Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What I Learned On My Vegas Vacation

1. My girlfriend has a gambling problem.

After I graduated college, I was out of work for about two years. During this time, I played poker to make a living. I started off as a mediocre player, but I studied the game as much as I could...when I wasn't drinking heavily. Eventually, I made myself into a pretty good online player and an even better live player. I became quite profitable...or profitable enough to sustain my heavy drinking.

I had friends who were living the same life, both locally and across the country. I had other friends who were betting sports for extra income. I had even other friends who were taking sports bets for extra income. We all talked poker, sports, prop bets, and more all day...while drinking heavily.

I know about gambling.

My girlfriend has a serious-ass gambling problem.

I'm not just saying this because she went off for a big number in Vegas. I'm not just saying this because her vices are house games like blackjack. I'm not just saying this because she decides which NFL teams she is going to bet on before she sees the lines. I'm saying this because I know about these things. If you don't believe me, I will give you one indisputable example to prove it.

My girlfriend, or Xmas Girl, as you know her, once placed a bet on how much Beverly Hills Chihuahua would gross opening weekend. AND SHE LOST.

If that isn't a gambling problem, then I don't know what is. I'm waiting for her to bet on the Washington Generals.

2. My future mother-in-law is blogworthy.

Part of this trip to Vegas was planned so that I could meet Xmas Girl's mom. I had heard quite a few stories about this lovely lady, and I was told to brace myself for anything and everything. So with that in mind, XG and I laid odds on what would happen on the first night that we went to her house for dinner. If your girlfriend is going to have a crippling gambling problem, you may as well have fun with it, right?

A. 3/2 -- She burns dinner.
B. 6/1 -- She gives me a kiss hello...on the mouth.
C. 8/1 -- She falls asleep at the dinner table from too much wine.
D. 22/1 -- She cooks a salad bowl in the oven.
E. 1/5 -- She shows a picture of Xmas Girl wearing leather pants.

Amazingly, more than one of these came through. Can you guess which ones? Go ahead guess. Are you done? Ah, fuck it. You didn't guess did you. The answers are A, D, and E. I lost a lot of money on B.

"D" cashed in early when she turned the oven on and after 15 minutes of playing "What's That Smell?" she realized that she had left the salad bowl in there. Why was there a salad bowl in the oven in the first place? I didn't even have time to ask.

"A" followed shortly thereafter when she put the garlic bread in the oven, set it to broil, and left it in there for "about 20 minutes." I'm a guy who can only cook hot dogs and ramen, and even I know that is retarded. She took the black logs out of the oven and tossed them over the balcony.

"E" came up several times, of course. I'm pretty convinced that every picture of XG from 16 - 23 is in leather pants. And they are everywhere. All over her mom's house, all over her friends' houses. It's like they are proud of it. But believe me, I don't even want to know the reasons why. I only have one question. Is it many different pairs or one pair worn over and over again? For some reason, I have a real problem with the former.

I'm still waiting for "B."

3. Never take a shit in a handicapped bathroom.

Is it "handicapped" bathroom or "handicap" bathroom? Either way, I hate them all.

We were walking from the Hard Rock to Mandalay Bay because we felt disgusted by the fact that we played blackjack for twelve hours the day before. I don't know, it made sense to us at the time. On our way there, I find myself overcome with an urgent shitting emergency. I calmly suggest we stop in for a drink at MGM. I sit her down at the bar, order two drinks, and speedwalk to the bathroom.

Inside there's only three stalls, and the two normal ones were taken. I thought I might be able to find another bathroom in the casino, but my stomach made a horrifying noise that informed me otherwise. I darted into the oversized handicapped stall and locked it behind me, making it just in time.

About two minutes later, I hear a loud whirring sound approaching that stopped in front of my stall. I quickly realize that it's a capper coming right for me. He tugs on the door to no avail. I pray that he doesn't choose to wait me out, since considering what I did to my body the night before, he would be looking at about another twenty-five minutes.

Instead, he starts yanking it harder. And then HARDER. It is clear that his arm is not disabled, as he pulls mightily on the handle, rattling the door and my mancage. I'm not sure if he was angry or also mentally retarded, but he was not giving up on this locked door easily.

Finally, after ten seconds of terror, what sounded like yet another handicapped man informed him that there is indeed another bathroom down the hall. He whirred away, and I could only hope that it wasn't some retarded ruse designed by the two men to coax me out of the stall for a beating outside the bathroom. I took the full twenty-five minutes just to be safe.

But just a heads up to the MGM while we're on the subject. If you're going to have a hotel with 20,000 rooms, you may want to have a bathroom with more than two normal stalls. That's pretty fucking retarded.

4. I know of one person who reads this blog.

He is my friend Danny. And I know he reads this blog because he texted me while I was in Vegas that Pacman got into a dust-up with a team bodyguard. This was obviously a ploy to bait me into writing a Pacman's body retread. And of course, it worked. That type of dedication is appreciated. I expect to see more of that from the rest of you.

5. Stand-up comedy is not as hard as it looks.

Obviously, it is. But Xmas Girl's mother's husband works at the Riviera, and he got us tickets to a comedy show there. We figured it would be nice to have a break from all the gambling and drink in a new location.

Well apparently the guy that was headlining was just about 50 years older than the Riviera itself. We had the misfortune of being in the front row as a two hundred year old man read out of a joke book.

