BIG LOSERS

BIG LOSERS

Well, there was a big loser in Vegas this weekend, and it was the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. I’m sorry, Tropicana, are you short some money today? Did I take something away from you that you hold very dear? Were the banks at the swim-up blackjack tables short about, oh, two hundred dollars? Well, I hope you survive. I hope nobody gets laid off because of this. I hope you don’t have to cut the quality of your services in the guest rooms further still. If you’re looking for that two hundred dollars, I know exactly where you can find it…

Just go to the poker room at the Excalibur. That’s where I lost most of it. There’s also some at the Casino War tables at MGM Grand. And a few bucks scattered at slot machines around town.

Yeah, gambling-wise, I pretty much broke even this weekend. But gambling wasn’t the real point of this trip. This was about a bachelor party.

Eric and his fiancee Julie were both in Vegas this weekend for their pre-wedding debauchery, but while Julie and her friends headed to the Thunder from Down Under for their bachelorette festivities, the guys were in disarray.

The guys were Eric, me, our mutual friend Michael, and Eric’s three married Christian friends, who, because I’m bad with remembering names, I’ll refer to as Brad Garret Guy, Shoulderbag Guy and Closet Homosexual Married Guy. (I call ’em as I see ’em, my friends.) We started off the night with some poker. Eric’s always seemed more interested in gambling than in girls, so by the time he was ready to leave the casino, it was after 1AM. As for what to do next, it was clear Eric wanted to do something a bit naughty, the kind of thing one might typically associate with a bachelor party, but that the three Christians were, to put it gently, terrified of seeing boobies. Michael and I just wanted to do what was going to make Eric happy.

But we wanted to do it soon.

Brad Garrett Guy decided to turn in for the night, and the rest of us headed for the taxi line, a clear indication (I thought) that the evening was about to take a more decadent turn. So Michael headed for the ATM and I made one last trip to the bathroom (fearing what the strip club restroom might hold in store) before we left. That left Eric alone with the Christians.

Big mistake.

When Michael and I got back, Closeted Homosexual Married Guy had talked Eric into checking out something he referred to as “the IMAX rides” at the Luxor. I didn’t know exactly what the IMAX rides were, but I was sure that they didn’t involve anything gyrating in your lap or calling you “Big Guy” and telling you how sexy you were. In other words, they were very different rides than the ones given at Cheetah’s, the only strip club in Vegas we knew of. Given that Closeted Homosexual Married Guy was also the guy who, earlier in the evening, had talked about naming his kids after the characters from “Lord of the Rings”, I was extremely reluctant to hand control of the evening over to him.

“I don’t think the IMAX rides are open,” I said. It seemed reasonable. It was almost 1:30 at this point. Aren’t rides something, you know, kids do? And aren’t kids usually in bed at this hour? And Christians, too? I thought they went to bed earlier than this. I mean, really, isn’t anyone who wants to go on the IMAX rides usually in bed by midnight?

Eric pulled me and Michael aside and said he still wanted to go to a strip club, but that before we did, he wanted to do something to include the Christians, who wouldn’t be joining us at Cheetah’s. I was a bit confused as to what Eric thought we’d been doing for the 6 and a half hours we’d already spent with the Christians — and just what time he was expecting to shift over to the adult portion of the evening. I mean, I had a bedtime, too.

So we went to Krispy Kreme. We sat and ate donuts. We talked about what to do next, what else might still be open. I was getting impatient. “Besides Cheetah’s, you mean?”

After our snack, we went to the New York-New York game room. Closeted Homosexual Married Guy had heard there were virtual reality games there, so he was excited when we arrived. It was a few minutes before 2AM. The game room, we then found out, closed at 2AM. We didn’t even have time to make change. A few minutes later, we were back at square one.

“What do you want to do?” Shoulderbag Guy asked Eric. “This is your bachelor party.” Finally, I felt, he was starting to get it. But Eric didn’t take a stand. I think he was embarrassed to admit to his religious friends that he was hoping to spend his bachelor party looking at naked women.

“You should do something a little crazy,” Shoulderbag Guy continued. I liked where this was heading. “Something you wouldn’t normally do.” Good… good… “But it doesn’t have to be something immoral.”

Ugh.

Finally, Michael and I stepped in and told Eric it was starting to get late. It was clear what needed to be done. Eric decided that it was probably time to head to Cheetah’s. Closeted Homosexual Married Guy announced he was going to turn in for the evening.

“Is this what you want to do?” Shoulderbag Guy asked. Eric said that indeed, it was. “Then let’s go.”

And to my amazement, Shoulderbag Guy came with us to the strip club.

I think I’m bound by some Straight Guy Honor Code from revealing what happened after we got there, but I will say this: I think everyone got what they wanted out of the evening. And we all got to bed by 4:30.

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