The alarm clock is buzzing in my ear.
The sun is peeking in through the black-out curtains, I look at the clock and it’s 7 am. What ass hole sets an alarm for 7 am in Vegas? I fumble slapping the top of the clock trying to make it stop until I finally lose my patience and toss it across the room, but it’s still going off. I hoist myself out of bed as the world swirls around me from my lingering hangover. As I become more conscious of my surroundings I realize it’s my phone’s alarm clock…Whoops.
I turn my phone off and manage to get a few more winks in until about 11. My phones ringing and I seriously consider throwing it out the window this time. I pick it up and groggily say, “Hello?” to which my peppy and super positive sounding ray of sunshine besty pipes up, “GOOD MORNING GIGGLES! How did you sleep?”
I pull the phone away from my ear and look at it turning down the volume, “Oh god, why are you yelling? Do you hate me?”
“GET UP! YOU’RE IN VEGAS!! Have you eaten?”
I had missed the hotel breakfast and I was in some serious need of something carb-y, greasy, and cheesy. I tell her no and we agree on a restaurant nearby that has burgers. I arrive at the restaurant a minute before they do and go in to get a table. I’m wearing my sunglasses with my hair a mess with no plan of removing the sunglasses or fixing my hair.
Shawna and Garret both show up and sit across from me, “Oh honey. You look miserable” Shawna sympathizes.
“I just need some food and I’ll be fine. I’m never drinking again.” I lament.
“So how are you going to drink with Adam?” Shawna asked.
“Who’s that?” my face contorted confused why she was asking me like I knew this person.
“Haha very funny,” she said. My face didn’t change its expression, “Wait…are you not kidding do you not remember him?” I still look befuddled.
“…You met him last night, it’s Garret’s boss” Shawna’s face is in shock, “You hugged him and told him he was your new best friend and that you could keep up drinking with him. We’re all supposed to go out tonight…”
I’m shocked by this information, “No-I-did-not.” I say, mouth agape from surprise.
“Yes you did,” She persists, “He’s picking us up after lunch and he’s giving us a tour of Vegas and taking us to the gay bar, Champagne. Then we’re all going to go to Tina and Tony’s Wedding.”
I take a second to process this information. I say ok and ask questions trying to remember meeting him on the escalators at my hotel. We finish our lunch and pay our tab and they give Adam a call that we’re done. Adam picks us up on the corner at a crosswalk and we all pile in his rented car trying to escape the Vegas heat.
“Hey Buddy, good to see you again.” Adam mocks seeing I’m clearly still hungover.
“He doesn’t even remember meeting you!” Shawna tattles on me.
“Really? You didn’t seem blacked out? You don’t remember me? You hugged me and told me I was your spirit animal.”
I give a sheepish grin and drop my eyes in embarrassment, “Sorry?” I offer up.
“No worries, buddy we all have had nights like that, maybe you’ll be able to keep up with me after all.” He jokes.
He gives us the 50 cent tour and we end up at Champagne Café. The parking lots empty with weeds growing out of the cracks in the asphalt and the bar is off separated from the strip and other businesses. It looked abandoned truth be told, and I’m not the only one that thought so.
“It doesn’t look like much now, but trust me…around 9 or 10 this place will be packed,” Adam says nonchalantly.
We make our way into the red velvet-walled bar. Upon entering it’s a scene straight out the Wild West movie. We open the door and the sunlight pierces the surprisingly dark and dimly lit bar that has no windows to the outside. There are only 2 or 3 patrons in the bar plus the bartender and all of them turned and stared at us. Their eyes are narrow slits of piercing daggers questioning who we were and what we wanted.
Once the door safely closed behind us and the bar went back to being dimly lit, everyone turned back to their drinks and back to ignoring us. Adam walks up to the bar and throws down his credit card and buys us all a round of drinks. In fact, I think he bought ALL the drinks while we were there. We discuss the upcoming plans for the night and after 2 or 3 drinks (I’ve kept up so far) decide it’s time to head back to the hotels to get cleaned up and ready for Tina and Tony’s Wedding.
Later that night:
We all reconvene down in the lobby of my hotel and Adam has a lady with him. He introduces her as Kelly and I say, “Hi Kelly, I’m Zak” she smiles and laughs and says, “Yeah Adam mentioned you didn’t remember last night. We met on the escalators when you met Adam.” We instantly became old friends.
