Everyone should go to Vegas…
At some time in their adult life, everyone should go to Vegas. Whether you gamble or not, there is no better place to get a good clean view of the human animal than in good old Las Vegas, Nevada. You see, if you’re not familiar with how Vegas works, and if you haven’t been there before, you might think that the only reason why people go there is to gamble. There’s a whole lot more to it than that, though. You see in Vegas, nothing has to close. The casinos have the city set up to maximize the amount of money that they can suck from your silly ass, 24/7.
Bars in casinos are open 24 hours a day, and so are the strip clubs. They have dozens of creepy people handing out naked pictures of escorts to you right on the strip, along with a number you can call to have this "entertainer" come to you in the privacy of your hotel room and "perform," and at any hour of any day you can gamble away your kids college money at the black jack tables.
If you’re up drinking at 7 am tossing dice you’re not going to be looked badly at, and you’re not going to be alone. We all know what it’s like to see the faces of people in your neighborhood when you’re coming home from a night out at the same time they’re going to work. We all know the sting of a look of judgment.
You know the scenario: Mr. Taylor, who owns his own office furniture business, and hasn’t missed a day of work in 15 years, has his wall street journal tucked under his arm as he heads out to his Cadillac. He spots you as you’re pulling into your driveway, and pauses for effect. He raises his eyebrows and sighs with a look of disdain. He looks at his watch, shakes his head and looks back at you. You make eye contact, and he turns away to get into his car. "Hey, Mr. Taylor…" You call out, "if you smelled my fingers, it would change your whoooole fucking life." I think we’ve all been there.
In Vegas, it’s different.
You can have that same asshole stumbling into the hotel at 7 am shitfaced, and the same God fearing, "early to bed, early to rise" Taylor family from North Dakota won’t even bat an eye. They, the same people that would look at you and shake their head in disgust if you were coming home at 7 am in their neighborhood, would barely even notice in Vegas. Everyone’s moral compass changes in the city of sin.
It’s like a big playground for adults, where all the frustrated people with suppression filled lives from all across the country come to blow off their steam, and in the process, blow all their cash. They run around the city like oblivious house dogs let loose for a short amount of time in a fenced in park. "We’re free! We’re free!" they yell, as they order a red bull and vodka at 9:30 am right before they place the bet that’s going to send them into bankruptcy. "We’re wild and crazy free this week!" they say and high five each other, all the while being watched like a hawk by the security cameras, pit bosses, and casino managers. The casino employees watch the celebrating tourists, intoxicated by both liquor and freedom, the same way corrections officers observe the goings on in the prison yard. Just keep a close eye on the talking monkeys, and let nature run it’s course. Only it’s a very odd nature in Las Vegas, and not entirely natural. People do things in there that they just don’t do anywhere else. If a girl doesn’t fuck you in Las Vegas, she’s NEVER going to fuck you. People that would never dream of betting 5 dollars on a hand at a friendly neighborhood poker game, will blow their entire life savings in a single evening. Even the sense of what’s good and bad entertainment gets distorted. Performers who are absolutely, inarguably fucking terrible, and would never sell any tickets if they went on the road, pack the house in Vegas. Case in point?
David Cassidy is the headliner act at the Rio.
I – shit – you – not.
Nothing makes any sense in a town where a cheesy dork like Wayne Newton is the undisputed king, and the performer of the year is a fucking impressionist.
But still, it’s Vegas, and you have to go… so go I did. August 11th, 2001 was my 34th birthday, and it was also the date for the K-1 kickboxing championships at the Bellagio. My good friend Maurice Smith was fighting in the tournament so a trip to the dessert seemed like a natural.
Now going to Las Vegas from Los Angeles you have three obvious options; you can fly, you can drive, or you can pay someone to drive you.
Option one: flying, is the option most people take. It’s a 40 minute flight, and there are many cheap flights available.
Option two: If you don’t mind driving, it’s about a 4 hour trip. Not too bad when you consider that it’s always at least an hour to get to the airport and park, that you should always be there an hour before your flight, and it’s always close to an hour from the time you land at the airport to the time you’re checking in at the hotel. So as long as you don’t run into traffic, the times are fairly close.
Option three: Getting someone to drive you, however, preferably in the back of a limo, is truly the most enjoyable way to travel. There is no better way to go to Las Vegas than in the back of a big fat pimped out limousine with two good friends.
The actual physical time it takes to get there is inconsequential, because while you are traveling through the dessert in the back of a limo, all thoughts of time are temporarily suspended. The world around you takes on a different feel, and all current ideas of reality become highly subjective and open for questioning. The colors of the sky shine brighter, and far more beautiful than you’ve ever seen them before, and you see the world around you with a new found enthusiasm and appreciation. Why is that you say? Well, because you can smoke the chronic in the back of a limo.
The smiling man in the front drives the car, observing all posted speed limits and driving laws, the electric divider between him and the passenger compartment slides up, and the party begins. Do you think if and when they ever legalize pot they will ever serve it on a plane the way they serve drinks now? Of course you couldn’t smoke it, but a nice pot brownie might do wonders for calming your fears while you fly through the air in a big metal machine. Some people believe the federal government will never repeal a law as completely and totally retarded as the pot one, because admitting they’re wrong about something so obvious that they’ve been arguing against for almost 70 years would open up Pandora’s box and open the government up to questions about all the other things that make no fucking sense that they’ve been in support of, like the Warren Commission and the single bullet theory.
Doctor: So, it says here you want a prescription for medical marijuana. What ailment do you need it for?
Patient: I get terrible migraines, and pot helps alleviate them.
Doctor: When do you get these migraines?
Patient: When I think about the fact that pot is illegal.
Doctor: I see. Here’s the prescription. That will be five hundred dollars please, $60 of it by check or charge, and $440 in cash. Next patient, please.
Never the less, me and my two good friends, Dimitri Diatchenko…
And Eddie "The Twister" Bravo…
Set out for an adventure…
Tune in soon for part 2, The trip!