Seven Deadly Sins City

18 Oct

Last week I went to Las Vegas on business, and while I love Vegas for what it is, I find that I’m always beyond ready to leave by the end of my trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shopping and the shows and the food, but there are some things about the city that wear on me after being exposed to them for more than a couple of days.

Pregnant women in casinos

There are only a couple of things in life that make me want to actually punch someone in the throat. One of them is Americans who use British accents, and the other is pregnant women who treat their unborn children irresponsibly. While casinos have come a long way with their air filtration systems, it does not negate the fact that there are people smoking in them. Watching women gamble for an extended period of time infuriates me because the air she’s breathing becomes the air her baby is breathing. I get that pregnancy puts a major dent in a person’s party lifestyle, but one would think you’d consider that before letting a sperm karate chop its way into your egg.

Credit: Fotopedia

Writing checks you can’t cash

It’s so easy to spot the person who is gambling their children’s college fund away: sweaty forehead, pacing back and forth, an almost scary sort of nervous energy, and rifling through all of his/her credit cards to see which one isn’t yet maxed out. Even for those who aren’t gambling addicts, the lure of the slot machine is a strong one. You spend most of your time just feeding the machine, and right when you’re about to walk away, you win it all back. There are pawn shops everywhere in Las Vegas, and it’s because people are willing to sell anything on their person just to make a quick buck. While I was at the cashier’s cage breaking a bill, I overheard a woman asking one of the employees if they knew where she could donate plasma for some extra cash.

Credit: Fotopedia

Daddy’s little girl

Something happens to women when they land in Las Vegas. I don’t know if it’s the water (more about that later) or the air, but they’re dying to do things they wouldn’t do back home in whatever landlocked state they flew in from. They get half naked, drink in excess, and proceed to grind against questionable characters who would normally cause them to reach for pepper spray. Look, I’m all for people having a good time, but I think there’s a line between getting a little crazy, and getting so crazy that you’re wondering if that new rash is chafing, or a souvenir from the person you can’t remember bringing back to your room.

I left my heart in San Francisco, but I left my money at the bars in Vegas

Holy shizballs, I’m not kidding you when I say that drinking is expensive in Sin City. I went down to the bar for a nightcap, and bought a Tom Collins (because everyone knows badasses drink them.) I was floored when the price tag for my drink was $15 especially considering I’ve downed more alcohol when taking a swig of cough medicine. The last time I was there on a vacation my bar tab, for one night of fun, was $185. I’m not joking. While it is true that I have a bionic liver, it’s also true that drinking there is a total rip off.

Don’t swallow the Legionnaire’s Disease

The tap water in Las Vegas tastes like sweaty donkey balls bathed in chlorine. This is a nightmare if you’re there on vacation because it truly is undrinkable. According to recent studies, Las Vegas has the third worst tap water rating in the nation, and someone died after drinking tap water at the Luxor. Bottled water will run you about $5 in most casino gift shops, and you need quite a bit of it considering you spend most of your time indoors in the smoke, or outdoors in the heat. Take it from me, save up and buy the bottled stuff because the water running from your hotel room faucet may actually kill you.


Speaking of being thirsty…

I don’t trust a place which averages 60 days of 100+ degree weather, and 86 days of 90+ degree weather. That’s just…stupid.

Credit: Fotopedia

You’ll see things you wish you could unsee

Let me take you back to a time when I was naive, and thought Tom Cruise was normal, and people took care of their bodily functions in restrooms. Fast forward a few years, and I witness a man taking a dump in a trash can about 15 feet away from me. This man was not homeless from what I could tell, but he was clearly intoxicated to the point of pulling down his pants in front of a major intersection, and leaving a piece of himself in a garbage can. He did his business, puked on the curb, and then wandered off down the strip at a gingerly place. I still think about that man, and wonder what he’s done with his life since that moment when he (obviously) hit rock bottom.


