Thursday, October 25, 2007

You know what's fuckin' awesome? America. Part III.a

As I sit in the back row of my Jet Blue flight to Las Vegas, I take a sip from my fourth scotch-on-the-rocks as we pass over Kansas or Colorado or some state below that I can’t see due to the whole sun-not-being-out-at-night thing. I’m heading out there for my buddy Goliath’s bachelor party. It’s Thursday, May 3, 2007, which is rather significant because it means that my trip will allow me to enjoy:

  • Cinco de Mayo
  • The Kentucky Derby
  • The aforementioned bachelor party, and all the trimmings
  • The most anticipated boxing match since Tyson-Holyfield: Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather—which is being held in the same city I’m about to enter
  • My first trip to Vegas

So yeah, add it all up, and I figure I’m headed for the closest thing to a Bacchanal any single guy can ask for.

Sitting next to me is Hollywood Squared (or H-Squared), who always seems to be around when I take a great road trip. Incidentally, as I sip my Dewar’s, he—for some reason not likely related to Snoop Dogg—is drinking gin and juice. I’m not a big gin fan. In fact, I hate the stuff. The only memorable time I can think of involving me drinking gin, ironically, is the last bachelor party I went to. That time, I was in Montreal, and somehow wound up swigging from a Tanqueray bottle at the end of the night and chasing it with fucking Pedialyte. (And yes, I just threw up into my hand after typing that.) But that’s another story for another day.

Believe it or not, this is my first trip West of Pittsburgh. And what a trip it should be! The best man, JV, who’s arranged the whole trip, has booked us at The Palms:

The Palms is possibly the coolest casino in Vegas (or so I’ve heard), and JV has apparently set up some tremendous events for us. At this point, I’ve got a nice buzz on, and I just can’t wait to get there.

Las Vegas. How could this city and I not be a perfect match? Though I’m not really a gambler (I have too many vices already, thank you), the various other allures of the city are extremely, well, alluring. And what better weekend could I possibly have? The bachelor party, the Derby, the fight… Anyone who’s anyone is supposed to be there. And I qualify as “anyone,” so AWESOME!

At last, we land. H-Squared and I take the shuttle bus to The Palms, which, of course, is the last casino on the route. But no matter. We’re both wearing our suits, as we learned from watching Swingers ("You bring something nice to wear!") Upon entering and receiving our room keys, we’re feeling pretty fucking money, baby. This casino looks outstanding. Women are everywhere, but their clothing isn’t. I know it’s the desert and all, but the amount of bare flesh on display is mind-blowing. Low-cut shirts, short skirts, short shorts… Basically it’s a feast for the heterosexual male’s eyes. (And for the heterosexual woman’s too, I’m sure. And the homosexual male’s. And the…)

After dropping our bags off in our room, we head to the party. At this point, it’s about 2 a.m., which for H-Squared and I means 5 a.m., but the adrenaline is pumping. We’re in Las Fucking Vegas, bitch, dressed in suits, staying at a totally boss casino on the best weekend in years. (Yes, I’m trying to bring “boss” back into the vernacular.)

We take the elevator up to the 55th floor and enter the bar. Ghostbar.

“Holyfuckingshit,” is my first thought upon entering. I’m not normally into swanky-type places, but this is different. This is cool. This is fucking splendid. Unlike trendy bars in New York, we're not packed in like the 1-train during the morning rush. The music is loud, but not at an ear-bleeding level. And the people are all hot and under control. No one's picking fights because you grazed their elbow when passing. And there are no hipsters in sight! It's like everything I've ever hated about most "cool" New York bars refuses to exist here.

Before long, we run into Goliath and the whole crew. After the requisite pleasantries are exchanged, I head to the bar. I quickly surmise that trying to get a Bud bottle and a shot of Beam, as I normally do, at Ghostbar would be futile. The lowest-quality bourbon in sight is fucking Knob Creek, which sits on the top shelf of most bars I frequent.

Macallan 12, rocks,” I request.

"Sixteen dollars,” the impossibly hot barmaid (whom I will call “Hot Bartender” in subsequent discussions) replies. Out comes the credit card, where I imagine it will remain until it curls up into a ball of despair before long.

