(So where were we? Oh yeah, that dumbass bitch who had been flirting with me for a few hours was just about to kiss me when she decided to say she was married. Argh. And women wonder why men are assholes.)
So I get back to the bar where H-Squared is chatting it up with that Elisa chick and (fucking married) Amanda. I’m a bit miffed at what just transpired outside the bathroom, but I’m a gentleman, so I’m sure to do nothing but be polite and what have you. Because “being a gentleman” in this case means “being a pussy.”
Before long, the two young ladies head upstairs to retire (without fucking us) for the evening. And by evening, I mean it’s about 9:30 a.m. Vegas, baby. (And fuck anyone who actually uses the phrase “Vegas, baby” in Vegas. Dude, lame.) (Parentheses!)
H-Squared and I finish both our beers and the girls’, who didn’t even have the courtesy to finish theirs. Sluts. We are forced to decide to head up to bed.
When we get to the room, we do that thing where you fall asleep before you hit the pillow. Yeah, we’re tired an’ shit. But in the midst of my slumber, I’m awoken quite brutally by H-Squared screaming, “WE GOTTA GET UP!”
I struggle to gather my thoughts (I was having a wet dream!). “Angelina….?” I ask.
“Dude, we’re in Vegas, let’s go. Buffet time. Then we’re going to the Stratosphere.”
Those are three excellent points, so I get up. We are, in fact, in
"I just want to make sure that we can hit the Strip today," I say as I brush my teeth. "I wanna walk it at some point, I've never done that." I don't think H-Squared even hears me.
"Fine, whatever," I hear him say. He's been to Vegas before, he doesn't need to walk that walk again.
Though we both look worse than a Hunter S. Thompson hangover, we throw on some clothes and head downstairs to the $8.95 breakfast buffet. Which is awesome. First of all, the girl who seats us looks like Angelina Jolie. And by that I mean her lips look like Angelina Jolie’s lips. The rest of her…eh? But those lips!
I get my plate and fill up on some sausage, bacon, eggs, and toast. But I am totally outclassed by H-Squared, who has gotten all that and more: a three-egg omelette, hash browns, a bagel, and some kind of cake-type thing. He finishes all of it before I’ve even touched my toast. Anyway, all this food talk isn’t very interesting.
But what is interesting is that the Palms has this pretty amazing pool setup. Though H-Squared and I have no desire whatsoever to go swimming, we head over toward the pool. We have been indoors now for the last however-many hours, and I’m quite used to the dark-casino lighting. But when we take our first step outside in the noon-time sun, HOLYFUCKINGSHIT is it bright. The kind of bright that literally stings to the point that your eyes tear up like you’re cutting an onion that should’ve been in the X-Men. Fortunately, I’m wearing sunglasses. Because I’m cool, baby.
After collecting myself, I begin to take in what is around me: This is your classic
Aside from that bullshit, man oh man, is it cool. Coming out of the dark, dank casino, it’s a huge exhale to be outside and in natural light again. But fuck, I don’t really want a drink, do I? I still feel like a rhino raped me, then shit in my mouth. But yes, I do want a drink. That will make it all go away. I go to the bar and ask for the drink that just rings right in this pseudo-beach circumstance—a margarita.
H-Squared gets one as well, and we lean up against a fake palm tree. For the first time since we exited the casino, we can relax. Our stomachs are full, we’re sipping margaritas, farting a lot (but it’s outdoors), and looking at all the scantily clad ladies doing their scantily-clad-lady thing. All is well. Ahhh…
And who’s that? Goliath and our buddies are over at the other bar! Boss! We amble on down the walkway, passing by Jessica Alba making out with Beyonce.
And before we know it, we’re all hanging out together outside some sort of grilling setup (mmm…hamburgers…) recapping the previous night. Blah blah blah, then H-Squared and I leave.
It’s time for the Stratosphere. I’m pretty psyched about this thing, so we hop in a cab. (Which takes way longer to get there than I’m used to. It’s like 4 miles away. I might as well be going to
When we finally get there, delirium is definitely sinking in. This is a good thing. We had been drinking all night, barely slept, then started drinking again. Excellent. (If you’ve done this, then you know how it feels.)
When the cabbie tells us we’re at the right place (I hope he’s an honest man), we struggle for a few minutes as we try to figure out where the hell to go. Oh, the casino! Let’s go inside of it! We walk around awhile cluelessly, but somehow luckily find ourselves in the line to purchase tickets to the Stratosphere. When we get to the booth, my deliriousness is in high gear. As I purchase the tickets, I start flirting with the lady. “Fifteen bucks? But don’t I get the good-looking discount?” I smile at her. She smiles back and says no. It’s almost as if she’s heard something like that before. Weird. “But I am pretty handsome, right?” Smile. Smile. Wink.
She chuckles a little to herself as she hands me our tickets. I chuckle back at her, and she points toward where we’re supposed to go. I know it sounds like I’m being an asshole, but really, it’s charming. I’m not normally like this. For some reason—the delirium, I’ll bet—I’m on. Whatever I say right now, works. That woman in the ticket booth? She loved me. I can bang any chick in this whole city if I want.
