Shoulda Left Las Vegas

Las Vegas
And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm.

Priceless.

One Saturday night after a not-too-lucky session at the craps table, I fell asleep in my car, which was always parked in the Union Plaza Parking Lot & Cow Pasture.

plaza

Union Plaza
Live it Up!

Well I woke up Sunday morning, (with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt) knowing full-well that I was due back in San Diego and on my “boat” before nightfall.

While attempting to drive out of the parking lot, the young uniformed schmuck informed me that I owed two dollars for the parking.

“Listen Asshole, I just dropped two grand in your casino last night.”

“Sorry Sir, but the parking is two dollars.”

“Let me say this one more time: I just ‘invested’ two large in your fucking casino.”

“Sir, I am just doing my job.”

“And me mine, for fuck’s sake. I’m protecting your way of life and your right to be an idiot.”

Continue reading

“Goin’ To The Chapel…”

“And We’re Gonna Get Married”

My first wife and I got married in Jaffa Israel, an ancient Phoenician Seaport just south of Tel Aviv. The ceremony was performed by a Baptist Minister from Oklahoma in a Presbyterian Church which was maintained by Catholic Missionaries from Sweden.

(Now that right there shoulda told us we were testing Providence)

There were but two witnesses. (Co-workers of ours from Sinai Field Mission who just happened to be in town)

Twenty minutes before the ceremony, my soon to-be-bride and I were hitting all the jewelry stores on Dizengoff Street shopping for wedding rings. Could not find any that suited us or fit.

The clerks always had the same response:

“No problem; I can have it resized and you may pick it up tomorrow.”

We anxiously explained, “But we are getting married in just a few minutes.”

Jewish weddings are a great big hairy deal; so naturally, we were met with gasps of shocked amazement when we announced our time constraint. We tried to explain we weren’t Jewish, but that took just too much time, so we ran from shop to shop.

We finally, and at the very last minute, settled on two plain gold bands (which did not fit), purchased from the jewelry shop in the hotel where we were to rendezvous with the rest of the ‘Wedding Party’.

We all proceeded to Jaffa. My bride was wearing a black dress and I was in blue jeans. My woman and I tied the knot, (loosely, as it turned out). I gave the Okie preacher fifty bucks and we split.

The marriage didn’t stick, but we remain friends to this day.

My next wedding took place in Las Vegas.

My Bride and I got hitched in a venue called ‘The Chapel of Love’.

An Elvis impersonator performed the rites for two hundred bucks. (My woman was an Elvis fan, so what the hell). For fifty bucks more, he would sing ‘Love Me Tender’ A cappella. My girl, ever so frugal, suggested we pass on that.

If she had known that within just a few short hours I would be tossing black chips onto a craps table, she might have seriously considered his offer of serenade.

Next wedding was performed by a Justice of the Peace, who showed up two hours late due to some inescapable last-minute JP business which could not wait. By the time she arrived the Wedding Party (and I do mean ‘Party’) were all hopelessly drunk on Champagne. We did the deed and then all got hopelessly drunker. Several expensive champagne flûtes bit the dust that night, if memory serves… Was a great wedding, as those things go.

Last wedding took place in Arkansas and was just lovely.

None of these weddings took firm hold, I am sorry to say.

Apparently marriage to me is not much more binding than a hand-shake.

Now… Y’all. I am of course not making light of marriage. I do believe in its sanctity. (For other people) It just doesn’t appear to be right for This Cowboy.

Video Credit: patricia du prée

Video credit: Holger Syme

************

Thanks for your visit and thanks to Mark for putting this post in my head, sorta like an ear worm.

Cheers to you Mark! My Friend.

Still In Vegas And Rememberance Mode! And Here, Find Here: A Final Throw-Back: “Lost Wages” I need a Sabbatical

“So, What Brings You to Las Vegas?”

“I Came Here To Drink Myself To Death.”

 

Thought I’d throw this back out, before I delete it and since I ‘swerved onto it’ and it made me laugh because I still cannot believe I am capable of writing such shit at this late date in my lifetime.)

And a fucking night moth just flew past my ear. This Moth don’t know my mind and who she is fucking with! Just saying. Just saying: Sleep is an option (for me). Gonna explore it. 

Catch Y’all Manana.

And… ya know… Rambling is my soul.

