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Scoring In Vegas

Scoring In Vegas

The first morning I skinned my knees. Actually, I de-skinned my knees. When I stood up there was blood flowing everywhere, shreds of skin and DNA missing, tangled in the fake grass and adding a bit more color to the local landscape. No worries. I cleaned out the wounds with some water, applied some Neosporin, and got on with things.

Later, when my knees were swelling and the pain was mounting, I bet 40 bucks on the Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos to beat the New England Patriots. Call me delusional, or maybe it was just a pain and drug-induced euphoria. Hey, it was the playoffs. I lived in Denver and I had to support the home team, didn’t I? And I was in Las Vegas, after all.

Later in the day I returned to the scene of my injuries only to discover that my pride would take a monumental beating. I was there – in the land of pyramids, pirate ships, and mauling tigers – to play soccer. The afternoon game, like the one in the morning, didn’t go well. We suffered a 4 – nil ass-kicking.

Showered and dressed things weren't quite the horror show they could have been. We were in the world's most ridiculous playground and the ibuprofen and Neosporin – with more than adequate amounts of alcohol – were putting a glossy veneer on the face of 50+ in Sin City. The adventure wasn't really that bad, especially with the football playoffs starting and my Broncos playing to go to the AFC Championship.

And then, just like that, the football game kicked off and some jerk named Brady marched his band up and down the field like they owned the place. The Patriots made short work of the Broncos that day. The Tebow maniacs who had taken up roost in my adopted home town – and some of whom were with me in Vegas – continued to "believe", whatever the hell that meant, even in the face of insurmountable odds and I was forced to watch an already lost football game with the most die-hard of the faithful.

Shut out twice in soccer, brutally injured on a play for which I was whistled for a foul, and thoroughly humiliated at the alter of Saint Timothy: the adventure that was Las Vegas was cruel and unforgiving.

By the way, as a side note, towards the end of the evening I was raped and mugged back at the hotel. An over-cooked burger and cold fries for $12 and then a smooth $7.50 for the world's worst mojito, from a plastic cup, of course.

It's supposed to be easy to score in Vegas, isn’t it? That’s its allure, no? It's the basic premise behind the tagline "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." But my experience is some morbid and twisted version of that statement.

"You look like you're having a tough day, Honey," said the long legged, scantily clad transvestite standing next to me in the elevator.

"Just contemplating some long odds," I said, as matter-of-fact as I could. "I've been beaten, raped and had my money taken from me by a bully. I’m wondering how long my luck will last."

"I hear you, Sugar," Mister-Sister said as I got off the elevator on the fifth floor. (Mister-Sister was heading to the penthouse. Lucky bastard!) "But this is Vegas, baby. You just gotta go with the flow. You'll get 'em next time."

NOTE: This was pulled from the vault. For some reason – unknown to me now – I chose not to publish this a couple of years ago.
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Copyright © Jack McDaniel