Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Here's the final installment of Fetish and Losing in Las Vegas, Part 5, for my faithful readers. Sadly, I am buried at work and haven't had time to create an uber-post. Yes, I've got plenty to ramble about, including my trip to the boat this past weekend, but trying to get this tournament going is taking up the majority of my poker time.

So this is the last call. I will be sending in the final player list Wednesday evening, around ten PM. That's the deadline I was given, despite my groveling for more time.

So please, sign up through my
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Tournament is this Sunday night at 9pm EST. Thanks to all who have joined up thus far - I truly appreciate it. Stay tuned and I'll be back to normal uber posting soon.

Fetish and Losing in Las Vegas - 05

Last day of class. The instructor says if anyone has to leave early for a
flight, he understands. Three quarters of the class, myself included,
leave at noon.

I find Spaulding at a 4/8 table, choking down Coronas to snap out of his
hangover. He has mixed emotions. One the plus side, he's up 400 bucks
and running over the table. On the down side, he couldn't arrange a DHO
before noon and now we have no hotel room. In retrospect, he says, he
should have gone with the pricier internet girls right from the start, and
skipped the streetwalkers and in call ad girls. Always seeking to improve
himself, he is. I sit next to him (not playing). The waitress spots me
and automatically brings me a Corona with my having asked. She knows a
two dollar tipper when she sees one. Might as well get started.

I watch him play J9o. He's check calling all the way. On the river, the
board is x6xx6. His opponent bets, Spaulding raises, his opponent thinks
a few seconds, says "you must have a 6," then mucks. I immediately get on
the list.

Spaulding tells me that he has two coupons to go see the Flamingo show for
free. We had never even considered engaging in anything but gambling,
boozing, narcotics, and prostitution in Vegas. Hmmm. He says the show is
only about an hour, and features topless dancers. Well, OK, if he got
some kind of free comp, and you said topless right? then I guess we can
spare an hour. Also, I could then tell coworkers I did something besides
gamble, and maybe they'll think I'm less of a degenerate.

We go to redeem the coupons, and I discover that they give them away to
anyone – you don't even have to be gambling. Warning sign number 1. We
also have to purchase 1 drink at $6.95 to attend 'for free.' Still, great
deal for a Vegas show. Then I notice regular admission is only $12.95.
What kind of show would one expect for 12.95? You said topless, right?
Anyway, we get the tickets and are told to show up early as there is no
assigned seating. Fine.

So we go visit a frigid craps table, then to redeem the drink coupons. We
each order a (all together now) double gin and tonic. Prick at the bar
huffily says the coupon is only good for a single. Too bad I gave him a
buck (not two, because he's a guy and I don't want to look homo) with the
coupon, or I might have stiffed him. Not because we could only get a
single, that's not his fault, but because he was a dick about it. I still
don't get why anyone who relies on tips would ever be surly. We drink the
drinks on the way to get in line, so we reload with 4 beers each. We'd
have gotten more, but it's hard to carry six. We're fully thirty minutes
early, but there's already a huge line. When the line starts to move
about fifteen minutes before show time, it crawls. I can't understand why
it is so slow since it is general admission. Just let people flood in.
As we near the door, we're out of beer again, so we grab two more each.
We get through the door, and there are two ushers seating people one party
at a time. What's up with that? There are even a bunch of solo guys, and
when there are a few in line in a row, he seats them ONE AT A TIME. I'm
bitching my head off about it. This is the most inefficient process I've
ever seen. Finally, as we draw close, I figure it out. Each party is
being given a chance to toke. The better the toke, the better the seats.
I'm so stupid. I've been tipping everyone in this town for days and that
never occurred to me.

When it's our turn, the guy says, "Where do you want to sit? Probably up
front huh? See real good? See the girls, with no tops on, real good?
Huh, huh?" Suddenly I feel slimy, like I should be wearing an overcoat
and colored socks. I mean, yeah, that's exactly what we want, but the guy
is so lecherous he makes me feel scuzzy. I wish he played along a little
better. Anyway, he kind of holds out an open hand and we each give him a
redbird. That must be fairly generous, because we get front row seats.
As soon as we are seated Spaulding runs out for more beer.

