Vegas Baby !

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>


I ran into a very a dear friend. We used to work together pretty closely back in the day, and he is one of the good guys for sure. – He had some great news to share and informed me he was engaged to be married. – I gave him a big hug and hearty handshake, and traded off the usual banter about taking the plunge. It was at this time my friend uttered the words that make every middle-age man shutter. – ” You are coming to my bachelor party aren’t you ?”

Oh the humanity. – Does he know I need about 10 days for a Vegas trip ? – Three days in Sin City, and seven days to recover. – His excitement and plans started rambling at a fever pitch, and I could hear my heart beating quicker with every passing word. I could see myself drinking foo-foo drink with little umbrellas and the banter about strip joints would begin.  –Oh, I’m just too damn old. – I won’t make it.  – I know I can’t do it anymore.  – Does he know how old I am ? – At the end of his tirade of joy I only had one question. –  ” When are we going ?”

I’ve been to Las Vegas more times than the law allows and mainly to play in handicapping contests. Oh, I’ve had some drunken nights in the old town of lights. But going for a day’s long party would be my first. – He said “I have a connection from work and our rooms are all taken care of.” – Nice to have friends in high places, my connections could get us an 88-cent shrimp cocktail after 2:00 a.m. – I started thinking as he was selling the idea of spending the days in the race book playing horses, and doing the town at night. ” Hell, doing the town for me was getting a bite and going back to the room to handicap for the next day.”

Finally I had to man up. It was harder than I thought, and after swallowing my pride I had to break the news. ” I don’t think I can make the trip my man.” – He started rambling off dates and how much fun it would be. “C’mon, man. You have to be there. I’ll pay for your flight.” – As good as it sounded and as happy as I am for my friend. Common sense had to take over and speak for me. – I love Las Vegas. I like to get up early and have a quick bite, and find myself the perfect seat in the race book. I’m close to the windows, can see the TV’s, and the sports odds board is a stone’s throw away. – I have all of my E-Z Win Form data printed out from the 24-hour business center, and I only get up to bet and find the gentleman’s room. Waitress service brings drinks and lunch from the deli, and tip money in a stack of $1 bills fills my top pocket. – I’ll watch the New York signal starting at 9:30 a.m., and work my way across the nation as the day rolls on. I’ll look for my spot plays as the E-Z Win’s have bailed me out on at least three trips. – There will be an occasional sports bet, a token bet on dog racing, and at the end of the long day I’ll be watching Jai Alai from anywhere they play. – Now that sounds like the Las Vegas I know and love. – I can’t see myself sitting in some club with middle-age dudes drinking bottles of watered down champagne when I could be sitting in my cushy seat enjoying life in the book.

At the end of our conversation he looked at me and said, “I understand my man. Four other guys pretty much said the same thing.” – I was off the hook and could still be happy for my pal. – My trips to Las Vegas are a trip to the holy land of gambling, not going to the clubs trying to relive my twenties. Come to think of it, I didn’t even do that back in the day. – I’m a guy who loves the lights, the sights, and one-of-a-kind atmosphere. But my plans are centered around finding that perfect seat and playing the ponies. It’s not for everybody, but neither is acting out a part in a cheesy Vegas movie. – I can’t wait to make my next trip, and even though I have no schedule. It will be there when I make the flight. The ten day rule still applies. Three marathon days in the race book, and seven days to rest up at home.