Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where we goin' U!? (VEGASTORY 3 of 6)

The time is 7 PM.  The day is March 17, which is St. Patrick's Day.  The location is Las Vegas.

Leopold is a 25 year old man of slightly below average height but of average weight.  He is wearing a black Celtic FC jacket along with a Chicago Cubs cap (except for where it is usually a blue cap with a red "C" it is a Kelly Green hat with a white "C").  He is also wearing sunglasses, inside.

Ulysses is an 32 year old man of slightly above average height and slightly above average weight.  He is wearing a Kelly Green Republic of Ireland soccer jersey that has his name on the back along with the number 17.

Ulyssees has just given $100 to a Bally's Poker Room chip runner, but has not yet taken his seat to play in a $1 - $2 No Limit Texas Hold'em Cash Game.  As soon as he sits down he hears the opening words from Kanye West's "Can't Tell Me Nothing."  The words are shouted in a cadence dissimilar to the recording, but the voice is instantly recognizable as Leopold's

Kanye West - Can't Tell Me Nothing by Independent™
Ulysses instanly shoots up off his chair, but is unable to get his arms up in time to hug-hello Leopold.  His arms become pinned in the hug.

Ulysses: Man, I just literally sat down -  I haven't gotten my chips yet

The Bally's chip runner places a stack of twenty $5 chips in front of Ulysses' seat.

U: I'm sorry, but I have to go now, I'm sorry

L: (said between punches to Ulysses' right shoulder) What's (punch) up (punch) U! (punch)
Ulysses is attempting to scoop up all the newly placed chips off the poker table's felt, but the force from a shoulder punch causes some to jump out of his hands and onto the floor.  Ulysses quickly picks up any dropped chips and steps towards the Poker Room's cashier.  When Ulysses arrives at the cashier he looks over his shoulder to see Leopold still looking around Ulysses' vacated seat for more chips.  Ulysses & Leopold leave the Bally's Poker Room, and begin walking through the field of Bally slot machines.

L: VEGAS! (the punching continues) Man, do you believe we're all in Vegas? (Ulysses beings to walk quicker) Hey-hey-hey (Ulysses slows down and turns around to face Leopold) C'mon now (Leopold stretches arms wide.  Ulysses and Leopold hug it out on the floor of Ballys) YEAH VEGAS LAAA-LAAAA-LA-LA-WAIT-TIL-I-GET-MY-MO-NEY-RIGHT! Where we goin' U!?

U: To get something to eat, I'm starving.

L: Yeah, me too.
Ulysses is walking quickly, although without any direction, down various paths which lead to casino dead ends.  Leopold struggles to keep pace.  The walk's pace is more of motivation to stay outside of Leopold's punch-reach than a desire for sustenance.
L: Where we goin' U!?

U: I've got an idea. (Ulysses leads Leopold to a counter style take out food stop named Nash located just beyond the slot machines inside the casino at Bally's) How'bout here?

L: Nah, what am I supposed to eat at the same place I'm staying like a scumbag?  I ain't eating here - hey, let's go to Freemont!
U: I don't want to go downtown, I want to eat now.
L: Let's just go out on the Strip and find something else.
U: Okay.

Ulysses leads Leopold out of the first exit he finds, which is an exit to the cab line, not to Las Vegas Boulevard.  It takes an awkward zig zag path across cab traffic to finally get to the Strip.  Ulysses decides to walk South.

Along The Strip, people are handing out trading cards that feature nude models along with a phone number for "private hotel parties."  Leopold, at every opportunity, takes a card when handed to him.  In alternating fashion he instantly throws it straight up in the air like a graduation cap at commencement or down like a basketball being dunked through a hoop.

L: (punching Ulysses again, this time in his left kidney) Vegas!  (punch) Vegas! (punch) Ve-
U: (screamed at the top of his lungs): Stop hitting me!
A group of young girls walking ahead of Leopold & Ulysses turn around to witness the domestic abuse.

L: Where we goin' U!?
Leopold continues to take prostitute cards, but now has begun to hold the taken cards around his groin to allow himself to "hump" the cards instantly upon receipt.

U: We're crossing here
Leopold discards the humped cards this time by throwing them into the face of the man handing them out.

After crossing the Strip, Leopold and Ulysses head into The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  A nightclub scene of loud club music and scantily clad women.

L: Let's try one of these bars - whatcha drinkin' I'm buyin'

A bartender at the first bar Ulysses& Leopold enter at The Cosmopolitan tells them any bar that has smoking doesn't serve food.  The bartender at the second bar tell the two that the kitchen closed at an hour ago.  Leopold orders a beer and Ulysses orders a mixed drink.  Meanwhile, while Ulysses lusts at a now moot menu a young man in his early twenties wedges his way in between the two at the bar.  Ulysses gives the interloper an odd look.

