by Mark Loy

Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps...cause who the fuck could with the labored sound of a quarter of bajillion hamsters working their little legs down to the bone to power the nearly infinite supply of electric apparatus and illumination devices...and that's just in the Nugget's Casino. Sure they tell you the power comes from Hoover Dam. Pffftttt...yeah right. Hoover Dam couldn't power a single night of the Freemont Street Experience. For the type of energy needed to power Las Vegas only rodents will do.

Observation numnber one: Las Vegas possesses nearly 4/5's of the entire world's supply of tungsten and neon. I managed to actually see a place that didn't have a light on it but immediately the spot was roped off and secured as members of the City Gaffers Elite Special Forces Unit rushed in to quickily rectify the situation with breathtaking effeciency.

Where was I? Oh yeah...the city that never sleeps. Apparently it's a physical law of the universe, more immutable than any that hundreds of years of the greatest minds in science can fathom, that once you cross some vague boundary zone and enter Las Vegas proper time ceases to exist as a universal constraining mechanism for determining fatigue rates and declining physical and emotional capacity. In other words you...you may feel tired but you just don't heed the "natural" warning signals but instead go on about your merry business in a kind of fugue state, oblivious to the ravages of time, sortof in a trance, totally depleted but continuing to function, for very small values of function, of course, _as if_ you were as fresh as a marathon runner before the starting gun, deluding yourself and perhaps even drooling as you move zombie like from gambling/drinking activity to activity.

Oh sure, you won't go completely unscathed by this phenomenon. Usually it is first apparent that you've become dissassociated from time in the changing appearance of you face, your hair. Case in point, Bunny Thor. After a day or two in Vegas he looked not unlike someone returning from a long space-flight to the moon. As if the inescapable pull of Earth's gravity was gripping his body more strongly than ever before. As if the very planet itself had become an alien place of mystery and perhaps even of foreboding misfortune or infinite sadness and loss. And seeing him you suddenly realize that he's not alone. Others looked similar or worse...John Dilick's appearance had slowly taken on the very tangible form of dishevellness incarnate...and that was all while in line to check in.

Of course there were exceptions. Novak looked like Novak. The pressure to do so must have been immense. One could imagine that once he returned to real life he stepped into his shower, fully clothed, and wept and pounded his fists on the wall and screamed to the heavens, "I spit in your fuckin' eye, foul bitch Las Vegas! You shall _never_ break _me_!"

Then there was Bill. Bill found a mechanism for handling the unnaturalness of Las Vegas. That mechanism was the fickle demon game...Blackjack. Of course it could be said that the cure was far worse than the affliction in that he was _compelled_ at all times to be either playing Blackjack or travelling to play Blackjack or masturbating gleefully using only an Ace of Hearts and a Jack of Spades while simultaneously licking a $100 chip.

Observation number two: Blackjack is a deceptively simple game with a whole shitload of smart gaming "rules" that the astute potential gambler venturing to Vegas would do well to at least become marginally familiar with while on the flight out or in their hotel room or whatever _before_ going down to try one's luck. When to "double down" stay, hit, split...that kind of thing based upon all available information from your cards and the other players cards and what the dealer is showing and what the dealer is required to do...that kind of thing. It is never...and I can't stress this enough...it is never a good idea to play blackjack with blinders on and basing decisions on "gut" feelings. Oh sure, you'll win some. Maybe. But if you want to win _consistently_ you'd better know what the fuck you're doing. Me, being the smart, savvy consumer that I am, I strapped on the blinders and hit "17" lika mo-fo. Well, actually, I didn't...but after watching other knowledgeable people play for a while I determined that I just didn't have the necessary..."patience" to be a successful Blackjack player and quit before I started.

Not to say that ol' Markus didn't do some gamblin'. No. I dabbled--quite successfuly, I might add--in the very lucrative games of Casino Go Fish and Casino Clue. Of course the Nugget banned me once they found out I was counting cards in Fish--Bastards--but I did pretty fuckin' good goin' with my gut feeling on the rope in the library with Mr. White. Nearly paid for my toast at breakfast, it did. I know, eat your heart out, Bill Garrett.

Deb, mi muy bonita espousa amore' una consortium de la schtoop, played quite a bit of something called, Casino Shopping where, apparently, you wager large sums of money in an effort to win various and sundry items displayed in front of you by the lovely Carol Merril. All and all she said she broke even. I'll have to take her word for it.

There were plenty of other interesting games there like Casino Coin Flip and Casino Rock/Paper/Scissors and Casino Riddly Piddly I-Double-Dee, I See Something That _You_ Don't See and Casino Chutes and Ladders. Of course all these games were better over in the Horseshoe. The one exception being Casino Battleship which was way better over on the strip.

