Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hello Vegas?

Memo to self, don’t ever smile to people when you’re in Las Vegas.

Having my company send a person like me to Las Vegas for a conference was a bad idea. Now, when most people think of all of the bad things that could happen if you go to Vegas they’d think of things like losing tons of money or something like waking up in a strange room with one of your socks on a part of your body that is not meant to wear socks. For me though, going to Vegas was just an uncomfortable experience. First off, I don’t like to hang out with geeks, and that’s what this conference was all about. Typically they all get together and drink way too much hoping that people will think that they are much cooler than they are. Of course I join in for the drinking part, but I never expect the coolness to be coming. I gave up on the thought of that ever happening a long time ago.

I arrived late on a Saturday afternoon and made a quick run to the sports book. **Vent Alert** I know I’m a prude, but I was SADLY disappointed that none of the TV’s in the sports book were showing games in HDTV. I mean, come on… they make millions upon millions of dollars on sports betting and I have to watch a projector from 1999? Take a few of my dollars and upgrade your shit. Also, what’s up with only getting free drinks when you’re betting on horse racing? I dropped $150 bucks (ooooh… big spender….) on football bets over the weekend and still had to pay $5 bucks for a damn beer? Christ. **End Vent**

After putting down a couple bets (Can I tell you how much I loves me the parlay? Only making one bet and being able to tie it to multiple games gives you a legitimate reason to watch all of the games on College Football Saturday or NFL Sunday,) I went back to my room and ordered up some room service. Sadly, for the 5 days that I was in Las Vegas, I ate in my room for almost every meal. That should clue you in as to how well my personality meshed with that of Sin City.

On my second day, I went down to the restaurant in the hotel that was serving up their Champagne brunch. One thing that I know now is that you should really avoid the Champagne brunch after brushing your teeth. It just doesn’t mix well with mouthwash.

After spending some time in the sports book on an NFL Sunday (highly recommended,) I went to a few of the sessions for the conference. The conference, in and of itself, was very uneventful but still informative. Later that evening there was a “welcome reception” aka drunken reception for all of the conference attendees, where they gave us a surprisingly good dinner and free drinks for about 3 hours. The first thing that I found out from that evening is that when you get free Corona’s for 3 hours, things don’t go well after that.

Near the end of the reception, (yes… just to let you know I was drinking by myself for about 2 hours) I ran into a person that I met 2 years ago at the last conference I attended. This was yet another bad thing for me as I now had a person that was driving me to drink more for that evening. The reception ended around 10 p.m. and we decided that we should hit the town. After taking a tram from the hotel to the strip, we proceeded to hit a liquor store and pick up 2-40 oz bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale. Probably the most interesting thing that I learned when I was in Vegas was that Newcastle came in bottles that were that big. What a country!

It didn’t dawn on me until the next day, but I didn’t even think about the fact that I was walking around a town with open intoxicants for about 2 or 3 hours and never once saw a police officer. Man, is that a different kind of town.

After a bit of walking, I saw an incredibly attractive woman smiling at me. I smiled back at her and thought nothing of it. Before I knew it she was walking towards me and my drinking partner. He proceeded to push me further down the street before she could get too close to us.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“That was a hooker. She thought you were interested. You shouldn’t look them in the eyes.”

“Man, I thought that was only for dealing with bears.”

The other thing that I seemed to miss when I saw the attractive woman was the button on her blouse that said, “Want Chlamydia? Ask me how.” It’s amazing the details that you really don’t think about after a few drinks.

After a few more hours of drinking on the town, I stumbled back into my room at 2:30 Monday morning. One way to know that you either had a very entertaining or a very bad evening is when you have to look at all of your receipts just to figure out where in the hell that you went. In my case, I still have figured out which of those two options the night was.

Another sign that I was really out of place in Las Vegas was after I (yet again) got room service at 8:00 in the evening, the attendant asked me what my plans were for the evening. The only thing I could think of was, “Well…this meal and then sleep.”

The conference mercifully ended a few days later after another reception and watching Jim Belushi’s band sing at the House of Blues (That man can’t hold a candle to his brother, R.I.P., when it comes to singing the blues.) That night also included an alcohol induced close call involving me almost singing “The Humpty Dance” at their Karaoke machine. I didn’t give everyone a chance to “Do the Hump” but I think they were all ok with that.

The next day, I bid Las Vegas a farewell, and couldn’t have been happier to leave. I can easily see how some people could have a great time in a city like Las Vegas, but those people aren’t me. I’m cut from a different cloth, the kind where you’re more interested in spending 3 hours in your hotel room playing Castlevania on my Nintendo DS. Ah, the memories.


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