I know I’m being super harsh on Vegas, and that’s kind of the point, but I promise it’s not all bad. There is top notch eating there. The shows (especially Cirque du Soleil) are more than worth the price of admission. The shopping is fantastic if you’ve got the money for it. The lights are beautiful at night. There are even good deals on places to drink on the cheap. Just promise me that if you ignore all that I’ve said above, and do decide to go, you’ll leave the fetus at home.

65 Responses to “Seven Deadly Sins City”

  1. Bill Friday 10/21/2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Had I only known that the real experience of Vegas happened in and around trash cans, it could have revolutionized my last vacationing experience, and taught me what I have come to learn. That Vegas is a plumbing-optional town, and what happens in Vegas… really should end up on the internet.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/21/2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Spoken like a man who will eventually take a dump in a trash can!

  2. melissasuewho 10/19/2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I lived there for eight years. It’s much different to live there, by the way. BUT you are absolutely correct about the tap water. Don’t drink it. Nearly all residents have either high-tech filters or spring water delivery service. There’s a reason for that.

    Great blog. I was referred here by Le Clown.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 7:51 pm #

      I was hoping a local would stumble upon this and comment! I’m positive that living there is much different than what we experience as tourists. I’ve actually heard Vegas is a great place to live. I’m glad to know that it wasn’t just me who seriously didn’t appreciate the water there. SERIOUSLY.

      I’m happy to have you here! Any friend of Clown’s is a friend of mine.

      • melissasuewho 10/19/2012 at 8:00 pm #

        I LOVED living there. I rarely went to the strip or other tourist-y places. The city has a great variety of culture, good eats (as you mentioned), and Red Rock Canyon was my backyard. Try going off the beaten path if you ever get the chance. Just take plenty of bottled water. 😉

  3. CleverrealityDerek 10/19/2012 at 11:36 am #

    You have to visit Vegas like your a local and you will have a much much much less expensive blast. I did love your writing style, but Las Vegas is not to be tarnished in any way.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 11:41 am #

      NEVER! You can’t take down Vegas. I think you just have to appreciate it for it is. I love Vegas, only for two or three days at a time.

  4. dockfam 10/19/2012 at 11:27 am #

    what a great post and great timing too – as I’m just getting ready to put up my Vegas trip experience from earlier this week on the blog tomorrow…..I did drink the tap water tho in my hotel room…I never do that but I was parched and didn’t want to walk all the way down to the gift shop to grab a $10 bottle of Aquafina….kind of explains a lot now that I think of it……..I was at the Aria however so I’m sure that I ingested some sort of much more sophisticated and classy parasite (one wearing a top hat and tux).

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 11:40 am #

      I stayed at the Cosmopolitan and drank the tap water there and it was HORRENDOUS. Glad you made it out alive 😉

  5. Love and Lunchmeat 10/19/2012 at 6:58 am #

    As a mother of three young children, I shouldn’t even admit how much I love Vegas. However, we always leave them at home, and I’ve never gone there pregnant. Honestly, what would be the point? All I do there is gamble, sleep late, shop, eat way too much, and drink tequila.

    We always gamble before we hit clubs in order to get lots of “free drinks” before we hit the actual bar. And you definitely need to have a “system” or you’ll go broke. (20/36 Roulette odds, even then you can still end up down if you have a string of bad luck.) Yeah, I like Vegas far more than I should admit, but that’s probably because I’ve never seen anyone shit in a trash can! Images like that are hard to forget.

    And four days later, even I’m ready to be pushed home in a wheelbarrow from all the eating, drinking, and high heels.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:37 pm #

      I think it’s okay to like Vegas, you have to accept it for what it is. It’s sort of like that one friend you grew up with. They complain, they don’t pay you back, they eat all of your food when they come over…but you love them anyway.

  6. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher 10/19/2012 at 6:06 am #

    hee heee – I went to LV when I was 12 and water was stenchy then…it’s got a nice yellow color now…wonderful.

