Las Vegas Stories that Didn’t Stay in Vegas

Ah, the City of Sin – Las Vegas; the home of neon lights, scantily clothed waitresses, happy gamblers, sad gamblers and shysters.

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Las Vegas for the first time. I admit I had more fun than I ever expected, not really having the gambling bug. The first night, I actually ended up $125.00 richer than when I arrived – gotta love that video poker. Of course, I gave it back double over the course of the next three days. Moral of the story; Vegas is a great place for a short vacation.

Anyway, aside from warning readers about the evils of gambling (a trivial pursuit), my purpose is to illustrate another danger lurking for the Las Vegas visitor who lets his guard down.

One afternoon I was sitting with my husband, Bill, and a good friend, Tom, at a bar in the Mirage Hotel. We were happily sipping cocktails and playing video poker at the bar (those money gulping machines are everywhere). After throwing our remaining cash into one of the machines, my husband left his seat to go to the ATM and replenish his wallet, leaving an empty seat between Tom and me. Since Tom is the luckiest guy I know, I watched him happily play video poker for the better part of an hour. This is no easy feat; I’ve lost $100 in three minutes playing the foolish game.

Tom had been sipping cocktails a bit longer than the rest of us (since he could still afford the alcohol) and he was becoming quite silly and boisterous as he beat the machine. Of course, after all those drinks, nature finally called and he headed for the men’s room. Not thinking clearly, he left a small pile of cash at his seat on the bar.

Approximately three seconds after Tom got up, along came a very friendly older guy to chat me up. As we made small talk and the man blah, blah, blahed about how young I looked, I watched the man move into position. Squeezing himself between the two empty seats beside me, he effectively blocked my view of Tom’s money and stealthily moved his elbow back toward the cash. Periodically, I saw the man look at someone over my shoulder; his accomplice. Understanding what the guy’s motive was, I was just about to tell him to get lost when the bartender said, “Hey, buddy -the lady’s friend is sitting there. Move along.”

The creep actually stood there looking at me with a look that said, “Aren’t you going to let me stay and steal your friend’s money?” I ignored him and he finally sidled away.

So – a word to the wise. Go to Vegas but keep your eyes open and your wits about you. Sometimes you don’t even get to have fun before your money’s taken from you.