We get into the show and Adam immediately orders us all a drink (I was drinking Long Islands that night) and we wait for the show to begin. If you don’t know what Tina and Tony’s wedding is, it’s basically like a Jersey Shore Wedding that’s an interactive play. The show began with the bridesmaid and her boyfriend getting in a fight, the dad, and his new much younger wife, and the mom is a grade A bitch to everyone.
I clearly am an easy target for women in Vegas being 6’4 because after her ‘breakup’ the bridesmaid starts drama by looking for a rebound date to make her boyfriend jealous. Guess who that rebound was….YEP! Me…
So she slides up to the table and tells me I’m really sexy and this that and everything else. Her boyfriend comes over and yells at her and puts me down calling me ‘gawbage’. The father walks by and sees the bridesmaid and I talking and says something I can’t remember, I feel like it had to do with basically calling me a slut. She asks me to dance, and frankly if you haven’t seen me dance than consider yourself lucky. I have zero rhythm for any kind of dancing WHATSOEVER. She and I fumble our way through my terrible rhythm (at least the alcohol made me confident). Then her boyfriend makes an appearance and we get into this dance-off between him and a nun as partners and her and me as partners. We were trying to make them jealous by dirty dancing.
She starts with putting my hand on her back and then he does the same to the nun pulling her closer. She then slides my hand onto her butt, having me pull her closer. He slides his onto the nun’s (who is also an actor) and she gives him a look and slides it back up to her back. I then take over the situation and put both my hands on her butt and he’s forced to dance in a less sexual manner with the nun.
Now, by this point, I’m on my 2nd or even my 3rd long island, so I whisper in her ear to follow my lead. I grab her ass again and hoist her up around my bean stalk body and she wraps her legs around me. She breaks character laughing in my ear and saying, “I’m not sure my dress can handle this.”
Her boyfriend attempts to grab the nun like I just grabbed the bridesmaid and she pretends to be disgusted and slap him and storms off. Her boyfriend leaves embarrassed and then the bridesmaid goes running after him leaving me alone on the dance floor. Just as she leaves though the gay cousin of the family ballroom waltz in outta nowhere and swoops me up ballroom waltzing around the dance floor. We continue waltzing for about 15 seconds before the music ends and he strategically waltzed me in front of the stage. As he sashays away someone from behind grabs my shoulder pulling me back up on a stage. I remember being pissed because they ruined my perfectly faux-hawked hair by shoving a cowboy hat on me.
The next thing I know YMCA starts playing and spotlights are shown on me and the other dancers. I was too in the moment to pay attention to who the others were. I assumed other patrons like me. Turns out they were actors and I was one of the only patrons on stage. I had a shorter but much buffer sexier actor next to me and I see him strip off his shirt and throws it over his head. In my drunken haze, I was not about to be upstaged just because he’s got pecks. So I start unbuttoning my shirt and yank it off and lasso whip it around my head and through it into the crowd. Everyone is hooting and hollering for us and the song ends and the same invisible hands yank off the hat and pat me on the back guiding me off the stage.
I jump off the stage find my shirt and walk to my table where my friends and several other people behind our table were clapping and cheering me on. A guy behind our table walks around and shakes my hand as I sit and congratulates me saying, “That was great man!”
The father of the bride walks by and with an Archie, Bunker accent says, “Christ first yawh wit a wooman, then yawh wit a guy. Yaw need to make up yawh mind and stawp ruining relationships.” And then the mother walks by after him and gives me a nasty look and with a straight Jersey accent saying, “Yaw need to keep yaw shirt on, yaw terrible. Yaw ruining my dawghters wedding.”
The rest of the show was pretty unmemorable, mostly because I was 3 or 4 long islands in. Also, they didn’t have me in the second half of it. So, anyways, we head home and I’m already pretty drunk by this point. I get up to my room and pop one of those famous Ambien’s I’ve talked about and started getting ready for bed. I get a text right as I’m brushing my teeth saying, “Hey we’re all meeting at the Dueling Piano Bar in your hotel. Come down.” So forgetting I just took an Ambien I figure why not. I planned to go down have a drink and be up to bed in 45 minutes. I throw my clothes back on and head down.
I show up downstairs to find the table and to my surprise, Adam had already ordered me a Long Island. I start drinking it I only have about 20 minutes of my memory left. Just long enough for Nik (See part 1 if you don’t know Nik.) to make an appearance as we get called up on stage for the dueling pianos with Kelly.
Our group of friends had told the dueling pianos that we were celebrating our divorce. I don’t remember the exact exchange of words between the piano man and us, but it was something about our made up kids. I’m almost positive that no one in the bar believed we were actually married or had kids, but no one said a word.
