As regular readers know, I spent the last week under the shining lights of Sin City itself, Las Vegas. Being a Las Vegas virgin, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d heard the slogans like “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and things like that, yet in my naivety, I just assumed that anyone’s behavior wasn’t that bad. What kind of self respecting people would allow themselves to fall into the trap of Vegas?

First of all, a little background for the uninitiated. If there’s something you shouldn’t be doing, you can find a place for it in Vegas. Smoking is allowed basically everywhere except restaurants. If you’re a non smoker, there will be times you’re absolutely appalled at the gall of people puffing away as they walk through the crowds of families. Alcohol and¬†drunkenness are encouraged, with free drinks for gamblers and discounted drinks for everyone else. Overconsumption is more common in Vegas than your local college frat party.¬†And while prostitution is illegal in Clark County, legal brothels operate just outside the county limits. In reality, a hooker can be delivered to your room faster than a good pizza. You’d also be foolish to believe that strippers aren’t offering clients more than just a lap dance.

It’s amazing what Vegas can do to people. I saw intelligent people play blackjack simply to get free drinks. I saw drunken guys trying in vain to get equally inebriated women to join them for some adult activities. I didn’t watch, but did hear about people dropping a nice sized mortgage payment to ogle naked women.

Granted, I’m probably Vegas’ worst customer. I played both poker and blackjack at the lowest limit tables I could find. I bet a total of 30 dollars on sports. I drank nothing but water while gambling. I had fun gambling, but did it sensibly.

And as I looked around to the people I was gambling with, it seemed like the entire reason why they made the decisions they did was because it wasn’t sensible. The reason why they went too far with their vices was because they were in Vegas. And that’s what you’re supposed to do in Vegas. That’s a pretty powerful brand.

Thanks for your patience with me missing a couple days after getting back. Look for some great posts coming up in the future.

Tell everyone, yo!