Janie and I recently traveled to Las Vegas in what was a last-minute change to plans of visiting Montana for her family reunion. Oddly enough, Las Vegas was a cheaper option for us and since we just added another $1000 to the value of Ducati because of a wee wee problem and a several day veterinary hospital stay, we couldn’t dole out our dollars to get eaten by some grizzly bears.
Most of the trip was excellent. Beyond excellent, really. What’s a word for that? Phat. Retarded. Stoopid. Bad, but in a good way. You get my point. Our first days were spent at the Venetian hotel which is super for a couple of reasons. #1 is that all their rooms are suites and while we can’t usually afford the prices, Las Vegas is having a tough time of it and if you hit it at just the right moment, you get a sweet deal. #2 is that they have a gelato shop in their casino-area food court and if you don’t go there and try it you’re no friend of mine. #3 is that the Venetian is nothing like the MGM and that’s what this post is really going to be about once I finish telling you that we drove to the Grand Canyon for a night and WOW, it’s amazing and beautiful and also, we saw a deer right up close about five minutes after my camera battery died. But the next day I had a full battery and Janie and I scooted our rental car all about the south rim of the canyon and took photographs of us precariously perched on ledges and every time I felt like I might pee my pants or throw up or poop, of which I did neither, thankyouverymuch.
After we dropped off our rental car back in Vegas, we found our way to the MGM Grand and quickly realized we were in the midst of each of our personal hells, even more hellish than that Grand Canyon shuttle ride with those Australian kids smashed all around us, flirting and making us generally uncomfortable. We made our way to the check-in and sat for what seemed like an hour but was, probably, five minutes, while a young couple peppered the agent with questions about how to maneuver around the city before I hustled them out of the way and gave them a map of the strip, circled the Blue Man Group Theater and M&M World, drew a line between and told them to “GIT!” Our check-in agent was a nice, young gay man whose name I can’t remember and within a few seconds, we were off, peeling through the crowd of already drunk assholes swarming the lobby. On our way to the hotel room we watched as young partiers ran up and down the hallway like little mice, scurrying to their nests.
The MGM Grand is enormous. It’s one of the largest hotels on the strip and while it was once a classy place with real live lions to look at, it is now a large building filled with douchebags and whores and lions to look at, only the lions are huddled up in their glass enclosure praying that none of those douchebags and whores get the drunken urge to come in and moonwalk across their living room floor to impress their friends who are too busy sloshing drinks and pulling out their penises to see their friend being mauled by lions.
Our room was small, modern looking and small. It had a bed, a closet, a shower and toilet enclosed in frosted glass that made Janie uncomfortable and a sink just in front of the hotel room door. It faced out over another part of the hotel and we had a stunning view of a lot of fans and vents. All this was okay, manageable, because we were there for one night and wouldn’t really be in the room but to sleep. We had plans, gambling plans, see. So even when Janie came out of the bathroom and said there was blood on the wall, it didn’t seem that bad. What’s a little blood between gay ladies and a Las Vegas hotel room? What blood is smeared in a Vegas hotel room stays in a Vegas hotel room. Or something. I forget how it goes. Anyhow, after a two minute roundabout on whether or not to report the blood smear to the proper authorities, Janie decided it wasn’t worth it. She didn’t want to have to change rooms because it would be too much work to put her shoes back on. I didn’t argue…it was our last evening in a town where we’d lost half of Ducati’s net worth and we wanted it to be fun. We left the blood and our bags in the room and made our way to Starbucks because, you know, every good Seattleite starts their evening with coffee or, as Jane would have it, hot chocolate. I don’t know why. So I gambled away another $20 on a stupid jerk slot machine while I waited and then we crossed the bridge (where one guy was trying to discuss how Ohio and Las Vegas were practically twins) to the New York, New York where they have a Slingo! machine which was probably the most exciting moment of the trip in some way because HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED SLINGO? If you have, then you understand and if you haven’t nevermind, I don’t know you.
