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Or how did Rome last so long

THOUGH some happenings probably do stay in Vegas, I suspect the majority wander through the ether of Facebook and Twitter, cell phones and the internet, returning to spouses and significant others, employers and employees, usually at inopportune moments.

Often good friends are more than willing to keep notes, quotes and pictures of your activities. And beware, often they are more than willing to share them.

WHAT EVER HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS is a vague promise at best. And since I never swore an oath or crossed my fingers and “hoped to die” I intend to disclose a few happenings that happened during a recent sojourn to Vegas.

We went to Las Vegas a.k.a Sin City, Glitter Gulch, and Lucky V. to celebrate my brother Jerry’s birthday. Barb and Laurel, Jerry’s then girlfriend and now wife came along probably to keep the brothers Spolter out of trouble.

Barb and I had fun checking in at Caesar’s Palace. Standing next to us Jerry and Laurel began complaining about their room and price and were given a $180 a night discount. Barb and I didn’t complain about anything and got to pay full price.

Our room gave new insight to the fall of the Roman Empire. Our room was not by any stretch “PALATIAL.” The furniture was low-end Good-Will with chips and scratches everywhere. One of the drawers didn’t have a handle. On the carpet and bed spread were suspicious stains. I don’t know what Jerry’s and Laurel’s discounted room looked like but at full room rates there shouldn’t be suspicious stains. The bathroom was nice. Complete with a strategically placed telephone in case you wanted to phone someone while you were strategically placed. I debated giving Jerry and Laurel a call.

We didn’t find out about one feature of our room until we checked out. EXTRA CHARGES & FEES. Okay, actually Barb discovered all our extra charges. Take note: at least at Caesar’s Palace your room is keeping a maternal eye on you.

Perhaps most high school graduates might have been warned by the ominous, but professional two page PRICE LIST atop the mini-bar. With gold stripes down the side – each item is listed in a BRITANNIC BOLD FONT. The prices in light gold almost blending into the gilded stripes down the side of the carte.

I took a picture but I couldn’t find it, so I typed it out. Give it a look and I’ll give you a “pop” quiz. When I was a student I used to detest “POP” quizzes. When I started teaching I found the “POP” quiz had some redeeming value. You’ll find two of them in. Ah, but I Digress.

Oops, Ah, but I DID Digress… Back to the PRICE LIST.




Honey –Roasted Peanuts $13 there were 16 whole peanuts in the bag. Just a little less than a buck a nut. Those are pretty expensive nuts don’t you think?




M & MS PLAIN $13

M & MS PLAIN - They must have used up all the roasted peanuts above. And figured they couldn’t get $26 for the package of peanut M&MS


MINI-SNICKERS CANDY BARS --- Think of left over Halloween candy only smaller. And who came up with the $13 charge?



INTIMACY PACKAGE – This might explain some of the more suspicious stains.


KEURIG COFFEE SET – Some marketing genius gives instant coffee a fancy name so you might forget when a cup of coffee was complimentary.



You might use this if you’d spent $28 on the Intimacy Package.


BOTTLED WATER – They offer this because in the “Palace” the tap water is unpalatable. Though you could have JUICE for a dollar less.




SODA – Isn’t soda mostly water?

And why wasn’t coffee put in with the other beverages?





GREY GOOSE – for $26 you are definitely being goosed. Hop in the elevator, if you can find a $10 table they’re happy to give you a complimentary Grey Goose.


Buyer beware of anything labeled premium.





For a dollar more you might want to live it up. Though I’ve never understood the fascination with Dos Equis, Corona, and Carta Blanca beers. Beer is 90% water and I never drink the water when I go south of San Diego……… Ah, but I digress.





In smaller print than appears below.

Items will be billed automatically upon removal. Movement of items may cause unintentional charges. *

[You are expected to read this as: if you touch anything in the minibar you will be charged and even if you never use the item and if you don’t pick up these extra charges on your hotel bill, don’t whine about it on your way to the airport.]

Use of the refreshment center for personal use or removal of items, will incur a onetime charge of $25. [read this as if you have medications or anything else that needs refrigeration you’ll be ponying up $25.

Refrigerators are available through Housekeeping.

Some items are subject to Nevada State Sales Tax.

Did you notice a subtle change in the tone?

Here’s the “POP” quiz I promised. Though, we’ll keep it simple.

True or False.

1. The folks at Caesar’s Palace are thrilled to have you stay in their palatial accommodations and if their casino ever starts making money they plan to reinstate complimentary coffee. [In the mean time I suggest you bring your own toilet paper, I have a sneaking suspicion they’ll be charging you by the sheet. You’ll stick your credit card into a little slot next to the toilet and minute sheets of toilet paper will pop out of an adjacent slot and be automatically added to you hotel bill. If they run out of paper you can always use their conveniently placed telephone. ]

2. Whereas all employees of Caesar’s Palace will refer to you as their ‘guest’, they're aware you’ll be leaving soon, so don’t get all uppity or you’ll will regret it.

3. #2 also refers to all restaurants, buffets and pool service. Forewarned is forarmed. DO NOT SEND DINNER ITEMS BACK TO THE KITCHEN.

Jerry’s Birthday Continued.

