a need gas

A scam ? Maybe she was chasing the Tiger on her way to the City of Sin and ran out of gas on this highway in Arizona Photo by Royal Hopper

Chasing the Tiger

By Royal Hopper 


Once upon a time .. I was working at a casino on the Midwest, which is kind of like working in at an out door swimming pool in Alaska….I saw a woman walking through the casino moaning like a regretful spirit at the consequences of her life and gambling habit.
The woman moans as she walks _ actually moans as she walks…occasionally looking down at her hands and at the floor and moaning “How am I going to pay the rent?” ,,,IMG_2797.jpg

She would take a few steps and then moan again…”How am I going to pay the rent?”
There is an old saying from a western cowboy movie that I have watched several times _ one that is often ignored by fans of the epic telling of this mythic old west heroes and villains ….
“No one forces you to chase the Tiger,” says Wyatt Earp to one of his brothers in a movie dedicated to the Earps and their infamous showdown with a ring of criminal cowboys. The Tiger being a decoration on a gambling game popular in the old west called Faro that drained many a poor cowboy of his hard earned money. The Earps as we all know ran a series of Faro games in casinos in Tombstone Arizona in the Old West. People who kept gambling after they should have stopped were said to be chasing the Tiger. The phrase chasing the Tiger describes the City of Sin to a T.


Tail gating Arizona style at a rest stop between Phoenix and Arizona _ Royal Hopper

Every one has a Tiger _ an inner demon _ an appetite that they chase and hope they never catch….becauase they know in their hearts it will eat them if they do.
This chick chased the Tiger and it caught her ….
I remember riding down some well traveled commuter roadway in the City of Sin and stopping for some traffic jam or another and a spied a man looking down at a small vial in his hand like he was trying to make a hard decision. Right before the jam cleared up and it was time to drive on the man sighed and downed to vial of liquid immediately dropping his hands down to his side in resignation holding the vial in his right hand out of habit before simply letting it fall to the ground.

desert scape

Arizona style hospitality _ Royal Hopper

Taking another sigh and looking over at me sighing and shrugging his shoulders with a dark acceptance of what he had done.
The traffic moved on and I pressed the accelarator out of habit and as I drove away the man turned and looked out toward the starkly beautiful landscape of the City of Sin and then he faded back into the jumbled neon and asphalt; conrete and sand painting that is the City of Sin.
I often wonder what became of the man. Was that just an energy drink? Was it something more. Was he just trying to stay awake or was he chasing the Tiger waiting for it to catch him????

I have not met a person yet who didn’t have some kind of Tiger he or she was chasing dreading the day it would finally catch him.
That si the great lie of the universe and of the wonderful/horrible city. We think we are chasing the Tiger but maybe it is waiting for us to catch it so it can eat us ….
That my friends is one of the small wisdoms that life in the City of Sin teaches
Love you Sinners

people meeting on the street

Two people on a street corner _ Royal Hopper

The Glory of talking to strangers or breaking down the walls for a full minute


By Royal Hopper 


On a corner in the City of Sin you see a collection of people waiting for the light to change on a pedestrian cross walk. A man in a suit stands next a chick in a psychedelic jump suit/ sun dress and a dirty unshaven troglodyte dressed in yesterdays tossed away relics.
Suit guy stands heads down scanning a newspaper of some kind _ his outfit the very model of precision and social camouflage. His movements are sparse and necessary nothing more. bus stop .jpg
The psychedelic chick scans her cell phone flipping her carefully groomed purple hair her crystal pendant jumping and skipping across her neck as she does. She moves as if every gesture has some cosmic significance chosen by fate.

The scruffy character stares out at something in the distance lost in his own world and the beauty if mother nature.
All three occasionally look up at the red neon hand telling them it was not safe to cross and all looked impatient to stalk back into their individual worlds.

flag on the ground

A flag on the ground lays where it fell off a truck or SUV or wheelchair on a Sin City byway Boulder Highway. An accident I’m sure but strangely appropriate for today’s world _ Royal Hopper

Absent mindedly pointing out something he read in the paper the suit guy quickly slips back into his metaphoric world when something psychedelic chick says with equally absent minded automaton like grace catches his ear. Scruffy guy pulls himself out of his unique trance and says something that catches both of their ears and soon three people who have never met and would likely never given a second thought to the other are having a conversation.

lady on bench .jpg
Each says something and each in turn shakes their head in agreement each unconsiously grasping an item like it was a talisman of power..the suit guy clutching his paper like a life preserver and fiddling with his expensive watch…psychadelic chick clutching her crystal and tapping on the screen of her cell phone without thought.
Scruffy guy for his part cannot help occassionally sniffing the air holding a piece of something in his hand, a twig or dried out plat or leaf or rock. What it means to him is just as unclear as what it is but it clearly means something to him.
The conversation becomes more animated each momentarily abandoning their icons to participate in the developing interaction each contributing at their opwn speed and acknowledging the others and chiming in with their own contribution _ not in competition but rather in an impromoptu dialetic.