    I wish I could have seen a drunk non-homeless man taking a dump in a garbage – you have all the luck. Did he wipe? I’m very concerned about that.

  7. La La 10/19/2012 at 4:06 am #

    Guess I don’t need to go to Vegas that badly…okay, maybe once. 🙂

  8. Madame Weebles 10/18/2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Yeah, that sounds like the Vegas I know and love. There is seriously something in the air there that makes people insane. It’s as if they become possessed. It’s not just the people who are hooked on the slot machines or maniacs who bet their mortgage money on blackjack. It’s the vast majority of visitors there. Suddenly guys who look like meth heads seem like cool, interesting peeps, guys go apeshit for chicks who look I’d be afraid to brush against accidentally because they look so skanky…. And you’re right about the water—it truly is vile. Still, I loves me some Vegas.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:23 am #

      I think the good thing, for marginally attractive people like myself, is that SOMEONE will end up wanting you in Vegas. Sure, he might be coked out and missing all of his teeth, but it’s something.

      I must say, I love Vegas for tearing up my body over the course of two days and then flying home in a daze.

  9. timmer 10/18/2012 at 8:17 pm #

    God help the pregnant American lady using a British accent…and oh my god, $15 for a drink? I would just laugh and walk away.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:21 am #

      The drink was already in MAH BELLY 😦

      Also, I don’t know that I’m above throat punching a pregnant person. I mean, SHE’S USING A BRITISH ACCENT.

  10. Viciously Sweet 10/18/2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Everything you said about Vegas is the absolute truth! The last story though through me for a loop because I thought you were going to say the man pooping in public was Tom Cruise. I am a little happy it wasn’t him though… but not really convinced at the same time.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:20 am #

      If it had been Tom Cruise…dear lord, I don’t know WHAT I would have done. Come to think of it, the man was on the shorter side…

  11. writerwendyreid 10/18/2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Sounds like you had a good time, minus the “poop n puke” show. I’ve never had the urge to go to vegas, or to even enter a casino. I’m more of a “sure thing” kinda girl. 😉

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:19 am #

      I love playing cards so I’m always initially excited to go and play a few hands, but after losing $20 bucks and watching others lose MUCH more, I’m over it.

      • writerwendyreid 10/19/2012 at 4:28 pm #

        Eons ago, we used to get together sometimes and play Rummoli…we used pennies and it was fun because even if you lost all night you were only out a couple of bucks. That’s as far as I’ve ever gotten “gambling”.

        • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 5:08 pm #

          I love low stakes gambling, especially amongst friends.

  12. The Waiting 10/18/2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Have you ever seen the movie Knocked Up, when Catherine Heigl goes to the club hugely pregnant and the doorman tells her that she shouldn’t be there because it’s bad parenting? That’s also kind of how I feel when I see pregnant people going around acting like they are immune to cigarette smoke and everything. Funny, funny post, Jen!

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:18 am #

      I love that scene, and you’re so right! It’s exactly like that.

  13. Lyssapants 10/18/2012 at 10:46 am #

    I really don’t like Vegas. It’s so fake and I really can’t handle all that flashing (bodily and otherwise) and overstimulation. When I leave, it makes me wanna run into the mountains and just sit. I think I’d only go back when I have enough monies to see a show, cuz I’ve never been able to do that.
    Verdict= way overrated.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:16 am #

      The shows are worth it. Definitely save your pennies and go back for those. Running and sitting in the mountains is EXACTLY how I feel when I leave!

  14. Smaktakula 10/18/2012 at 10:38 am #

    I’m not a fan of Vegas (although I am a fan of this post!) I end up going there once ever couple of years, mostly for concerts (last time, Erasure, next time, the Killers). It’s funny, because I’m a vulgar, crass, superficial guy, but I’m disgusted by the vulgarity, crassness and superficiality of Vegas. I think to truly appreciate Vegas, you have to look at it at 9:00 AM–you see that painted whore without her makeup.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:15 am #

      I’m one of those whores who looks better at about 9:30. Looking at me before 9 is just too much to ask of a person.