One other interesting thing about Binion's Horseshoe was that they had a $2 Blackjack table that was much coveted. So much so that seats there were _willed_ down from generation to generation. Rumor has it that Jim Hill and John Dilick each had to blow a corpulent retired mafia hit-man named Guido Genovese to get _there_ seats but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

Anyway, gambling, though fun and quite invigorating, especially to the hand used to reach back and take your wallet out of your pants, was _not_ the main reason for going to the den of righteous iniquity that is Las Vegas. No, the reason we went to Vegas was to meet and socialize with other people afflicted with the terminal disease we call rasfwrj-itis. The lovely and effervescent Andrew "Kid Probability" Gillmore was our host and organizer and all-around man-about-town for this event. Let me just take this opportunity to say that Drew is like the son I never had...er, uh...Drew is like the illigitimate son of a migrant farmworker named "Conchita" that I had a torrid love affair with in the tomato fields of California back in the early seventies, quenching our lust for each other in the hot noon-day sun while prickly plants played havoc with our buttockal outcroppings as we humped and writhed in ecstasy finally intermixing our love juices with the red tomato goo that surrounded us, giving Conchita a nasty rash and causing me to get an erection everytime I see an add for V8 coctail juice...but I digress. Drew took on the burden of doing all the really shitty work for this social and for that I will always be indebted to him. So much so that, God willing, I shall endeavor to find him concubines and or willing farm animals for the remainder of his natural life. I love you, Drew. Thanks again for everything.

Now, where was I? Owe yeah...the social.

We had one.

It was really fuckin' great.

We laughed, we cried, we pissed our shorts, we pissed on other people's shorts, we spontaneously broke out in song...

"Jeremiah was a bullfrog! Was a good friend of mine! Never understood a single word he said but I helped him drink his wine! And he always had some mighty fine wine! Singin', Joy to the World! All the boys and girls, now! Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea! Joy to you and me!!"


"I was born in the wagon of a travellin' show...my momma used to dance for the money they'd throw...grandpa'd do whatever he could. Preach a little gospel, sella coupla bottles of docked up wood! Gypses, tramps, and thieves!..."

and especially...

"Volare! Whoa whoa! Cantare! Whoa whoa whoa whoa...whoa!!"

There may have been more--I have vague remembrances of at least one rather touching love balad 'bout laying the guilt for the problems of the world squarely on the shoulders of people from north of the border who engage in unlawful carnal knowledge of their dad's brother...or some such.

Of course we drank copiously and giggled incessantly and teased each other mercilessly and attempted quite vociferously to coerce some random hunky guy to strip and shake his "love haunches" for fun and profit...pretty standard stuff, really.

We also desecrated the image of the Dragon, Reborn.

Gang-dry-humped Leigh.

Rubbed our nasty tinglies on Brian's head for luck.

A group of people decided to climb Chad. Because Monahan wasn't there, of course. They set out early on Friday morning with lofty spirits and with a whole shitload of scaling apparatus and rope and provisions for a two day summit but as of Sunday night were still unaccounted for. Last I heard a search party was being organized but hopes weren't very high that anyone would be found alive let alone sane.

I met many people that I never knew I knew. I met a whole fuckin' buncha people that I knew I knew but not as well as I would have liked. I met a huge bunch of people that I not only knew but liked and, dare I say it...worshipped from afar. First and foremost among these was the lovely Lara Beaton, virtual twin of my loins. What a great person she is and not a bad little dancer, either. I, of course, made a complete fool of myself coming on her salad but shit...it's been a dream of mine to meet her for so long...can I really be blamed if even thinking about hockey couldn't keep me from "loosing the hounds"? Anyway, she forgave me and was willing to talk to me, as long as I remained a safe distance away behind plexiglass, thoughtfully provided by Drew, and all and all really made my social.

Well, along with finally meeting other major net-gods, Tshen and Chad and Bill and all the other lesser gods. Not to mention the chance to see again those people I knew from the Chicago Social and or the Indianapolis Leg of the Toledo Social.

It was fuckin' fantastic.

The only problem was that there was only one of me and I just couldn't seem to be everywhere at once. Why oh why can't a major rule of physics like an object being only able to occupy one space at one time not have been "violated" upon entering the Las Vegas Zone? Coupled with the time bullshit I could have _really_ fucked up my equilibrium being with _everyone_ at once.