They seem freed by the idea they will likely never see each other again ..and the conversation builds in intensity as it continues each actually smiling a bit at the others.
As it reaches a state of genuine friendliness and respect the conversation suddenly comes to a halt. The red hand on the other end of the crosswalk has changed to bright green. It is time to cross to the other side. All seem reluctant but each is in a hurry for some reason and beging stepping out onto the cross walk as they shake hands and promise to meet again and talk _a promise all likely know is doomed but seems the right thing to do …


Vacancy hotel _ Royal Hopper

As they near the other side the psychdelic chick pulls a piece of paper out and scribbles on it tears it in half and hands it to both of her fellow commuters pointing at her phone. Social media can be a wonderful thing says the suit guy his deeper voice filtering across the static city noise. The psychadelic chick smiles as an infectious giggle also pierces the city static and scruffy guy… “All right man …all right ….”

Not a fairy or total bull It is just life in the City of Sin
(pieces of different stories in this city that could be true)
Love You Sinners

lady at corner

People on a corner _ Royal Hopper




The Inner Child and the Inner Adult duke it out for a moment


By Royal Hopper 


As you pull out of a local casino after filling your poor stomach with the less than gourmet quantities of a two for one buffet and head for the run around that will take you toward your cozy middle class home you notice something. There are two little yous sitting on your shoulder. There are two voices in your head telling you what to do at the approaching turn around that will take you toward your comfy middle class abode.
One voice the logical, safe one the one that adapts to the situation as it is not as you wish it to be says “traffic is fairly thick and the smart thing to do is too wait until the next intersection and turn there its just an extra three minutes be safe.:”


Sunset in the City of Sin..Digital captures the red and oranges of the sun like the human eye cannot _ Royal Hopper

The other voice, the other you the bolder one the hide bound one, the child’s voice the one who doesnt give a crap tells you…”This is the way we always go . I want to go this way no matter what damn it. Its my way lets just get over and go tghat weay no matter what..”
It’s not that the road is wet..it is the desert after all. Its not there are civillians on the road way. Its too early for drunks even in Sin City and the sign holders and commuters seem to have taken a day off. Its just that you have waited to long to get over and there are cars on the road.
“Just stay calm accelerate a little and get over when it is safe. Take another turn around you idiot,” says the grown up..the adaptive one the practical one..”
“Screw this .. This is the way I have always gone. This is the way I want to go now. I dont want to pay that much attention to driving I want to space off …Its more fun this way,,,” says the child, the petulant one the hide bound unadaptive eternally 17 voice.”
As the trials and tribulations of the past week pound around in your poor overused noggin as you warm over last night’s bizzare dream and fight off a wave of stomach upset from the years old chicken friend steak, sausage and eggs you mistakenly ate for breakfast the voices continie to argue and you notice that your turn is coming up.
The inner voices reach a crescendo until the point of no return has arrived and you make a decision and put your blinker on and move over one lane toward the turn around. As it turns out another car coming up in your blind spot has hit the gas and is roaring toward you as you brace for impact certain that this is day is going to start and end badly.


A rare cloudy day in the City of Sin _ Royal Hopper

Fortunately the other car brakes as you continue to change lanes and take the turn around you always take home from this buffet.
The voices are silent and the little figures sitting on your shoulder grow quiet. the child is smiling petulantly again certain he was right since nothing happened.. The adapative grown up is scolding the hide bound child and warning them of future infractions and the dangers they impose…
“Im tired of you putting me in danger for ego or tradition or custom.”



“Im tired of you telling me what to do ..of telling me that my way is wrong because things have changed or there is traffic or you cant see the other lane…
You sigh and turn up the radio suddenly aware that there are no voices or little men sitting on your shoulder and you are as sober as a judge or a Mormon preacher. It is just you and a decision to adapt, to change with the times and sometimes with the moment or stay sometimes dangerously in the past because “your way is right.”

It is the truth, struggle and life in the city of sin
Love You Sinners

signs jungle .jpg



The Sidewalk crouches at her feet

by Royal Hopper 

You ride down a Vegas boulevard and see a woman long and lean _ tall and mean and painfully well groomed dressed head to toe in designer everything. She walks with a confidence and arrogance better suited to a high end fashion show run way than a Sin city sidewalk leading from a convenience store that sells two for one six packs to a parking lot for low end apartments .


