Hopper

Blast furnace day

by Royal Hopper
It was 108 in the City of Sin Yesterday.
You could cook an egg on the sidewalk at 8 a.m. and by 10 the roadways  were hot enough to cook the bacon that goes with it. It was a great week for indoor sports as the 16,000 pool playing bar flies who came into town for their annual championship tournament can testify.

a right lane must what

The Right Lane Must ???? Royal Hopper

It was the kind of blast-furnace day that made even the pigeons work enough courage to try and fly indoors when a car window was opened. I saw two fight over a spot by the air conditioning vent where cool water was leaking out by the cup full.
The normally timid urban pigeons seemed so reluctant to vacant that patch of shade near the leaky vent that they stood up to a dog that was trying to eat them for several seconds before deciding that being eaten was a worse fate than being exposed to the summer sun.
It was the kind of day where you could cook a chicken by leaving it on the hood of your car for a couple of hours or make jerky by leaving your turkey sandwich on the dashboard while you were taking a nap to escape the heat.

carrying water

Water for s hot summer day _ Royal Hopper

It was the kind of arid heat that makes you look at the tourists stumbling down the sidewalks in their brightly colored ill advised shorts or equally ill advised suits and jackets and wish for them to stumble and fall in a nearby pond out pf mercy. No matter where you are from you are never ready for the desert.
It was the kind of week when you went voluntarily with your significant other and your female off spring to the trendy Swedish based big box store for an a hour of shopping because you were bored and it was to damn hot to go outside for long periods. It was one of the days when you actually feel a little sorry for those holding signs asking for money on the sun baked avenue.

somebodys screwed

Do you get the feeling someone’s yard sale is screwed _ Royal Hopper

It was hot..!
The desert is a beautiful place full of challenging vistas and stark dray dangerous beauty. When you are not staring at a neon sign the whole place looks like the set of a sci fi b movie about beautiful but dead alien planets full of strange lifeforms. (Just go downtown on a Friday night and you will see) They say  it is hottest right before it cools off and begins its brief warm version of winter and weirdest right before things get normal. (which they never do here)
Getting used to the heat in the desert is like getting used to snow in Greenland. It isn’t a decision it is just something you do or you do not do and you move to Idaho.
The heat isnt cruel or sadistic. It does not seek out the meek or the strong. It does not seek challenge or prey. It simply is or it isn’t. It is just life in the City of Sin.
Take Care Sinners


Two young urbani pass by each other as they go about their business last week. The new generation of Sinners _ Royal Hopper

     Today I saw an older man crossing the street and when I say older remember I was born when the Beetles were still playing small gigs in Liverpool. (1962) His hair was white and he was stooped over and so frail looking it seemed like the mild desert breeze would blow him across the street like a dried out leaf or desiccated twig or insect.            
                                                                                                                                                                                    He hesitated with each step stopping mid stride regaining his balance tottering as though the effort of standing up was almost too much for him to bear and he was mustering his strength to finish the stride. He looked almost like a John Cleese parody of a man doing one of his patented silly walks  (English comedy look it up.)
   The light turned and I left the frail wisp of a man trying to cross the street under his own power. It had taken the entire light for three or four steps but he was still determined to get there. The leather jacket he sported spoke of the days when he was a force to be reckoned with. The old days were long gone for this determined street crosser and meant to hold onto them as tightly as he could.


One of the newer generation of off strip casinos catering to locals… Royal Hopper

These good old days are gone

By Royal Hopper
Most of the places that stood on the strip (Las Vegas Boulevard when I arrived her in 1989 right out of Uncle Sam’s gentle graces ( I was in the Army) are gone now. The Sands the Dunes, The Landmark, The El Morocco, The El Cortez, The Marina, The Westward Ho, The Stardust, O ‘ Shea’s and on and on and on. ( for a basic map of strip casinos in the day.)
    These Vegas icons were torn down in the Halcyon days of the 90s building boom and with them went the days of cheap food,  the days of pinstripes, and guys named after bugs and facial features. (ie Tony the Ant, Louie the nose and that lefty guy).
In the City of Sin the poor gamblers breakfast could be had for .49 cents at the Westward Ho Motor hotel/casino (founded in 1963 when this writer was 1) and hotdogs and $1 beer was the toast of the “old Las Vegas.”
    Last week I had  conversation with a man about free beer or at least he had a conversation with me. The man dressed in a collection of Roy Rogers 1950s cowboy accessories stopped in front of me and appeared to want to ask me something.  I extended my hand for a manly hand shake, offered my name and asked his the way many places of business require their employees to do these days. He stood there for several seconds not saying a word and when I politely excused myself and began to walk away he said …”Thanks for the talk I will give that beer a try.” Since I hadn’t said any such thing I can only guess that the man had_ had a serious scrap with Mr. Jack Daniels 5th or Ms. Molly Narcotic and gotten his ass kicked. Either that or he was psychic or just nuts. That is the second time that has happened to me in the City of Sin. DSCF0529.JPG
     I once told you all about the classic southern poor working man’s lunch in my native SE Texas when I was a small child in the 60s … A moon pie and an RC Cola.  The mostly marshmallow chocolate covered pastry cost a nickel or so  and the drink a dime —back in the good old days …or my Dad once told me. Those days are gone. What once costs 15 cents now costs at least $2.

