Euphoria and the scent of Veuve Clicquot were in the air, and I wasn’t really sure in what proportions. Out the roof of the car, the wind was heavy with the night’s anticipation and the effects of Mr. Cuervo. It formed snapshots of crass, wonderful decadence: The Mirage, a blinding Caesars Palace, and one of those ads for that “exotic steakhouse.”
The strip knows no time, and this Wednesday night was no exception. It could have been eight in the evening dusk, it could have been six in the blurry, blurry onset of dawn. Hopefully it wasn’t dawn, because with the arrival of dawn comes the dry desert sun, draining the plush neon from buildings as it rises. Hopefully it was dusk. The palpable force uniting our hardy crew drove us with a vengeance to Harrah’s. I mean, you just don’t say no to that inviting of an entrance. Or the video poker. Or the “fivedallablackjaaaack,” as it was dubbed later that night. We entered.
The night progressed in snapshots of ground rules established as each complimentary drink snaked its way through the floor of the casino, landing directly on the green felt. First, never ask a dealer to marry you. Never. Also, don’t curse the dealer out. He is your friend, man, and he is there to make that pile of chips taller. Stick with a buddy, because…well, because you never know. Oh, and stay away from slots, don’t feed the machines. Always get mad at the supervisor at Caesar’s so he apologetically awards you a suite upgrade when he bungles your reservation. Double down on that 11 in blackjack for an appropriately raucous celebration with complete strangers. Also, don’t come to your senses in a McDonald’s. 50 chicken nuggets are not an appropriate celebration after winning 100 bucks on “Hiho Geronimo” and his expert jockey finishing first. I promise.