Amateur Weekend in Vegas

This weekend I am going to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, and there is a good chance I won’t have any fun.

For one thing, the groom’s dad is coming along, and it’s not like he’s Al Goldstein. So we’ll all be dressed up in suits, as dictated by “Swingers” (1996), and will feel compelled to smoke cigars, eat steaks, and drink Scotch like we’re in “Mad Men” (2007).

We will spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars doing this.

And we’d have more fun sitting in someone’s living room in Tarzana watching “Terminator 2.”

Prior to my involvement in the various jobs that would take me to Las Vegas for work (mostly porn, entertainment, and technology, because I don’t write for any mining magazines) I visited Las Vegas once for a wedding at the Paris. My friend S. married a woman who would later cheat on him with a touring member of the band Ratt.

As this woman danced with her father to the song “Butterfly Kisses,” we at the head table (minus S.) made predictions about when, not if, the marriage would end. I was off by four years because it happened in two.

If a grown woman dances with her father to “Butterfly Kisses,” it is either a supreme affectation or the lingering shadow of a creepy, creepy time they spent together.

Then I began working for AVN and, in 2003, attended my first Adult Entertainment Expo and AVN Awards. Were I to have fathered a child during that chilly week in January, I would have had to have told him that only he, and not the Expo, would live to see 2011.

But thus began my next several years of visiting Las Vegas for work; jobs that mixed business with a sort of decadence that had to be tethered to “reporting” in order to be valid.

For example, several of the following are true:

1. The editor of a magazine paid me in hookers for an article (though I could have used the $750 a lot more)
2. The publisher of another magazine sent two Best New Starlet nominees (I won’t say for which awards show) to my room
3. A potential client, seeing how I liked the sharks in the Mirage’s Shark Reef exhibit, had their heads stuffed and mounted as a gift
4. Ditto the head of the woman who played the Yoko character in Cirque Du Soleil’s “Love,” also at the Mirage
5. I was given free lap dances, dinners, and drinks at strip clubs, in exchange for mentions on my various websites
6. I was taken by limousine and flown by helicopter to brothels that look like a shittier Abu Ghraib from the outside
7. I was comped a penthouse at the Venetian, was delivered a box of Cuban Montecristos, and got a free shoeshine
8. The woman who would win Best New Starlet a year later blew me, I found out, thinking that I was someone else
9. It only took $14 for me to determine that the three margaritas I had with an exceptional steak dinner at the Ellis Island Casino were lousy
10. A contract star and I did cocaine off her actual contract
11. In a North Vegas kitchen, I watched a woman shoot darts out of her ass

How can this weekend compete? Aside from numbers 9 and 11, there will be no opportunity for any of those things to happen.

The last time I was in Vegas I was covering the XBiz Summer Forum, and one of the managers of the Daniloff cigar chain, as well as several prostitutes and bartenders, told me that President Obama’s February, 2009 warning to greedy Wall Street players really hurt business.

“I’d say I’m down 40 percent from last year,” a bartender told me. “Obama shouldn’t have slammed Vegas; his Majority Leader (Harry Reid) is from here.”

Regardless, I have only had a good time in Las Vegas while working; all I’m going to be thinking about this weekend is how many deadlines I have and the money hemorrhage this weekend represents.

I can’t help but think of Henry Hill after he went into the Witness Protection Program in Wiseguy/”Goodfellas”:

Today everything is different. There’s no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get decent food. After I got here I ordered spaghetti with marinara sauce…and I got egg noodles with ketchup. I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

Maybe I should pitch this as an article to Westways.

About Gram the Man 4399 Articles
Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist

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