Vegas always seems to be my go-to vacation spot. I use the term “vacation” loosely because upon my return, I, in no way, feel rested, restored, or good about myself, as well as my actions. So one might ask why I keep returning year after year to this big kid’s toy store. There are plenty of places in this world I’d rather see, but it’s the easiest to get your friends on board with because Vegas hotel rooms are cheaper than an OG’s lap dance on two-for-one bottle service night. Now that we know how I always seem to end up in this desert oasis, we can get to why I should probably never go back. You see, some things happened during the Vegas trip before last that inevitably led to my ultimate demise this time around. As you’ll see, it only takes one win out there to make you think you’re the fucking Wolf of Las Vegas Boulevard.
I had just taken the bar exam and knew I wouldn’t know my results for another month. I didn’t have a job, and I was out of student loan money…and just any money. My dad gave me $300, and when it was gone, it was gone. Smart play. No dumb decisions (relatively, of course). Next thing you know, after a small chip influx from a casino whale who reaped the benefits of my rolling skills at MGM, I’m shitfaced and barefoot at a $50 minimum bet craps table at the Cosmopolitan, winning more chips than my friend can hold in his pockets as my human safety deposit box. Life was good. I came home with enough money to pay back my dad and survive through the next month’s drunken stupor while waiting on bar results and a real job. That whole experience skewed my entire mindset about Vegas (combined with the time I pretended to be newlyweds with a surgeon for horses, but that’s a story for another “stupid shit I’ve done in Vegas” article). However, after about my seventh trip, thinking dreams come true in that well-lit sandbox is 157 percent WRONG.
Mistake #1: One month in advance – Book a three-night, four-day stay instead of two nights and three days.
Rationale: I have a job now. I can pull this.
Mistake #2: Five minutes after leaving hotel room – “Is that a Bridesmaids interactive slot machine?! Fuck yes!”
Rationale: I love that movie. It was just on in the hotel room. It’s fate.
Mistake #3: Three hours, $700, and numerous glasses of champagne later – Two ATM trips (that’s right, not just one; you read correctly).
Rationale: Going to need to get cash sooner or later. It’s only night one.
Mistake #4: Soon thereafter previous mistake – Asks slot machine attendant if anyone has ever punched a machine. Get questioned about my inclination to ask such a question.
Rationale: I need a voice of reason to keep me from playing slot machine dominos, with this Bridesmaids machine being the starting catalyst.
Mistake #5: After it’s obvious I should leave Aria before I’m asked to – “Let’s go to the craps table!” Actually, not a mistake. I win money and run around the casino in my socks until 10 a.m. (You might be noticing a trend.) I am also now the self-proclaimed ambassador of the Monte Carlo craps tables.
Rationale: It’s Vegas. I’ll do what I want.
Mistake #6: Sometime later that day after a prolonged power nap (because the looks I got, shoeless at the Sbarro at 10 a.m., were in no way a mistake) – “Let’s go win the rest of our money back!”
Rationale: Hey, it could happen.
Mistake #7: Approximately 2 a.m. – Fail to walk away while I’m up somewhere in the neighborhood of $600. Get asked by numerous people if I work there due to being on a first name basis with every pit boss.
Rationale: It’s early.
Mistake #8: 4 a.m. – Change craps tables because I think being with my favorite dealers from the night before will change my luck, and, of course, continue to not walk away.
Rationale: If I ignore the fact I’m tapping deep into my savings, I’m having a great time!
Mistake #9: Some time of the morning that my parents were awake back home. I know this because I called my dad and asked him to send luck, thoroughly concerning him – Two more ATM trips. In case you haven’t figured it out, I lost everything I had won back.
Rationale: None. Absolutely fucking none.
Mistake #10: Who the fuck knows – Apparently this table uses dice that only add up to seven. I try to book an earlier flight home.
Rationale: Even though this didn’t pan out, this might be my smartest action of the entire trip.
Mistake #11: Last night – One last ATM trip.
Rationale: I mean, I have a job and minimal savings, you know? I could win it all back — it is Vegas, after all! Scratch that. I’m an idiot. The most idiotic of all the idiots ever in the history of idiocracy.
Mistake #12: The dark depths of my remaining Vegas hours – Treasure Island, just the entire thing. Fuck that place.
Rationale: I needed a change of scenery.
Mistake #28,504,795: Last-minute before the airport – Find one last hundred dollar bill in my suitcase. Attempt to mitigate my losses on one more slot machine. It’s not like that’s how all this pissing money away thing started in the first place. As my mom likes to tell my dad, “You could have wiped your ass with it and had the same outcome.”
Rationale: As I furiously and depressingly lost that hundo as I walked out the door, because apparently leaving with money isn’t an option, I realized I really should have just wiped my ass with it.
After a few parting hugs with my favorite employees of the Monte Carlo, here I am, once again, lying on the terminal floor at McCarran. My body hates me. My bank account hates me. I hate me. I’m never going back.
*sees advertisement for Rod Stewart AND Elton John at Caesar’s* See ya soon, Paradise!.