Cool Kids on the Strip.


Part 5 - Night Falls Again

Things started really unraveling for Amy on our way to the Masquerade Village show at the Rio. In the car she started complaining about having the chills and was scratching her arms something fierce. By the time they got to the Rio she was sweating profusely and complaining about loose hair in her eye sockets. The Masquerade show didn't help. It involved a bunch of floats on a ceiling mounted track, floating around this big room to the strains of ear-piercingly loud, shockingly bad covers of old Chess Records hits such as "Jock-o-Mo" and other New Orleans favorites. The Rio has adopted the attitude that volume can convince people that a party is happening, and that sheer stupidity and incohesiveness are irrelevant. Amy freaked out during the show and thought that the big balloon with eyeballs was her old French teacher. She bolted and spent the rest of the time in the ladies restroom begging for mercy.

After they discovered an unmanageably long line for the Rio's buffet, Dan suggested that they pay a visit to the Stratosphere tower,


Steve expresses displeasure with the Stratosphere buffet wile Brett holds up a golf ball sized piece of gristle.

formerly Bob Stupak's Vegas World. The buffet offered no line and decent food, but the Stratosphere, now just over a year old, proved to be one of the most bland places on earth. While all the casinos on the Strip stick to the same basic idea with slightly different trappings, the Stratosphere, with its "international" theme, outdoes them all in terms of offering absolutely nothing of interest. When Stupak was in charge, the place was ridiculous and ugly as sin, but at least a good laugh could be had at the expense of the leathery old women with tour bus identification stickers pasted on their backs. Now, all that remains is the Stratosphere Tower, a concrete monstrosity that reminds those in the know of Bob Stupak's twisted vision.

Back downtown, Phil demanded they retrun to the Western Hotel for more blackjack and a closer look at the woman missing her teeth and who had obviously decided that she would get that dental work with the winnings she was due to win any day. The guy who earlier had been standing out front was still there, still trying to pick a fight, while a few security guards diverted his attention. Inside, the security guard who had originally gotten his goat was clocking out and leaving. Once he was gone, the other security guards let the angry, drunken man back into the casino. He still had some money to spend.

Matt, Steve and Ghizal sat in a blackjack game with a guy splitting tens and betting the "royal match" circle. The "royal match" is a case study on the sucker's bet, but it remains unclear if the Western made a conscious effort to offer this bet, or if it had simply been on the used felts they purchased at discount. The action at dollar blackjack is slow and not very exciting. It is hard to win or lose much, but it is fun to watch the dealer get confused trying to add numbers.

Amy managed to keep from passing out by playing the nickel video poker and poking the cocktail waitress in the arm every time

Amy looks off toward a distant and better place.

she came by. But the evening was not to last much longer for this drunken flower. While some of us headed down to the Plaza, Amy mumbled something about sweet, cheap beverages at the Gold Spike and veered its direction.

Once the boys reached the Plaza, Phil steered straight to the penny slots. He didn't get enough at the Spike and now set his sights on the mother of all penny jackpots which usually sits somewhere around $40,000.

Everyone else hit the craps table and boy did they hit them hard. The doofus with the pad of paper was there again and hopes were high that he was losing a ton of money so his stupid 18 year old son, who was a the table with him now, wouldn't be able to go to college. The rest of the table was packed with old timers. One crazy old guy stopped Mark in the bathroom to give him a lesson in how to run a casino. This seminar can be distilled into the man's most intelligible and repeated phrase "You gotta spend a buck to make a buck. Look at these places on the Strip. (The Plaza) that's why they make money. You wanna make a buck? You gotta spend a buck." He was thinking of a Plaza Casino in another universe, apparently, from the looks of things.

The tables were kind again and just about everyone absconded with more of Jackie Gaughan's bounty. Adding to the fun was the

On a Gold Spike suite balcony, in the warm dark night of Las Vegas, Phil stops to ponder about love lost and the wonders of the universe... and whether the stripper he ordered would actually visit the Gold Spike.

live entertainment in the Omaha Lounge, which is always the same bad band or one guy that does musical impressions. Both have an obsession with draining the fun out of any song and making lame bodily functions jokes. To those who find a rendition of "On the Road Again" sung as "On the Commode Again" with a myriad of diarrhea jokes funny, pull up a chair.

The night was waning and Matt, Steve, Mark and Ghizal decided to leave. They headed for some crummy pie in the Gold Spike coffee shop, which is open 24 hours a day, except when it closes for an hour for cleaning. Since when does the Gold Spike clean?

Mark and Matt were ready to update the public via this very website, but the same Amy who was 3/4 in the bag last time anyone checked had now passed out on the corporate laptop. She spilled what looked to be (from the number of empties) her eighth whiskey sour all over the keyboard. Rather than worry about the lost equipment, they took comfort in the fact that Amy hadn't coughed up a lung or choked on her own vomit.

Phil and Dan stayed up and played some more craps both at the Plaza and Horseshoe. They won more money and both got well tanked. The two men stumbled home under the canopy of the dawning sun just after five a.m. They hit the sack, exhausted, but filled with hope and joy for the future of mankind.


The End

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