Sixteen bucks for a drink? Now normally, I spend a bit less, I will admit. But I am in Vegas for the first time, and I happen to be at a highly exclusive bar on the top floor of the coolest casino in town, enjoying the company of friends who, with me, are about to embark on a weekend of indulgence worthy of Saudi princes. So fuck it. Money is nothing more than little pieces of green paper, right?

The best man, JV, leads me from the bar through the throngs of dancing, gorgeous people to—and I didn’t even know this was there—the outdoor balcony. And oh my, the view. The fucking view:

"HOLYFUCKINGSHIT," I say. It’s a near 360-degree view of the whole city. Now I realize why The Palms was the last stop on the bus ride. From this vantage point, I can see every casino in Vegas. I can see the outlying desert. I think I can even see Indiana if I squint. Wait, is that New York? This is weird. Reminds me of something...

Goliath is having a blast. So am I. So are H-Squared and JV, who buys us a few shots. (Boss!) One of my best friends, Red Dragon (who introduced me to Goliath), is there as well. And so after many drinks have been drunk, some folks start heading to bed. It’s about 4 a.m. now, but I’m still in full-on party mode. Fortunately, so are H-Squared, Goliath, and a few others. (Red Dragon likes to golf and therefore went to bed early. He says he had a tee time; I say he's a gaping vag. But that's for history to decide.)

As we exit Ghostbar, I wave goodbye to Hot Bartender (who doesn’t wave back, but only because she’s playing hard-to-get, I’m certain).

Even in New York, not much is open after 4. But we're not in New York. We're at The Palms. Granted, none of us know what's there, but fortunately for us, there is Rain.

As I mentioned before, I’m not particularly into swanky places. I’m also not into “clubs.” But right now, I’m intoxicated. Not just on the magnificent scotch I’ve been imbibing, but on the entire atmosphere of this desert town and all it has to offer. Rain is a nightclub on the ground floor of the Palms. So off to Rain we go.

On any other night in any other town, I would not be caught dead in a place like Rain. But as I enter and begin to behold the thumping base of “This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS, I see a venue full of sweaty, drunken people grinding…and I can’t complain. This is somehow, I dunno, fantastic, in spite of MIMS. We all get some drinks and begin doing some serious people-watching. The kind of people-watching you can’t really do anywhere else. We’re up in the balcony, looking down onto the Gomorrah that is the dance floor. I spot an incredibly hot chick wearing a red tank top with a jean-skirt, and I begin to wonder why that isn’t required daily attire for all women. And the way she’s dancing makes her even hotter. I decide that this girl (I’ll call her "Bambi") will be my own personal eye candy as long as I’m there. She’s just dancing with some friends, but whether or not she knows it, she’s made another friend. (I’m talking about my penis, by the way.)

Incidentally, good luck trying to have a conversation in Rain. You know how when you’re out in the woods at night, you sometimes can’t see your hand in front of your face? Well, here it wouldn’t matter if I shouted directly into your ear—you wouldn’t hear shit.

Despite all these apparent negatives, Rain is marvelous. I can’t help but smile the entire time I’m there. (Did I mention that I'm drunk?) But after about an hour or so, many of our party have already left. It’s down to H-Squared and me. We say our goodbyes to Rain. As we leave, I wave goodbye to Bambi and get the same (non)response I got from Hot Bartender. Ahhh, the ladies of Las Vegas—a classy group, to be sure.

H-Squared and I head to the main bar on the casino floor. We order a few Miller Lites, sit at a table, and begin to go over the events of the night. But lo and behold, two young ladies sit down at a nearby table. Interesting…

After discussing various ways of approaching them, we decide to take the layman’s route.

“Hey!” shouts H-Squared. And for some reason, they turn and look over at us. “You guys wanna come over here and have a drink with us?” [Editor’s note: I’m absolutely certain that’s not what he said, but the transcript I’m reading merely reads “Hhheee cmmmonn ovvvvvaaaaahhhh theaoiuhadaflk;jdslk." Okay, read on.]