  15. Maylin Inked_Labyrinth 10/18/2012 at 9:47 am #

    I’ve never been, don’t really plan on going either unless it’s business related. There has always been some je ne sais quoi about that place I simply don’t trust… Perhaps is the ill, urine like water in the picture ;p

    • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:13 am #

      You’ve never been?! That kinda surprises me! And yeah, if the water in that picture is only a step above the actual stuff.

  16. Carrie Rubin 10/18/2012 at 9:32 am #

    I actually took my 12-year-old son there this past summer (we went for the magic shows–he’s a pretty talented magician), and I was surprised by how much I liked it. Thank goodness with a kid, we were in the hotel room before dark. Based on what you’ve described, that’s a good thing. Of course, we still had to witness the trail of endless T&A cards. That was fun. But luckily I didn’t have to see anyone crap in a trash can. Gross.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:44 am #

      Yeah, the freaks really come out at night. I can’t believe I forgot about the T&A cards! Oh man, you could collect about a hundred of those, easily, in one night.

      Also, that’s awesome that your son is a magician! Even at 30, I’m fascinated by magic.

      • Carrie Rubin 10/18/2012 at 9:48 am #

        Yeah, and it’s not just little kid tricks. He’s really good. Studies the instructional DVDs for hours. He mostly sticks to card tricks, so he comes off as cool, not geeky. 🙂

        • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 12:12 am #

          That’s good! It also means I won’t be losing coins behind my ear if I’m ever around him.

  17. Dani Heart 10/18/2012 at 9:22 am #

    Jen I couldn’t agree more. I have asthma and that last time that we went it was horrible for me. What amazes me still is there is absolutely nowhere for someone who doesn’t smoke to gamble in peace without breathing the cancerous carcinogens that are so thick in the air. Not only did I see pregnant women ((*&&$%%^#$%) but also lots of children being taken through the casinos. Shame! The guy and the trash can is priceless, wonder if he even remembers that he did that? I like the lights too, and the shows and food were awesome. We saw menopause the musical and it was a blast, but I have no desire to ever return. Honestly, it’s not worth my health to throw away my money, and I would never ever ever take a child or worse and infant, or an unborn child to such a place. What the hell is wrong with people?!! (also pretty sad to see someone with an oxygen tank sitting there smoking away and gambling)

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:42 am #

      Oh god, you have asthma? It must have been a NIGHTMARE!

      • Dani Heart 10/18/2012 at 9:51 am #

        It was. We did not spend much time in the Casinos gambling, but just walking through them to see the shows was awful. Noelle and I did gamble one night we found a spot near a vent in a corner where no one was…. sighs.. yeah I won’t be going back.

  18. RFL 10/18/2012 at 8:27 am #

    Oh Vegas, how I miss it. Great post–I cannot believe you saw someone dropping a duece in the trash can. Yeah, I can, but wow.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:41 am #

      It really is one of those things that you barely believe yourself. Years later, I wonder if this is something I just imagined…then the image forms and it’s VERY real.

  19. Stacie Chadwick 10/18/2012 at 7:51 am #

    Oh, how I wish we’d crossed paths in Sin City J&T. You with your $15 Tom Collins, me with about five comped Makers and ginger ales (OK let’s get real: Wild Turkey…the casinos never give out top shelf liquor for free) from my 20 minute/$200 spree at the craps table, and an oxygenated casino’s worth of all-night fun.

    One of my favorite things to do in Vegas is park myself at a blackjack table and grandfather myself in before minimum bets skyrocket, order the previously mentioned Wild Turkey/fake Makers, hope that the former lead singer of A-ha (who’s blowing through his kids’ college funds and just puked in a trashcan outside) sits down next to me (but only after he drinks the chlorinated donkey ball water as a mouth rinse), and make up ridiculous stories (because everyone else is so honest) about how rough life on the streets of Vegas really is. The stories we would spin. It kind of makes me sad to be here without you.