While we were being serenaded by the piano men, in my Ambien alcohol-fueled mind I thought ‘since taking my shirt off went SOOO well at Tina and Tony’s wedding I should do it here too!’ Kelly was a total sport about it and Adam yells “WOOOOOO” from the back but everyone else in the bar was more than confused as to why I thought that would be a good idea. After the song and what felt like an eternity, we finally return to our table and the last thing I remember of the night is the Piano Man saying, “Two words for you Zak, push ups”…
Don’t worry the story doesn’t end there.
Vodka Zak (as he’s now known by friends) continues to take a few blurry pictures of the night at the piano bar and at some point wanders away from my friends for about an hour. To this day no one, including myself, knows where I went for an hour. All I have is a brief drunken voicemail to my coworker, Jen.
“JEEENNNNNN!!!!! It’s Zak! I miss you! I’m in Vegas! YOU SHOULD COME! I’m just outside a club right now! I don’t know what my name is but I think it’s Nik! I LOVE YOU!!! SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!” slurred pretty drunkenly
The next brief flashes of memory I have is waking up in the shower, with it running, with the tub filling up with water and Caesar salad floating around in the tub with me. The shower curtain rod and shower curtain are on the floor. I somehow manage to turn the shower off and roll out of the tub as it drains lying on the bathroom floor wet, as my consciousness fades out again.
The next morning I awake in my own bed covered up probably around 9 in the morning I’m still drunk so I feel great. I lay there checking my phone trying to recall the last thing I remember from the night. I look at my hotel room and it’s not trashed like in The Hangover, phew. I throw the covers back in the plans to go down and grab breakfast before they stop serving again. I sit up having my hotel room starts swirling around me again from the drunkenness and the soon to be hangover.
I start feeling nauseous so I decide to go puke before I put clothes on and go down stairs. I put my feet on the ground and stand about 3/4ths of the way up before this excruciating searing pain shoots up my leg from the bottom of my foot causing me to fall back on the bed recoiling in pain. I start noticing my surroundings and realize there is blood all over my sheets. I carefully adjust my butt on the edge of the bed and carefully pull my foot up on my knee to take a look. I had a HUGE DEEP GASH across the arch of my foot in the shape of a crescent moon. I quickly access the rest of my body for any more deep cuts and find an additional one on my calf in a straight line. Both had managed to scab while I slept and were no longer bleeding but they were still very painful.
I hobble into the bathroom to get toilet paper when I see the disaster that is my hotel bathroom…It’s still in shambles from the night before. I get the shower rod and curtain back up in the shower and that’s when I noticed the shattered glass next to the sink. I get everything cleaned up when there’s a knock on my door.
I look through the peephole and see Shawna’s mom standing there and I let her in. She sees me hobbling around my room and then the blood on the sheets and asked if I’m missing a kidney. I laugh and show her the bottom of my foot and she gasps, “Oh that looks painful, you should go to the ER” and I, being a big burly man (Let’s all laugh together at that statement), say, “No no I’m fine, I’ll wait and go when I get home. Do you have a bandaid?”
“I don’t honey, but a band-aid is not gonna hold that you’ll need gauze and tape for that.”
“What are the odds you think that they have that at the front desk?” I ask,
“Not good.” She says.
She helps me jerry rig a makeshift bandage using toilet paper to mummify my foot in 1 ply. I carefully get my shoes on and hobble out to her car. She takes me to the nearest pharmacy and runs in for me to get gauze and tape and antibacterial goop stuff.
We get to my bestys hotel and while the bride to be is getting ready for her bachelorette party, her mom helps me properly wrap my foot since I was mostly too hungover at that point to do much of anything on my own. I ended up getting suited up to go out with the boys even though I had been puking all day and couldn’t keep anything down. I made it as far as the restaurant for dinner and while the guys ordered Steaks, I ordered crackers and water. They all looked at me as if I committed sacrilege. Adams the first to say something, “Hey buddy, how ya doin’? You gonna be able to make without any food in your belly tonight?”
I’m sweating bullets trying to keep the water I just drank down. I go to respond but I feel the stomach bile coming back up and I hold up one finger and run (as best I can with my foot) to the bathroom. Upon returning to the table having sweat through my shirt and just dry heaved for 5 minutes, I make the call not to ruin the night for the groom or groomsmen. I announce that I will be leaving and returning to the hotel. I leave them with these final words of wisdom from the Hangover, “Guys, what happens in Vegas…Stays in Vegas…Except for herpes. That shit will come back with you.”
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