I've figured out the secret to success. If you want people to like your
product, first drastically lower their expectations. Then, even if your
final product is mediocre, they’ll think it was great. Take Hellmuth's
book. I waded through the painfully long introduction, then read his
poker poem. Yes, a Hellmuth poem. Jesus H. Christ, it sucked. Second
fucking stanza he rhymes 'it' with 'it.'

Good thing he can play cards. I was fully prepared to despise the book,
but I liked it quite a bit, and definitely learned a few things.

So it was with Bottoms Up (the name of the show). Right out of the gate,
they lowered my expectations to zero. The show starts with several
dreadfully lame jokes over the PA system. "Will the owner of a white car,
license plate ABC364......K9FG17.....JHAS88......QWERTY69 please move your
car, your license plate is blocking traffic." Then the host comes out,
talking in some stupid accent, makes the peace sign and says "piss on
you." I stood up to leave, but Spaulding said "Sit down, we're not
leaving until we see some tit."

The show proudly boasts a forty year run. I suspect the jokes have never
changed since day one. They were probably state-of-the-art, killer jokes
in 1964, but are now more like what you'd expect a 10 year old to pass as
a 'dirty joke.' For every single skit, I knew the punch line long before
it was delivered. Timeless jokes, such as "Who's the comedian with the
black balls?"

I manage to relax and enjoy it though, because (a) I believe in keeping a
positive attitude and making the best of things, (b) I was drinking, and
(c) you said topless, right?. To tell you the truth, with about eight
drinks in us, we were laughing at most of the show. When they did the
(lengthy) ice cream stand skit, where the 'little' girl repeatedly asks
for chocolate ice cream, although the vendor keeps saying he is out of
chocolate, we join in on the ending;

"Little girl, spell the 'straw' in strawberry," "s-t-r-a-w"
"Spell the 'van' in vanilla," "v-a-n"
"Spell the 'fuck' in chocolate,"
"Mister, there is no 'fuck' in chocolate,"

we both yelled out the punchline with the performer ("That's what I've
been trying to tell you: there is no fuckin' chocolate!")

We had fun. There were actually a few comical moments when the performers
ad-libbed. One old guy kept cracking up the two young Chippendale guys by
going off on unscripted tangents, forcing them to try to keep up, and that
was pretty funny. Kind of like how Tim Conway always cracked up Harvey
Corman. It seemed spontaneous. If not, they fooled us two drunk guys.

I was surprised that the girl's only talent was showing their tits (note:
they did this well). I thought they'd be worked into sketches, but they
weren't with one exception. And in that exception, the cutie had one
line, and she blew it, twice. Maybe, as Spaulding maintains, topless
dancers should be seen, not heard. Anyway, they were good looking, except
one had a poor boob job. I liked the petite and perky one best. She also
had the best caboose.

There was another fun moment. Two guys are singing a medley of songs, and
flashing visual gags corresponding to the lyrics. In itself rather lame,
but what happened was cool. When they did "Amore," it went like this:

"When the moon hits your eye.." (show cardboard picture of moon)
"Like a big pizza pie.." (show cardboard picture of pizza)
"That's amore..." (flip pizza picture over, revealing a picture of a moray

They halt the song, and one of the old guys comes to the edge of the
stage, kneels down, looks Spaulding right in the face, and says "That's a
moray eel, sir. Amore; a moray. Do you get it now?"

I'm momentarily awed that they could tell Spaulding was too fucking stupid
to get it. Of course, he's wearing his coke bottle glasses, hasn't shaved
in days, and is loaded. Maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise.

Anyway, it becomes obvious that the little aside to Spaulding was scripted
(moray eel is a recurring theme in Bottoms Up), but it was still cool when
it happened, because Spaulding was the mark.

