Thursday, August 05, 2004

Las Vegas Lessons

I have made numerous mistakes on my trips to Las Vegas. I’ve given a “dancer” my room key. I’ve rubber-cemented the room furniture to the ceiling. I’ve been in a screaming match over the number of drinks I was allowed to have at the blackjack table at one time (The answer is one and it will not change if you call the pitboss a failure at life). Those little missteps, however, pale in comparison to the biggest mistake I ever made: driving.


I cannot emphasize this enough. My first trip was for Super Bowl Weekend when I was 22. Five of us—me, CV, Will, Dave, and A.J.—jammed ourselves into Will’s crap-ass Chevy Lumina and left late Friday night. The whole drive was a certifiable disaster but Will took the cake.

While CV did his Michael Andretti impression down I-5, Will played DJ in the front seat chortling along with every damn song. The only thing more painful than his singing was the torrent of Guinness and Jack in the Box farts that seeped from his ass like a natural hot spring. His farts had me questioning all that was holy and true in this world. They smelled so bad that, at one point, they actually woke up A.J. A.J. slept through the Northridge earthquake in 1991, but Will’s farts jerked him out of his sleep like they were his own personal gastro-intestinal reveille.

We pulled into the Luxor parking lot at 7a.m. defeated men. Fatigued, sober, and drenched in Will’s ass-perfume, we wanted nothing more than a shower and a bed. We missed the entire Saturday recovering from the drive! Never again. Kids, don’t make the same mistakes we made. Learn from them and fly. It’s the only way.

Las Vegas is a mecca for celebrities during titlefight weekends. I can't really explain it, but for some reason famous people flock to the desert when they find out that a couple of bruising heavyweights or a pair of feuding, wiry Mexicans are preparing to beat the ever-loving crap out of each other. During those weekends, the casino floors of the better hotels are an orgy of celebrity, ridiculously hot women, and small groups of drunken friends who call each other by idiotic nicknames while they blow their winnings on hard-way bets at the craps table. I, of course, am perpetually a member of that third group.

There are three things you need to do if you want to maximize your celebrity sightings:

1. Stay at the hotel that is hosting the fight (usually Caesars, MGM, or Mandalay)--if the fight is at Thomas & Mack stay at one of the top tier hotels
2. Don't play the cheap tables. I promise you Shaq and Adam Sandler aren't playing the $5 tables at the San Remo.
3. Follow the hot chicks. When you're on the casino floor spot the groups of disgustingly hot women. They have celebrity radar. Their senses are keener than truffle pigs. It's truly amazing, trust me on this one.

Following this holy trinity of fight weekend rules, I have bumped into, seen, and played cards with quite a few celebrities--from the guy who played Rafter Man in Full Metal Jacket to Roy Jones Jr. My favorite run-in was at the MGM right after the De La Hoya-Vargas fight. I was playing $100 hands of blackjack with a bunch of random people who were neither famous nor hot. I had just returned from the bathroom where I think I took a leak next to Owen Wilson…or was it Luke? I don't know, who cares? As I sat back down, something caught my eye. Maybe it was the gaggle of grandparents shrouded in a fog of Preparation-H fumes that was passing by. Maybe it was that low murmur that floats through a crowd when someone sees a famous person. Or, maybe it was this man's deep, bronze tan and perfectly coiffed silver pompadour that produced a glowing aura like the corona surrounding the baby Jesus. Regardless, I did what came naturally. I stood up and shouted:

"Oh hell yes! Tony Curtis, SWEET! Hey Tony! T-Money! T-Curtis! Antoninus! What's up, baby?! What's up singer of songs? I juggle too!" My Heineken-fueled greeting was met with silence. From EVERYONE. Tony Curtis froze in his tracks and scanned the tables until his eyes fell upon me standing on the footrest of my chair, blathering incoherently, and gesticulating wildly. He stood there for a couple seconds just sort of staring at me. I was sure he was going to have me ejected from the premises. Instead, that familiar look of fear and disgust I have encountered throughout my life melted from his brilliantly-tanned face and was replaced with a smile and a wink as he gave me the classic halfwave-to-thumb-and-forefinger-sixshooter greeting.

It was AWESOME! T-Curtis and I had a moment. I was the king of the blackjack table. For 20 minutes. Until I lost all my money doubling down on 12 (twice) and all my blackjack-playing privileges for spilling my beer all over the place (again). I'm not very bright.


Blogger The Lovely S said...

My mom kicked Roy Jones Jr. out of her library once.

She didn't know who he was until a student ran up and told her, but apparently he was very polite and well-mannered.

And did you seriously call Tony Curtis "T-Money"? That is just so sad.

August 5, 2004 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger NP said...

Unfortunately, I did. Or at least that was what I was told by my friend standing behind me. Much of that evening was pretty hazy. I do remember spilling my beer. A LOT.

August 5, 2004 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling Tony Curtis "T-Money" is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long long time.

August 5, 2004 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Kevin Nealon (not exactly a celbrity) in tahoe for the celebrity golf classic. For a guy who's supposed to be funny, he isn't. He put $20 on the craps table and watched it like it was his last money until payday. He didn't even know how to bet. His girlfriend was hot though...

August 5, 2004 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

22 yrs old, playing the 100 dollar table.


1) Your parents are filthy rich.

2) You have many many credit cards, and the free goodies that go along with it.

August 5, 2004 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His profile says he's 25 and a lawyer. Reading is fun, I highly reccomend it to others.

August 5, 2004 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger NP said...

Hot Streak + Alcohol + Asshole Friends = $100 hands

August 5, 2004 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger BrianH said...

No, hot streak + alcohol + asshole friends = $500 horn bets.

And when said boxcar high horn bet hits, netting you a nifty $5700, always remember to refrain from drunkenly screaming "LET IT RIDE!" to the bewildered looks of all surrounding you.

August 5, 2004 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the "reading is fun" moron: Please take your foot out of your mouth long enough to tell us what the 2nd sentence in the 3rd paragraph says. Now put your foot back in your pie hole and shut the f*ck up.

August 5, 2004 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with driving to Las Vegas is the disease of Los Angeles. The lemmings come at you in full force choking up all highways. The attitude, the cars and smog all come with em. One cabbie was complaining to me that the accidents go up dramatically when the LA cold sores show up for their weekly infestation.

August 5, 2004 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the person who thinks he's awesome by telling someone to take their foot out of their mouth:

he was talking about his first trip to vegas there. at the end he was just talking about his celebrity sightings

August 5, 2004 at 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drunkasaurus Rex:

i might be naive when it comes to good writing - actually, i know i am - but i think your stories are every bit as entertaining/funny as Tucker's, and i've read all his stuff. keep it up!

August 5, 2004 at 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do i hear vegas trip this weekend?




August 5, 2004 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger NP said...

Scientist, I don't think we'd survive a Vegas trip together. We've gone out twice now? And how many things have we broken or destroyed?

August 5, 2004 at 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clark County Jail with an assortment of hookers, fellow drunks, real criminals, and bums would be a likely result.

August 5, 2004 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

far better than tucker's writing. very artistic, very entertaining

August 5, 2004 at 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be funny if DREX became more "famous" than tucker, after living in his e-shadow for so long.

August 6, 2004 at 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you just said e-shadow...

August 8, 2004 at 11:25 PM  

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