Miraculously, the two pretty young ladies come join us. I go to the bar and purchase some drinks (4 beers, 4 whiskey shots) and return to the table. We down our shots, chase them with our beers, and are instantly great friends. At 5 in the morning at the bar on the floor of The Palms, I guess that’s just how it goes.

The girls get up and do that going-to-the-bathroom-together thing that girls do. So once they're out of earshot, H-Squared and I do that thing that guys do: debate which sexual position would be best with each girl. Then we both admit that we’ve completely forgotten by this point what they look like.

“Let’s just hope that two attractive chicks come back and sit in these same two chairs,” I offer, hopefully. “That’ll probably be them.”

H-Squared agrees, and we begin discussing important matters, like who’s funnier: Stewie or Brian? The ensuing argument nearly comes to blows.

Eventually, the girls come back. Their names, apparently, are Amanda and Elisa (and they're attractive!). So I’m talking to Amanda, while H-Squared deals with Elisa. Things seem to be going well. We have another round of drinks. I find out that Amanda lives in Nebraska, which puts me in an awkward position: This chick is hot, but I also like making fun of people from Nebraska.

Argh, my mind struggles. I choose to let the Nebraska thing go. But just as I’m feeling good about myself for being a good person, Amanda and Elisa head to the bathroom again. What the fuck is this shit?

By now, I’m drunk as a Viking on a bender. Looking at H-Squared, so is he. We start up a discussion about how dumb chicks are, peeing all the time and whatnot, when I realize that my bladder is about to burst. Does that ever happen to you? Like, out of nowhere, you have to FUCKING PISS AND NOW GODDAMMIT! Well, I feel that way, so I get up and head to the bathroom, which, of course, is a good two-minute walk from the bar.

Just as I get there, who happens to be walking out of the women’s bathroom? Amanda. She stops and smiles when she sees me. For a second, the piss that had lately been most urgent recedes. She and I start chatting, and I tell her I think she’s absolutely smokin’ hot. She blushes (literally—I see her cheeks flush an’ shit!). I move in, thinking now’s the time, and she accepts my arms around her waist. We’re face-to-face now, grinning like idiots at each other. I lean in to seal the deal when—

“I’m married,” she says.

To say the least, I’m slightly taken aback. I release my hands from her waist.

Numerous thoughts enter my head at this point:

  • Holyfuckingshit.
  • Just bang her anyway.
  • Nah, dude, she’s married.
  • But it’s Vegas, bang her!
  • This is fucked up, I don’t want anything to do with a married chick.
  • Bang her, you fucking pussy.
  • Is there any way I can bang her and not feel horrible about myself?
  • Feelings? You pussy. Bang her.
  • I wonder if the Mets won.
  • Bang her.
  • No.
  • Bang her.
  • Is the capital of Minnesota St. Paul or Minneapolis?
  • She wants you, BANG HER.
  • Minneapolis, I think.
  • Oh for God’s sake, you’re gonna pussy out, aren’t you?
  • No, it’s St. Paul, isn’t it?
  • Nice, first trip to Vegas and you elect to not bang.
  • Definitely St. Paul.
  • Way to go, champ. Champ of the not-bangers.
  • Wow do I have to piss, NOW.

“You’re married?” I ask.

“Yeah. Sorry. I should’ve told you.”

“Okay, well, I’ll see you back at the bar.” And I run into the bathroom and, upon reaching the urinal, unleash a stream of liquid that would make a fire hydrant jealous.

I then proceed to wash up and gather my thoughts. Phrases like “lying bitch” and “deceptive slut” and “should I still try to bang her?” go through my mind as I dry off my hands and exit the bathroom.

As I head back toward the bar, my mind eventually eases as I think about the simple fact that I am in Las Fucking Vegas, for God’s sake, and no matter what happens with this cocktease, I still have a lot to look forward to.

And I’m dead-on-balls accurate on that. Over the next two days, I will encounter some strange and amazing things. Some real boss shit.

(To be continued...)

3 comments:

ChuckJerry said...

This is a little late, but, for the record, this is the best post yet on this blog.

The Notorious LJT said...

i agree, well done open bar

Open Bar said...

Cheers!