Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Wine Goddess

When I went to Vegas last week I drug C with me, which didn’t take a lot of convincing.  Show him a roulette wheel and give him a drink and he’s good to go for hours.  I never had to hunt for him long on my return from meetings.  I could head straight for the wheels and there he was.  And thank God he limits his losses to $200 a day.  Which actually is pretty good. He can stretch $200 into a 24-hour entertainment extravaganza with little effort.  In fact, I believe he ended up winning on this trip, which covered my losses. 

C also grew up in Vegas as an Air Force brat.  In fact, he has fond memories of wearing a George Washington outfit carrying the America flag down Las Vegas Blvd during the Something Or Other parade.  He was eight.  Thank God.  If he had told me that happened when he was, say 18 or 20 I would have to leave him!  His not so fond memory is that his parents promised when he was old enough they would take him to see Nancy Sinatra.  However, her career died and C’s family moved long before he become old enough to attend a Vegas show.  He still has not gotten over it!

It had been several years since C tagged along on my annual retail convention pilgrimage to Vegas.  One of the times happened to coincide with a milestone birthday.  Both of us are the same age and have birthdays in March.  Of course he’s 23 days older, which might as well be a century in my mind and he’s a Pisces (lot of work!) to my Aries (so cool!), so the water vs. fire thing makes for interesting times. 

On the previous trip we had made reservations at some stuffy restaurant to celebrate our birthday.  We started the evening where else, but the Roulette wheel.  We were winning; the hookers waitresses were handing out drinks on a regular basis.  We completely blew off the reservation.  Hours later, shit faced, over served tipsy, pockets full of chips and starving someone suggested the Bacchus Room for a late dinner.  It’s no longer there, fortunately.  It was one of those Vegas themed venues.  Following the lead from the God after which it was named, the concept was about gluttony of food and drinks, also OK by me.  It was the last night of operation before it permanently shut down.  So counting the two of us there were only 3 other tables in this huge amphitheater restaurant. 

There was a table full of lesbians, 4 Japanese Business men and a couple from Minnesota.  The meal was some prix fixe number consisting of about a dozen courses. During dinner, Cleopatra and Caesar show up to bestow on us their blessings.  But, by far the highlight for us was the Wine Goddess.  Dressed in a lime green chiffon gown and hair whipped up and adorned with jewels, straight from a 60’s ‘B’ movie, her job was to work the room and provide liquid refreshment.  But, considering the Lesbians must have recently completed a 12 step program and the Japanese Business men were deep in conversation and demonstrated no interest in the Wine Goddess, she spent ninety percent of her time at our table.  Occasionally she floated over to the Minnesotans, filled their goblets, and quickly returned to our table to give us the next installment of her life story.  I took a sip, the Goddess poured. 

Three hours later, and somewhere around the seventh course I started to pass out.  Rather than waking up face down in the cheese course, surrounded by a construction crew demoing the Bacchus Room, I bid farewell to the Wine Goddess, suggested C pay the bill and tried to find my room. 

The next morning I awoke and stumbled into the bathroom looking for something to relieve the pain.  On my return to the bed, I noticed a large folder adorned with the Caesar’s Palace logo lying next to C’s wallet and his reduced stack of chips.  I opened it and almost passed out - again.  I had totally forgotten that at some point during the evening a photographer appeared.  His job was to capture your celebratory evening and then sell his 8x10 color glossy to you for an overpriced sum.  After much protesting, I guess we consented to be photographed.  And at the exacted moment the shutter snapped, C leaned over and stuck his tongue all the way down my throat!

I have no intentions of ever showing the photo to anyone, much less putting it on a blog.  I don’t know why, unless you really know us, you can’t tell who it is. But, public displays of affection just creep me out, so telling this story is hard enough for me.  

Being cheap, I booked a basic room at Caesars for this trip.  Deciding to stay there was a nod to old Vegas, we weren’t trying to repeat the past.  We’re older. More grown up.  More sensible – maybe. 
My plan was to slip the front desk person a $20 and ask for a free comp upgrade, being the Vegas big shot I am.  And you know what.  It worked.  We didn’t get the penthouse where Celine Dion stays, which was fine with me because I can’t stand that bitch.  But, we did get an upgraded room.  It must be the one where Nancy Sinatra stays when she’s in town.  I found long blond synthetic hair in the shower! So, I’m still trying to convince C he may have missed seeing Nancy Sinatra as a kid, but I’m sure he slept in her bed. 


  1. Mr. Barnes,

    Thank you also for your note about the bookshelves. To answer your question: Yes! I have two F&B colors up there now and I'm off to Ben Moore to buy a few more.

  2. i am laughing hysterically. we used to always stay at caesers when we were younger and we ate at the bacchus room too. and we had our pictures taken. i'm going to have to dig them out, it was the 80's and i'm sure my hair was BIG. we quit staying at caesars when they took the diving boards out. now we are old and stay at the hotel, they don't even have a pool.


  3. This post makes me think of my cousin Connor, who is one of my favorite people on earth.

    I love that your blog has WORDS--so few of them seem to find a point to stories and just show a lot of pictures. Glad I found you here.


  4. don't get me started on the devil's lair that is vegas. lets just say i woke up in a dumpster at circus circus circa 1997.


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