Monday, January 17, 2011

Nurse the Hate: True Las Vegas Story #1




We were staying at the Stratosphere in Vegas, after a comp 2-day run at Caesars. I was with Stacky, the most degenerate gambler in a town filled with people so sick that gambling at a video poker machine at a gas station isn’t considered a cry for help. Stacky was on quite a roll, even for him. He had really committed to his philosophy of vacationing, staying awake for as long as possible since he could “sleep when he gets home”. This lack of sleep and copious alcohol intake had led to some rather dubious choices on the tables of the Vegas Strip.

For the past two days Stacky had wandered over to any game and wagered heavily, despite the fact that in many cases he had no idea how to even play the game, much less a strategy to win. There was Pai Gow Poker at 330am in the Bellagio with a table full of chain-smoking Cambodians. A horrific run at baccarat in the Mirage with two stone faced Japanese couples. Massive losses at “Let It Ride” with coked up Southern California frat boys. A small ass beating at “War” in the Imperial Palace with dry wall hangers and their peroxide blonde girlfriends. He even admitted to losing $50 on that money wheel, which I believe is exclusively played by Eastern European group tours and senior citizens on portable oxygen tanks.

After 42 hours awake and losing money, he finally hit the wall. He shuffled out to the pool with an armful of sports book info and promptly passed out on a lounge chair in the searing May sun. It should be noted that Stacky has the pigmentation of a cavefish or pasty member of the Pogues. This is a guy that really should have committed to the strongest sunscreen available to consumers, or perhaps even a HAZMAT suit. He had neither. Regardless, he slept for a strong 2-3 hours without stirring. By the time night fell in Vegas, the red glow coming off Stacky was slightly brighter than the glow of the signage at the Flamingo. Undaunted, he kept his evening appointment in the spa for a “salt scrub”… Can you imagine?

We were forced to move to the Stratosphere (or “Strat-Mo-Fere”) after bungling our reservations. For some reason, we didn’t book Saturday, and by the time we figured it out, all the plum properties were gone. We even took a hard look at some hotels in the proximity of where we wanted to be like Circus Circus and the Frontier. What was the difference where the room was since Stacky was just keeping his shitty Shockenstien suitcase in it anyway? Certainly a place somewhere near Caesars or the Bellagio would have availability. No dice. It was the Strat-Mo-Fere for us. Stacky decided he should probably get out of town that night on a red eye since he was down so much money American Express had threatened to cut off his mother’s ear if he didn’t show back up at home with some cash soon.

We decided to build a firm base for heavy drinking and get an actual meal in us. We ate at some horrible faux 50s diner in the hotel that immediately upset our stomachs. Why we decided to head to the observation deck and ride the “Big Shot”, I’ll never be sure. The Big Shot is described as a “thrill ride that catapults 16 riders from the 921-foot high platform up the Tower's mast to a height of 1,081 feet and down again. Before you catch your breath, you'll be shot back up again at forces unmatched by other Vegas thrill parks! Experience a gut-wrenching four 'G's of force on the way up, and feel negative 'G's on the way down as your legs dangle in the Las Vegas skyline.” This is not a good idea for a couple of guys that are concerned about the potentially explosive gastrointestinal situation rapidly developing in their bowels.

As we were strapped into the ride, I remember Stacky saying to me, “I’m gonna shit.” I said, “What? Are you freaking out about the ride?” He then looked at me like I was crazy, and said “No, I’m really going to shit!”. Seconds later we were shot 1,081 feet into the air with the force of 4 Gs. Moments after that, the ride stopped and he ran like a man late for a flight at an airport and yelled “Where’s the men’s room? Where’s the men’s room?” to anyone in the general vicinity. When he finally emerged from the men’s a long while later, he had a look of complacency I hadn’t seen on him in days. He was back.

We hit the casino, and I lost Stacky instantly. God knows where he was blowing the last of his cash. Keno? Scratch off lottery tickets? I hung out at a roulette wheel with a couple lady friends of mine and had this bizarre run of four spins in a row where I predicted exactly what the number would be in the resulting spin. I was like a low rent Nostradomus, but a really stupid version. I didn’t actually play the wheel since I am more of a blackjack/sportsbook man despite the fact it felt like I was watching a TV show that I had already seen. The ladies did win a staggering amount of money at a 36-1 return. Oh well.

It was almost time for Stacky to hightail it to the airport, and I went to find him to toss him in a cab. He was at a roulette wheel with a decent sized stack of chips. Of course, he didn’t want to leave. “C’mon man. I’m getting hot!” After a conversation that was reminiscent of those that must have been held at a Leif Garret intervention, he finally agreed to leave. “One more bet though before I go.” He moved his entire stack of chips to “33” in honor of the 5017 Rolling Rocks he had drunk that weekend. And the fucking thing hit… An avalanche of chips was moved to him and he colored up. He walked over to the cage to cash in and walked towards me counting off a stack of crisp 100s. He finished counting, stared and me and said flatly, “I’m up $36 for the trip”.

I jumped in the cab with him to make sure he actually got on the plane. He had to be handled like Johnny Thunders in a major city before a big concert. “OK Stacky…What are you going to do? You are going to walk right over to the gate, sit in a chair, and get in the plane. You are not going to be a fucking chump and blow your money on the slots in the airport. Right?”

I left him at the front doors of the airport. He lost $200 on the airport slots and got on the plane.

1 Comments:

At January 20, 2011 at 11:54:00 AM EST , Blogger ScottyJ said...

Classic story! I gotta meet Stacky....

 

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