Friday, August 22, 2014

More Notes From Las Vegas

We recently returned from Las Vegas (again). Here's a few notable stories:

For some reason, I had a difficult time adjusting to the time difference on this trip. This led me to going downstairs to get coffee every morning at 7:00 a.m. One morning, I rode the elevator down to the lobby; as the door opened, a man and his wife came barging in, pushing me to the back of the elevator.

"Oh sorry," I didn't think anyone else would be up this early," he said.

I managed to circle my way around them and stumbled off the elevator without saying what I really wanted to say, "No, jerkwad, civilized people wait for the doors to fully open, verify no one is in the elevator or let them get out before entering the elevator themselves. Or in a moment of forgetfulness, when they bump into someone getting off the elevator, they apologize then get out of the way rather than barreling ahead pushing the person back onto the elevator."

I don't know, maybe they just thought I was joyriding the elevator.

One morning I happened to walk past a slot machine tournament. I stopped for a minute to take in the action. If you haven't seen one, well, it's exactly what you'd expect. Thirty or forty mostly older people sitting at slot machines constantly slamming their hands on the "max credits" button. And on top of that, no one seemed to be having fun. It seemed to be the equivalent of working in some foreign sweatshop factory stamping U.S. corporate logos on some cheap product. Except at the end, a winner would be declared.

Anyway, I don't understand why they just don't put bricks on the "max credits" button and people can bet on which machine will reign supreme. Seems it would be easier and more fun.

One early evening, I found an empty seat at the bar and started playing some video poker while minding my own business. The gentleman next to me started sighing loudly and mumbling, "wow, just wow."

I refused to take the bait but then he finally turned to me and said, "Did you hear the news about Robin Williams?"

"Yes," I said without looking up. "That's awful."

Then he shoved his cell phone showing an article reporting the death into my face. I wasn't sure what to do, did he not hear me the first time or was he trying to demonstrate that you can look at newspapers on cell phones?

"Yeah, that's terrible," I said and went back to playing my game.

He continued to sigh and played with his phone. Then he heard a group of people at the end of the bar talking about Robin Williams. He ran to the end of the bar and showed them the article on his phone. Meanwhile, I scanned the bar for another empty stool but no luck.

He came back and sat down next to me. "It's amazing, I was just watching some of his videos on youtube just last night," he said.

"Then it must be your fault," I wanted to say but did not.

After a few minutes of silence, he tried a new tactic. "Hey, did you hear about that baseball player that swung the bat and it broke in half and he didn't even hit the ball?"

"Must have been a powerful swing," I said without looking up.

I thought he had finally taken the hint as he went back to playing with his phone. But then he started playing some sort of loud concert video footage on his phone and put the phone on a little stand on the bar so I guess everyone could enjoy whatever it was along with him.

I finally took the hint and cashed out. As I got up, I said, "Dude you really need to find a friend."


  1. You seem to have run into more than your fair share of annoying people on this trip. Too bad!

    1. True. But on the other hand, despite being mostly anti-social, I do enjoy some of the odd people we've met over the years. Vegas is just the best place to see people from all over the socio-economic spectrum. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I second Debra! I hate it when complete, annoying strangers try to chat. And chat. And chat.

    1. Yeah, I usually hate that too. But sometimes especially in Vegas, you can't beat the entertainment value. Stay tuned for another episode. Thanks for the comment.

  3. It takes a lot for some people to get the hint...and still some don't ever get it. Best just to move on and leave them talking to themselves! :)

    I look forward to reading more about your Las Vegas adventures. I hope you had a win somewhere along the line, Dexter!

    1. We did finish ahead for the trip. Had a couple of good runs at the blackjack table. Then we blew it all on dinner but that's okay. Had a great time as always. Thanks for the comment!