LETTERS TO THE DUDEFEST FORUM
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Trouble in Vegas
Pete Hall
September 03, 2014

Dear Dudefest Forum,

 

If you know exactly one thing about me, it's likely the fact that I play Ultimate. Ultimate is the sport that you probably call Ultimate Frisbee, but since Frisbee is a brand name owned by Wham-O (and they actually make the shittiest discs), we just call it Ultimate now. I started playing it competitively my freshman year of college, about six years ago. I bring this up because there is a tournament called Trouble in Vegas that promises those two things, and had been my goal to attend since I was 18, when I first heard about it. Another important fact about Ultimate is that it is almost exclusively played in tournament format on weekends. At most of those tournaments, there is a huge party on Saturday night, which all of the teams attend. Trouble in Vegas, being one of the biggest tournaments and also in Vegas, is no different.

 

I happened to be living in Lake Tahoe during the spring of 2013, and a group of people I played with in nearby Reno were sending a team to Trouble in Vegas. Plane tickets from Reno to Las Vegas cost about 60 bucks, and there are usually at least ten flights a day. Basically, it was the most perfect situation for me, so I immediately bought a ticket. Unfortunately, I also immediately broke my leg, because I am an idiot and not a particularly good skier.

 

Instead of canceling my trip, I decided to go to Vegas and get into my own trouble, without actually playing any Ultimate. I met up with the team I had played on in Phoenix the year before, and within twenty minutes of hobbling off the plane began drinking heavily. We met up at their hotel room where I unilaterally decided I was going to crash on the floor and not pay anything.

 

I would like to digress for a moment and inform the reader that this is not a "How I got laid in Vegas" story. It is also not a "How I blew it and didn't get laid" story, even though I have many of those. It is simply a story about trouble, in Vegas, and a good portion of it had to be pieced together from stories I was told the next day. Classic Vegas!

 

Since my leg was broken, I was wearing a walking boot. I didn't let it stop me from going to the tournament party Saturday night, which happened to be taking place on a rooftop at a club. Or a bar. Or a casino. I'm not sure, because all of those places are merged together in Vegas anyway, and I had started drinking immediately upon waking up on Saturday morning in order to maintain my buzz from Friday night. Either way, it was a rooftop party and I somehow managed to hold myself together and hide how absolutely obliterated I was.

 

Or so I thought. During what I thought was mid-conversation or possibly mid-sweet dance move but was most likely mid-fall over and spill a drink on myself because one working leg plus too much booze equals huge disaster, a bouncer grabbed me. I tried to explain to him that I wasn't that drunk, I was just stumbling because of the weird awkward boot I was wearing, but what came out of my mouth was the word, "Flurhgoom." Which I think may be Swedish for "pair of socks," but like, a fancy pair you would only wear to a funeral. We don't really have a word for it.

 

The bouncer was not convinced I was bilingual and led me over to a staircase. I stumbled down it and at the bottom he cut off my wristband that gave me access to the party. Shocked, I tried to tell him that all my friends were still up there, and so was literally every person I knew in the state of Nevada. His response was, "Okay." And then he left, obviously not giving a shit about my too-drunk-for-a-Vegas-bar dilemma. Which I didn't even know was possible, but you learn something new every day.

 

I refused to leave until somebody called me a taxi, but then I also refused to pay for it because I was drunk, belligerent, and pissed that I got kicked out. Also, poor. Things get hazy here, but I somehow ended up in the back seat of some random people's party bus that they had rented out for what I assume was a bachelor party. I had a plastic yard glass in my hand and to this day I have no idea where it came from. On the way to our destination (strip club, naturally), the bachelor (again, I assume) proposed a toast. It went something like, "To the best night ever. We're all together, we're in Vegas... that guy's here." I raised my glass to the party and we all drank.

 

Going into the strip club, I finally realized how shitfaced and irresponsible I was. I decided that it was finally time to go back to the hotel, and I was thankful that I had grabbed a keycard before we left. I asked the bouncer to call me a taxi, and then I again refused to get into it unless the driver promised me a free ride. Since that is not a thing that taxi drivers do (on purpose), I decided I was going to hitchhike back to the hotel, or, failing that, walk. Six miles. With a broken leg. In an unfamiliar city.

 

The next memory I have is walking next to the interstate and then tumbling down a hill to the surface street below. There was also a fence I had to scale to get all the way down to street level, an act that was more of a "throw myself over" than a "scale." Defeated, I sat next to the road with my thumb out waiting for a ride. Since nobody in Las Vegas picks up hitchhikers, I got absolutely nowhere. I finally sucked it up and hailed the next available cab that drove by and got in. He drove me to my hotel and I got up to the room without incident.

 

Oh, wait, no. It was the opposite: with several incidents. Leaving the cab (and paying for it this time) I realized that hours of walking, stumbling, and falling down interstates on a broken leg did not make it feel good. I could barely walk on it, so I struggled my way into the lobby of the hotel and sat down near the entrance. I begged (read: screamed) for a wheelchair from every hotel employee (read: every single person) that walked by, and got angrier and more belligerent the more I was ignored (read: avoided in fear). I guess drunk, angry homeless people wander into hotels a lot in Las Vegas. Who knew?

 

An employee did eventually come bring me a wheelchair, and I demanded they write up all the employees that didn't help me. When they asked for their names, I refused to admit that I hadn't actually talked to any, so I told them to write up everyone that left the lobby in the past hour. They informed me that's not a thing they do, and to please stop yelling... sir. They looked up the room in order to prove that I had a reservation (I did not) and I managed to remember the name of the person who had reserved it (but not how to spell it) and since I had the key card they mistook me for someone who was legit. They brought me to the room, I asked for their names so I could provide a positive report to their manager the next morning, which I promptly forgot. I went inside the room and immediately passed out on the floor of the bathroom, only to be woken up two hours later when it was time to go to the fields.

 

Best. Weekend. Ever.

When you read all of his stories, it's truly a miracle that Pat Holland is still alive. Don't try to email him.

1 Comments
09-05-2014 | 4:38 PM
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas.
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