But not with Jim Hill. Never again will I allow myself to be in the same area code as this motherfucker. Why, you ask? Simple. He totally destroyed my will to laugh, ruined it for me, he did. Shit...I could watch Jerry Lewis giving a hand job to Bozo the Clown while the entire cast of Saturday Night Live spontaneoulsy combusts and not even come close to a having to stifle a giggle. Fuckin' inconsiderate asshole.

But enough about the comedic genius that is a James Lloyd Hill.

Let's talk about others who made me laugh who are actually funnier in person than they are on the group.

Who knew about Leigh? Shit, this lady is a _riot_. Of course a riot, is an ugly thing and once you get one star...er, uh, sorry...got off on a tangent, there. Needless to say that Leigh really made me want to go to New Orleans. Shit, all that spicy cajun food and drink and shit flying right the fuck out my nose from inopportune laughter...it'll be a hoot.

Anyway, everyone I met was _wonderful_. I didn't get a chance to talk too much to Pat or his wife. Pity. I didn't get to talk as much as I wanted to John Novak although the man is quite perceptive and really did give some great advice on handling a niggling little problem with my boss(es) back at Ooee-pooee. And judging from others posting, I really missed it when John wore the skin-tight navy blue scrotum pouch swimsuit out at the pool with "White Hot Man-Love!" embroidered directly over his "military issue pocket rocket". Pity squared.

Speaking of the pool...

Observation number three: There was one particular coctail waitress out there that made ol' Mr. Loy's joystick twitch and tingle like a snake shoved head first into a 220v electric outlet. I very seriously wanted to lick her used tampons. I wanted to, just for a few years, spend some time with my face buried in her ass. To paraphrase Richard Pryor..."The bitch was so fine I'd suck her _daddy's_ dick" Of course I don't _really_ want any of these things to happen as I'm a very happily married man. But...oh say there were a nuclear war and she and I were the only one left alive and we sought refuge in an old abandoned latex factory...


Shit! Okay, Deb...I get the point. But...Daaaammmnnn! That lady had back. And front. Fuck if she didn't have a lock on _all_ physical dimensions and at least _two_ interdimensional zones of convergence.

Which brings me to observation number four: From my perspective at the social Las Vegas possesses nearly 95% of the entire world's supply of silicone. So much so that women in Rio are true and royally pissed. A truly awe-inspiring parade of..."bimbos" did cross in front of the cafe or saunter seductively through the casino at all hours of the night and day. Women with preternaturally uplifted breasts and long tanned legs that stretch from here to way over there by Ceasar's and asses so taught and perfectly shaped as to cause fatal brain hemorrages in all but the most devout butt connosieur and faces so incredibly beautiful with lips so luscious and wet as to make the Pope pull a Thomas Covenant right the fuck in the lobby. It truly was quite a magnificent display.

Okay...again, where was I? Oh yeah...back to the social.

On Thursday we met and drank and talked and generally shot the shit.

On Friday we met and ate and drank and generally shot the shit.

On Saturday we met and waited and waited and waited and waited and...did I mention that we waited?...until finally we were allowed to eat. The place we so desired to partake of sustenance was the Cheesecake Factory. Since we had been so inconvenienced by the interminable wait the management compensated us by providing the gayest waiter in the Northern Hemisphere and all the ships at sea. This guy was best summed up by Kenn who said, "He's gorgeous until he opens his fuckin' mouth."

Anyway the food there was excellent and the cheesecake was to die for and the blow job each of us got from the waiter was a nice comp but still...it'll be a cold day in heck when I eat at that establishment again, let me tell you!

On Sunday night we ended up going out to the Excalibur for the "Tournament of Kings" dinner show. Let me summarize this show by saying, "Fourty-Two Fuckin' Fifty!" and leave it at that.

All and all, as Drew said in another post, I wish we had stayed at the Nugget and continued talking and laughing in the Misty Poolside Area until such time as the Nugget staff had us executed.

That was the best of what the social was supposed to be. Not the gambling or the shows or anything...being together and enjoying each other's company.

Oh shit...I promised myself I wouldn't do this but I've started to tear up, here. Oh I'm such a pansy-assed sentimental putz!

Anyway, enough of that shit.

On final observation about the social...

I was very pleasantly surprised when Darkelf actually showed up on Sunday afternoon. Course, he wasn't at _all_ like I'd expected. Who coulda known from his posts that he's actually a 58 year old nun from a convent in Newark? Whatever. Listen, Darkling...soon as you can could ya sorta return that two hundred I lent ya? Thanks bunches, shoog.

To all who went, thanks.

For Drew a great big extra special thanks with jelly on it.

To all that I didn't get a chance to talk to in detail _or_ mangled your name, I'm sorry. Next time, kemo sabe.