Two dancers are at the door as we exit. Spaulding tips the bigger titted
one 10 bucks, I gave miss perky a fiver. They were appreciative.

I've decided that I prefer topless to fully nude. You go to a standard
strip joint and the girls all give these huge split gyno shots, and it's
not at all sexy. Looks like an improperly treated hatchet wound. A
little tastefully displayed fur can be erotic, especially if the shave job
is 1.61803 times as high as it is wide, like Playmates sported for many
years. But now even in Playboy I've noticed a definite trend toward
hardwood, and I don't like it. Playmates, if you're reading, there's
nothing aesthetically pleasing about labia. Oh my God, I just realized I
am turning into Snow White.

To conclude, I can honestly say Bottoms Up was the finest $6.95 Vegas show
I've ever seen. I do recommend it at that price, even if only for the
girls, who were pretty hot. Tap the Admiral heavily before the show, and
you might even laugh at the jokes.

We head off to Pai Gow, where Spaulding plans to turn his $400 poker
profit into $4,000. About 8 hands later he has lost it. We have a few
hours left to kill, so we opt for 1-5 stud and heavy drinking. At the
adjacent 4/8 table, some fat kid of about 25 is drinking it up and being
really loud and obnoxious. We're loud too, but we're jolly drunks. This
kid is making a braying sound at the top of his lungs, calling the dealer
a jackass. "A fat guy who can't hold his liquor," Spaulding remarks, "is
like a black guy who sucks at basketball. There's something sad about it."

They call security on junior. The first guard who shows up is, I think,
George Burns. He tells junior he has to leave the premises immediately.
Junior says, "Make me." The next guard shows up. Mike Tyson, I think it
was. He tells junior he has to weave the pwemises immediatewy. "Yes
sir," says junior. If you had told me in advance that a fat, drunk guy
was going to get kicked out of the poker room, I'd have lost my house
betting it would be Spaulding.

Eventually we make our final cashout. Despite playing in a highly
disadvantaged state the whole trip, and toking off a conservatively
estimated hundred dollars a day, I manage to win about 320 bucks.
Spaulding took an overall loss, but surprisingly containable. He won't
have to turn tricks for cab fare or anything. Sadly, it is time to leave
our new most favorite place on Earth.

We make the long night flight back, and I can't sleep in an upright
position. We're not seated together. I'm sitting pretty near one of the
restrooms. Spaulding goes in to befoul it. When he's done, a hot chick
goes in right after him. Even through the closed door, I can hear her say
"Oh my God!" She comes out coughing and walks the length of the plane to
use a different stall. I look back at Spaulding and he gives me the
thumbs up.

Turbulence over the rockies severely delays the beverage cart. In my Mead
tablet I pen the following song, to the tune of "If I Only Had A Brain"
from the Wizard of Oz:

"If I Only Had A Beer"

I could wile away the hours
Lying face down in the flowers
With vomit puddling near
And my head would be hurtin'
And my memory uncertain
If I only had a beer

I would watch a dirty movie
About some well hung cutie
And no that isn't queer

With the booze you'd be drinkin'
Soon you'd re-ally be stinkin'
If you only had a beer

Oh, I would tell you why
You should try a dirty whore
And some kink you never heard of before
And then I'd sit and drink some more

I'd be anything but boring
My behavior'd be deploring
The girls would run away in fear
I would dance and be merry
But that don't make me a fairy
If I only had a beer.

In Pittsburgh, around 6 am, Spaulding insists we keep drinking during the
lengthy layover. "We can't stop until we're home. That's the rules." In
a café full of breakfast eaters, we're sitting there swilling Gibsons.

Back home at last, Spaulding makes me come into his house for the
ceremonial last drink, marking the end of our adventure. On my way out
the door, Spaulding says to me, "Remember that second hooker? We did it
on the couch."


The End.

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