Friday, September 9, 2011
What Happens in Vegas, Rarely Stays There
A lot of people asked me what my problem was, at which point I either punch them in the face for annoying me, or if they actually cared, I told them, with a slap instead of a punch.
I did not have a normal childhood. Well, I did, until I turned ten, at which point it went not so much downhill, as much as falling face first into the earth with the speed and velocity of a Peregrine falcon.
Remember when your parents made a big deal out of you turning the big one oh, and tried to make your tenth birthday the best possible. I don't. I remember my parents, who were a little tipsy at the time, deciding that I was going to 'become a man', and that we need to celebrate my birthday in an adult place.
This turned out to be Vegas. Only God knows how they made that connection.
So anyway, we took a train to Vegas, whose state was only a few states away from our own proud Oklahoma, and fortunately that went smoothly. We got to our hotel, if you could call it that, as the more accurate description was "What would happen if the architect only figured out he was building a seedy motel halfway through construction", but I didn't care. Hell, I was ten, and I thought I was here to have the greatest birthday party ever.
This did not prove to be the case, when my parents imprisoned me in our room with a pair of furry handcuffs that were not only surprisingly effective, but also provided to every couple in the hotel. I really don't want to think about implications of that.
There I stayed, for what felt like a dozen days. Of course, as a child, time feels longer than it actually is, so I was exaggerating. It was only a half dozen.
Eventually one of the hotel staff decided that maybe they should clean their rooms for a change, and I was found. At this point people usually ask where my parents went, and honestly, I have no idea. It is not something I have ever asked them, and it's going to stay that way.
So the hotel staff found me, and that's how I got drafted into the day to day lives of those living in Vegas. I suppose you could call them Vegans.
I started out working as a poker dealer, because they had an opening after the last guy "Got into a pharmaceutical incident", whatever that meant. Well, turns out that if you can't cheat, or spot others cheating, you can't really work as a dealer in Vegas, at least, not that kind. After the seventh time a guy five aces, my employer decided to move me to another industry. By which he meant the sketchy bar down the street, which his friend owned.
After showing up there, I was immediately taught the basics of bartending and given the job of daytime bartender. This was actually a nice gig, as it meant I worked from 7 to 12 in the morning, then slept, only to be woken up at 3 to clean the place.
This continued on for a few months until I was woken out of my slumber at 5 in the afternoon, something unprecedented. My employer told me that one of his girls was sick, and threw a pile of clothing at me, which I dutifully put on because I was such a good worker.
Needless to say, I wasn't prepared when I walked out of the bathroom only to be pushed into one of the "special rooms" that only the dancers used, and told to strip.
At the risk of damaging my already destroyed reputation, I will refrain from saying what went on there. All I can say is, I did not know that could do that there!
Anyway, that never happened again, mainly because I adamantly refused it, so my employer kept me at my bartending job.
A few weeks later, I was minding my own business, searching under the counter for a particular brand of beer, when a loud drunk slammed his hand onto the table and started yelling about me giving him the hardest stuff I had. I really hope he was talking about drinks.
I looked up and saw, here's a shocker, my dad, and thankfully that woman that he was fondling was my mom, unlike future incidents…
He then proceeded to give a performance that wouldn't fool a five year old, spouting nonsense about how he thought he and mom lost me and looked endlessly for me. He then took me from my home, back to mom, who cried for a good 12 seconds, before giving the slots another go. Later that week, we headed back to Oklahoma, away from all the drugs and hookers I had become accustomed to.
That, ladies and gents, is how I spent my sixth grade year.