    Great post, as always J&T. I’ll tell that Elvis ventriloquist dude on the street corner in front of my hotel that you say hi.


    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:40 am #

      Oh man, I can’t believe we narrowly missed each other! And no, casinos NEVER give out the good stuff unless you’re forking out a ton of money. I kind of like that people are dishonest in Vegas because, let’s face it, most people’s real lives are sincerely boring. Especially the life of the guy from A-Ha.

    • Miss Snarky Pants 10/19/2012 at 8:31 am #

      I had to get in on this action. Hell, the three of us in Vegas; we’d be like Charlie’s Angels except we wouldn’t be detectives or know anyone named Charlie or fight crime. Well, I might fight crime, but that’s just ’cause I’m actually Chuck Norris…and I’ve taken control of Miss Snarky Pants’ blog. That’s not true either. I work for Chuck Norris and he’s given me permission to take control of Miss Snarky Pants’ blog. So there!

      • Stacie Chadwick 10/19/2012 at 9:00 am #

        Vegas with you two would be a total dream, but not the kind of dream most people have in Vegas. More like Willie Wonka (not Wanker) in full technicolor.

        • Jen and Tonic 10/19/2012 at 9:07 am #

          Ohmigod. The three of us in Vegas is more fun than my brain can process.

        • Miss Snarky Pants 10/19/2012 at 9:13 am #

          Schnozberry wallpaper. That’s all I want.

  20. Fish Out of Water 10/18/2012 at 7:08 am #

    I’ve never been. I used to look at that as a flaw of mine, but now I feel much better about it.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:37 am #

      I’d say it’s worth it just once in your life, but only stay for a few days.

  21. Katy Kern 10/18/2012 at 7:03 am #

    I’ve only been once. I totally agree with you. The smoking is horrible there – it amazed me to see people sit there for hours, smoking, drinking and gambling. I was happy there was no smoking in the restaurants. It seemed the only place you could go to escape the obnoxious fumes.
    I didn’t gamble much there. A) I really don’t know how to play most of the games. B) I like my money to much to just give it away.
    The shows are great. Saw several while there but missed the Circe de Soleil. 😦

    My only other advice – wear sensible shoes. You do a lot of walking their because Vegas makes you walk through entire casinos to get to your destination. My feet were killing me by the end of the trip.

    What was freaky, though, there was no condensation on my beverages. The lack of humidity was just plain odd. haha

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:36 am #

      I used to smoke, but I have never enjoyed sitting in a smoky room. It’s like a kick to the lungs. Also, you’re very right about wearing sensible shoes. Seriously, your feet will KILL you if you didn’t plan ahead. That, or you’ll end up paying $185 for ballet flats at some store in a hotel.

  22. Brigitte 10/18/2012 at 6:36 am #

    Jen, I’ve never been to Vegas because it’s never been a place that’s been high on my list of well, going to. I’ve heard other people describe it the way you have (although not as funny and colorful) but about the “desperate” kind of feel to it and I’d rather not have to worry about my drinking water. I know the hotels are supposed to be grand and all that, but there’s so many other places I’d rather go than Vegas. I went to Reno once and that was enough. Hot, brown and flat is not my top choice for terrain.

    Gross — the guy and the garbage can — really? How drunk do you have to be to do that?

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:34 am #

      Oh god, Reno is even WORSE! Good for a cheap Vegas-like (and I use that term loosely) vacation, but it is one of the most depressing places I’ve ever been to.

  23. El Guapo 10/18/2012 at 6:24 am #

    I believe drunk guy at the end is now a congressman.

  24. Christopher De Voss 10/18/2012 at 6:10 am #

    I agree…but I still love me some Vegas…in short bursts.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/18/2012 at 9:32 am #

      Shorts bursts is KEY. I find that getting really tanked on the first day and leaving by the time you’re fully sober is perfect.


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