vegas: the happiest sad place on earth
i also miss my mustache. as a gift to my brother, upon my vegas arrival i shaved my beard, leaving only a beautiful 'stache. i had not seen my chin in eight years, but i love my brother so i did this for him. i was a little shocked and surprised to learn that there is a very good reason i had that hair on my chinny-chin-chin: to disguise the fact that i don't have one. i have a little ferret-faced, weak-chinned 12-year-old boy thing going on right now. add to that a red mustache and my sizable nose and my chin looks even tinier and pointier and non-existenter still. i looked like a professional child molesting stuntman, circa 1982. it was so bad that it became good and then got really bad again.
but i did it for love of brother. with nine other dudes, we headed out into the night -- first some drinking, then a little drinking. then we got a ride to scores, a "gentlemen's cabaret." it was one of those moments where you could tell no one in the group really wanted to be there, but we all went through the motions for the greater good of the bachelor party cause. i think everyone would have preferred to just gamble, drink and drink. but no, we were brave soldiers trooping off to battle ... and into the strip club. then, to assuage the palpable level of discomfort, we drank. and bought mon frere about 2,987 lapdances in a row, mostly to keep irritating him--because what's more irritating than having unbidden ass repeatedly appear in your face? don't answer that.
once i got up to go to the bathroom and i caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. cane. mustache. big bushy afro. dear god. i looked like phil spector circa 1974, only much crazier. and sleazier:
anyway. the shame and horror i felt managed to make me lose focus. this is not how you want to look in a strip club, or more to the point this is EXACTLY how you want to look in a strip club. i found myself completely unable to loosen up and enjoy the festivities. my mustache felt like it was five miles long and making faces at me behind my back. it was my fuzzy facialbatross. it needed to come off.
so after leaving the club, we returned to gamble a bit at the hotel. then i panic-shaved: i ran upstairs to the room at 4:30 am and finished off the mustache. i just couldn't handle it. suddenly i felt about 320 pounds lighter (and looked about 20 years younger. i looked like a fetus. with a cane.). my brother was, understandably, furious. i "ruined" his bachelor party by ridding myself of the stache. whatever. i sat down at blackjack and won $300 in about two hours. shaving brought me luck. i didn't gamble again all weekend.
on sunday i awoke at around 11:30 am. with a couple other dudes, i hopped ina cab to in-n-out for breakfast -- delicious in-n-out, how i miss you here in new york. then i plunked my baby-faced self by the pool and pretended to read for a long time. someone in our group who i will not identify went to work flirting with a couple nearby lovely young ladies, who revealed to him, when he offered to buy them beers, that they were 16 and 17 years old. he took it like a champ and offered them drinks anyway. they declined. then their mom joined them. he pondered buying mom, who was a looker herself, a beverage but ended up deciding against it. i was beginning to feel that maybe my mustache might have come in handy after all.
sunday night i had, through my buddy at p.i.n.k. vodka, secured a table at Body English, the hard rock cafe nightclub -- all i had to do was tell the door guy to get Corey who would get Todd who would give us a table and two complimentary bottles of vodka. this was to be my other bachelor party gift to mon frere. we got to the club at the appointed hour and found that we weren't the only people who had the idea to go there. nor were we the only people with a connection. there were about 30,727,864 people crushing the doors, which had just opened when we got there at 11. Corey was nowhere to be found. i tried for about an hour to get us in, but ultimately gave up. anything that hard to get into is rarely worth the effort (i'm looking at you, harvard). later we found out that the reason it was particularly ridiculously packed was because kanye west was inside being very hiphop. great. so we would have gotten to hear him perform 4 songs on a shitty PA system at 3 am and for that we would have had to wait 27 years to get in. no thanks. instead we opted to just hang out in the hard rock casino and marvel at the fact that we had apparently arrived in Whore Mecca at the height of Whore Hajj. astonishing. absolutely amazing. Whoresville USA, population: whores. i cried a little from the joy i felt inside.
so we got drinks and sat down to play blackjack. i watched, occasionally pausing to count the money i had won the night before. we took up two tables. we drank. there was some innocuous flirting with Whores who very obviously had no interest in us because we were not Kanye nor did we speak fluent enough whore. one particularly striking young lass sidled up to the dudes at the other table. from where i sat they all seemed to bet getting along. then one of the dudes came back to our table and said: "so. she's a hooker. she just offered up her services for $700 for the night." we were all like "oh no wonder she was talking to you guys for so long." he was all, "yeah. i think F. is thinking about it." we were all "oh you mean F. who just got married? he's going to bring a hooker back to our rooms?"
well, yes, it seemed F., a friend of my brother's who didn't know anyone else at the bachelor party and who indeed had just gotten married, was actually entertaining the idea of entertaining the hooker. but when we looked over at him, he was sitting alone. she had walked away. sad for F. we all had a good little giggle at his expense. haha, hooker boy. you weren't really going to get a hooker, were you? he was all "i didn't have a room key." so someone gave him one and we all laughed at him again and we all went back to playing blackjack, F. included. but then! the hooker came back! we looked up and F. was talking to her again! then! we looked up again and they were both gone! if you have never heard the sound of nine jaws simultaneously hitting the topside of a blackjack table, you have not properly lived. we were stunned. super-stunned. as in HOLY SHIT THAT SON OF A BITCH JUST TOOK A HOOKER TO OUR HOTEL ROOM stunned.
so we were also stuck. it was getting nigh on 2 am and a few of us were tired enough to want to go to bed. but we couldn't go back to the room! there was a hooker in it! shit! so we killed as much time as we could until we were like "fuck it, it's a big suite. let's go back." we went back.
when we opened the door to the room we were instantly hit by a wall of marijuana smoke. now, nobody brought weed on this trip, so this was curious. who, we wondered, had hotboxed our suite? we walked around. there were no signs of struggle. no signs of suitcases having been rifled through. the tequila bottle was recently emptied. there was a spent doobie in the sink. and then F. stumbled out from his half of the suite, which smelled like cologne. his eyes were the red of a thousand blazing suns. he was grinning like the cat who just ate a bird ... or just humped a hooker, whatever.
US: dude where's the hooker?
HIM: she left, nothing happened.
US: bullshit. who hot-boxed the room?
US: and did you really think you could cover the smell with CK one?
US: what happened?
HIM: she brought two friends and said it would be $3000 dollars. i said i don't have that kind of money and besides i'm married and i feel bad.
US: there were THREE hookers in here?
HIM: [giggle] nothing happened.
HIM: honestly! [opens his wallet, still stuffed with cash] nothing happened. she had some weed so i gave her friends tequila and we all smoked.
US: that's it? bullshit.
HIM: then they left. and i ordered some porn and passed out.
so there you have it at face value. unfortunately it's the best story from the weekend. even the most-scandalous thing that happened ended up being not very scandalous at all. disappointing, right?
oh, one more thing. when i woke up the next morning, i reached for my wallet on my nightstand. the first thing i grabbed was a spent bottle of hotel-issue Body Lotion.