RC and a Moon Pie via Bing

The same is true about Vegas. Vegas is a different and more expensive. The Strip is corporate now and likely will be for some time to come. It’s not a dream or a nightmare it’s history and life in the City of Sin.
Take Care Sinners
Love You All


The best shot I could get from the not so cheap seats at the Zombie, Korn, In This Moment.. Heavy Metal Jam on Saturday _ Royal Hopper

Zombie, Korn and a Moment in the City of Sin

By Royal Hopper
It was cool and breezy by desert standards Monday …a bone chilling 99 degrees( yes that is sarcasm) There was Rock and Roll and the usual mischief and it was hot
“I have Given you 30-years. Give me three minutes,” said the famous Goth Rocker most often known as Rob Zombie as he looked around the arena full of Metal Heads their black outfits contrasting the glow of their expensive cell phones as they filmed and snapped photos of the “Zombie” as he sang.


Part of the Rob Zombie show Saturday.. Once again the best I could get with my cell… Royal Hopper

Zombie wanted those in the crowd to turn off their cellphones. He had asked the audience to turn off their phones for one song and when many kept filming he pointed at them and said “Yes. I am talking to you who are filming me on your cellphone asking you to turn off your cell phone.”   A few listened ..Most did  not and the Zombie man was clearly frustrated. This is Vegas man and it is the 21st century.  We don’t turn off and tune in..we connect and record and post and gamble and drink while we do it. For better or worse that is the way of the world and the way of Sin City.  Outside the concert there was  fight, a Black Hat hacker convention, a working girl struggling to the food court at the end of a long night and paramedics inbound to save a life.

As you might have already guessed we saw an amazing Heavy Metal Rock and Roll show last Saturday. Aging Gothic Shock Rocker Rob Zombie put on a hell of a heavy metal show of undead supernatural attitude. (pun intended) as did his special guest Chick Metal Gothic Rocker  “In This Moment” … Nu Metal Rock Act Korn put on their usual energetic and honestly even more Gothic act with the goblin in the Korn Field intensity fans have come to expect. Korn is great live (better than studio I think) and I recommend seeing them in concert even if you are not a fan of their music.


An old Cityscape last year I think _ Royal Hopper

The Zombie took a moment to lead the arena crowd in a chorus of Happy Birthday for his guitarist John 5 and stage show was a montage of barely veiled nudity, weirdness and old B-movies. In other words it was just like any night in Las Vegas.  Now imagine this you are in the middle of stage show about zombies, bimbos and vintage undead creatures and the entire audience breaks into a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday.
Vegas is a place that doesn’t give two farts about tradition and the sense of connection.  It is loud, bright, sexual and brash like a Rock concert, and like the same, dedicated to the raw emotion of fun in the dark. But unlike Rock and Roll there is no deeper side to the City of Sin _ no story to tell other than gamble, drink, party.
Many people make the mistake of assuming Heavy Metal and  Rock and Roll are like Vegas itself but that is not true. There are similarities. Implied sex, and real sex, bright lights etc etc…. Rock always has  story to tell and a moral to relate. Sometimes the story is a simple as dance and have fun while you can or driving cars is cool.

people with blow up doll

I ran this one last year but it bears repeating You could call this the spirit of Vegas _ Royal Hopper

Other times it prays for peace or calls the brave and faithful to stand fast or relates the glories of love or tells an allegory of modern culture.  Vegas simply is what it is…It has no moral or story except what you bring to it or what those you deal with bring to it… It makes promises, implies rewards and gets you to pay for them.
They do have some things in common though. A hundred year from now somebody will be digging Rob Zombie or Korn or In This Moment record from the museum and remaking them _ 100 years from now somebody will be drinking more than they should, chasing women or men they should not, gambling money they don have and getting rolled for their trouble.

It not really all that weird .. It’s just Rock N Roll, Heavy Metal and Life in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners