Monday, November 21, 2011

In Which I Meet Mike Tyson and see Drew Carey, and go Clubbing: Hangover Remake Part 1

I’d always heard about the Vegas Buffet but had never actually been in one before until this trip. I had planned for us to visit the Sunday morning breakfast buffet where one can eat all one wants, plus, for an additional $5, as much champagne as possible as well. I assumed that one could also eat as many pancakes, or have as much bacon, or fruit, or toast as one wanted as well at the buffet. Well, I was right about that. It’s just that I hadn’t considered the fact that I could also enjoy an entire turkey dinner (or 3) or a complete roast beef dinner (or 4 or 5) as well as choose from a wide range of Chinese food, Japanese food, salads, soup, dessert, pizza, whatever I wanted (but not necessarily what I needed).  The breakfast pizza was perhaps the most disconcerting. Why would you want breakfast pizza? It seems to me that the only time pizza is good for breakfast is when  you ordered it for dinner the night before and it’s been sitting in the box overnight. ‘Assorted Breakfast Pizzas’ just grossed me out.


This one had scrambled eggs and spinach on it. Another one had bacon and I swear to god what looked like bits of pancake torn up and stuck on it. Yuck. It did however, go with the general feel of the place which I can only describe as a combination of Denny’s and that place your parents used to take you to for brunch when you were a kid where they brought you free Shirley Temples and you ate too much bread. It’s a 5 star hotel that feeds several thousand people every day. Go figure.


And, there’s no spoons on the tables either….

However, despite its shortcomings, we still enjoyed a lengthy meal and chat in the restaurant and had been there for nearly 2 hours when I decided to grab some dessert. I made my way through the throngs and had to pass by the bar where a knot of people were standing in my way. I shouldered through them and as I did so, noticed a women having her photo taken with a dude in a wool hat. “I’m having breakfast with Mike” she twanged in my ear. I turned again and observed that she was, indeed, having her photo taken with Mike Tyson. The next few minutes consisted of the following thoughts and actions:

  1. Holy shit it IS Mike Tyson!
  2. Must not be a spaz
  3. Wow he’s really short
  4. Plan to slowly approach dessert table and calmly select dessert
  5. Holy shit why is it taking me soo long to get back to our table
  6. Charge the dessert table and grab random dessert
  7. Sprint back to table while trying not to
  8. Wonder what he had on his face
  9. Alert entire restaurant to presence of Mike Tyson by banging hands on the table and whisper-yelling “Celebrity Alert!! MIKE TYSON AT THE BAR”
  10. Scramble around wildly at the table looking for paper and pen while my boxer friend Sandy does same.
  11. Spazz our way back to the bar where Mike’s handler is fielding off start struck tourists.
  12. Try to get into position to take picture of Sandy with Mike when Handler intervenes and tells me to “GET IN THE PICTURE TOO”
  13. Hand camera to Handler while following conversation occurs:

Sandy, to Mike Tyson: ‘I’m a boxer’

Me, to Mike Tyson, about my friend Sandy: ‘She’s a Boxer!”

Mike Tyson, to me (with a smile): “I heard dat”

Sandy, to Mike Tyson: ‘But I’m not as good as you’

Mike Tyson: ‘I’m not that good anymore’


You can’t see it in this picture but I’m actually trying to get my hand up between me and Mike to cover my ear…

At this point, the handler moves us on and we calmly and quietly walk back to the table. Not.

The next little while is a black out as I don’t remember much except that we kept freaking out that we had just had our picture with Mike Tyson, looking at the picture, being horrified with myself for looking so star struck, and then wondering who else I can tell that I had just met Mike Tyson. Man if you haven’t seen The Hangover yet, I recommend it as it takes place in Las Vegas and Mike Tyson is in it. It just makes the whole story funnier.

We even accosted a nice man on the pool deck after he took our picture and made him look at the picture of us and Mike. ‘Well, I’ll be darned” he drawled. “You damn well did get your pickchure tak’n with Mike!”


