Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 49


The Time Mookie and Megan Lost Their Asses In Las Vegas


As I have previously said many times, I LOVE Las Vegas.  I have been there many times and would go again in a second if the time and money were available (mostly the money). However there was one trip out of all of them that almost ruined the place for me in every way possible. 

Almost every trip to Vegas has started with the hope of winning big and the excitement of knowing you are going to have fun.  However, for some reason…. when we landed in Vegas this time, I did not feel any of the excitement I had on previous trips.  In hindsight, I should have heeded those feelings and booked our flight home.

"Megan (*)" and I planned the trip over Valentine’s Day and were going to meet up with her friend “Kyla(*)," and her husband “Cole(*)" at our hotel in Las Vegas.  We were all staying at the Imperial Palace in the middle of The Strip, so things should have been peachy keen. 

As we were riding in the back of a cab on our way to the hotel, in the mid-day sun we could see all of the resorts, casinos, and attractions up in the distance. Normally I would be giddy at this sight, but for some reason though…I wasn’t.  When I looked out my window and surveyed the landscape, all I could think to myself was: “God, this place is stupid.”

I did not see a playground of dreams, money, excess, and former mafia hangouts.  No, I saw a gaudy monstrosity of greed and stupidity.  I was somewhat shocked at myself for thinking that, but I couldn’t escape it.  The 6+ mile stretch of huge complexes with their over-the-top landscaping, signage, and in-your-face neon was definitely not the thrill it used to be.

Once we got settled in our rooms, I tried to put on a happy face and we all set out for the casinos.  Our first stop was at The Flamingo. Megan had $50 in her hand and said she was going to hit the dollar slots while I found an open spot at a $5 blackjack table.  I had sat down at a table and played only 3 or 4 hands when Megan re-appeared at my side.  I looked up at her and said “Done already?”  “Yep.” She said with a humorous but dejected tone.  Seriously….it was like seven minutes.  I finally brought myself “even” again and decided to get up.  We didn’t need to give The Flamingo all our money in our first 10 minutes of gambling.

We ventured out onto The Strip and hit many of the casinos as we roamed around.  On previous trips it seemed that if we lost at one casino, we could usually find at least a small streak of luck at another casino. Sadly, no ounce of luck was found anywhere on this trip and virtually every casino busted our asses.  Monte Carlo?  Ha, nice try.  Paris?  Sorry dude.  Bally’s?  Phfff.  O’Sheas? Why’d you even try?  Caesar’s?  Really?  New York New York?  Fuggetaboutit.  It was SAD. $20 here, $20 there, and $50 over there.  SOBGDMF.

We didn't need Cousin Eddie to ruin our luck.
We didn't have any to begin with.
In what we hoped would be somewhat of a “bright spot” for the trip, The ESPY Awards were being held at the MGM Grand one of the nights while we were out there. So on the afternoon of the show, we made a point to go hang out at the MGM and see if we would see any celebrities walking around prior to the festivities.  Unless you count seeing Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick eating lunch at some restaurant in the MGM, we did not see any celebrities.  Oh, and I shouldn’t have to tell you - we didn’t win at the MGM either.  Broke and dejected, we did what any loser gamblers do when they get sick of losing:  We went back to our room and ate cheap food. Oh, and we watched the ESPY’s on TV – while it was happening LIVE just 4 casinos down from us.  Pathetic.

After 3 days of losing, we could not WAIT to get out of there.  So much so, we found ourselves standing out in front of the hotel with all of our bags waiting for our airport shuttle 20 minutes before it was supposed to be there.  

It was while I was standing there I put my hands in my coat pocket and felt something familiar.  What was it? It was a dollar coin from the Imperial Palace.  Or to degenerate losers like myself:  
ONE LAST CHANCE.

I turned to Megan, held up the dollar in my fingers and said “I’ll be right back.”  She rolled her eyes as I walked back into the casino and headed to the nearest video blackjack machine.

I sat down at a particular machine, put the coin into the slot and hit the button.  The machine dealt me a 20.  I stayed and the machine busted with a 22.  Wow.  I won.  I bet again, and played another hand.  Would you believe it?  I won AGAIN.  In a matter of minutes, I had $5!  While this is nothing in the scheme of things, it was certainly a small victory at this point.  Needless to say, I felt like this was the streak of luck I had been waiting on for the ENTIRE trip – and BY GOD I was going to make the most of it!

Blinded by visions of winning all of our money back, I bet the entire $5 and eagerly played the next hand…..

Well......you already know what happened.

On past trips to Las Vegas, it always seemed like we wanted to go back again not long after we had gotten home. This time…….we had NO desire to go back.  The words "Las Vegas" were not uttered in our home.  In fact, it took several years to even have a minor urge to go back.  Obviously that urge did come back and I am happy to report we both have been to Las Vegas since then.  However… the memory of that fateful trip has prevented the two of us (thus far) from going back there together.  

Someday.  Maybe.

(*) Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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