It was so uncomfortable that after ten minutes, we waited for him to turn his back and darted out of the room. Then we had to weave in and out of the casino crowd like a couple of ninjas so as not to see the man who got us the tickets and have him be offended.

Best decision I ever made to leave that show.

6. I look like everyone else in the world besides myself.

Some of the older readers will be aware of this phenomenom, but let me catch some of the new people up. Acquaintances and strangers alike seem to have no problem, nay, enjoy walking up to me and blurting out "You know who you look like?" Whether I answer their question or not, they always follow with the name of some C-list celebrity that I do not look like. See for yourself.

This time around it was a drunk guy at a blackjack table saw XG and I walk up and exclaimed, "You look like the kid from High School Musical! You look just like Zac Efron!!"


I have no words.

Make your own jokes.

7. The Hard Rock Casino has dealers, strippers, and stripper-dealers.

In the middle of the casino floor, there is a pit of about 8 blackjack tables that has an island in the middle. This island is an elevated platform with 3 stripper poles on it. As luck would have it, these stripper poles have actual strippers on them Thursday through Sunday night. They wear the least amount of clothing that is legally possible and dance provocatively for rows of men who stop to gawk.

If that wasn't enough, the dealers themselves in this pit are wearing tube tops, napkin shirts, and anything else designed to have their tits pouring out. They flirt and joke, and though widely considered some of the worst technical dealers in the casino, they rake in tips as men line up to give their money away.

The Hard Rock might have figured out a couple things about running a casino.

8. If you're a dealer and you're not going to show your tits, you may as well be racist.

During the day, they put the strippers back in the vault and trot out all their "anti-discrimination act" employees. Now, it's not that I have a problem with fat people. Well, that's a lie. I despise fat people. But, in theory, I could tolerate them.

So if you're hoping to be a tolerable fatty, the least you could do is be nice. That's the least that I'm asking. Seriously, it's not like I'm asking you to eat a salad or take the stairs. Just be nice. Doesn't all that weight make you jolly at all?

Apparently, someone on the Hard Rock day shift never got the memo. As I sat down at her empty blackjack table, she asked for my ID. I kindly obliged and as she looked at my license, she said, "New Jersey? You can't be from New Jersey! Where's your mullet?!"

Now I'm fine with anyone ripping on New Jersey. There are many Jersey jokes to be had, some of them true, most of them lame, but you can have at it if that's how you choose to socialize. But mullets? In Jersey? That's not close to true. That's not even a stereotype. What in the FUCK is your fat ass talking about?

She was also cheering on the Phillies, so I assumed this meant she was from PA, which would explain the Jersey hatred. But no, she explained that she was from New Mexico. Oh! Nary a mullet in New Mexico! I guarantee you that there are ten times as many mullets in New Mexico as there are in New Jersey. You hear me? I'm only saying this in my head, but I know you can hear me you fat fuck.

Chubbsy Ubbsy goes on to say, "Ya know sometimes I tell my dad I have a black boyfriend just to mess with him. He's from the South so it really gets him mad! Hahahaha. Hit or stay."

WHAT. What do you think my reaction to that is going to be? You get a lot of high fives after that story? Is that the anecdote that clinched it on your interview? I'm not a sensitive or politically correct person by a longshot, but seriously, fuck that racist cracker.

9. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino hosts one giant poser convention.

The downside to #7 is that it brings in droves of doucheclowns and toolboxes. Apparently out West they are trying to start another ill-conceived fashion trend born from their prisons. Half the guys at the Hard Rock were wearing shorts to the knee, floppy tennis shoes, and socks pulled up to mid-calf. They all look like Mexicans in prison...which were impossible to find a picture of, so you'll have to take my word for it.

The other half of the crowd all had bedazzled trucker hats that would make Charles Nelson Reilly blush.

That's right. That's the only rule I have about blogging: shoehorn in a CNR reference whenever possible.

10. You should not take the redeye back from Las Vegas.

Last February I went to Vegas with a few friends. When we booked the trip, we surmised that it was a good idea to take the redeye back to Jersey. "That way we have all day Sunday to keep partying!" For some reason, we didn't seem to put together that we were already going to be in Vegas for six days, and that we would be in no condition to party "all day Sunday."

Well, we soon realized what a grave error in judgment we had made once Sunday came. We packed our bags like zombies and with nowhere else to go, we piled our bodies into a lounge in Planet Hollywood. The four of us sat facing one another, our mullets deflated, tacitly acknowledging that we would not see each other for a month after this trip. After about 8 hours of this, we stood up and went to airport. I haven't talked to them since.

So what did I learn on my Vegas vacation? Nothing, of course. Like the asshole that I am, I did the same thing this time around and booked an 11:45 PM flight home on Sunday night. Obviously, I never learn shit, so who am I to tell Xmas Girl how to gamble. Let's bet the over on the opening weekend of High School Musical 3. I have a feeling I'm gonna be a big hit!


xmas_girl said...

I want to learn how to play poker so you can say, my girlfriend has serious skills, not a serious gambling problem.


Anonymous said...

Aww I remember all the conversations we had and how cranky you were every time you came home from a bar drunk after hearing some random girl say, "You know who you remind me of?" My favorite was Adrienne Brody but your obsession was the guy from That 70's Show. You just have that face. I come and read your blog when I'm bored and remember it and it makes me laugh so much. Thanks for the entertainment Bryan. -Lindsay OCMD :)