Laughter is the song of your Soul.

Hope you like it.

(be certain to watch the video of Sammy Davis and Dean and Frank and Johnny Carson: you will not be disappointed–classic Rat Trap, er…Pack.)

Cheers,

Lance

Shucks!

***********

Las Vegas

And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

One Saturday night after a not-too-lucky session at the craps table, I fell asleep in my car, which was always parked in the Union Plaza Parking Lot & Cow Pasture.

plaza

Union Plaza
Live it Up!

Well I woke up Sunday morning, (with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt) knowing full-well that I was due back in San Diego and on my “boat” before nightfall.

While attempting to drive out of the parking lot, the young uniformed schmuck informed me that I owed two dollars for the parking.

“Listen Asshole, I just dropped two grand in your casino last night.”

“Sorry Sir, but the parking is two dollars.”

“Let me say this one more time: I just ‘invested’ two large in your fucking casino.”

“Sir, I am just doing my job.”

“And me mine, for fuck’s sake. I’m protecting your way of life and your right to be an idiot.”

I then proceeded to drive through his little wooden gate, trailing splinters all over, never looking back except briefly to see the look on his face. (This behavior is not unprecedented in my past).

Got to San Diego with no gas, no cigs, no money, and no nada.

Had to ring up (collect) my girlfriend to meet me at a station and buy me some gas just to get to 32nd Street and back to my ship.

Ah! To be young, bullet-proof, and not worry about life’s consequences!

I love Las Vegas.

Was once almost thrown out of the El Cortez (Downtown Glitter Gulch) for card counting.

You see, I had read and studied Kenny Uston’s book

My Hero

My Hero

which I had purchased in a book store in Hong Kong. I spent many hours a day while at sea, practicing Uston’s card-counting methods.  I also read Ed Thorp’s (The guy who “invented” or rather “discovered” card-counting)

Actually, I got rather proficient at it hence my early and unceremonious exit from El Cortez.  I was too proud of my new-found skills and did not try to conceal my counting behavior. 

I would place one or two-dollar bets when the deck was ‘cold’ and fifty-dollar bets when the deck went ‘hot’: breaking the cardinal rule, of never ever be obviously stupid.

Technically card counting is not illegal, but the casinos will still throw you out if they suspect you have that skill.  And do not mistake: Black Jack is the only “game of skill” in Vegas, aside from poker, but who can afford that?

Slots? Oh Yeah. Once I was playing the “Big Quarter” ($25) machines at the Tropicana and won $5,000. (Proceeded to give it all back at the craps table, but not before I impressed the hell out of the management, betting black chips).

They asked me “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m in the Navy.” They just shook their heads and asked me if I needed a girl. I said, “No. I just wanna roll a hard six; can you arrange that?”

Roulette? One time, after a particularly successful round of BJ, I was walking out of the Union Plaza (again), dropped a green ($25) chip on seventeen black: Bond, James Bond’s bet.

Bond; James Bond.

Bond; James Bond.

And WON! Took my winnings (approx. $800) and went to breakfast. Smartest, smoothest move I ever made in Vegas. Ah… those were the days My Friend; thought they’d never end….

Obviously I have some stories from Las Vegas.

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm.

Priceless.

***************

I guess that ‘bout sums it all up.

“Live it up, Y’all!”

Please DO NOT READ THIS! IT Is A Self-PITY-PARTY: Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife, Part VII: “A Crappy Star Is Born.” I Uh… Yeah Well-Documented My Fuk-Ups Re: Shonnie. “I’m Losin’ My Taste For Fruit”

!

The Shonnie Saga Continues

Please Just Watch/Listen To The GD Vid

I Have Grown Weary and Teary Of The Tiresome Worry of

Just Tryin’ to Walk You Through It

Video Credit: Renato Spallucci

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six 

***

We freshened up, got dressed, and headed down to the Casino floor. Generally I don’t gamble in The Plaza, but this night I was freshly feeling full of myself and wanted to capitalize on that feeling before the fresh wore off.

Allow me to explain something: I do not believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Karma, Fate, Oklahoma, or God. But I do believe in Dama Fortuna, and I could sense her radiance shining down upon me that night.

The casino was all flashing lights, laughter, musical sounds from the slot-machines—basically your typical Las Vegas Scene.