Stranger: Oh, sorry - don't mind me.
The Stranger doesn't order a drink, only stands there momentarily before backing away
Stranger: Sorry, we're cool right?
U: whatever, fine.
L: (yelling) what's going on here?
U: (calmly) nothing.
Stranger: This guy (points to Ulysses) is being a prick!
L: (at Stranger) Fuck off.
U: (slightly less calm) It's fine, it's fine.
Stranger: (to Ulysses) Oh, you're fine now?
U: (to Stranger) Yes!  (in a high voice squeal) Everything is fine.
L: Oh, so we're okay?
U: Yeah, don't worry about it.
L: Hey, it's Vegas, right? (offers his hand high for a High 5 - The stranger and him connect palms)
S: Yeah, Vegas!  (to Leopold) You're cool. I guess (nods to Ulysses) is cool too - he just started off all standoffish and shit.
L: Hey, (to Stranger) fuck you!  You wanna go?
U: (to Leopold) Stop it, this is nothing... We gotta get out of here now.
L: Yeah, okay (Ulysees and Leopold walk out of the bar) Fuck this place!  Who do you guys (talking in the general direction of the bartenders) think you are! (then to Ulysses) Wait, did I already give them a credit card? (Leopold checks his wallet)
U: No, our drinks never came.
L: God, this place sucks - let's get out of here.
Ulysses & Leopold walk out of the bar, through the casino, and out the door to another valet/cab exit - with the strip nowhere in sight
L: Did you like how I had your back, U!?  God, where the hell are we?
The scene looks like an underground lair for limos.  A mutual friend of the two, Aaron, calls Ulysses.  The phone conversation is quick - the only information relayed is that the two have yet to eat.  After more zig zagingly fast but directionless walking Ulysses and Leopold escape from the The Cosmopolitan's property to walk into the CityCenter mall.
U: Maybe there's a food court in here? Let's see.

CityCenter Mall
Immediately upon entering the mall both notice a large art instillation that consists of columns of ice floating on an infinity pool.  Ulysses attempts to reach to touch the ice, but realizes the ice is too far set in the infinity pool to reach.  Ulysses withdraws his arm and moves on into the mall.  Leopold, also failing at reaching the ice then takes a step into the infinity pool.  His entire right shoe becomes submerged in water and is able to withdraw it quickly without losing his balance.

L: Whoooah, the water doesn't look that deep!
U: What were you trying to do?
L: I wanted to walk on the edge - thought I could ride the wave
A large suited man, with a visible earpiece walks up to Ulysees and Leopold.  He is well over six feet tall - much taller than Ulysses with the build of a professional boxer.

Large Man (raises both if his hands above his  head, as he begins talking his two index fingers point at both Leopold and Ulysses): I need you two to turn around (now makes a small circle motion with both index fingers, which are now pointing to an area behind Ulysses & Leopold) and walk out right now.

U: (instantly, with both hands up as if he was in the middle of being robbed at a bank) ok (Ulysses pivots around his left foot, and passes Leopold on his way out the door.  Leopold is right behind him).
L: Man, my entire foot is SOAKED.
U: I'm just happy we didn't get thrown into casino jail.
L: Where we goin' U!?
U: I don't know, let's try Aria?

The walk to Aria is long, and the two discuss the condo market of Las Vegas, specifically the price of the for sale condos in CityCenter.  By the time the two reach the front of Aria, Aaron has sent Ulysses a text message offering up In-N-Out Burger as a food option.  Thankfully Ulysses and Leopold are at this time at the Cab Line in front of Aria.  They decide to not enter Aria, but get in a cab headed to In-N-Out Burger.

A large chested girl, who Ulysses hoped for his conscience was twenty-one, walks into In-N-Out and passes by Leopold.  She pauses near Leopold while staring at the menu board.
L: (while looking dead straight at the young girl's visible cleavage, standing less than four feet away) OH MY GOD! (The reaction by the girl: a smile)

Leopold and Ulysses eat their burgers outside on the picnic tables.  They both hear the large chested young girl and her friends tell a cab driver to take them to Rio.
L: Wanna go to Rio, U?
U: I have a better idea.

Ulysses leads Leopold on a quick 300 yard walk across a parking lot to Wild Wild West Gaming Hall.  The inside of the "local" casino is without any of the usual Casino distractions: The slots are quiet, the music is low to not present, and there is more smoke than than a Camel Joe fantasy.  The defining game of Wild West Gaming Hall is something Ulysses calls "Bumper Pool Craps" that features a craps table nearly half the size you will see in a larger casino.  The small size is to allow one person to work as both stickman and dealer.  The minimum bet is $3.

Ulysses & Leopold are the only players playing craps.  The only players at the specific table and the only players shooting dice in the entire Gaming Hall.  By the time the first seven is rolled both players are up - Leopold up more than Ulysses.  Leopold starts making field bets.  Leopold continues winning.


Leopold makes another point.


Later, after a few more points by Leopold, he finally craps out and Ulysses is up to throw the dice again.

