Wife got an urgent call from her mom who wanted a family meeting.
So the wife had me un-plug, roll out the & polish the 'Vette, and off to Grandmas in Las Vegas we went.
We checked into the Hard Rock hotel, and were hit with an 11% room tax plus a $15 per day resort fee*, plus sales taxes, and on top all that,,, a $9 booking online fee. None you can opt out of.
While the wife was dealing with serious family business, I went dive bar hopping.
No better way to dive bar hop but in the middle of the day. Now that's alcoholism at it's rock bottom.
My first stop was my favorite, the Double Down Saloon, and a few shots of Ass Juice.
I like the Double Down. It has a Garage Band Rocker kinda Vibe.
I got to talking to the bartenders at all the dive bars across the city and their consensus is Vegas' problems have just begun, won't hit bottom for a few more years.
Their takes are Vegas will roll back to the comps, package deal and freebie ways of the gangster days.
Damfino, but it sounds like "HOPE" talking it up with liars poker.
The town is definitely hurting.
Those that do visit, aren't gaming like in years gone by is the story,, hence the "resort fees that are pissing visitors off" some of them added.
Next bar was Frankies Tiki Room.
Frankies is a little awkward to get to. The days of the $9 Vegas cab ride are over. It's $23 plus tip from the Hard Rock.
The cab driver this leg of the trip was a laid off Silicone Valley Electronics Engineer.
"No jobs available,, nothing out there" he told me his story. A sad desperate tale for sure.
I won $22 on the video poker, my drinks were comp'd so with tips all around the trip cost me about 11 bucks.
I love Frankies. The music, the people,, yeah,, shit faced drunk ass heaven.
Then I head out on foot to the shit hole of shit holes,, the Atomic Bar.
Famed for it's customers sitting on the roof and watching the above ground atomic bomb tests back in the 50's. And they have pix of the Rat Pack drinking here too.
Yeah, I roll up on foot.
This bar is so dangerous, ya buzz in,, and pass out.
Here you get "HorseCock sized" Pabst Blue ribbon beers for $1. Of course I buy a round,, and drunks make friends easy,, I'm instantly accepted.
The bartender was a customer that jumped up and took over.
The daytime female bartender was having a meltdown with some guy in the back room.
So,, what the hell, one of the drunks stepped up to the plate.
Ya never go into these place to be amused by the people in bad times, you go in and your really can meet some interesting folk. Many living on a small railroad kinda pension or Social Security that has already been spent for the month, waiting for someone like me to stumble in and buy a round.
That's kinda how most Elks Lodges work.
Those that can buy do so for those that can't.
Like I said, us drunks make friends easy.
They really appreciate it. I always leave with some cool storys in m melon.
He poured me a MEGA hot load of rum and coke. Gezzus,,, murder.
I never thought I'd see Pabst Blue Ribbon again in my lifetime,, but it's all the rage now in the Horsecock cans on top all that.
Next Dive bar was Dino's.
Dinos has really loose Video Poker.
$20 in the machine will get you all the comp'd drinks you can handle,, and you will play for what seems like hours,, if you follow the basic players rules of poker.
Friendly locals, and they always want to know what brings you in. $10 will usually buy a round for the house of something.
16 oz drafts for $2.50, well cocktails maybe $2.75, and they are mega big and strong too.
Then I headed to the Stratosphere Air Bar at the Top.
To me, the Stratosphere is a Dive Hotel, so all it's bars count.
If you walk up to the line for the tower and tell them you're going to the bar, you get in free, and they but you in a separate no line cue, and in a minute or two,, you're at the bar.
Alfredo the bartender is better than any Las Vegas act.
To me, no trip to Vegas is complete with out a few drinks with Alfredo.
A natural, original quick wit and constant sense of humor,, funny as hell. A native of US Virgin islands.
All you do is walk up to any Strat bar, and ask where is Alfredo bartending at?
They will,,, with out batting an eyelash, direct you to where he is.
He is renown. Well,, ahhh,, at least to us drunks on the internet he is.
I was chatting with him when a group of Auzzie Rugby players walked up and bought a round for the whole bar.
One of them pulled out an Auzzie $50 bill and told Alfredo if he could tear or rip it apart, he could have it. Auzzie money is covered in a super thin coat of lexan.
I tried ripping it, NFW.
Well,, I'll be dammed Alfredo ripped it in half,, and true to their words,, he kept it.. the Auzzies bought another round.
All the Auzzies were there for a wedding, and my wife showed up.
They were wingin' the wedding like my wife and I did a few years back, so they were interested where we rented all our wedding cloths.
Wife told them cheaper to buy it at Nordstrom's,, and off they went.
Two hours later they came back slap happy, and all outfitted for the ceremony, and far cheaper and better looking than renting,, and they bought several more rounds for the bar.
Part 2 later on,, heading to the river with softball Jimmy,,,,