Umbrellas Without Rain, a Near Death Experience and a 50 Piece McNugget = 23rd Bday in Vegas

This is long but I guarantee it will have you rofl’ing, crying and almost puking. With a description like that, how can you resist?

I know what you are all thinking and the answer is no. No the near-death experience and the 50 piece McNugget are not the same thing (although pretty damn close). For your sake I will start back at the beginning, and I mean the VERY beginning. On a cold October 2nd day in 1987… sike. I had been hanging out with Hunter and Jerrod and, per usual, alcohol became involved. We were talking very briefly about what I wanted to do on my bday. I say briefly because, A: I had no clue what I wanted to do besides drink, and B: Hunter and Jerrod had just moved here so they had no idea what to suggest. I’m not sure if it was the hangover the next day or Hunter’s itch to gamble from his Vegas stop on the way out, but Hunter suddenly blurted “Let’s go to Vegas!” Without hesistation I replied “Done”. I’ve decided that this sort of decision making process is best because it is quick and locks whoever asked the question into a commitment to said question. Jerrod spent the next week whining to try to get out of going but his fate was sealed. I did have to agree to pay for some of his expenses (since he decided the best way to move to California was with no money) but he paid it back in entertainment before we even got out of the car.

When the day finally came Hunter and I were eating breakfast trying to work off our hangovers from the night before. We had gone out with Sarah, Will’s gf Leah, and Leah’s friend in Long Beach (aka LBC as Snoop and I call it). We called Jerrod to find out that he too had been out the night before despite having a job fair the next afternoon. Needless to say he missed the job fair which didn’t sit well with Hunter and me because we planned on leaving later so he could go. After some fumbling around at Jerrods apartment and a few wrong turns on the highway, we found ourselves in Jerrod’s new/used convertible cruising the 15 to Vegas. I will skip the details of the drive there but will tell you that it was 5 hours consisting of Hunter reading the Avs book (see prior post), McDonalds, Patton Oswalt, and Jerrod being the target of a multitude of jokes. I assumed that when we arrived the tables would turn but unfortunately for Jerrod (and fortunately for my entertainment), the joke was still on him.

As you near Vegas after sunset you start to get a slight tingling sensation in your stomach. The lights of the city can be seen far in the distance and appear brighter as the sunlight disappears. This sensation (combined with the Red Bull I pounded) put the three of us in a heightened sense of excitement. As we rolled past the billboards for casinos, strip clubs, and Nevada gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, the car turned into the only thing a car filled with 21-23 yr old males hyped up on energy drinks and McDonalds can turn into: a farting-frenzy. Derroj (name changed to semi-protect identity due to the nature of the following story) decided he was really going to go for the top with his final push. To put it nicely, gas wasn’t the only thing that came out. I can only describe the next fifteen minutes as some of the funniest minutes I have ever experience in my life. Derroj’s face and demeanor immediately changed as he begged Hunter (who was driving and had already made it to the strip) to pull over to the nearest gas station. Hunter continued to tell Derroj to suck it up until we got to the hotel (Riviera) as I practically died from laughter in the backseat. This continued through the streets of Vegas, over the speed-bumps of the parking lot, and all the way to the nearest Riviera bathroom where Derroj had to part with his only and “favorite” pair of boxers. Everyone always wants to make an entrance; ours couldn’t have been better.

Over the next few hours there were a series of miscalculated decisions (which I will refer to as “learning experiences”) made by the three of us. The first learning experience was to book a hotel room in advance. Casinos jack-up prices on the weekends (which makes perfect sense) so we overpayed for a room. We also decided in the future that we not tell them there are 3 of us as a 3 person room is basically the size of a one person room but you pay triple for the extra *insert disease here* infested bed. Our next learning experience was to WALK AWAY UP. The first stop (not counting the 2 stops in-between for 24 ounce Pabsts) was the Casino Royal where Hunter had made his last killing. Hunter and I joined a craps table with $200 each and despite it being my first time gambling in Vegas we walked away up $150 after two hours! Now it’s easy to say I should have walked away while sitting at home reading this on a computer screen but the feeling you get from winning $150 on your first Vegas gambling experience is ridiculous. It’s like sitting down to a surf and turf dinner of pre-cracked and buttered giant lobster with a 3 inch thick unicorn tenderloin on the side (I stole the tenderloin from the ridiculous race) . That along with the fact that Hunter was now up a combined $950 from the Casino Royal made us feel invincible. Unfortunately for us, the Sahara was the kryptonite to our superman-like feelings (there really has to be a better saying than this).

