Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 59

Since its March and a lot of people have Spring Break, all of the Monday Morning Stories With Mookie in March will be about activities that happened in my favorite Spring Break location:  LAS VEGAS!!

The Time Mookie And James Kicked Ass At Hooters Casino

A few years back, my friend "James"(*) from work and I went to Las Vegas for an extended weekend. It was funny how the trip came together because it all started off as a discussion at work where I was telling James about one of my previous trips to Sin City, and him saying that he'd never been there before. Literally, within 3 days:  We had approval from both of our wives to go (not always an easy thing), our schedules coordinated, and had the trip booked. The best part was that it departed in less than 3 weeks from then, so we were pretty excited.

Since we were trying to make the trip rather inexpensive, we decided on accommodations at the old Sahara Hotel and Casino. If you had a chance to visit or stay at the Sahara before it closed in 2011, you probably saw an old facility that was in need of some major remodeling. The online reviews of the hotel often featured words like “old,” “decrepit,” and “gross.” Personally I loved the place as it was one of the last old-school Vegas casinos left on The Strip from the “Rat-Pack” era. The place just felt like a mobster hangout and gave me visions of mobsters in the vault skimming the daily revenue. The old gal had lots of charm. Further reviews also mentioned talk of "bed bugs," which of course gave cause for concern. In the end we threw caution to the wind and went for it because it was cheap. The amount of time we planned on spending in the room was going to be minimal anyway.

We landed in Las Vegas early-evening on a Saturday, checked into the hotel and then proceeded to hit the town HARD. When we got there, I didn’t know if James wanted to see the sights, and gamble a little here and there or what. I quickly found out that James wanted to drink beer and gamble immediately (in that order).  I have to admit I admired that...a lot.  Unfortunately we hit the adult beverages a little too hard that night and the end result kept us out of the sauce for most of the next day.

We gambled it up most of Sunday and Monday, and while we had a lot of fun - we weren’t really winning anything major. Since we were leaving Tuesday morning, we decided that we definitely needed to go all out and hit it hard again on our last night (Monday) or we wouldn't be able to look at ourselves in the mirror.

Prior to heading out for the night, we started into the beer in the late-afternoon thanks-in-part to a convenient shop in the hotel lobby. We decided to take the Tram from the hotel to the other end of The Strip and see what damage we could do there. We wound through the MGM Grand, and quickly decided that establishment wasn’t going to be the scene where we would stage an epic comeback. Once we got outside, it became apparent where we were going to go:  HOOTERS.  I had never been to this casino before, so it was going to be a new adventure for both of us.

We artfully dodged traffic, and made our way into the surprisingly small casino. The place had a rustic feel, but it was clearly a "Hooters" themed establishment. There were signs with the trademark owl, and of course the "Hooters" logo everywhere.  he best part though was...taaa-daaa!......ALL of the the dealers were Hooters Girls. They were all in their tight white tank-tops and tight orange nylon shorts, just like in the restaurants. James and I milled around trying to get a table, but the place was packed. To kill time, we eventually made our way to the casino cage, and signed up for the Hooters Players Card. This entitled us to a bunch of free plays at the tables, and the chance to play a series of "special" slot machines for a chance of winning big on them. We played them, and much like everyone else they sucker into it.....we did not win.

Our actual Hooter's Dealer.  I discreetly snagged this
pic in between hands.
Eventually we found a $5 blackjack table that had just opened up and luckily there was room for bother of us to sit down. Much to our delight - it got lively right away. There were 3 other gentlemen playing at the table with us, and it quickly became a brotherhood of sorts. If we were winning, we were all winning. If we were losing, we all lost. It became comical because everyone knew if someone got up, the "vibe" of the table would be ruined and everyone's good fortunes would go bust. There was a big black gentleman sitting to my right, and he was unintentionally hilarious. He had on dark sunglasses, and was alternating between drinking Courvoisier and Hennessey. If he would run out of money due to his silly betting strategies, he'd gesture to his male companion standing behind him for more money. This happened more than a few times during our time at the table.  While Mr. Courvoisier was up and down in the chips, the rest of us were winning pretty decently. I sat down with $20 and was up $50 pretty quick. I forget how well James was doing, but I know he was winning - AND we were knee-deep in Bud Light the entire time we sat there - so he was happy.  It helped that we also had awesome dealers who were both fun and not unattractive.

Eventually a new dealer came to the table, and after she dealt us one hand (she won) everyone sensed it was time to get up. The whole group of us got up and left the table. In all the tables I've played at I have never seen anything like this happen, where a group of guys who were not together-effectively leave a table. It was probably a severe blow to the dealer's self-esteem, but was involved and she definitely wasn't as "hooter-ific" as the previous dealer.

We took our winnings to the casino cage and I cashed out just over $100. James cashed out on the "plus" side of things as well.

It was about then that we decided we were hungry, so we decided to wash down all those beers we had at the tables with some gourmet Hooters food. So we entered the restaurant - which was just off the casino, sat at the bar and dined on chicken wings and more beer.  It should go without saying that it was lovely. Plus - since we were nonchalantly playing the slot machines on the bar-top, our beers were free. Hell yes.

Eventually, we decided our stay at Hooters had run its course, so we ventured outside and continued our gambling elsewhere.  The rest of the evening turned out to be entertaining as well, but I will save that story for another time.

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

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1 comment:

  1. That James guy sounds like a pretty cool Vegas companion. I'm sure by now he has better taste than to drink Bud Light all the time.


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