Tuesday, January 25, 2005

the Loose Slots Tour part 2

When the alarm went off on Friday morning, I groaned, pushed twenty pounds of cat off my hip, and stumbled into the bathroom. I was midstream when a thought occurred to me: I was not up early because of work, but because I was going to Vegas! Vegas Vegas Vegas! Halle-freakin’-lujah!

And lo, didst the journey begin.

One of the best things about road trips with good friends is that the conversations are so utterly engrossing. We talked about everything you can possibly imagine, from the mundane to the marvelous, from the scatological to the spiritual. I unbuttoned my jeans for comfort, leaned back, and belched...a resonant belch redolent of my McDonald’s breakfast.

“You don’t say!” Susan exclaimed. Then she belched too, a strange noise that sounded like one of those cans you turn over that emits a somewhat sickly moo.

We stopped in Baker for gas, and many jokes were made about the Bun Boy restaurant and its proximity to the Mad Greek. Then we went to a tacky little place that sold “alien jerky” and featured rubber aliens and a misshapen UFO out front. I bought a bag of jerky and a bottle of Wet Fart hot sauce as super-trashy souvenirs for G. (Hey, the label had a seagull pooping on a guy’s head; I figured it was a touching tribute to our second date.) Susan and I posed with the rubber aliens outside, and I yanked up my shirt and rested my boobs on its head, earning a long klaxon blast from a passing trucker.

Our next stop along the way was Primm Valley, and many jokes were made about the name. “Primm Valley? Fuck that!” I snorted, channeling Neil Patrick Harris. “Where’s Trimm Valley? I need some trim! Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapdance.”

Once we got to Vegas, K dropped Susan and me off in front of Treasure Island and we went inside to check in while she parked the car. Because it would have cost us $60 extra to have three people in the room, we lied and said it was just us…which I would have felt guilty about if it were a small mom-and-pop kind of place, but hey, not like a fucking casino is going to miss $60. We got our cardkeys (tastefully decorated with a lingerie-clad woman advertising their new nightclub, Tangerine), met up with K, and went upstairs to our room, which was very nice (although sadly devoid of any tacky pirate trappings) and looked straight down on the moat. I went in the bathroom to check out the amenities and was very pleasantly surprised.

“Look at the toiletries!” I shrieked. “Oatmeal cookie soap…pomegranate lotion…this shit rules!”

We unpacked and took a brief nap before heading downstairs to scrounge up some grub. We went to a Mexican fusion place called Isla, and since I hate Mexican food (too many onions), I just got dessert: dulce de leche cupcakes stuffed with cinnamon-vanilla frosting. I was thrilled when they brought it over, for they had stuck a large cactus-shaped gingerbread cookie into a tiny mountain of fudge on the side of the plate, and I’m a sucker for presentation. They were muy delicioso too.

After eating, we walked over to Kahunaville, a tropical-themed bar with a little oxygen bar tucked into one corner. I had always wanted to try an oxygen bar, so I bellied up and plunked down my $6. After some slight hesitation, K and Susan did the same, and the hostess gave us the noseplug thingies. I selected the Fresh “flavor” (cranberry), and we all sat there and felt very very stupid.

“Is it working for you?” K whispered.

“Not really,” I said. “You, Sooz?"

“I don’t think mine is on,” she said, fiddling with the knobs.

I will say that my sinuses cleared up almost immediately, but maybe the noseplugs knocked something loose. It was an interesting experience, at any rate.

Because Spock had recently relocated to Vegas, and Luna and Supergirl20 happened to be in town, we made some phone calls and arranged to have them meet us. We sat at the bar and watched the bartenders flirt and act like Tom Cruise in Cocktail, flinging bottles around and tossing ice cubes into glasses held behind their backs. It took forever to get served, but once we did, we were happy, tipsy puppies. Spock arrived and I screamed and hugged him fiercely, and soon afterwards, Luna and her friend A showed up, along with Supergirl20 and her girlfriend J. We all talked for a while, and then went over to Imperial Palace for substandard Chinese food and superior conversation.

“Wanna go to the Fruit Loop?” Spock asked.

“Sure!” I said.


“What’s that?”

Well, it turns out that the Fruit Loop is the gay area of Vegas, so we all clambered into cabs and went to a bar called the Free Zone. I knocked down several shots, all with colorful names like Adios Motherfucker and Burning Nipples, and started feeling very pleasant indeed. And lest you think the following statement was colored by the booze running rampant through my veins, I will point out that I did hang out with these people when I was cold-stone sober too, and they were all just fantastic. I already knew K and Spock were, of course, and I would have been shocked if Susan was anything less than a fabulously funny firecracker (which she is, and then some), but I had never read Luna or Supergirl20 before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect…and they were great, as were J and A. We watched a drag queen dressed as Gwen Stefani (but looking more like Hedwig) lipsynch to “What You Waiting For?”, ogled the shirtless “tooter boys”, tried to decide if one of the waitresses was a natural-born woman, and then K, Susan, and I danced for awhile.

Soon, though, we all began to feel the effects of too much booze and excitement, and it was time to go to bed. We made plans with the other girls, and then K, Susan, Spock, and I went back to Treasure Island, where we bunked down (K and Susan in one bed, Spock and me in the other) and I fell into a deep, dreamless, smoky sleep.