February 10, 2012

vegasthumb Sure, I’ve got a mountain of debt that needs to be attacked this year, but the one thing I simply will not give up is my weekend in Las Vegas with some of the Goodboys. We’ve been going the weekend after Super Bowl for (we think) seven or eight years, and every year it gets better – not because the place has changed any (after all, Vegas to me is as much a state of mind as whatever or however changes incur on and around the Strip), but because we’ve all gotten older and wiser, and, I’m guessing, more appreciative of the whole tradition of getting together as friends for a brief interlude from the stresses and cares of our daily lives.

Me, what I love about Las Vegas most of all is its other-worldliness, the things you can or would do there that are just so far beyond anything you would do in the town you live in. Sure, there are the casinos, the bars, the strip clubs, the gambling, the restaurants, the people and the people-watching (as far as I’m concerned, the latter is the best thing about Vegas), but it’s just the fact that money means nothing, as long as you have it. The saying goes, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, but my creed is something my grandfather told me a long time ago – “don’t go looking for trouble unless you expect to find it”. I get as much joy out of a fun round of golf or an afternoon at the hotel spa or just getting away as I do anything else anymore. But the memories last forever.

Here’s a Vegas story that kind of summarizes what the whole town is all about: it’s an early Sunday morning several years back, and the boys have been living large all day long. Around two in the morning, me and fellow Goodboy Steve “Killer” Kowalski head back to the hotel with every intention of calling it a night, but we’re both so wired that, as I’m putting the key card in our room door, we look at each other and say, “Nah”, and head back out. So we’re at some bar, and now I’ve got the heartburn real bad. I take out a $50, toss it on the bar, and say to the bartender, “Kahlua sombreros, heavy on the milk, and keep ’em comng.” Which he faithfully does. And every time I finish one, the next time I look down there’s another waiting for me. I mean, you’d never even think of do something like that in your home town, but in Vegas, it’s something you wouldn’t even think twice about.

Anyways, all I’m trying to say is that in Vegas you can bend the rules to your heart’s content. You can’t take the city, the gambling, the money, or the girls too seriously – those who do often find themselves in a world of hurt. You can have a good time, but you gotta be smart and always have your wits about you. It requires kind of a self-induced controlled nuclear chain reaction. Have a good time, but don’t do anything stupid or something you’d regret down the line. Because the temptations are always there, and Vegas thrives on temptation and the weak. Which is why I love it. It’s a town where you can’t wait to get there, and three days days later you’re glad to get out alive with the shirt on your back. Then two days later you find yourself anticipating the opportunity to get back and do it all over again.

Viva Las Vegas! Boss, take me out, dude…

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:47 | Comments (0)
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