Can you help me out Bud green button _ Royal Hopper

She is a statuesque princess in a city of brightly colored crass peasants _ or so she thinks. She makes you think of a line from an old Doors song…” The sidewalk crouches at her feet like a dog that begs for something sweet…Do you hope to make her see you fool ……” (The Doors Hello I love You 1967 or so)

You look back at the scene as the light changes …Traffic is thick this time of day and your lane is being held up by pedestrians crossing the busy intersection so there is time to look again at the beauty and you spy her tail. or rather you spy someone tailing her…
Behind some yards back runs a man trying to catch up with her ….. trying to get her attention …6.jpg

You cant tell their relationship or even if there is one ..but he is smiling and running after her and she is ignoring his existence and everyone else’s for that matter _ walking like she is the only person in the world that matters she makes her way across the crosswalk of the intersection like a character on an album cover or a Clancy novel.
She reaches the other side her tag along in tow just when it appears you are going to be able to hit the accelerator and leave the scene behind when some uncaring soul stumbles out into traffic slowly down even the jaded Sin City crowd…..

He looks around seems to wake up and hurries back the the relative safety of the median and traffic continues on its Sin City way.

You look back over your shoulder as you move through the intersection because you didn’t have to drive today and you see the tag along catch up with his goal and see the Princess stare him down with a withering gaze that would scare Darth Vader out of his black cyborg tights. You can imagine this thin painfully groomed princess staring at an asteroid as it approaches the earth and moments before it it hits stopping to say. “Well at least I look good,” unconcerned at the coming apocalypse.

As you ride just out of sight you think you see a man with a camera in his hand stand up and gesture at the woman as she reaches the parking lot and pauses with almost painful grace and posture. The unknown photog gestures positively and walks toward the woman.. The tag along continues on his way ..apparently he was just nuts and drunk or both.
Las Vegas is a place where many things seem out of place and you should never never make assumptions based on superficial appearance. Many many if not most of the time it is an act and you are likely being played for some reason or another.

That is life, love and deception in the City of Sin brothers and Sisters
Take Care Sinners


Just a man and his bike on a busy desert highway – Royal Hopper

Most people never make it past 17. In their hearts they are the same person they were in 1979 or 97 or 99 as the case may be.
Even surrounded by all the trappings of adult Sin and sobriety they are still the same angry, angst ridden, hedonist, careless aholes they were 10, or 20 or 30 or more years ago. Life has forced them to put on a suit a social uniform and act like grown ups ..but it aint true is it.

The Bar Fly in Sin City

by Royal Hopper

The bar fly sits and contemplates his shot
his girl friend sits halter top arms crossed
a player he is a a champion he’s not IMG_2700.jpg
he smiles he cries the shot blown the bottle tossed
The nearby guards frown and lean ready to move
his tantrum over his he huffs grunts the game he lost
he walks to the casino to get back his groove
he spends $100 he shouldn’t as some people do
He keeps at it determined to win
rolls a seven wins a $20 and shouts woohoo IMG_2702.jpg
later at night his girl cries he shouts “not this again”
his face red his fist closed he shouts its not me its you
he shouts he will not change come high water or hell
It isnt my fault he says his face turning blue
the police dont care and he goes to jail
We all have a task to we have to acheive
to wonder to guess when childhood is over
and we, hearts minds and soul all have to leave
no matter the time, the where we are going or where we have been
You cant be 17 in the City of Sin
Love You Sinners
Take Care


It rained last week in the City of Sin. A lone isolated thunder cloud trailed across the city leaving drenched sidewalks and wet pedestrians in its wake with the desert sun shining around it as it did its weatherly duty . It was nice for change to have rain and have normal temperatures for a day. You never really appreciate something until you don’t have it and something is always more valuable if its rare…. rain in the desert is like a lot of things : freedom, a government governed by reason, compassion and empathy… good movie popcorn …..you don’t value it until it is gone….until you don’t have it



A thunderstorm in the desert _ Royal Hopper

It Rained in the Desert and the Sun was Shining

by Royal Hopper 

You see a tourist family standing in front of the same cheesy I love Las Vegas sign that a thousand million tourists have taken photos of before and you sigh and roll your eyes before moving on down the same Sin City sidewalk where moments before a sign holder had stunned tourists by telling them his family had been kidnapped by ninjas and he needed money for Karate lessons. You keep walking toward your car and give the sign holder the ” I’m a local look piss off look” and move on as the tourists stare aghast at the oppressive desert sun shining down on their pale exposed skins already pink from exposure to the UV rays it issues forth unfiltered by the cloudless skies.