I led Shonnie over to a bank of ‘dollar slots’, pulling out a crisp one dollar bill, I fed it into the machine. “Pull the lever and stand by,” I said to her.

“I’ve never gambled before,” she said.

“Honey, if my instincts are right, this ain’t gambling. Go ahead. It’s my dollar anyhow, so you really ain’t gambling. Per se.”
“Pear who? Okay,” she said, “Here goes nothing,” while pulling the Bandit’s one arm.”

“I certainly hope not,” I said, as we watched the cylinders spin.

Double bar. Double Bar. Double Bar! Casino silver dollars poured into the tray, making that oh so magical sound of metal raining on metal. One hundred bucks! A propitious beginning!

“Oh My Fucking God!” she screamed.

“Baby, God had nothing to do with it. Thank Dame Fortuna, if you feel compelled to thank someone.”

“Wow! Look at all that shiny money!”

“It’s yours. Take that bucket and fill it up.”

“Should we go again?” She asked breathlessly.

“Absolutely not,” I said. “Come on. I’m gonna show you the real games.”

“You’re the Boss,” she giggled.

I leaned very close to her and pulling at my collar, breathed into her ear, “Speak into the microphone My Dear.”

“Lance, you’re crazy!”

“Yeah. C’mon.”
I led her to a craps table.

“Oh! This looks complicated,” she said.

“Well, yeah. It is and it isn’t. Don’t worry. I will walk you through it. One question though, do you throw a baseball like a girl?”

“Smart ass!”

“Ok then. We should be fine.”

Craps is the best game known to man. I love the high-energy. The camaraderie. The cacophony. The excitement. The electricity. The laughter. The tears. The suspense as the galloping dominoes bounce down the table.

And last but certainly not least, the ability to win (and sometimes lose) large amounts of money in a very short time. And yes, I am what some might call, a ‘Dice Degenerate’. Started when I was hustling crap games in Junior high. In the hall ways between classes. Only got busted once. Proud of my record.

Shonnie and I shouldered our way in at one of the far ends of the table.

We sandwiched ourselves between a middle-aged, gray-haired man (on our left) in a business suit (I immediately pegged him as a ‘Corporation Man’ on Convention) grasping what looked like a scotch and water and there was a cigar in a tiny ashtray set on the rail in front of him.

On the right side of us, a ‘normal’ looking guy, about thirty something, sporting a too loud red t-shirt and a gimme cap. Baseball.

I forget the team. Normal Guy had control of the dice, so that meant once his roll ended it would be Shonnie’s turn to be the shooter.

The table was just about at ‘capacity’. I glanced around, looking at the contestants. You see, in Craps the idea is to find the table with the highest energy level.

You want the most up-beat, loudest players: Players who are having fun. Sad to say, but one can never (in my experience) win any money at an empty table or one with an atmosphere of doom, which does sometimes come rolling in.

Savvy crap shooters recognize the early warning signs of ‘The Atmosphere of Doom’ and fly away like scalded rabbits just before, or as it descends. This table was on the upswing and I intended to make quick work of it before the worm turned. (The worm always turns, but sometimes thankfully, it takes some long turning time.)

Looking down the side of the table, opposite the ‘Boss’ and the dealers and the stick men and all, I studied the players.

There was a young couple to the right of ‘Normal Guy’. Right out of “Honey Moon Ville,” I guessed. Next to them stood a Middle-Eastern type wearing a white starched shirt and lots of bling. Next to him, a dude with a crew cut, tight shirt, bulging biceps, who may have been suffering from Roid Rage, given his overly passionate ramblings at the dice as they bounced down the lane.

At the far end of the table there was a young bleach-blond hanging onto the arm of another elderly well-dressed business man. (‘A man and his Hooker’, I ungraciously thought). Next to them a diminutive oriental man.

I was thinking ‘China’, but could not be certain.

I had a wonderful experience once at a craps table at The Golden Nugget following the streak of another China Man. Won almost two grand while he was in control of the dice. You see, craps players are infamously superstitious. And I was certainly no different.

There were several other players mixed in and even some standing behind, perhaps waiting for some space to open up.  I was happy with the crowd and after the present ‘roll’ had ended (wins all around) I pulled out four Benjamins and put them on the table in front of one of the dealers.

