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So my place of employment sent me out to Las Vegas to do stuff with high-performance cars in the middle of the desert. Other than ether, that’s about all the trip had in common with the plot from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson.
After spending two days in the middle of nowhere doing work for the government, we went back to Vegas to do some serious gambling. Everyone else wanted to go to the more posh casinos like Bellagio or the Venetian or Caesar’s Palace. Fools. Everyone knows that if you are going to blow the mortgage payment, the best place to make it last is the Boardwalk Casino. Any place that has $3 tables is my new best friend.
Once we get inside and acclimate ourselves to the dim lighting and smell of desperation, it’s time to hit the machines. Within twenty minutes, I was sitting on a mountain of nickels. If you’ve never seen what one thousand nickels looks like in one big, dirty pile, you haven’t lived. In order to cut down on expenses, the Boardwalk makes you count your own change before cashing it in for paper. Since I wasn’t about to spend the next ten hours rolling nickels, I just filled my pockets up as full as I could get them and left the rest for the next pilgrim. No matter what they tell you in your GA meetings, karma in Vegas is still karma.
If you’ve seen any movies based in Las Vegas, then you know all of the action happens at the craps table. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s oh so true. It was probably only four in the afternoon when we started, but in no time the table was packed five-deep after the sounds of our continuous winning made its way through the casino. Free drinks. Moderately priced women willing to blow on your dice. Surly dealers slinging insults. The place had it all.
I went on the hottest streak of my life. I must have threw those dice for thirty straight minutes before the pit boss came over and cooled me. It turns out there is a “no high-fiving” rule in effect. Someone threw an errant high-five a few weeks back and knocked out a cocktail waitress. The only thing they allowed was that thing you do with your fists where you punch someone else’s fist. Once I heard this, I knew it was time to split. They tried to comp me with stuff like a free room and tickets to the rodeo hoping I would stay and play some more, but it was time for me and my sixteen grand to move on. Besides, I was starting to get the fear.
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