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Tuesday, 30 September
Voivod Las Vegas! Wait, Is That Right?
On Thursday, the wife and I take off for the promised land: Las Vegas. Las Vegas. The land of milk and honey! No, wait. It's actually the land of ruined daquiris and crusted semen stains. Well, whatever. Some friends of ours are 1. huge Vegas fans and 2. getting married, so you see where this is all coming from. "By the power vested in me by the Nevada Gaming Commission . . . " and all. On the other hand, there's like thirty people or so all coming down for the festivities, so it should be a good time. The only way to take on Vegas is to travel in packs. You know, hence the Rat Pack. They traveled in groups to prevent Mafioso sten-gun attacks on Sinatra, and to make sure that roving rednecks couldn't string up Sammy Davis Jr. from a streetlamp.
See, the last time we were there was for our first anniversary, and it was just the two of us. This was a horrible mistake in that it was just the two of us. My awful persona that I've adopted here on this blog to the contrary, I'm just not capable of being a giant asshole in public--usually--and the wife is a freakishly wonderful person in every way, and that's no way to take on the demented fuck-scream that is Vegas. One needs to be insulated, one needs a posse, if only just because being in a group of people--particularly when those people are all actors and sketch comedians--allow one the freedom--nay, the responsibility--of becoming a complete and total shithead. This is what friends are for. Would you ever scream "SHOW YOUR TITS!" in New Orleans if you weren't surrounded by your pals? Of course not. Similarly, in Vegas, being surrounded by your friends means never having to feel bad about taking a shit in the big planters outside the Venetian while braying like a donkey. It's what you do.
The first time I ever visited Vegas (as an adult) was in 1999 or so; I had organized the trip just on a lark, and there were about ten of us, I think. We just went because, well, what the fuck, why not?
On the flight down there, J. creeped back to where we were all sitting, away from his girlfriend, and showed us The Ring. "I'm asking her to marry me," he unnecessarily explained. Well, awesome! Our little jaunt now had a cool narrative! Of course she said yes.
So then: the bachelor party. Which, since J. hadn't told us about, was completely unexpected. And nine years ago, I was much, much poorer than I am now. AND, of course, the cardinal rule of bachelor parties is: the groom pays for nothing.
J. naturally wanted to go to a strip club. In fact, he wanted to go to Glitter Gulch. I had no idea what to expect.
We got there, and J. promptly emitted a piercing shriek of glee and ran off to receive the first of what turned out to be a staggering number of lap dances. A comely lass approached our group and exclaimed, "Hi, fellas! Welcome! That'll be ninety-eight dollars." As in: apiece. What that got you was two drinks and the ability to stagger around in a daze while chicks clambered onto your table and shimmied. Dazedly, I pulled out my debit card and handed it over; entering a fuguelike Monkeybone-style universe, my credit card grew a cartoon face and laughed at me.
I was pretty rattled. Rattled enough that, when armed with my watery Budweiser and when confronted with my first dancer of the evening, I shot my arm out and immediately shoved a fiver into her G-string. She raised her eyebrows at me and said, "Oh, boy! Fast mover." Then she left. Ten seconds of girlflesh, and then the awesomely insulting realization that I was supposed to let her dance for a while before rewarding her. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see J. receiving his nine hundredth lap dance, burying his head reverentially into the dancer's cleavage. I imagined shooting J. in the face with a bazooka and playing with his discarded teeth.
In my storied career, I realize now that I should just stay away from strip clubs.
There is, so far, no indication that our groom has any intention of hitting a strip club, thank God. We'll be apparently spending most of our time in Old Vegas hitting the fifty-cent blackjack tables and getting hit with hammers by demented locals intent on stealing our shoes, which sounds pretty good. We'll be with friends. So when I take that giant shit into some hotel planter, it will be a friendly voice that announces, "Skot, that's an Escalade's sun roof." And, because we're all friends, I will elatedly scream, "SHOW ME YOUR TITS!" And then Kirk will sigh and bury his face in his hands and vow never to go anywhere with me ever again.