So, Vegas turned out to be…a mixed bag of sorts. For the most part, things went well and as planned. But there was just enough bizarre shit going on to leave the experience with the taint of crappiness and awesomeness not experienced. That’s needlessly confusing, so it’s better if I explain…
I flew on one of those new Airbus 330’s. There was noticeably more legroom, which of course translates to more room between rows. Not having to smell the shampoo (or lack thereof) of the mouth breather in front of me was a refreshing change, as was the absence of the requisite seat back jamming in to my knees as they reclined to a full 180 degrees. They also have individual monitors in the seats for everyone, which at first blush seemed really cool. It seemed less so when it became readily apparent that this had become an excuse for NOT SHOWING A FUCKING MOVIE on the flight. I was really pissed at that because the airline magazine said they were showing the latest Harry Potter flick that I hadn’t seen. They didn’t even have the balls to announce it; we had to ask. Apparently, the Airbus 330 equals no free movie for Big Daddy, but I was free to use my credit card to PAY to watch the movies on that little fucking monitor that I was now growing to despise.
Guess the 25 dollars they charged me for the privilege of bringing luggage wasn’t enough.
Arrival in Las Vegas was uneventful. The cold was welcome and luggage/shuttle/rent a car all went very smoothly. We tried a new hotel this time around because they offered to comp the rooms for our party. While I would love to say that they did so for the pleasure of our warm company, they really wanted a crack at the obscene amount of gambling we do. It seems they did the math, and free rooms, food, and booze for us is worth the money they win from us. If you ask me, someone forgot to carry a three or something, because in my opinion, it wasn’t even close. Don’t get me wrong, we are not high rollers by any stretch of the imagination; and this wasn’t the Bellagio we’re talking about here. But it was a nice property, and it seemed to me that they came out on the losing end of the deal. At least I did my best to make sure they came out on the minus side of the ledger. But I’m just a guy who drinks too much, not an accountant…
On a side note, by this time I was fucking OBSESSED with seeing that damn Harry Potter movie, something I hadn’t given three seconds thought to, prior to getting on the damn plane. Don’t want to show me the movie, FUCK YOU! I’ll watch the damn thing on my own. That’ll show you that I am not a man to be trifled with!
It sucked by the way. And the hotel charged me $12.99. Apparently the only thing that wasn’t free were the movies. Now I don’t feel bad about those six bottles of shampoo…
After checking in, we decided to grab a bite to eat before heading to the table for the Inaugural Rolling of the Dice. Not feeling the least bit guilty about ordering a Mushroom Swiss Burger at 1:00am, we tucked in to our food like super models after a colon cleanse. The female contingent of our party was actually embarrassed at our gastronomic display, and elected to change tables, hectored by a chorus of male voices (ours) yelling, “Good, beat it!! Your loss, honeycakes!! Don’t come around later begging for shopping money, toots!!”
An hour in Nevada and we had already managed to get ourselves in trouble with the lady folk. And we weren’t even drunk yet. We would come to regret those words over the next few days. There’s something about a group of men bonding over charred flesh and alcohol that ends to bring out such bravado. It also apparently brings out the 1920’s gangster in us, because somebody actually used the term, “toots”. The fact that we didn’t sleep alone over the next four days was is a testament to the charity of the women in our lives. We are very lucky.
But I’ll fucking deny it if you tell anyone I said that…
After going to bed at 4am, the first taste of sweet female revenge arrived when we were roused at the ungodly hour of 7am. Being a man awakened by a beautiful woman, I awoke sporting an impressive…hangover. Protests ignored, we were hustled off to breakfast and the start of the LONGEST SHOPPING TRIP EVER. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say there may have been a Western States Shopping Record set. I fully expect to receive a letter of commendation from the Governor of Nevada for our group’s contribution to the coffers of the state. The ladies were actually being high-fived by grateful store clerks as we exited shopping malls, and at the Outlets in Primm, they were actually carried through the food court by ten large, swarthy men wearing loincloths. I think I actually gained ten pounds of muscle just carrying Ann Taylor shopping bags. How many silk tops does a person need?
Payback is indeed a bitch.
