Rule number one - as I have mentioned. Listen to Liza.
1st Vegas visit highlights. As I can share.
Wear sun block. Drink lots of water. Put chap stick up your nose. Do not wear soft rubber soles on the escalator. Walk outside and you will melt. So will your shoes.
But try telling a Dear what to do - mind you some times telling a Dear anything can be pointless....
So I got sun burnt. My shoes melted on the pavement on the death walk to Circus Circus. ... Are you sure you can make it ... she says. - no but I have to try ....gasp.stagger .... Feebleness ...
So we make it - after I buy a dozen bottles of water and dump it down my neck. I was steaming like a bar harbour muscle. Finally Liza opens the door to the casino.
WHOOOSSEE - ice cold air. My hair freezes.
A gal in front of us said. " OMG it be so cold in here I am gonna get " pee no monoa ! "
Then a wall of smoke - 1990 bar style glues itself to my shoulders. Mmm. This is going to be exactly a Circus.
Circus. Circus. What an inventive name. Like calling a cat cat. Now before I go on-
In my defence - I have never gambled.
Ok. We all gamble. Everyday we take risks. By crossing the street. Trying to park downtown. Flying on planes where the co- pilot and the flight attendant are the same person. We gamble in love and life. But with money? My very own money
I am a teacher. The difference as Liza says between a teacher and a canoe - a canoe tips. So does a pinball machine.
Which circus circus has. And carnival games and cotton candy and more carnival games - it is like old school Lake Ontario park. - on crack not just cracker jacks. So yes it was the most fun ever. And yes I cheated little children and won stuffed things. And yes there is a circus.
Right in the middle. Starring Mr burns and the Romanian cast of Mel's dinner. And perhaps one or two people from Barney Miller. And it is being watched by 200 people who think Miller time is anytime or all the time. In Vegas it is always beer thirty. Or forty or fifty -
"Liza did you just put 50 dollars in that machine? Are you insane? That was -"
" Sit. Play. Do not move from this spot I will be right back. "
Play what? Play with what ? I just looked at the buttons and stared blankly at her.
" OMG. Here. Play max bet. Hit this. Wait. Put your card in. Not there. Here. Like this. "
Noise. So much noise. Lights. Sounds. Dings bings and flashing things. All for 4 bucks. Ohh. 54 dollars. Now I get it.
So off Liza goes. I sit and spin. Which I also did a lot as a kid which may explain a few of my quirks. But I keep getting the lights and flashy things. People come and go beside me. I see that they are only playing minimum bets with only a buck or two.
The cocktail gal comes and goes as well. As does about an hour and a half. I am up. I am down. But I still have money left.
Liza comes back. "We should go now." She says calmly. Pointing to her pocket and smiling.
" Go where? " I am still playing. I ignore her forgetting rule number one and push the button - " Just one more time.
Now remember - this is Ethyl and Myrtles first trip. They were very excited to be in Vegas. And even more excited when we won. I was born to be on the Price is Right. I nearly killed the guy beside me when I jumped up and spun round. Myrtle took out my eye a beer and all of Liza's patience. I was singing along to the sounds and clapping like a Broadway version of the chicken dance. Jackpot!
Liza daringly thrust her hand thru my chest propellers and pushed a button. All the noises stopped. But the numbers didn't. They kept going and going. As did I
"Shut up. Sit down. Then it came. My name with 3 capital L's. You are going to get us killed. - or worse. She grabbed the ticket and the card. "Come with me now."
Then I clued in. She had hundreds and hundreds of bills in her pocket and I had just announced to the universe that we were ready and available for mugging.
"The ticket aren't we going to cash it out?" I quietly asked as she wrapped her arm around my face and dragged me the only bar in the place where you had to pay for drinks. It was of course empty. Except for the bar tender and a huge security guard.
" The genius here just lost her shirt so she will have a grey goose - make that two. "
"27.50". He says. Liza puts down a fifty and says with a diamond eye smile -
I am too ashamed to say anything. So I just drink. And then look back over my shoulder to the casino floor. There were at least a dozen guys pacing back and forth staring at us. Just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting as was I - for another idiot to win so they would go away.
Liza was loving it. I was beyond scared.
"Ok - it's 5 o'clock - get ready to make a scene so I can get the ticket cashed. Do not leave this bar until you see me over there by that door. Do not run." She gave me a wad of bills and that grin. Game on.
Make a scene she said. Right? Ok. How.
Flashback to Flashdance. Or Footloose. Or Coyote really really Ugly. Either way it involved buckets - ice- tequila- juggling-shots - the free pouring kind with the bar tender and I on the bar - coasters stuck on noses and a huge crowd - aha!! Exit!
Liza was at the back door. I stuffed the bills in his shirt pocket and slid my way out of the insanity. I smelled like the floor of a Kentucky prom. But I was alive. More than I had been in years. And as Liza slipped my rubber body into the cab all I could say over and over again - was
" Liza - Liza - I see sparkly things. Lots and lotsa of sparkly things."
And all Liza said. " Not bad for your first day. - next time follow rule number one."