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Tales of the Pointless and Annoying
The Las Vegas Borracho's Tale
by Doug Miller
I am way too tired to be funny right now, but if the airport security personnel at the airport had been extraterrestrial I would be forced to describe the last few minutes as a ‘probing’ experience. What I find really amazing is that Phil’s T-Shirt says, “I Had Sex With1 The Girl In Hanson2”, yet I’m the one that looks suspicious. Actually both of our shirts are completely and utterly wrong3 although mine is more of a “Tie-dyed it yourself didja?” wrong.
6:54 a.m. and I’m eight cigarettes into the day, such as it is. We hit the bar for some $8.00 Phoenix airport drinks, making sure to take pictures for our friends who are just arriving at work. While visiting the restroom I realize that the Sky Harbor airport has the ultimate in automation. During the entire transaction I only have to touch one thing, and in the future I’m fairly certain that there will be a robot4 or something to handle that for me as well.
Only time for that one quick shot of ‘vitamin A’ and we’re back on the plane. The plane is packed but, since we planned ahead, Phil has the window and I have the aisle. Two guys that I can only describe as “Jay and Silent Bob5 at age 57” board the plane. Jay sits between us while Silent Bob gets the aisle in the row ahead of us. We haven’t even left the gate and Jay is already hitting on the two young ladies in the other two seats in the row ahead of us. After we take off the girls show us a card game they plan on playing in Vegas. The cards have pictures and descriptions of losers and the goal is to pick one up in a bar and bring him back to the table for the rest of your friends to laugh at. Jay doesn’t seem to realize that with every sentence out of his mouth they locate and show us another loser card that he resembles. Oh, and he smelled bad. It’s refreshing to realize that I still have so far to go before I become a total6 loser.
The day liquidly slides by in that intoxicating way they only do when you’re in Las Vegas. It’s 10:30 p.m. now and we just left the ‘Hip-Nosis’ show7. It’s slightly downhill to the Paris Hotel & Casino so we wander in that direction. I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m in Vegas I mimic the habits of a Lion. Sleeping through the heat of the day and gorging myself once a night in a nocturnal feeding frenzy. We go to Mon Ami Gabi, Paris’ most exclusive French steakhouse, despite the fact that Phil is still wearing the same shirt. The waiter’s pronunciation is perfect. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for ours. For his entrée in what will become our $100 steak dinner, Phil, the former U.S. Army linguist, orders “Lay Stake Bore Dough Lazy”. The waiter, a true professional, doesn’t even flinch.
I’d like to say that the cab ride home was uneventful but, as usual, I like my stories to be at least 98% true. We somehow find ourselves in a huge traffic jam and our Pakistani cab driver’s brakes8 are failing to do the job. “Why the cones?” he asks us, rhetorically as it turns out. “For the last month”, he continues, “They have cones in road during the week but take them down for the weekend. Tonight, cones! Why?” I’m about to relax for a long, slow, expensive ride when he suddenly whips a U-turn, disrupting the oncoming traffic flow9. Okay, we’re moving again even if it is back the way we’ve already paid for. Another quick turn and we’re suddenly off-road, cutting across a field that’s been cleared for construction. We exit onto a street that’s buried in the service drives for several major casinos. Then we enter some kind of tunnel that has speed bumps every fifty yards. He gets the cab up to about 50 mph between the bumps before slowing to 5 mph in the last 10 feet. We exit the tunnel and he pulls into the taxi drop-off lane at Treasure Island. Since that’s not our destination he doesn’t drop us off. Instead he swerves over into the taxi pick-up lane, where he fails to pick anyone up, and then speeds for the exit. “Heh-Heh”, he chuckles, “I’m not supposed to do that, but I don’t think they got my license.” Suddenly I know where I’m at again and I must admit he has done an impressive job of getting us back on track. Traffic is light the rest of the way to the Stratosphere. As we approach the casino through one of Vegas’ charmingly quaint10 neighborhoods a visibly intoxicated young man tries to flag him down. Despite having just watched a Vegas show, the cab driver has funniest line of the evening, “Not even in the daylight.”
Two hours fly by on the nickel slots. Traditional Vegas wisdom is that the cocktail waitresses rarely visit the low-rollers, but our strategy of tipping as she asks what we want and again when she returns (which is still a 75% savings over the airport) is paying dividends. She stopped asking and just started bringing us another drink every 15 minutes. As we ride up the elevator to go crash for the night another passenger notices Phil’s shirt. “So how was she?” he asks. “Not bad, but her sister was better”, Phil quips. I try to smile reassuringly, but it appears to have the opposite effect. I’m not sure what my eyes looked like from the outside, but from the inside they resembled a computer monitor flashing the message “Memory page fault. Doug shutting down now.” I’m out of quips for the night.
1 Or a 6 letter F-word to that effect.
2 A no longer relevant boy band consisting of three annoying brothers.
3 Phil’s more than mine.
4 Hopefully a cute one. (My terrible secret - I’m a Robo-Sexual)
5 Go rent “Clerks” at the video store if you don’t know who I mean.
6 I’m still just a partial loser but, hey, you gotta have dreams.
7 A future pointless and annoying tale.
8 The horn.
9 No cones on that side. Go figure.
10 Extremely scary.
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