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Greasyjohn
Greasyjohn
Joined: Dec 8, 2013
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August 8th, 2015 at 6:02:30 AM permalink
It was the summer of 1976. I went to Vegas with my friend, Daryl. I just talked to Daryl yesterday. His mother is now 93 years old. Daryl and I went to Vegas with his mom and dad several times in the mid- to late 70s and early 80s. Daryl's dad was a studio lighting director, and this allowed the four of us to get front row center seats to Follies Bergere, Jubille and other shows. In the wonderful 1955 movie Not As A Stranger, Daryl's mother can be seen as an extra standing in line when the town has to get inoculated against some virus or infection.

If Daryl's name sounds familiar in this story it's because he and I went to Vegas in 2011 as was mentioned in My $200 Vegas Hooker story.

But in the summer of 1976 we were in Vegas staying comped at the Sands. At the time the Sands was owned by the Howard Hughes empire, Mr. Hughes having just passed away in April of that year.

The hotel had a cylindrical high rise tower and a handful of motel-style buildings arranged in a plush setting of manicured lawns and vegetation along with several pools to choose from. Darly and I shared a room in one of the motel-style rooms on this trip. His parents shared another.

In this room there was a king bed that as I recall sat upon a raised pedestal about 10 inches high. And right above the bed was a one-and-a-half foot drop ceiling that matched the contour of the bed. The room also had a roll-away bed.

So one morning Daryl was laying on the king size bed reading while only wearing his boxer shorts. I had a camera and I decided to take a picture of him in this ribald state. I still have that photo. Well, Daryl decided to take my photo in a similar state of undress and a playful fight ensued for possession of the camera. Daryl was on the king bed and I jumped onto the bed to gain control of the camera. But what I had overlooked was the drop ceiling, the corner of which banged the front of my head about an inch above my hairline.

Down I come and the photo opportunity takes a back seat to a big gash on my head which looked much worse because scalp wounds bleed a lot.

So I go to Sunrise Hospital to get a few stitches and all is well. The bill for this service was $79. Well, I didn't want to pay this bill when it was the drop ceiling of the Sands hotel that injured me. I felt that if I was injured on their property their deep pockets could absorb my small loss even if I was horsing around. And besides, I don't have much compassion for hotel/casinos that lure patrons with alcohol and sin in order to shear their sheep. The casino, with their smooth bloodletting of their casino patrons could treat my injury as an example of their philanthropy, a customer service, a giving back.

So with casinos you take what you can get. Embellish the story? That's for the casino to sift through.

Let's say you have a $79 bet and you're playing blackjack in a casino, the dealer pays you $79 on the hand when you should've lost, and you keep the money you knew you weren't entitled to. Then you just stole it. If you point out the error to give the money back the pit boss may genuinely appreciate your honesty because let's face it, we can all appreciate honesty, but I think in the back of the pit boss's mind and in most pit bosses' minds they'd be thinking, "What's the matter with you?" But if you don't bring up the error, this is a passive example of keeping money you're not entitled to. And you're making a $158 profit because you're not only keeping the winnings but also your $79 bet that would've lost. Mine was an aggressive example of taking something I wasn't entitled to in order to cover my expense by taking half that amount. Is that any worse?

So anyway, I concocted a story and sent a letter to the Sands along with a copy of my bill. In that letter I recounted how I hit my head on the upper frame of the bathroom shower (you did kind of have to stoop in order to get into the tub/shower). The Sands, without admitting fault, but as a goodwill gesture, sent me a check for $79 after I signed a release.

I know these arguments that led to my fleecing the Sands for $79 are baseless and I was just trying to dump my bill on the hotel/casino. It wasn't their responsibility for my high jinks. But I was 22-years-old and had more larceny in my blood than I do now. Hell, as a kid I was a thief, but I outgrew it. But even now I would feel less remorse taking from a hotel/casino than most any other legitimate industry.

