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Vegas, Baby! Vegas!

June 3, 2009

With The Hangover opening to theaters across the nation on Friday, Old School director Todd Phillips seems to have another blockbuster on his hands. Yet, with another wild and crazy Vegas romp on the Hollywood horizon I find myself being a bit introspective. While Ed Helms’ missing tooth and Mike Tyson’s knockout of Zach Galifianakis to the tune of a Phil Collins hit makes me chuckle, a more pensive me ponders, “Where did I go wrong?”

 If I have learned one thing from watching Ashton Kutcher movies it is that any action, no matter how small, can change the course of the future. If I have learned two things from watching Ashton Kutcher movies it is that Vegas is outrageous! In fact, his 2008 film What Happens in Vegas was the progeny of a tourism campaign to make everyone believe that Vegas is so unbelievably insane that you won’t even be able to tell your loved ones.

 A show of hands… Who here has been to Las Vegas? OK. Now, who here, prior to that trip to the desert, claimed “Vegas ain’t ready for this!”

 Please, help me out here. Tell me that I am not the only red-blooded, American male to assert that I will be the one to bring Sin City to its knees? Please tell me that there are others who have made the same misguided and brash forecast.

 Shortly after college I traveled to Las Vegas with some friends, I was ready for clubs, booze and money. I had big plans to role around naked in vast piles of money Demi-Moore style. When I arrived there, I was shocked to discover that Vegas was nothing like I had seen in the movies. Or perhaps it was, but the rather large gentleman with the goatee and tattoos wouldn’t let me behind the velvet rope to find out.

 I’ll admit it. Before that trip I prophesized that Hurricane Scott was going to sweep through Freemont Street like the toddler in Disney’s 1992 hit Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. Instead, I sat drunk watching a light-show because my ATM card wouldn’t let me withdraw any more money until the next day (Thank you, Wells Fargo). It was a far cry from the Bringing Down the House-type of affair I had visualized and I ended up more like Nicholas Cage at the end of Leaving Las Vegas (minus the attractive prostitute from The Karate Kid).

 Sure, I had a blast getting drunk and shooting craps with my friends, but was I missing something? Brooke Burke always made it look so sexy and provocative. As far as I could tell, there was nothing sexy about standing in line for three hours at Pure hoping to get in and catch a glimpse of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz.

 Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted to accidentally kill a hooker, sneak her body out of the casino and bury her in the desert. I’m just not into that type of excitement. But is it too much to ask to have some smokin’ hot lady blow on my dice as the entire craps pit cheers me on for 15 minutes of Vegas fame? Seriously, some grandma on the Jersey shore rolled for four hours and 18 minutes last week and I can’t get 15 minutes.

 Where did I go wrong? In Ocean’s Eleven, George Clooney didn’t once have to pull that stunt where you sit down at the casino bar, put $20 a video poker machine, get your free drink and then cash out immediately. Why must I?

So while I refuse to arrogantly boast “that place won’t know what hit it” on my next trip to Sin City, I am still trying to figure out if Vegas even knew I was there the first time. My Hard Rock Café Las Vegas sweatshirt assures me I was.

  1. Matt Shorr permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:28 pm

    You’ve set unrealistic goals. Try bringing, Toledo, OH, to its knees first. Progress to Tunica, MS, then give Vegas another try. I’ll help.

    • Craig Weaver permalink
      June 4, 2009 12:46 am

      Matt, judging by its absence in your response you have gone to Atlantic City. Now there is a town that has been brought to its knees.

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