The Strip Show

After a long, dusty drive into Las Vegas, Erin W. and I parked my Honda in the Mandalay Bay parking garage and then tried to find one of Erin M.’s bridesmaids, Brooke, in the “lobby.” However, the Bay doesn’t have a lobby – it has many lobbies, along with a shopping mall, a chapel, and two pools – one topless and one complete with sand and waves.

Basically, it’s Sin City within Sin City.

Our plush room overlooked the pools and the sunny city in the desert. Brooke waited for us to change into swimsuits and join the bachelorette party already in progress since the night before.

“Too bad you girls couldn’t get here yesterday,” Brooke said. “Last night was pretty wild.”

Evidentially, a bachelorette had crossed the booze threshold and lost her spa salad in a club on the Las Vegas strip. Throwing up is a no-no in Vegas clubs. The girls managed to drag themselves up not long before we arrived to recover by the pool in order to make another night of it.

The packed pool area allowed me to unwind after what had been a whirlwind few months. After nearly seven years in newspapers, I cashed in my chips for a new career at the state Senate. Unfortunately, the state budget didn’t pass (historically typical) and as a new employee, I had not established a long enough history with my bank at my new job. So, I was neither getting paid by the Senate nor reimbursed by my bank.

However, when your girlfriend has a bachelorette party in Vegas – you go to Vegas. I just had to be careful with my cash and not eat or drink too much. In other words, I couldn’t go full tilt which killed some of my enthusiasm.

After a restful nap at the pool, the entire group piled into the other suite to dress up Erin M. in ridiculous and customary attire complete with cheesy wedding themes – a veil, plastic ring and other doo-dads signifying that she’s the bride out for her last weekend of freedom. However, she drew the line on certain items: “I can’t wear that. I’m sorry, it has penises on it.”

After dinner, the party headed to the male review Thunder Down Under. Surveying the room, the women ranged in every age, race and creed and upon surveying the dancers, they ranged from gay to really gay. You gotta love women who get all spun up about greased men who wax their nether-regions. You’d be lucky if a straight man took the time for a moderate amount of “manscaping.”

Hours later, Katherine arrived with all her loud, wild fun and legendary dry sense of humor. We began the night with some drinks and played “never have I ever.” By the end of the game, Katherine and I had drunk quite a bit. Apparently, we had – ever.

We tumbled into Studio 54 – a revisit of the infamous New York Club. By that point, I was done drinking and fairly tired from a long week. I had hoped to rally, as I usually do, but I couldn’t manage it. I told Erin W. and she was also ready to call it a night after a rough week at the newspaper. As we said our good-nights to the hold outs and the bride, we grabbed Katherine to head back to our suite so she could drive back with us in the morning.

On the train, Erin W. and I realized she was drunk – very drunk. She spoke to everyone, stumbled, talked loudly and was generally not in control of her lanky limbs. Being that we’re shorter than Katherine, it took dedicated teamwork to get her into the room. We sat her on the second bed by the window and walked into the bathroom to brush our teeth.

When I turned around, she wasn’t there.

“Katherine?” I asked. Erin turned around. “Where’d she go?”

We walked around the bed to see her laying on the floor between the two beds. Her dress was off her shoulders, down around her waist and not a bra in sight.

“Katherine? Are you OK?” I asked. We bent down to pull her up. She fumbled with her hands clumsily over her breasts.

“Can you see my boobies?” she asked. I held back a laugh and Erin, without missing a beat, said deadpan: “Oooh, sexy.”

We got her back up on the bed, pulled her dress up and laid her down. Suddenly, she sprung up and ran to the water closet. I got her a cool washcloth for the back of her neck and face, washing her off between episodes. When she had a break, she walked back to the bed and we finished brushing our teeth.

“You were going to sleep with her,” I said to Erin, in a half-whisper.

“Well, I’m not now,” she said, spitting out toothpaste.

From the suite, Katherine said: “I heard that, bitch. I’m drunk, not deaf.”

She was sick the entire night into the morning. We took turns checking on her until we all finally fell asleep. In the morning, I opened my eyes to see Katherine sitting ramrod straight up in the bed beside us. I sat up on my left elbow to look at her, Erin stirred and sat up to look at her as well.

She turned toward us, her hair disheveled and makeup melted down her face.

“Katherine, what’s up with your dress?” I asked. She looked down. Her dress was on backwards.

“Who did that?” she asked.