Vegas - 6/13/05
This weekend my brother Mark and I took our youngest brother Alex to Las Vegas for his 21st birthday. Mark and I both had pretty lame 21st birthdays, so we thought we'd live vicariously through Alex's rite of debauched passage.

The trip can basically be summarized by the following...

...except that the quantity of substance in Alex's right hand decreased even faster than the quantity of substance in his left hand. And Alex, mostly through consumption of the latter, increased.

Some notable vignettes from the trip:

- On the way into Nevada, I stopped at a Shell station just across the border and bought every forty they had in the store. This amounted to about 13 of them, after I had cleaned out both the rows of Olde English and Colt 45 in their fridge. Plopping my tremendous malt liquor purchase down on the counter, I caught the eye of the cashier. "You guys are out of forties."
Withouth even mustering a smile, the cashier looked at me for a second then continued to ring up my purchase. "Sorry about that," she responded.
Concerned that she'd misinterpreted my statement into one of blame, I went on. "No no," I allayed. "It's my fault.

- We lost money in just about everything we tried to play, and I blame Asians. Whether it was Hee-Seop Choi of the Dodgers hitting a 9th inning homerun to secure the loss of our $20 bet on our beloved Twins, or an unsmiling, unspeaking Thai blackjack dealer named Fong knocking us out of 80 dollars in 4 straight hands, people of Asian descent were really out to get us this weekend. Seriously, Fong was a remorseless money-taking machine, with a heart as black as a thousand midnights.

- Sadly, the highlight of our gambling adventures was Alex and I hitting a straight-flush in nickel poker at three in the morning Saturday. Even more sadly, our 15-cent wager straight-flush only yielded $7.75 (50-1 payout for a straight-flush!?), which Alex and I immediately took to McDonalds. But happily, you can buy a shitload of Dollar Menu for $7.75.

- Over lunch one day, perhaps influenced the theme of Excalibur's Round Table Buffet, we somehow got into a discussion about what would be the least effective weapon with which to take over an airplane. The 3 top ideas:
3 - Morning Star - There's just not enough room between the overhead compartments to generate the necessary velocity to effectively wield a spiked ball on a chain. Perhaps you could just toss the ball at people dodgeball-style, and use the chain to pull it back.
2 - Pike - Unless of course you affixed it to the beverage cart and went jousting.
1 - Broadsword - A foot-wide, fifty-pound sword is hard enough to swing on a midieval battlefield, let alone in coach.
Also noted - A catapult - Clearly, a catapult would be a hilariously inept weapon with which to hijack an airplane, but it's kind of getting into an unrealistic realm. I mean, a submarine wouldn't be much help taking over a plane either, but it's not exactly a legitimate option. Because obviously a broadsword is a legitimate option.

- On way out of Excalibur on the last day, we put 6 dollars on 6 black in roulette, since Alex's birthday is 6/6. We didn't win, but Satan did rise from the wheel in a plume of fire. He introduced himself as Fong.

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