Here we are in our post-Mike euphoria. You will notice we are all wearing celebratory white. No, we were not part of a bridal party, it just seemed like a fun thing to all wear white to Brunch. It was made even more fun by the revelation that Sandy and Joanne both thought that my suggestion to wear white meant that EVERYONE in the buffet would be wearing white, not just us. The story then gets even funnier still when you throw in the Mike factor as that meant that he too would have been wearing white. Then we really would have looked like a bridal party. And that is where it starts to get weird if you think about it too much so lets just leave it there. Alright.

We spent the rest of the day by the pool until it was time to get ready to go for dinner at the MGM Grand before the Drew Carey show. Joanne had made us reservations at Emeril's and we had heard great things about it. We were not disappointed, although it is a bit odd to be able to buy an $10000 bottle of champagne in a place that has a Starbucks beside it and a McDonalds just down the hall. But this is Vegas, Baby! Expect the banal right beside the outrageous and you’ll be fine.

After dinner we navigated the casino labyrinth to the theatre. I had only vaguely heard of Drew Carey but everyone else seemed excited. I was not disappointed. The show was 100% improv and the team he had assembled was absolutely brilliant. They picked on audience members for ideas, then turned those ideas in to games, skits and songs. We laughed and cried from laughing so hard, and then laughed some more. It was a great choice of show, and especially nice to see something so unscripted, and so un-Cirque. I’m pretty sure that Cirque du Soleil is actually taking over LAs Vegas and that there are a bunch of people in a theatre in Dubai or somewhere, all watching a version of the Truman Show in which unsuspecting tourists such as myself are manipulated into entertaining sequences of events in Las Vegas. Like meeting Mike Tyson in the Buffet. Hmmm…

Anyway. I digress.

We left in high spirits and headed back to the Bellagio where we had more tickets to The Bank, a club located in the casino.

Let me just say right here that I have not been to a club in a loooong while. I can't actually remember the last time, although I know it has to have been later than the times when I was 17 and 6’5” Erik Kidd stuck me under his arm and told the bouncer at Luv Affair “she’s with me and we are coming in now”. At least, that’s the last club I remember with any clarity. Having children has deleted any memories since then I guess…

Apparently, however, we did not need Erik Kidd as I am now over 40 and, as such, was placed in the appropriate line at the entrance to the club. I was slightly disconcerted by this but then noticed that everyone was being placed in a line according to demographics so I just went with it.

We also noticed this sign:


Like as in The Industry. Like as in The Entertainment Industry. Yes this meant escorts and dancers and waitresses etc. This was their night! Great! Not only was in the over 40 line, I was going to share the club with a bunch of booty-shaking 20yr olds clad in a couple of ribbons and some saran wrap, by the looks of it.


I briefly considered bolting out the door and back to the room where I would have a cup of tea and do a crossword or maybe some knitting, but it was too late as we were being ushered up the escalator (why walk, this is the USA) and then blam! we were in the thick of it.

The techno was blasting, the place was thick with cleavage, bottles of Grey Goose were everywhere, and the go-go dancers were givin’er up on their platforms.

I couldn't stop watching this one. She was amazing.


But the strange thing was that I was just about the only one who was watching her. There she was, in all her glory, and not much else, dancing up a storm and NOONE was even looking her way! And then I started looking around and noticed that, actually, no one was looking at ANYONE else at all. The entire club was somehow managing to both search intensely through the sea of faces, and completely ignore each other. It was remarkable. In the whole place, I could see only toe or three actual connections where two people were engaging each other. Everyone else had perfected the art of looking right through or past everyone else. Talk about not being able to find what you are looking for. I found it disheartening and alarming and after a while, couldn’t wait to get out.

I will miss the dancer though. She was awesome.


We lost some more money on the way back to our rooms, but it’s worth it for the laughs and occasional shriek of delight.

Another awesome day with the girls in Vegas. Oh and did I mention I met Mike Tyson?

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for my next story in which I blow away a zombie with my Glock 9mil. Yeah BABY!





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