Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Phish & Chips

We've booked our second annual trip to Las Vegas. We will have 6 guys in attendance late this February and I'm already looking forward to it.

A cool thing about going away with all guys is everyone can, and often do, their own thing. There's no allegiance to doing things "together". We were 5 guys in the hotel lobby after golf. Two announced they were off to play poker, one decided to head up for a nap, one announced he was off to play craps. This one decided to do some sightseeing.

After meandering through a few casinos and gawking at the marvels of architecture and over the top opulence I felt a need for a grass-roots casino. I craved a darker, more gritty place to lose money and I found one. I can't remember the name, but I believe it was attached to a Denny's or a KFC. The Mirage or the Rio weren't about to offer $2 craps with a Grand Slam Breakfast, but Denny's Casino and Diner was.

I would estimate I arrived there at about 4pm. I left after 1am. Nine hours sure can fly by when you're having fun. And fun I had. I never left the first table I approached except to pee. There were a bunch of people in town for the NASCAR race and I delighted in all our conversations about that, Vegas and where we were from. The beer was flowing, the table paying (sort of) and I had a blast.

Eventually, however, I had nearly run through that day's gambling allowance of $300 so I decided to head back. As I stumbled out into the warm evening I marveled at the number of people on the sidewalks at that hour. And most of them had a drink in their hand. Where else can one find just as many, if not more, people on the sidewalks at 1am as there were at 1pm, not to mention holding drinks? Perhaps New Orleans?

Anyway, during my 5-block walk back to the hotel, I spotted a sandwich board advertising golf shirts for $10. I checked them out and they were nice quality complete with the Las Vegas logo and all. I perused the shirts, selected two fearful there must be some mistake. I half-expected there was some catch, or I was reading things wrong or my buzz was causing me to hallucinate. But the total was $20 so I gladly handed over the bill.

On my way back to the sidewalk I passed a kiosk that was selling drinks. Since it had been 15 minutes or so since I had a drink, naturally I stopped still amazed at a drink kiosk in an open-air mall after 1am. But who was I to complain. So, I took further advantage of my good fortune and purchased myself an adult beverage to occupy myself for my walk back. An hysterically huge and fruity beverage at that. It was delicious, but then it better be for $15.50.

After finding my way back to the sidewalk my stomach not-so-gently reminded me I hadn't eaten and I was too far to go back to Denny's Casino and Diner. Since boozey fruit and beer haven't made the FDA food pyramid (yet) I found solace in Ben & Jerry's that was, of course, open. I selected their Phish Food Waffle Cone and forked over the $9 or so. This thing was friggin' huge in yet another indictment of Vegas opulence or gluttony. And, just a tad messy. At least it was big enough to make up my evening meal. So I had that going for me.

What I didn't have going for me at this point was any element of "cool" by this point. Picture if you will a guy, face sunburned from golf and pool-time plus beet-red from drinking 13 plus hours, holding a bag of shirts under his armpit, with a drink in that hand and a huge messy ice cream cone in the other all the while navigating pedestrian and vehicular traffic down the main strip of Vegas. I'm not sure, but civilians may have been poking each other and pointing. But I didn't care.

At one point, while waiting with 100 or so of my newfound friends at a crosswalk as I chowed down on my dessert/dinner I realized just how ludicrous I must have looked. Every movement I made was awkward as I tried to balance three items, two of which were messy, in two, unsteady hands. I'm sure the ice cream was getting on my nose, chin and lips but I had no way to wipe it off since I've never practiced, nor possess the flexibility, to napkin my face using my feet. I was sober enough to know how stupid I must have looked but drunk enough not to care.

Eventually, I found my way back to my room, with the help of some hotel janitorial person to see my cell phone had had one missed call and the following text messages:

5:20 pm "Meeting for dinner at 6 if you want to go"
8:30 pm "You playing craps?"
8:55 pm "Dude, where are you?"
10:15 pm "Where are you?"
12:25 am "You ok?"

Guess who never heard, nor checked, his phone? It was a guy vacation though. There was no lecture about inconsideration or about how they "worried" about me. Although I guess they did. I should have been more considerate. Oh well.

Stay tuned to see how things turn out this February.

4 kind commenters:

Kahnee said...

That sounds like a really cool vacation. It's nice when you don't have to worry about accomadating other people. --This is why I have anti-social tendencies.

NouveauBlogger said...

Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And I have anti-social tendencies at times too :)

Katie said...

I love the messages. 'Dude, where are you?' that just makes me laugh for some reason.

NouveauBlogger said...

The whole thing still has me laughing. I was "off the grid" for a while there.