So rather than do that, we head over toward the escalator that takes us up to an elevator, which we then ride up about a million floors before we can get off. (Seriously, no pun intended whatsoever.) Upon exiting, there is a gift shop to the right and a “scenic view” type thing to the left. We go into the gift shop, since apparently that’s where you have to go to get to the ride. (Shocking, in
So then we have to take another elevator up to the ride, which we do. Then, after the doors open, it’s another floor with a gift shop and scenic view. Where the hell is this friggin’ ride already? We walk around the floor, which, of course, has no signs directing us to the ride. I don’t even bother looking at the (amazing) view out the windows. (Keep in mind, we’re on the top floor of some casino, with a 360-degree view of the city.) We eventually find an official-looking person. “Where do we go?” I ask.
“Oh, take that elevator there,” he says.
“We just took that elevator, and it brought us here.”
“No, you took that elevator,” he says. The two elevators are adjacent. Prick.
We take the newly-recommended elevator (which has an attendant) and finally find ourselves on top of the building. I can tell because it’s outdoors now and therefore feels different from indoors. Finally, I can see a sign that says “Stratosphere,” so we head in that direction.
Some guy checks our tickets and directs us to the ride. He straps us in, just like a roller-coaster, except it doesn’t look like any roller-coaster I’ve ever been on. I look up, hoping that this thing is gonna shoot me up some 100 feet or something, but that isn’t the case. It’s only about 25 feet or so. But still, there’s another factor.
I look around and, yes, I can see all of
We’re strapped in, sitting side-by-side in a semicircle around this machine which sits on the top floor of a building that is very tall. Not New York-skyscraper tall, but then, there aren’t any other skyscrapers around, are there—
We shoot straight up and suddenly I can see something blurry, then the city, then the whole fucking desert. We pause there, suspended for a moment as I look out upon the gorgeous view of everything around, then come down. Then, WHOOSH back up again, then back down.
After a few up-and-downs, we get back to where we started. I take off my restraints and walk away from the ride.
“What’d you think?” asks H-Squared
“Eh, can we go walk the Strip now?” I’m a little disappointed. I had heard some great things about this ride. I was hoping for some proper exhilaration. I can tell H-Squared is a bit disappointed too. He and I are big roller-coaster aficionados, after all. (Little did we know that we would soon encounter the greatest roller-coaster ever made soon after.)
We head downstairs, and try to leave, but goddammit, this place is still a fucking maze that won’t let you leave. We go from elevator to gift shop to elevator to scenic view to gift shop to elevator about 73 times before we finally find the right combination. It’s like that board in Legend of Zelda (the Lost Woods) where if you don’t go North-West-South-West, you just keep seeing the same shit over and over again.
Finally, we find the down elevator, get off, and take another escalator. At this point, I’m telling all the people heading up on the other side to NOT GO BY ANY MEANS, IT SUCKS. I don’t think the casino people like me very much.
So we go to the bar. Thankfully, it seems like a regular bar. A regular Vegas bar, meaning there are touch-screen video-gambling machines embedded in the bar, but whatever. There’s liquor on the shelf, and that’s all that matters, right?
“What do you want?” I ask H-Squared. He hesitates, and a plan forms in my mind. (Something you must know about H-Squared and me is that we used to watch this show called Ed, and on that show if one of the two main guys bet the other 10 bucks to do something, he had to do it. No excuses. H-Squared and I do this to each other, and we take it very seriously.) “Maybe a beer,” he says.
“I’ll have a Dewar’s on the rocks,” I say.
H-Squared approaches the bar, and just before the bartender comes over, I say, “10 bucks if you order yourself a Harvey Wallbanger.”
I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no idea what goes in a Harvey Wallbanger. I can barely remember where I’ve even heard the term. But I’ve worked the bar in
“Oh, hey, I’ll have a Dewar’s rocks and a Harvey Wallbanger,” H-Squared says, keeping a straight face.
The bartender doesn’t even fuckin' flinch. He pours the Dewar’s and hands it to me. He grabs a highball glass, fills it with ice, pours some house vodka and O.J. into it, then walks away. He walks down and grabs the bottle of Galliano, comes back, and tops it off. He pours the drink into a shaker, shakes it, then pours it back into the glass, and hands it to H-Squared.
Galliano. That long-ass bottle of yellowish shit you see from time to time in bars that never, EVER gets used.
“Thirteen-fifty,” he says, and H-Squared pays him.
We both turn and head to a table, where I hand H-Squared a ten-dollar bill. I’m still in shock that the bartender wasn’t in shock hearing such a shocking request. Fucking Vegas, I guess. They’ve heard it all.
As I drink my Scotch and H-Squared discovers his love for a new drink (okay, me too, I was taking swigs), we discuss a few things.
- The Stratosphere is a fucking rip-off.
- How cool is the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight gonna be tomorrow night?
- The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, we need to get me a fucking Fedora somewhere.
- Remember those chicks from last night? That was cool. Up until I found out that whore was married. Who does that? Fuck her.
- Tonight, we're going to Pure, the most exclusive club in Vegas. That should be fun.
- Wait, we're going to Pure?
- But before then, there's something I want to do.
And we leave. As we exit, I ask where the hell we are. "We're on the Strip, but we're pretty fuckin' far away from The Palms," H-Squared says.
"Well, we could just just walk down the Strip, right?" I suggest.
"Absolutely."After all, who knows what kind of trouble we might get into?
(To be continued...)