Let in rain, rain, rain in Las Vegas _ Royal Hopper

Then suddenly without warning you notice a bank of clouds moving across the city and then hear distant thunder strike your eardrums with a boom and the air suddenly smells funny and something wet hits your face.
Is the world ending ?? Did somebody hit a water truck with a semi???? Then lots of water begins falling from the sky covering the sidewalks and flooding the gutters in short order. The tourists scream like little girls and run for the nearest tourist trap to wait out the storm. You take cover stepping over abandoned newspaper fragments, a piece of a campaign poster and a dried out piece of a food wrapper look up at the sky,  fumble for your cell phone ….. and take pictures.
In the desert when it rains or snows people take pictures because it is rare here. Tourists post pictures of their families standing by the Elvis statue or at the Belagio fountains and locals roll their eyes and sigh.

But when it rains the same locals post pictures of their flooded driveways on Facebook saying look it rained. They sigh when the needed precipitation is done and the oppressive summer sun once again pokes its head out from the clouds….
You smile at the results of your work as the rain cloud continues on its cross valley trek the sunshine following right behind it as if an angry Ra (Egyptian Sun God of ancient mythology) was chasing Gaia (Ancient Goddess of Nature) and her pesky rain clouds out of his beloved sun baked Metropolis….. The rain passes and for a moment you enjoy the slightly lower temperatures and the strangely wet smell of the normally arid summer breeze. Stepping over a TV guide remnant on your way to shelter you notice the temperature and comment to a passerby. “It is only a 101..” as you watch the rain drift across the landscape.

You know your in the desert when you can say with a straight face…Its only 101 today really mild…” The look on the faces of tourists from Canada and Michigan when you say that says it all … They enjoy the desert sunshine because they only have to endure it for a few days . The locals welcome the rain because they have heat all the time.
In other places when it rains people mutter under their breaths pull the umbrella from behind the front door and try to remember if you rolled up the car window yesterday …because rain is common there and really a pain in the ass.
Here in the desert it is a celebrated mystery because not having something can make you appreciate its necessity and make you miss it when it is gone ….

As a person who has lived in both a very rainy area and a horrible dry hot one … I think a balance is the best way to go….. When it rains ….let in rain ..then let the rain stop and the sun come out……
That is life in the City of Sin brothers, sister and fellow Sinners
Love You take care

waiting in line at Yosemite.JPG

walking the street.JPG

There are many kinds of people in the world. Some need desperately for things to be normal all the time even when they are rebelling which always seemed weird to me. Some long to express themselves. To dress up _ to pretend _ to play if you will. Vegas is one of the places those people come to let their Freak flags fly….


Cosplay in the City of Sin

by Royal Hopper
A man in a black leather kilt stalks up to the hostess stand of a Cafe in the City of Sin. His shirt is black. He has tattoos and a black T shirt that bears an ominous slogan _ a nick name he has picked up during his time in he City of Sin.
Darth Lannister reads to logo on the back of the black T shirt….He leans over toward the waitress and in his best Darth Lannister voice says…..
“When do you think a table will be ready ?”IMG_2690.JPG

This is the City of Sin and it takes more than mythical homicidal Royals and Dark Lords of the Sith to impress us Sinners….. Darth Lannister waits patiently for a table leaning over the hostess stand ad she checks to cafe for empty seats. Darth Lannister is some guy named Ian or Fred and he has a bad back and questionable taste in socks and is quite frankly bored out of his mind in the world’s largest adult playground….Just down the carpeted aisle from Darth Lannister Wonder Woman walks toward a nearby coffee shop skates slung over her shoulder brightly colored blue hair off setting her patriotic one piece…….


A homeless camp set up in open ground near Russell Road in the City of Sin

As Wonder Woman walks by you notice Evil Beauty and a custumed hero that simply goes by Warrior – another that promises Lipstick and Bruises and another who proudly declares herself as Regrettal after the fairy tale character…..There is a hug as two of them meet and an explanation of a serious argument with their significant other. Vegas is tough on couples who have issues and this one is not exception. Wonder Woman sheds a tear in support of her friend and the two walk off to drown their sorrows…..


A minute later She Hulk strides by her green skin glowing in the and three Jedi stroll by hands on their light sabers looking like they just stepped off a Lucas film set and one of the mythical Overlords strides by looking proud and dangerous. She Hulk smiles shyly at people complimenting her costume and recognizing its origin. She seems more flattered than the situation would require and accidentally manages to show off even more of her painted green skin to get more attention.

She likes being noticed more than she should…..
The Jedi are talking smack about women and one of them seems enchanted by his male companion. Later hotel security is called to a domestic argument that results in one of the guests going home alone….


Under the surface people are who they are. Putting on a costume or a title or an expensive suit doesn’t change that. We are who we are…. and when you get to the City of Sin you have what you brought with you…..We don’t make you who you are

And where are you ???? Is it the most dangerous Comic Con in North America??? Is it an alternate reality you have stumbled into ???? is it Detroit after someone has dumped LSD into the water supply????
Hello Goober !!! You are in the City of Sin silly person and it is just another Thursday here……
Love You Sinners
Take care