Yet again I feel a bit rough in the morning. I’m struggling to shake the cold but at least I’ve avoided a hangover. We walk nearly the whole length of the strip to find somewhere for breakfast, but it’s nothing but greasy fry-ups. In the end, we grab a taxi back to the hotel and visit Hooters, which is next door to the Tropicana and it keeps Max’s Vegas experience well on track after his early night: We walk into the famous restaurant and we’re served by someone with enormous breasts. His name is Bryan…
After a belly-busting meal, we decide to return to the hotel for a bit of a recharge. It’s exactly what I need and refreshes me for the next session, which starts at ‘New York, New York’, the enormous complex which sits behind the replica Statue of Liberty. Mark is at a poker tournament while Max and I drink some tasty ales. He bets on random things happening around us, and as the beers go down, I slowly hand him dollar after dollar.
Tomorrow is our final night in Vegas, so I decide to do my photography tonight. I walk most of the length of the strip, spending most of my time around Bellagio and the fountain show. I’m pretty much the only one there, but it’s more a show for video than photography, so I don’t hang around too long.
I call Mark at the hotel and he has been knocked out of the tournament by a lucky hand, so he’s back at the Bellagio with Max playing more Pai Gow. A taxi drops me off and I take my place at the table, with the boys to my left and with a rather chatty elderly lady to my right. Dotty is from Kentucky, and it sounds like she’s a relatively wealthy and well-travelled American who enjoys regular visits to Vegas. However, from the moment I sit down, I understand why the M&Ms are in hysterics. She’s completely potty and can’t go five seconds without talking. All of her banter is teasing other people, but the majority of it is downright racist, and she says it in such a blasse fashion that makes it impossible to know how best to react.
She decides that Mark, Max and I each have very hairy elements about us. By joining my eyebrows, Max’s thick head of hair and Mark’s long arm-hair (“Is that real hair or is your arm tattooed?”), she thinks that we’d be the hairiest person in the world! Tommy, the dealer from Hong Kong, has a terrible perm and Dotty is quite blunt about telling him he was ripped off when paying for it, and that those “bloody Asians” are taking over the world and that “we Caucasians need to watch out”!
I actually get lucky tonight, and end up about 40% up, as Dotty downs whisky after whisky. As we leave, she asks to swap email addresses and asks if we’re ever likely to visit Kentucky. We each stare at each other before replying in unison: “No. Not really!”
We join the taxi queue, and see that the Bellagio employee that opens the taxi door for passengers gets a dollar every 30 seconds or so. That’s not a bad income! We head to Hooters (surely we can’t get Bryan again…) but this time it’s Mark’s turn to bail since he has been getting the free drinks for about 10 hours now. Max and I devour some chicken wings and a couple of burgers, and decide to call it a night ahead of tomorrow’s big one.