We spent a lot of hours at that Slingo machine. Janie wandered in and out to play video poker before settling in next to me. It was a penny machine, so the dollar stretches faster and losing $100 seems like not such a bad deal because you just had 3 hours of quality entertainment, right? The seat to my right was occupied by a small, older Asian lady who started off particularly quiet. She was alone, with no gay lady to cheer for her like Janie had me to humiliate her in a casino filled with strangers who really didn’t care if I screamed WOOOOOO! every time she won a penny back. I don’t know why she was so embarrassed or why, for that matter, she felt it necessary to nurse her embarrassment with gins and tonics that came at such a snails pace that in those three hours she only actually was able to down .25 of a glass. Anyhow, the lady next to me started getting the Slingo! and I felt bad that there was no one at her side to cheer, so I cheered for her. WOOOO! And she was not embarrassed by it, she was excited. She only ordered a water. So there we were, Janie and the Asian lady and I, cheering and watching as each of us raked in the pennies. At one point I was up $23.00 but then I wasn’t. Then I was up! Then I wasn’t. This is how slot machines work. They get you down and then bring you back up and you feel like you could win forever and you imagine yourself buried in a pile of little copper pennies and then before you know it, you’re sitting there with a machine that is raping your wallet before your very eyes! And you wonder how it has the audacity to do that WHILE YOU ARE RIGHT THERE LOOKING AT IT and you want revenge and so you keep pushing that MAX BET button until the Asian lady and Janie are in bed (not together, that you know of) and you’re there, alone and broke, watching a drunk 50 year old divorcee from Schenectady in a too short dress with wine stains streaked down the front, screaming “MARIA! MARIA! MAAARRIIIAAAAAAA! COME HERE! I’m so drunk!” across the casino floor and suddenly your life seems so meaningless.
At 2am I made my way back to the room and as I wandered down towards our hotel door I saw a lady passed out and I remembered that an hour earlier, when Janie abandoned me for sleep, she called me and said there was a lady passed out and I said, Not now, baby! I’m busy with the Slingo! and our compromise was that if she was still there whenever I decided to come to bed then we would call security. So when I got back I was all, time to call security! but Janie had been snoring and since she was asleep and her shoes were off I had to call them and since they didn’t answer I had to walk downstairs to find a guard. A few minutes later they came up and I heard them wake the drunk and proceed to have a 3o minute conversation with her that consisted of the following:
What is your name?
What is your name?
TANYA! Tell me where you are. Where are you?
Look at you. You’re throwing up on yourself and all over the floor, Tanya. Tell me where you are. Does your husband know where you are? How did you get here? Where are you?
TANYA. I’m going to give you one more chance. Where are you? Tell me where you are?
*mumblemumble* motherfuckers *mumble* a thousand dollars *mumblezzzzzz*
TANYA! If you can’t tell me where you are, we’ll have to call the paramedics. One more chance. Tell me where you are.
One more chance. I’m giving you one more chance. Tell me where you are.
After about 50 “one more chances” they wheeled her away. I settled in to bed and turned off the lights and fell asleep until I heard some very loud screaming. Then more screaming. Then I had to make sure it wasn’t Janie and when I looked over at her she looked over at me and said, “What the hell is going on here?” Then the screaming continued and we realized it was two girls down the hall having a hysterical fight at 430 in the morning. After several minutes of high pitched wailing, there was a door slamming and crying crying crying. Heaving and crying outside our door. Crying and more crying. Oh, the tears and the heaving. Hysteria. Then more screaming and screaming and screaming and doors slamming and right back to the crying. Crying like she just lost her family on the Titanic and then came to Vegas and lost her grandmother’s precious jewels that were the only thing she had left in the world and life is so cruel! After 20 minutes we decided it was time to call security but this time they already knew and someone was coming up to settle the score. As soon as Janie hung up the phone security was on the scene and there was intense discussion filled with crying and loud talking and as they were dragging her away she started screaming “HELP ME! HELP ME!”
I settled in again, ready for more sleep which lasted until 8am when there was a loud buzzing and clicking and WHIIIIRRRRRRRRR! of the housekeepers vacuuming up the vomit spot of the drunk of the floor from several hours prior. At 10am we finally got out of bed and rather than rush to get out by 11am, I called for a late check out and was promptly denied. Not even 10 extra minutes. Not even a moment to think about it.
Can I have a late-
NO! GET OUT!
At this point we weren’t incredibly concerned. We’d had a bad time and didn’t want to linger any more than we had to, so I hopped in the shower and then got dressed. When Janie got out of the shower she yelled at me for taking her towel but I told her that I used only one!And we realized that they had only managed to give us one tiny towel to use between the two of us. And then the tissues ran out. When we went to check out and I mildly complained about all the problems, from the blood to the calls to security to the towel problems, the only thing she could say to me was “Well, you should have called us about the blood right away so we could have sent someone up to clean it. Unfortunately I can only offer you a coupon for something to eat.” and I squinted my eyes at her, leaned in real close and said “You are a bullshit. I hope you get scurvy.” AND THEN I SET THE HOTEL ON FIRE.