Our agenda included performances on consecutive nights by Cirque de Solei and Elton John. I was still recovering from hip surgery (see Hip Surgery) and ended up spending the afternoon at the pool. If you’re into skimpy bikinis , the pool is the place for you. Skimpy is everywhere. Though some in skimpy should stay in muumuus. Heavy metal, rap, rock n roll music pealed from dozens of speakers lashed to palm trees above my head. This made eavesdropping easy since no one could talk in normal tone. Which again made the ‘Stays in Vega,’ mantra a fallacy.

One level below me two women were shouting above the din.

Woman #1. “Sylvia, he’s depraved. Beyond kinky. I’m thinking about let more than a few of his friends know. Hell, maybe even his boss.”

Woman #2 “Fuck his boss. Rat to his wife!”

Older Couple

“I never believed things stay in a damn confessional, let alone Las Vegas.”

A couple of buff guys enjoying an umbrella drink.

“Yeah, it’ll stay in Vegas,” pointing to his friend. “But you’re going to have a hell of time explaining those finger nails tears across your ass cheeks.”

Bro. Jerry and Laurel joined me on a lounge. I offered to buy a round of drinks but Laurel insisted, “My treat.” Twenty minutes later they returned with Mia Tai’s and a gin-n-tonic. Handing me my G & T, Jerry posed the following question “Hey Tuck, how much would you pay for three cocktails?”

Laurel presented the Mai Tia’s on a small, wicker tray. Each cocktail had a piece of fruit hanging off the lip of the frosted glass. Each cocktail sat beneath a colorful toothpick umbrella. “How much?”

I love Jeopardy. But, here was a question I didn’t have to answer in the form of a question. My mind raced. I knew that inside Caesar’s Palace any gambler could receive free beverages. In fact, anyone gambling in any casino in Vegas….. In fact, if you gambled anywhere on planet Earth you were encouraged to enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages. Studies show that even the stingiest misers will open their wallets and release the entombed moths and bet a twenty or two after a few cocktails.

Laurel and Jerry; actually Jerry was no longer listening. His attention diverted by a cocktail waitress in a skimpy Toga. Ah, sinful skimpiness strikes again. Laurel waited for my response. I took a long, slow draw on my G & T . I would not be hurried. This was a trick question. I thought about the cost of SIXTEEN! HOT ROASTED PEANUTS. $13.??!!

Inhaling, I was about to answer when Barb arrived with an armful of towels. She gave Jerry and Laurel hugs and took the stage, “You’re not going to believe this. I was going to treat us to a pool-side cabana. Do you know what they want for a pool-side cabana?”

I was still trying to figure out what Caesar’s Palace would ask for two pool-side Mai Tai’s and a Gin-n-Tonic.

Shuffling the towels, Barb continued. “Six Hundred and Fifty dollars!”

In my mind the cost of three cocktails just went up.

“Six Hundred and Fifty dollars, can you believe it? I told Fred, it was on his name tag, I didn’t want to rent it for a month! Fred shrugged. He shrugged me. Then he suggested we might like one of those pool-side spongy lounge beds with the big round pillows. How much? I asked. He flashed me a conspiratorial wink. He told me that since it was almost noon he could give us a special rate, three hundred and twenty-five dollars.” Barb sighed, “Anyone want a towel?”

Exiting the fantasy land of brief attire, Jerry accepted a towel “Come on Tuck. How much for three drinks?”

“Three cocktails? Fifty-eight dollars.” Barb said.

Laurel and Jerry stared at her in disbelief. You’ve got to love my Bobbie! Fifty-eight dollars was on the button. I didn’t ask about a tip. Fifty-eight dollars for about $8 worth of alcohol seems exorbitant. Even if you include pool-side skimpiness. I understand that if this casino ever starts to gets back the black they may lower their price for cocktails.

Checking out was supposed to be easy. And it would have been if we, okay Barb hadn’t checked our hotel bill. Not only did we get to pay full price for our room, but we’d been charged for every item we moved in our mini-bar. And either Barb or I must have breathed next to the coffee maker to the tune of $52.

We went to see the concierge. She was very nice. “These little mistakes happen all the time,” she assured us with a laugh and a condescending smile.

“I bet they do,” I laugh with a condescending smile.

We headed for exit of the Palace. Three days in Vegas and I hadn’t made a single bet. I stopped at a crap table. “Best odds you have,” someone told me a while back. I dropped $5 on the come line. The croupier looked at me and tapped my $5 with the hooked end of his wooden stick. I nodded and pointed to myself, ‘yep, that’s my bet.’ He did not smile. He tapped my money again. Harder. I nodded. He held out his rather large arm stopping the next crap shooter from rolling the dice. This time my $5 bill was given a whack. Other heads at the table turned in my direction. I shrugged and in one deft motion the croupier flipped my money into the air and tapped the $500 dollar minimum sign on the table.

I folded my money and left Caesar’s.

Other than a few hiccoughs we’d had a great time. We celebrated my brother’s birthday for two days. Jerry pouted at the brevity of his lionization though he did some roaring. Cirque de Sole and Elton John were incredible.

It would be mean spirited to mention that the Birthday Boy drove up the wrong way --- on a one way ---at the long-term parking lot at San Francisco Airport and for two days illegally charged his electric car on the 8th floor which was closed by a barrier of ORANGE highway cones which actually crush very easily under the weight of a 3,000 pound vehicle. Only a rat would rat out a sibling.

Happy Birthday my brother and happiness always to you and Laurel.

P.S, Another name for Las Vegas is LOST WAGES.

I sent this to the power's-that- be - at Caesar's Palace - I can't wait to refuse their complimentary weekend.


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