Under most circumstances, anticipation is a bad thing. A desperate job interview. A tension-filled pregnancy test. Watching Franklin Morales walk the bases loaded in the late innings when the game is tied. None of these things is fun.
But when it comes to Las Vegas, the day/week/month before you and your buddies head to Sin City for a debaucherous weekend is like the adult version of the run up to Christmas. Your mind races with dreams of going on a huge run at the craps table, your imagination runs wild considering the possibilities of what you’ll do and who you’ll meet, and your liver quivers in anticipation of the wet t-shirt contest like dousing it’ll receive over the next two days.
Did I mention we’re going to Vegas tomorrow?
The Cru Jones Society loves Las Vegas, and I authored one of the longest pieces ever to appear on this site about my last trip there. Considering what a freakishly busy year this has been, I’d been sorely lacking for an excuse to return there this year until the obvious hit me in the face like a bucket of water.
“Hey, dummy. You’re getting married. Why not have your bachelor party there?”
And that was that. I told Hart I wanted the bachelor party in Vegas, he obliged, rallied the troops a couple months ago, handled the arrangements and I mostly forgot about it until about a week ago. And in the midst of checking off an item on my endless to-do list, it hit me with the force of a Chuck Liddell right hand – Holy shit, I’m going to Vegas!
I think it mostly sunk in when I talked to CJS Regular Salwon who’s never been there himself. He asked me questions like, “How much money should I bring?” and “Do I need to rent a car while I’m out there?” Those of you who’ve been to Vegas are laughing to yourselves right now thinking about the inherent absurdity of those questions, and while I was tempted to chuckle myself, more than anything it made me reflect upon my first trip to Vegas.
You don’t get excited for Las Vegas until 1) you’re above the age of 21, and 2) you’ve listened to your friends impossibly fun sounding war stories of drunken shenanigans for at least 6 months. The time between the last “The reason I’m so hoarse is from yelling at the craps table at the IP at 4:30 in the morning after a dozen free Jack & Cokes” story and the time you book you ticket for the virgin trip to the modern day Sodom & Gomorrah is the last time you know life without Vegas anticipation.
As soon as your plans are set, and that first trip is put into motion, your life is changed forever. You hear stories about drunken walks on overpasses and past guys clack-clack-clacking hooker cards at you that last 45 minutes between the Luxor and Harrah’s. Your friends tell you almost mythical stories about every casino on The Strip using the same glassware so you can order a gin and tonic at one casino, leisurely stroll to the next one and put it down on – I don’t know – the top of this slot machine seems good, and someone just up and collects raising nary an eyebrow much less a fuss about it. That’s just how Vegas works.
“Impossible!” you think. “How do they run a town this way?”
Oh, they do. And it gets better yet. Drinks are free, smoking’s allowed almost everywhere, and you only go to bed when you stumble outside and realize the sun’s coming up all of a sudden. You have no idea how much fun it is, but based on the wide-eyed recollections of drunkenly joking with German chicks you met in front of Caesar’s on the Rain Man walkway and promises of, “Dude, just wait. You’re gonna fucking love it” from every last one of your otherwise good-for-nothing friends, you sit perched on the precipice of losing your mind like a gargoyle peering down on Gotham City.
I love going to Vegas with first-timers, and I have yet to go on a trip without one. I always try to do with them what my friend Conor did with me which is spread the gospel of Vegas like I’m the star quarterback slinging HPV all throughout the campus sororities. The more friends you have who love Vegas just as much as you, the more emails you get with “Vegas, baby, Vegas!” in the subject line. This is never a bad thing.
Did I mention we’re going to Vegas tomorrow?
The best scene in The Hangover is the very end when Zach Galifianakis finds the camera that documents their last night. While funny on its own merits, the scene largely represents your collective memory of every Vegas trip you’ve ever had. I didn’t especially remember my first trip drunk dialing Hart at some ungodly hour of the night, forgetting I was on the phone with him and yelling “Mmm…mmm…bitch!” at some girls on nearby balcony. But his memory serves as my lost camera, and suddenly it comes flooding back. Hart doesn’t remember us collapsed in the hall outside our room at the Excalibur trying to crack the code on opening our door after cashing a 48 oz martini. But I sure as hell do. And I barely remember Lady E pouring my friend Kyle and I shot after shot of Jager in our hotel room at 3:30 in the morning while we complained about his girlfriend’s crabbiness (which was justified, but still…) culminating in Kyle throwing up all night while his already sour girlfriend took care of him. Did I mention we had sex in the other room giving her an even louder symphony of annoyance endearing us even less to her?
This is what Vegas is, and new memories sit just over the horizon. The entire CJS Staff will be there and several of the Regulars too. In a first for this group, we’re all suiting up and doing the occasion proper Saturday night. We’ve got tentative plans and a Flabongo – tomorrow can’t get here soon enough.
Vegas anticipation is the best. But the last day’s a killer. We’ll see you here next week, and we’ll let you know how it went.
Vegas, baby! Vegas!
17 Sep 2009 E Dagger