“Give me two hundred green ($25), and two hundred red ($5),” I announced. The dealer spread out my four bills so ‘The Eye in the Sky’ could get a look. He then stacked my chips and slid them toward me.

“Good luck Sir,” he said, as I split the chips (‘Checks’ in the Vegas’ vernacular.)

With all the bets paid, Normal Guy was ready to go at it again. I instructed Shonnie to take a red chip and place it in front of her on the “Pass” line (If you don’t know how Craps works, you may be at some loss here—I will try to make it as easy to understand as possible.)

I placed a red chip in front of me on the Pass line as well. All bets placed, Normal Guy tossed the dice toward the far end of the table. He rolled a four. (Meaning he had to roll another four before he rolled a seven, thus crapping out.)

“Put two red chips behind your bet,” I told Shonnie.

“Why?”

“We’re taking the odds,” I said.

“I don’t understand.”

“Just do it. Smartly.”

She stacked up the chips behind her original bet and I did the same.

On a hunch, I tossed a red chip onto the middle of the table and said,

“Hard Four!” (Betting that the shooter will make his ‘four’—called his ‘point’, but that he will do it ‘the hard way,’ i.e. two deuces and not an ace and a three.

This is really a sucker bet, but I had Dama Fortuna in my corner. The bet pays ten for one, which if won, would net me $45 dollars, plus of course our pass line bets with the odd’s bets behind them.)

Normal guy tosses… wait for it… Double Deuces! Pandemonium from the players. Everybody wins!

“How did you know to do that?” Shonnie asks, as some decent stacks of red chips came our way.

I put my hand on her neck, pull her ear to me and say, “Stick close Baby. Gonna be a bumpy night.”

Winners paid, Shonnie and I put another two red chips on the pass line. Normal guy rolls an eight. We back up our bets with two each red chips. Normal guy then rolls a seven. Aw Shit! Crapped out! No worries. We are still way ‘ahead’.

Now the dice pass to Shonnie. I can see she has stage fright. One of the dealers sees this too.

“Don’t worry Little Lady! Newbies are always lucky!” He says.

The ‘table’ agrees and I see chips of all colors dropping to the ‘Pass Line’.

Shonnie and I both drop one each green chip onto the Pass Line. Yes. I was confident. All bets now placed, I watch as she picks up the dice. Picked them up as one might imagine someone picking up a rotten banana, or a dead rat.

“They won’t bite,” I assured her. Just toss them at the end of the table. Oh and shake ‘em a little. But you can only use one hand when tossing them.”

“One hand?” she protested. “I always throw a baseball with both hands.”

“Hun, this ain’t a league of your own. Use one hand or they will frown and be perverse.”

“Okay,” she said. Then after shaking the dice a bit, she wound up… and threw! Right over the heads of the players at the far end of the table on off into space.

Collective groan from the table. In craps, the absolute worst thing one can do is miss the fucking table. It is always bad Juju.

Ninety-Nine times out of a hundred, the next roll will produce a crap out. In Shonnie’s case, the anticipated next roll would be snake-eyes, Box cars, or ace-deuce.

All losers.

I watched as most of the table players pulled chips back from their original bets. Not me. As someone went searching for the errant dice, I told Shonnie to put two more green chips on her pass line.

I did the same. We now had one hundred-fifty-dollars bet, even though I was not certain she would find green felt upon her second try.

She was offered two more dice by the dealer (stick man, just another word for him). I whispered in her ear, “Just relax Honey. Use a little less passion and a little more finesse this time. You’ll do great.”

She shook the dice, wound up, and pitched ‘em down the lane. When they came to rest: Natural Eleven! Winner!

Well… now! Suddenly the table went nuts! Large bets were placed all around (after some applause).

Shonnie kept ‘control’ of the dice for the next fifteen minutes: an eon in ‘Craps’ Time. We won almost a grand, (thanks to my recklessly wild betting and the favor of Dame Fortuna. And of course to Shonnie’s curve ball.)

When she finally crapped out, there was more applause. Everyone had ‘gotten well’ with her streak. And there are no more appreciative gamblers than craps’ shooters when it comes to situations like this.

“Color us up,” I said to the dealer as I pushed our chips toward him.

“But Sir,” He protested, “You’re up. Aren’t you gonna shoot?”

“Nope. We’re done here, but thanks.”