L: I'm thinking about a field bet, U - you gonna roll a winner?
U: yeah, sure.
Ulysses rolls a hard 12.  Leopold's field bet pays double.
L: (directed at two spectators now watching, for Leopold is the loudest voice in the entire Gaming Hall) We got a heater boys, you wanna get in?
U: (in a soft, but oddly serious tone, to the couple spectators) You need to get in.  You need to get in now.
L: What about now U?  Field bet?
U: No.
A 5 is rolled by Ulysses, which would've lost a field bet if Leopold had placed one.
Ulysses continues to roll without any 7s.  More points are made.

About four or five rolls later, as Ulysses is about to shoot again, Leopold takes a large stack of red $5 chips and plops it on the Field.  The amount was never counted, but was well over $100.  Ulysses pauses - then shoots...  It's a 3, it's a winner.

The pit boss walks over to Leopold.
Pitt Boss: You know, when I win, I don't celebrate.
L: Well nobody likes you!
U: (Turns to the two players who took the advice and have been playing) Aren't you glad you started playing when we told you to?  (They both quickly nod in approval)

As more points were made Ulysses and Leopold eventually rolled 7s.  When given the opportunity to throw dice, the two newcomers instantly declined to allow Ulysses and Leopold to roll again.  And more points were made.

Ulysses after again seeing the spectators decline to shoot the dice in favor of Leopold and himself, glances down at an over $100 profit.  He notices nearly double that in front of Leopold.

U: (to Leopold) Hey, wanna get out of here?  Quit now?  When we're this ahead?
L: (pauses) Sure.  (longer pause) Let's bounce.

Ulysses and Leopold triumphantly strut back across the parking lot to In-N-Out.  Both consider going for round two of burgers but ultimately don't. Ulysses had been texting Aaron during the craps run, urging him to stop everything to join the two.  Instead Aaron informs Ulysses that he's on his way to In-N-Out himself for a burger.

Aaron shows pop out of the cab with his friend Demetri.  Both hear Leopold and Ulysses before they are seen.  Leopold and Ulysses have reclaimed their outside picnic table and have been loudly rehashing their Wild Wild West run.

Leopold meets Aaron in a similar "rabbit punching" fashion that he earlier greeted Ulysses.


After Aaron and Demetri are done at In-N-Out the four of them share a cab back to the Strip.  Leopold requests that the cab driver change the radio to rap music.  Leopold requests that the cab driver turns up the volume.


St. Patrick's Day Block Party outside O'Sheas
It's gridlock traffic on The Strip as the cab inches along Las Vegas Boulevard.  Leopold, anxious to exit, rolls down the cab's window and sticks his head out.  He begins to shout at random walkers by.
L: BOILER UP! (said to someone wearing head-to-toe Michigan State gear)

Ulysses and Leopold exit the cab with Aaron and Demetri, but the two groups head in separate directions.  Ulysses and Leopold head towards the St. Patrick's Day block party outside O'Sheas Casino.

Leopold buys Ulysses a green beer.  The party features a performer named "DJ IRISH."  Many people are dancing - including Leopold, but not including Ulysses.  Leopold begins calling other people he knows in town, recruiting them to join the party.  Ulysses finished his beer and respectfully told Leopold of his departure.

L: Where you goin' U!?
U: I'm going to play cards at IP - if you want me you can find me there.

Less than an hour later Ulysses had won $100 playing poker and had texted Leopold announcing he was calling it a night.  The text is immediately returned with a phone call.

U: Leopold?
L: U! Towerz and I just got here, at IP, where are you?
U: I'm in my room, but I'm on my way back down - hold on.

Ulysses wanted to meet Towerz, a childhood friend of Leopold who's reputation had preceeded him.  Towers is a shade under 5'6" with enough hair product to fuel a junior high cheerleading squad.  He is wearing a black tank top exposing tattoos on both arms.  He has a large plastic novelty drinking vessel lanyard around his neck and propped up with both hands.  The drinking vessel is approximately 5 feet in height.

Standing next to Towers is Leopold, who now has a plastic guitar strapped around his body featuring a large straw extending up to his mouth.  The guitar is filled with margarita.

After a brief introduction the three decide to head back to The Strip.  As Leopold is about to exit the doors a young woman wearing red walks in-
L: (at woman in red) ROLL TIDE!
Woman in red: ROLL TIDE, YEAH!

Towerz and Leopold openly debate their next destination.  Less than 15 minutes into the walk Leopold announces an intention to get a cab to Stratosphere.  Upon hearing this, Ulysses instantly removes himself from the group - wishing them both the best of luck.

The time is 2:30 AM
According to follow up reports:
  • Leopold attempted to get a tattoo, but was rejected by the parlor for being too drunk
  • Towers ended up getting a black eye
  • Leopold was later seen in downtown Las Vegas using his margarita-guitar to air guitar along with a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band
  • Ulysses was awake at 8 am the following morning, as was Leopold.

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