If you think of the word “Sahara” the first things that come to mind are dry, barren, uninhabitable, camels, and sand. This is not unlike our experience at the Sahara. There were Camels (cigs get it?), it was uninhabited (at 4 am), and it literally sucked the life (and $) right out of us. Hunter and I decided the same strategy would work even better if we played at a table with less people. We both started with $200 and despite being up through the first half an hour, I can safely say that the only money I have remaining from that casino is the $1 chip I found in my pocket yesterday. My next post might as well be “How to lose $230 in an hour and a half”. Oops. Still, if you’ve been counting, $180 of that was winnings so I was only down $50. For my first night in Vegas I thought that was not bad. After taking that beat we walked out and, seeing that the sun was beginning to rise, decided to hit McDonalds (which turned into a terrible theme for the trip) and head home. The official bedtime is not known but judging on the angle of the sun and the looks on Hunter and Jerrod’s faces the next morning I would say it had to be around 6:30am.

Since we had to be out by 11am I set an alarm for 10:40. I however, thanks to my waking up at 7:15am for work every weekday, was up at 10:30 and ready to go. Jerrod had the hardest time getting out of bed and it took some constant badgering and the promise of bikini-clad women at the pool to get him out of the door. Unfortunately for Jerrod, it was a cloudy day so there were no hotties in sight. After much whining and moping about lack of sleep we decided to go fulfill my bday wish which was the sole reason we came to Vegas in the first place.

Read about my near death experience on the Stratosphere here!

After the Stratosphere I decided that it was time for the 50 piece nugget challenge. Since this post is long enough as it is you can read about the challenge in this separate post

After the 50 piece challenge we decided to go back to the Casino Royal to regain some of our luck. Wherever our luck had decided to hide it was definitely not in the Royal. I lost another $70 which just added to the terrible feeling that I was going to McPuke all over the craps table (I think this is called McPressing your 6’s and 8’s). Combined with another $30 loss somewhere else along the road I ended up down $170. Not great but not too bad considering it was my first experience with Vegas. After that loss we put the sin city in our rear view mirrors. Luckily traffic wasn’t too bad and we spent time reading aloud to Hunter while he drove (he REALLY liked that Avs book). The only semi-entertaining thing that happened on the ride home was that Hunter was stretching the gas tank to make it to Barstow and then ended up taking an exit that took us all the way around the city. We had 10 miles left on the tank when we exited and only 3 when we finally found a gastation. This allowed 7 miles for Jerrod to bitch at Hunter about how bad it would be for his new/used car to ran out of gas.

So what did I learn from my first trip to Vegas? Quit playing craps when you’re up, never ever go to the Sahara, don’t go to the top of the Stratosphere unless you are willing to risk death, people use umbrellas to stay out of the sun (instead of the rain), the 50 Piece McNugget Challenge is only worth it once (and possibly only if it’s your bday), book a hotel room in advance, and always ALWAYS bring more than one pair of boxers.

Stay tuned for my next adventure!

Kevin

Author’s Note to Jerrod: We have all been there. It’s like a right of passage with guys. Mine occured while box jumping in Finesilver’s weightlifting class after an all you can eat NY Pizzeria lunch and Hunter’s occured in his parent’s basement during an epicly funny fart battle. The fact that yours was in Vegas makes it that much better of a story. That is why I am posting this blog in my status on Facebook. You’re welcome.

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  1. […] Stratosphere Rides: Die-First Ask Questions Later Posted on October 29, 2010 by kluckmeister Another excerpt from my blog about Vegas. […]

  2. […] his catch phrase. Enters the train saying “slide on it just like that”. Jerrod (yes the Las Vegas Jerrod) bought nearly $10 worth of lights from him on New Year’s Eve. Regrets? Not with those flashing […]



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