Part 8: Encounter with a "Lady of the Night"

We were all pretty worn out by this time and, despite some brief discussion of going to a club or elsewhere, we headed back to Mandalay for some more leisurely drinking and gambling. Somewhere along the way we stopped at MGM's casino again for some gambling. Martha, Dan and I played some roulette as the others headed back to Mandalay. I actually started doing fairly well so I bid adieu to Martha and Dan and was flying solo for a bit--just a man and his chips. I ended up ahead by about $150 and got the heck out of Dodge. Needless to say, all of it was gone later that night, but I did save a memento of my MGM winnings--an incredible $1 chip.

I arrived back at Mandalay Bay and met up with the group at this crazy Russian bar guarded by a headless statue of Lenin. I think he cut his own head off because of the price of drinks at this place. The "Sputnik" went for about $48. Ever-conscious of my cash flow, I ordered a Tangueray& Tonic for the relative bargain price of $11.50. Both Martha and Jamie had to leave at different times that night; at this point, Martha had her bags packed and stopped for a drink at "Lenin's" before departing. Our first casualty.

A sad memento
Where everybody knows your name...

After we left the club and were navigating our way through the casino floor, I saw Dan eyeing the craps tables. He finally seemed ready to take the plunge and lose his bankroll. Having been trained by his dark lord Darth Madden, Dan looked intent on shooting some dice and taking the table by storm. He seemed to be doing alright for the first half-hour or so. I'm not sure if he was ahead or behind by much, but he seemed to be enjoying himself as we looked on.

Meanwhile, Ross suddenly materialized with an oversized Miller Lite he took obvious delight in calling a "Tall Boy." Inexplicably, but entirely appropriate, he had a stuffed squirrel in his hands as well. All this is much funnier if you know Ross. He had that mischievous look in his eye, and when juxtaposed with a "Tall Boy," it makes for instant hilarity. Jenna, at this point, had met up with a couple of friends and seemed eager to hit another club. Steve, Lindsey, Jamie, Andy, Courtney, and Ross were beat by that point and headed back up to the room, but not before making another Cheetos run. Andy and I stayed to protect Dan after his inevitable bankruptcy and Jenna went off with the two guys into the Vegas night.

Dan was doing okay when we refocused on him at the craps table, and was soon joined by this older guy who looked like he came to Vegas at least three times a month. One of those old, married guys who lives in Del Boca Vista and wears polyester pants and ill-fitting polo shirts. He caught Dan's attention as he came up to the table and intimated that Dan was in his spot. Dan happily moved aside for the guy, which seemed to pay off, as the guy proceeded to enlighten Dan with his years of gambling wisdom. It also didn't hurt that he kept giving Dan some chips off his stack. Before long, it looked like Dan was ahead and loving every minute of his newfound success.

A short while later, the older gentlemen (who I'll call Morty Finkel, for purposes of my own amusement) was joined by his "companion," a young 20-something who turned heads as she walked up to the table. Now, call me crazy, but I'm guessing old Morty isn't married to a 25-year old blonde that wears short skirts in the middle of a Vegas casino. Morty's "lady of the night" seemed to be taking the place of his wife, who was probably at home in Florida knitting. Good for you, Morty.

I eventually retired from viewing Dan's activities and rejoined the group back at the room, where everyone was worn out by this point. Another Cheeto/beer run had occurred and we pretty much just chilled out for the rest of the night, watching some crazy TV show about a village full of ill-tempered bears. I think we were all a bit worried that Jenna had gone off alone, but she came back later on and regaled us with her voyage to the top of the "high-class" tower of Mandalay Bay, atop which sits the Four Seasons. She had gone to a club at the top, with a $20 cover charge and drink prices that made Lenin's look like Riley's. Sometime in the dead of night, Jamie also left us, bringing to an end her short stay in Vegas with us. Two of us gone now...

It was a sleepless night, fraught with tension as I had recurring nightmares of being taken captive by a village of bears.

Four Seasons atop the 2nd Mandalay tower

Seemingly safe in their beds...

...when a bear comes out of nowhere!!!