Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't Tread On Me

If Vegas were a verb, my life would be much easier.

“Hey, Ross, how you doing?”


Algorithmically, my life is Vegas. Dramatically, kinetically, and vulnerably Vegas.

Consider this visual representation:

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If in your head each of these words retain all possible etymological interpretations, it looks even scarier. Of course, the Circus and the Whores don't literally apply to me, depending on who you ask. I cannot take credit for my friends and our self-labeling.

My younger sister, the Yellavitch, turned 21 on eight-eight-oh-eight, and the Mom's side of the family took a trip to Vegas to celebrate for the past couple of days. The last time we went to Vegas was for my Grampa's 90th birthday, but she was only 18, and therefore unable to partake in debauchery (obviously she could have, but since we were with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and whatnot who would surely disapprove, abstinence was a good choice.)

So this time me and my cousins made sure we got her good and fucked up.

For clarity, we've got me and my sisters (Katsisch and Yellavitch) and cousins Leeska and David. Not their real names, obviously, it's just what I've named them. Not quite sure why I went for Russian sounding names, that's just how I roll. I don't always use someone's given name in real life anyway as a matter of principal. Sometimes you just realize people weren't aptly named by their parents, and it's your job to change it.

We made a scavenger hunt of all the shit we wanted to do in Vegas, which consisted of the following:

1. Learn and dominate craps.

2. Hit up downtown, not just the strip.

3. Strip club.

4. Enter a poker tournament.

5. Find fat Elvis.

6. Play the giant slot machine at the Bellagio.

7. Bet all of our remaining chips on roulette, shaking a fist and hollering, "LET IT RIDE."

So today, let's start with number 1.

Uncle Dave was a pit boss at Lady Luck and the Stratosphere, which were dubbed closed and to be avoided at all costs, respectively. The Sahara was his recommendation. So even though we stayed at the Flamingo (because it's gorgeous and all shiny retro cheese) we did most of our gambling at the Sahara.

The Sahara is cozy, smoky, and cheap as balls compared to other casinos on the strip. It's the kind of place where they'll let you sit at a Blackjack table once you've run out of chips so you can keep on drinking free beer. It's not dressy or trashy, and lots of the late night clientele consists of dealers from other casinos and helpful, uncreepy regulars. Completely lacks pretension and thrives off of embracing self-mockery. Golden Nugget is similar atmosphere, but more tourists.

So Uncle Dave gave us a rundown on how to shoot craps, since we were all virggins (according to a dealer downtown at the Golden Nugget, who gives the word a hard phonetic "gg" and made fun of us for an hour while I robbed the casino of about twenty bucks--high roller), and we went off on our own to unleash our knowledge. We're decent. I never played with more than forty bucks at a time, because I'm unlucky and terrified to lose money, and over the course of four days my wallet fluctuated between gluttonous and anorexic.

Craps tables have their own vernacular, and at the Sahara and the Golden Nugget it varied between casinos as well. It all relies on the regulars. So it was inevitable that we would each generate our own phrases that we would endlessly repeat all weekend.

Yellavitch: Press the eight.
Katsisch: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm just doing whatever Leeska does.
Leeska: Why am I so kick ass?
David: I'm leaving after the next shooter.
Rassles: (at the dice/shooter/dealer or what/whoever is making me lose) DON'T TREAD ON ME.

Apparently, I have a flair for the dramatic, but it yielded an excellent decision: we're getting cousin Gadsden flag tattoos.



formerly fun said...

I can't believe you were in Vegas at the same time. If only I would have known. Hope you had a blast and I saw a bunch of drunk ircus whore so can't be sure I didn't see you at some point.

Anonymous said...

Please, please hurry up and get to the strip club.

Vagas is my happy place. And I loved downtown. I did NOT love the walk back to the strip at 3 in the morning. ("Take a cab? Nah! We're farm kids! We'll be fine!")

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I totally meant to spell it Vagas. That's how much I love it - I gave it my own pet name.

(I'm not smart.)

Bluestreak said...

I love the idea of "Vegas" being a reply to "How ya doin?". It does say a lot.

Mister Crowley said...


Rassles said...

FF, I know right? So pissed off.

Darwin: Vagas. Nice. Oh, and as far as walking from downtown back to the's all about The Deuce.

Blues: that way when you're feeling every emotion possible all at once, or your feeling overwhelmed and excited and're Vegas.

Crow: day after Vegas? Vague ass.

Rassles said...

goddamn elusive apostrophes.


renalfailure said...

Is it true you can be punched in the mouth for quoting any lines from Swingers in Vegas? Can we make it true?

Rassles said...

I did make it true. My dad was not happy with me. I was like, "You are not and shall never be T, Daddio, so stop trying. That's what douchebags do."

Reverend Ghost said...


"This place was dead anyway.'

Rassles said...

Oddly, that's the only line I'd accept.

Rob S said...

I like the graphic. I must admit I stared at it for like 5 minutes trying to make sure I didn't miss trace any connection. Sure enough, everything leads to Vegas!

Gypsy said...

I've never been to Vegas. You can mock me now.

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