Shonnie and I gathered our (now mostly black–$100 chips—and I led her away)

“What now!” She demanded.

“Blackjack”

“Lance. You’re nuts! I have never had this much fun! I love you!”

“Yeah, I know.”

 To Be Continued…  HERE Part Eight

NO! Lance Don’t! Just Do Not Do it! Speakin’ of Leavin’ & Grievin’ & Drinkin’ & Sneezin’ & Thinkin’… Too Much… I Shoulda Left Las Vegas! (& Louisiana)

Naw! I Love Las Vegas/Or, As More Frequently Referred:

“Lost Wages!!!”

I Love Louisiana Too!!!–

See Be-low! —

Elisabeth Shue—

Screw You Too!

“I May Drink Too Much!

Smoke too Much!

Stay Out Late Out Late At Night Too Much!

But You Can Bet Your Butt

I’m Gonna LIVE Before I Die

Elisabeth Shue!

Who Coulda Knew?

That I’d Fall So Hard For You

Please Marry Me!

I Promise To Be True!

To You!

Life is Just a Tire Swing!

Hitch Yer Wagon to a Star!

Martha Tilton

Cred for vid: Croonr1

**********

Jimmy Buff–Aye!

OKAy!

Yay!

“I’m Just a Tired, Worn-Out, Broken Swing!”

C’est Moi!

Tired Swing!

Cred: OutdoorChautauqua

Thank You!

This is Such a Charming Video!

Huh???

Really??

Nother Fun Fack:

Lance is A Dumb-Ass With No Class!

Cred: Jimmy-Some-Guy

Gotta Make a Livin’

*****

I Love You Emmylou!

You Are So Beautiful!

And So Much Class!

Such A Classy Lady!

Liz Shue

I Love You!

GODDoddm-nIt!

Gone-Damn It!

This HITS

Way Too Close to my-HOME!

(Fun, Pointless Fact: Those Are Baby Koi Carp in That Fish Tank)

I know My Fish! Trust Me On This!

****

Las Vegas
And pondering why I love the TV show, ‘Nashville’ so much.

Here goes:

Many a time while stationed in San Diego, I would make a spur of the moment decision to drive the five hours to Vegas.

Occasionally with a buddy or two after closing down a bar somewhere downtown San Dog. Once or twice with a female accomplice,  but usually alone.

(Not Many were brave enuff, or stupid enuff, to get into my car at two a.m.)

“It’s OK. We (I) can sober up on the road. We’ll get to Vegas about sunrise.”

Would just show up, never having the wherewithal or forethought to reserve a room so I’d just nap in my Tornado if necessary.

But then, I never really slept while in Vegas anyhow. Why would I need a room?

Too bad I was born too late to experience “The Rat Pack.” Maybe if I accumulate enough good Karma, I can come back as Sammy Davis Jr. Or Frank Sinatra.  Stranger things have happened, in the night, eh?

Dean Martin, caught in a Gravity Storm. 

Priceless.

Continue reading

I Stall. Uhaul. Shonnie, The Truest Sentiment You May Find Here From Me. She, Shonnie. Reallllllly Fucked me Up.

I am still struggling to recover and get over her. (Listen to the MTB song) And know this Y’all, I have found a new Shonnie. Only Problem I have: She hates me. Just a hurdle I shall O’re, over… jump over… leap over.

(Nailed it!)

&&&

More Shonnie Here:

2021 UPDATE

One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine

I stall.

Why?

Because I am lazy.

And typing is hard.

Some of you may be waiting for the last few chapters of ‘Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife.” (I know, as I am awaiting them too). But that said, well what can I say? I tend to expose personal shit here. Sometimes it grows difficult, and I grow wary and weary. I have vowed to my Vizsla Dog

???????????????????????????????

that I will finish this tale tomorrow and get past it. (My dog tends to humour me. What choice does he have? I control the ‘soup bones’)

So, with that ‘sate-ment’, I leave you just one more clue to the outcome, by way of a song (There is always ‘A Song’ isn’t there?)

Cheers, Lance

 

Gonna Crawl Inside And Die!

 P.S. This is an ever-building story. If ya don’t watch the vid, well, ya gonna miss the best half of the denouement.

And the Entire Point of this Exercise.

–Just sayin’…

“Caint you see?”