But as dinner approached, shopping fatigue caused the Retail Brigade to commit their first tactical error. I suggested we stop at nearby Silverton Casino for “some wine and appetizers before dinner”. The ladies, apparently full of excise tax induced hubris, readily agreed, even congratulating me for the “wonderful suggestion” I had proposed. If you have never been to the Silverton Casino, there is nothing in the last few sentences to cause any suspicion or raise any red flags, right? If you HAVE been to the Silverton Casino, you will know that it is also home to this:
Redneck Disneyland. For the next several hours, fuming women plotted our slow and painful deaths as grown ass men cavorted in a two story, 165,000 sq. foot Man Cave, replete with speedboats, grills, fishing gear, dried animals of every sort, crossbows, knives, ammunition, guns, and other implements of destruction. I bought a squirrel hat. Why? BECAUSE THEY FUCKING HAD ONE MY SIZE. This place had everything. Fishing rod? Yes. Bowie Knife? You betcha. Toilet seat shaped like a bass’s mouth? 10 of ‘em. Tactical Stealth Night Vision Capable 20 Shot Capacity Stapler? ON SALE. More tools of death than a Postal Worker’s Convention? Maybe not. BUT IT WAS DAMN CLOSE. We shot crossbows, compound bows, and long bows. They kind of looked at me funny when I asked if they had any sticks of dynamite so I could tie it to the arrow shaft, like they used to do in the “Dukes of Hazzard”. There being no explosives, we just contented ourselves calling the range masters Uncle Jesse and Cooter, and yelling “Yeeeeehawww” at the top of our lungs every time we let an arrow loose.
Next we went over to the gun range to shoot shit for a while. In retrospect, this was an exceedingly bad idea. Almost immediately one of us was kicked off the range for waving his gun around and doing his best Wyatt Earp impression from “Tombstone”. It was pretty good, but I’ve always been a Doc Holliday-I’m-your-huckleberry-kind-of-guy myself. So we started capping off rounds wildly, aiming in the general direction of some paper silhouette targets that had been set up for us. As I was yelling, “Johnny Ringo, You’re no daisy!!!” I heard a loud shout to my right. I looked in that direction in time to see one of us falling to the ground, flailing wildly as he fell.
Putting the Smith and Wesson 4506 on safe and laying it on the bench, I dashed over to Rick who was still flailing on the ground, his face contorted as if in pain. I reached his side just as the range master did, pointing and yelling at our other friend to call 911. As we began to assess Rick for injuries, I looked at his face and saw him smiling. I suddenly recognized that he was laughing hysterically as he pulled his right hand from behind his back to show me a 9mm brass shell casing that he had fished out from down his shirt. John, who had been sent to call 911, looked at the 9mm Glock 17 still in his hand and back at the shell casing Rick was holding. We all realized what had happened – the white hot shell casing from John’s Glock had been ejected and flown four feet to land down the back of Rick’s shirt, causing him to scream in pain while flailing to fish the damn thing out. He lost balance like the uncoordinated spaz that he is, and fell ass over teakettle to the range floor, dropping the Smith and Wesson 686 revolver he had been shooting in the process.
More than somewhat relieved that everyone was safe, we all began to laugh uncontrollably at the absurdity of the incident. Everyone except the range master, who didn’t quite share the same sense of humor we all did. He got REALLY pissy, and began to shout as if someone had violated his prized Belgian Malinois on the kitchen table during Christmas dinner. As his beet red face sputtered on and on about how we had scared the life out of him and should never be allowed to handle firearms ever again, I began to realize that he was in full panic mode and was becoming irrational. Ushering my laughing friends out seemed to be the most rational course of action, and I did so, while inquiring about a refund for the unused time we still had left.
That didn’t go over very well.
But to be fair, we had really scared him. Plus, I think a little poo came out of him, because he was walking funny as he chased us out.
By the way, I also bought a HUGE infrared grill that was on sale at a pretty deep discount. It was such a good deal in fact, that it cost me more to ship the son of a bitch home, than it did to buy it. But the new technology allows the grill to reach a million degrees and cooks a steak in 4 seconds or something like that, so I had to have it for the Cave. The sales guy played up the fact that the grill “burns cleaner” and that the meat tastes better because of “the sear achieved by the high heat.” Fuck all that noise, because the selling point for me was that you could cook almost immediately upon turning it on; eliminating wait time. I’m going to call the company up and propose a new slogan:
Infrared Grills – When you want a fucking steak RIGHT NOW!!
Catchy, right? I should go in to advertising…