Casinos are labyrinths. Massive structures made to discombobulate you into staying longer and spending more than you should. Casinos are also enablers. They are the friend who convinces you into on more chicken wing. One more hit. One more drink. One more hand. One more drink (I have heavy drinking friends). It’s one of the many reasons why we go.
There are some occasions where you just wish that friend said, “Okay Casino Guy, that was the last drink” or “Hey Casino Guy, why don’t you cash those chips in and go home?” It never works out that way though. And even they did say something, you would tell that friend to go fuck themselves because this is a casino and not the local church bean supper. One of those times happened at the second most unluckiest place in the world (ohhh we will get to the first, don’t you worry), Paris Las Vegas.
This snotty, stuck-up, dreary, depressing, raise-your-white-flag-and-wait-to-get-my-baguette-eating-ass-bailed-out-by-the-best-country-in-the-world-in-the-most-important-conflict-in-world-history themed dungeon is smack-dab in the middle of the strip surrounded by a bunch of other Caesars Entertainment owned properties. Okay, maybe it isn’t THAT bad, but goddammit is it unlucky. Every sports bet I have made, every hand dealt, every dice throw and even every video poker “spin” has been a loser. It’s uncanny. One night, after being out and about all day, we somehow found ourselves here and at the tables inhaling drinks like they were oxygen. I say somehow because I would like to not throw one of my little crew members under the bus. Wing Man #2 and stunningly handsome “Jason” were playing as our forth member Daniel’s back-up dancers to this pack of wildebeests he met at the pool earlier in the day, and he was looking to score more than just a hit of their California kush – but I digress.
After we all struck out at the tables and Daniel eventually stuck out with Gary Gnu, Pumbaa and the rest of the heard (these were not large ladies, just horrendously miserable and not pleasant to look at), we decided to hit the bricks and find some other place to donate our hard earned money to. This was where things go off the rails. If you have ever been to Paris, you know that the casino sits in the base of the fake Eiffel tower. One cool design feature is the exposed steel beams and legs coming through the roof of the casino into the floor below. One main issue with that is it kind of makes all the entrances and exits look the same, or they do when you have had a barley and hops IV hooked up to your arm for the better part of two days. In any event, one wrong turn and you may not end up where you expected.
Back in the day, Casino Guy was a solid human, not in terms of morals or character but in terms of width and girth. On occasions when navigating through large crowds I would have to turn completely sideways in order to get through without incident. If I am late to turn or just don’t give a shit, someone may get a bruised sternum or a sore arm. On this day, some poor sap got all of the young Casino Guy’s two foot wide frame right into his left shoulder. Not only did this V neck, chest haired vacationer drop his Prosecco, I am pretty sure he broke a clavicle. After a cursory turnaround and “Sorry bro”, I picked up the pace just in case charges were going to be filed or if a gun was going to be pulled. In our getaway, I missed a sign or something and ended up on my way away from the exit to the strip. Then I lost WM#2 and the other guys who were probably tending to that jabroni’s fractured ribs. All by myself, trusting my internal compass (ya know, that tingle in your boys when you are pointing north. Am I the only one with that? Should I see a doctor? Whatever…), I proceed to where I think the crew is at and our rendezvous point. But I didn’t end up at the front door on the strip. Nope. Where the hell am I? I am in the bowels of Bally’s now, somewhere there is a sign for the monorail. “I can’t get on the monorail!” is my first thought. My second thought was to cut through these bushes here to get back to the strip. After cutting through the bushes, I’m am not near the strip, I am in the Bally’s pool area, currently closed to the public.
Of course my next thought is to not just retrace my steps and get to the strip, nope my internal Sherpa is saying to just get over THAT wall and the strip is right there. I proceed to hop over the 6 foot cement wall at the Bally’s pool to freedom – if freedom is analogous to the Bally’s loading dock area. Full disclosure, it took three attempts to get over the wall. On the second try, I smacked the wall so hard and then fell to the ground like a dead fish. I can only imagine if there were a couple dudes in the camera room tracking me saying, “Look at this complete jackass….OH SHIT he jumped the wall! Let him find his way out of this now.”
At this stage, I am bleeding from the wall in multiple places, sweating from the walk, thoroughly confused from the failure of my testicle compass and walking past a none too amused security guard at the service entrance. And not only am I not on the strip, I am FUCKING FAR AWAY from the strip. A full block and a half off the damn Boulevard.
Eventually, I find the other three boneheads. Looking back on it, there were two positives to come out of this Jacques Cartier-esque excursion (fun fact: Casino Guy is a distant relative of the great explorer who claimed what is known as Canada for France. Explains a lot in terms of my choice of berets). The first was I got in my steps for the day to help burn off the undocumented number of bière légères. The second was that when I caught up to the 3 musketeers, the luck had not changed and those guys got DEMOLISHED back at our home base.
90 minutes of ultimate confusion, a little blood, a lot of sweat, maybe a blister or two all led to saving a thousand bucks. I guess I should get my big ass lost more often.