Thursday, December 11, 2008

hollyweird > las vegas

By Pauly
Las Vegas

I'm an expert traveler. At least, I'd like to think so. I spend my life on the road and constantly packing and repacking my gear. When I returned from Mexico, I unloaded all of my stuff (which entails dumping everything out of my big back back) and did a wuick load of laundry. When I folded my laundry, I'm essentially packing for the next trip and stuffing my clothes back into my backpack.

Nicky drove me to the cleaners to pick up two dress shirts and a funky tuxedo jacket, the ones we wore in Langerado. I slid all three items into a garment bag. I never travel with the garment bag with the exception of Los Angeles to Las Vegas trips. Nicky tosses a few items in there as do I and we pack it into the car.

We grabbed our customary breakfast at Nick's Coffeeshop before we left the City of Angels. Nicky needed to put air in her tires before the journey began. At the gas station, I realized that I forgot something. My poker bankroll. I left it in the apartment. Nicky got her hands dirty adding air to her tires and she wanted to wash her hands. We returned to the apartment. I grabbed my roll and Nicky cleaned up. We left about 20 minutes later than originally intended.

Of course, we left without bringing the garment bag. This was the one trip that Nicky did not pack anything in there. So I left it dangling on a hook in my office. I didn't realize I had forgotten it until I started unpacking in Vegas.

Yes, I pulled an Otis. Except, I still had plenty of underwear and forgot a couple of nice shirts and the funky tux jacket. That's what I'm really bummed out about. I don't care about the nice collared shirts. But the funk? That will be hard to replace.

The drive out of LA was smooth. We missed the hectic traffic. Around Baker, Derek sent us a text and said that he arrived in Las Vegas. His flight from JFK was early. We got into Sin City just before 3pm. My room at the MGM wasn't ready. I requested a smoking junior suite and the only ones they had available were non-smoking ones. That would not be possible. I was about to grease the guy $20 when he asked me to wait until 5pm to check in because that's when the suite I wanted would be available. Luckily, Derek had a room at the MGM so we hung out there for a bit until my room was cleaned.

We dropped our stuff off and met FlipChip and PokerProf for dinner at the Wynn. I picked teh Wynn buffet because I knew we could sit around for 2_ hours and talk without feeling rushed out of the place. There was no line for the buffet which was surprising. In fact, most of the Wynn looked... dead.

"Las Vegas is a ghost town," mentioned Flipchip. "And when the cowboys leave when the rodeo ends, it will really empty out."

Derek absolutely killed the buffet and got two or three times his money's worth. He had no less than five platefuls of food. The buffet was remarkable and I rarely eat buffets(with exception of the Wynn and Bellagio), especially in Vegas because that's a reminder about how awful Western civilization has evolved into. The longest line was for the seafood section, particularly the Alaskan king crab. We sat nearby that station and could see random people wobbling away with crab legs piled high on their plate.

"It's like they are walking away with the world's deadliest catch on their plates," said Nicky.

She and PokerProf poked fun at the unwashed masses waiting in line for the seafood and would laugh uncontrollably when someone wearing a gaudy or garish outfit had an excessive amount of crab legs dangling off their plate, like the guy decked out in Joey Buttafucco pants and a t-shirt that said, "I fish naked." Another guy scooped out liquid butter into a drinking glass. He has at least 8 oz. of pure butter in a glass that sloshed its way around as he stumbled away from the seafood station.

I needed a nap after the food coma that the buffet induced. I woke up when Maudie arrived before Midnight. We hopped in a cab for the Imperial Palace. Our cabbie made fun of Jews on the way, but apparently it was kosher since he was Jewish. He even showed us his yamika when he had hidden underneath a baseball hat.

"Sammy Davis? Now he was a good jew. Danny Gans? Bad jew. I once saw him eating pork chops."

I forgot what the scent of desperation smelled like until I stepped onto the casino floor of the Imperial Palace. We had a few drinks with Maudie. Caught up on old times. Derek spotted a couple of hookers, but the joint looked empty, save for a few cowboys wandering around. We left when the Tina Turner impersonator began belting out Christmas songs.

We headed back to the MGM to catch up on some rest. When most of our friends arrive, we won't be sleeping much. Best to get some shuteye when we can. Of course, I stayed up and played poker and lost $300. I ran into Aces three times! One guy had them twice in the same orbit and I lost to him both times. Of course, my Aces did not hold up. Rough night at the poker tables.

And yeah, I woke up this morning by getting punched in the nuts... in a non-sexual way. Nicky rolled over and wham! Good morning, Las Vegas.

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