Around 1992, four years before the Sands closed, I was staying across the street at the New Frontier. I walked over to the Sands one morning to play their single-deck blackjack game betting $25 to $100 a hand. As so often happens I lost about $500 in 20 minutes. Perhaps I had it coming. Let's just say the $79 check the Sands sent me in 1976 was a comp in advance for my 1992 loss. I can really twist logic if I want to.

That's the only time I played blackjack at the Sands, and my June 1976 trip was the only time I stayed there. After I had my $500 loss a casino host said I could get a tower room comped on a future visit. But I never got around to this offer; there were many places back then where I was comped, only a few nowadays (being a blackjack player in the black doesn't help).

Humor aside, I would not try to get a hotel/casino to pay for my mistakes today. Like I said in a prior post, I have changed for the better
Greasyjohn
Greasyjohn
Joined: Dec 8, 2013
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August 8th, 2015 at 6:58:11 PM permalink
It's an interesting thing how style changes. I have a picture of myself and Daryl during this trip where I'm standing in a leisure suit, or what might be referred to as a pants suit. For those of you too young to appreciate leisure suits, if you can imagine having a pair of jeans or khakis and also a jacket of the exact same material. It's actually a very nice look. In this photo I'm referring to I have on a pair of light blue cotton jeans and a matching jacket in the Ike tradition. I'm surprised that this style isn't appreciated today.

It's funny how styles change. In Vegas 40 years ago most men dressed up and looked sharp. Now, most men go out for the evening dressed the same as ten-year-olds.
TwoFeathersATL
TwoFeathersATL
Joined: May 22, 2013
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August 9th, 2015 at 7:59:03 AM permalink
I like your stories Gj.

And for the record I dress up a little for a casino.
Nothing fancy, black slacks, white dress shirt.
I have noticed most don't bother. That's OK I guess, guess the house feels the same.
Youuuuuu MIGHT be a 'rascal' if.......(nevermind ;-)...2F
Wino
Wino
Joined: Dec 13, 2014
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August 9th, 2015 at 9:29:28 AM permalink
I was like "oooou another story from Greasyjohn." :-)
Wanda Wilcox: “I can’t stand people. I hate them.” Chinaski: “Oh, yeah?” Wanda: “You hate them?” Chinaski: “No, but I seem to feel better when they’re not around.” Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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August 9th, 2015 at 11:53:28 AM permalink
What you did was nothing. Some people
would have gone and collapsed in an
empty elevator and moaned 'attacked'
and 'lawyer' when discovered. No cameras
in casinos in 1976. They would have given
you $500 just to go away.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Greasyjohn
Greasyjohn
Joined: Dec 8, 2013
  • Threads: 134
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August 9th, 2015 at 11:58:21 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

What you did was nothing. Some people
would have gone and collapsed in an
empty elevator and moaned 'attacked'
and 'lawyer' when discovered. No cameras
in casinos in 1976. They would have given
you $500 just to go away.



Now you tell me.
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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August 9th, 2015 at 12:04:10 PM permalink
Quote: Greasyjohn

Now you tell me.



That medical bill wasn't small in 1976.
About $350 in today's money. I was
making $3.50 an hour in 1975.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
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August 9th, 2015 at 2:23:30 PM permalink
Enjoyable story, thank you. I'm going to start tracking down and reading your other ones. to see the pics.
Greasyjohn
Greasyjohn
Joined: Dec 8, 2013
  • Threads: 134
  • Posts: 2174
August 9th, 2015 at 5:12:54 PM permalink
Quote: Wino

I was like "oooou another story from Greasyjohn." :-)



Hi Wino,

Have you read "My 1974 Vegas vacation" ?
Wino
Wino
Joined: Dec 13, 2014
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August 9th, 2015 at 5:40:40 PM permalink
No but thanks.
Wanda Wilcox: “I can’t stand people. I hate them.” Chinaski: “Oh, yeah?” Wanda: “You hate them?” Chinaski: “No, but I seem to feel better when they’re not around.” Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke

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