It’s no secret that the last day in Vegas sucks.
Not only are you often starting to feel the cumulative effects of four days of sleep deprivation and binge drinking, but you also have to come to terms with the fact that your vacation in (literal) Paradise is coming to an end, and it’s almost time to return to the daily grind of work and life’s bullshit.
So what better way to simultaneously drown your sorrows/celebrate than with a bottomless mimosa brunch?
What could possibly go wrong?
The answer, in short is: a lot.
If there’s ever a Degenerate Diary worthy of a TL;DR, this is it.
And here’s the TL;DR:
I got drunk, got carried away gambling/drinking bourbon, almost missed my flight, miraculously boarded the plane before being informed that I was too drunk to fly, and shamefully slept on the floor of McCarran International Airport before catching a redeye back to Nebraska the next morning.
Now that I’ve painted a painfully clear picture of what the (rock) bottom of a bottomless mimosa looks like, let’s flesh out the few details that I remember of this fateful day.
Calm Before the Storm
My stubborn determination to get as much value as possible out of my vacation has me up at 10am my final day.
96 hours of constantly-titrated alcohol is beginning to catch up with me, though, so I’m teetering on the brink of intoxication and a hangover; a state I begrudgingly call “drunkover.”
There are two equally effective cures when you’re drunkover: sleeping it off, or drinking it away. And with my precious time in Paradise ticking away, there is only one viable option: rally.
Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for my liver, I’ve got a Groupon for $50 worth of food at Hexx, which is going to cover bottomless mimosas.
I meticulously rinse my tattoo, treating my left bicep with more respect in 90 seconds than I’ve treated my body this entire
I make my way towards the escalators to drop off my luggage in the depths of rideshare hell at Bellhop 9 3/4 in the basement of Planet Hollywood.
Being the degenerate I am, though, I can’t even make it to the escalator before a slot machine catches my eye.
I throw in the $20 that Sally, my friend in the dining hall, gave me. I hit max bet for a $5 spin, and the machine locks up before the reels even spin. The reels glow read and it goes into a bonus round. I have no idea what happened, but all of a sudden a ball is going around a fake roulette wheel (don’t worry, no 0, 00, or 000 here), where it lands on 60.
These are the moments I love playing dollar machines.
I cycle through the rest of the $20 and cash out $91 after a decent line hit.
Bam! I wish gambling was always this easy.
Searching for the Bottom
It’s a bit drizzly outside, further cementing the sadness of the last day in Vegas. Of course, the people movers outside of Planet Hollywood are down because of the rain, so I’m forced to brave the slick stairs in my cowboy boots.
Before you make fun of me for wearing cowboy boots, I’d like to first defend myself (they’re basically heels for men, and you gotta wear your bulkiest shoes on your travel day). Cool, you’re not convinced.
PSA: the sidewalks in Vegas get INCREDIBLY slick with any precipitation so tread carefully if you’re unlucky enough to be town while it’s raining. As I’m slipping and sliding around (keep in mind I haven’t drank yet today), I see multiple others narrowly avoid eating shit.
I finally make it to Hexx. I let the greeter know I’ve got a $50 Groupon and I’m dining solo, and she says it’s not an issue that my voucher is *technically* for a party of two; It’s amazing what
cowboy boots a positive attitude and friendly smile will do.
After exchanging pleasantries with my server, the first words out of my mouth are “bottomless mimosas, please.”
I order some Brioche French Toast (one of my all-time favorites) to soak up all of the bubbly.
I tend to be adventurous in my ordering; if I see a dish and think “how the hell could that combination work?!” I’m inclined to try it. So, I also order some Carrot Cake Pancakes to try something new and get as close to the $50 voucher as I can.
The service is exceptional. I’m a notoriously fast drinker, and my water glass or champagne flute are never empty. And not for lack of trying on my part. My liver proved no match for the roving team of eagle-eyed servers that had a carafe full of mimosa at all times.
I ask one of them the most they’ve ever seen someone drink, and they say 8. I’m already 4 deep and my food hasn’t even come out yet, so I’m on pace for a record performance.
I ask the next one how strong they pour the drinks. “They pour it up to here” she says, pointing towards the top of the carafe. “It” being the champagne, as clearly evidenced by the translucent, barely yellow liquid.
I’m sprinting towards the finish of my marathon, but I forgot to carboload.
Miraculously, my feast arrives right as the self-doubt starts to set in.
I took a gamble ordering the Carrot Cake Pancakes. And did it ever pay off! Carbs are exactly what the doctor ordered, and this added flavor hits the spot perfectly.
The rich cream cheese icing and fluffy, lightly-spiced nutmeg pancakes pair wonderfully with the sweetness of the maple syrup.
And mimosas, as I discover as I go through at least two more.
If the Carrot Cake Pancakes are the feel-good underdog story of brunch, the French Toast is the 1998 Vikings NFC Championship game (for those of you who aren’t long-suffering Vikes fans with PTSD, the kicker, who didn’t miss a FG all season, missed an easy kick that would’ve clinched the game… and the Vikings imploded and lost a heartbreaker in OT).
The French Toast, normally one of my favorite breakfast foods, is thin, dry, and flavorless.
Except for the disgusting, artificial orange extract flavor that overpowered everything. Even copious amounts of butter and syrup proved unable to overpower this abomination, so I gave up after 4 bites, leaving room for more mimosas and Carrot Cake Pancakes.
How Hexx could fuck up something so simple, I don’t know. How they could charge $12 for such awful French Toast, I do know… they’re on the Las Vegas Strip.
By this point, I’m buzzed enough on the mimosas and full enough on the Carrot Cake Pancakes that I’m not even upset about the French Toast.
The Carrot Cake Pancakes are very sweet in combination with the mimosas, so I prioritize and keep drinking. I’ve easily passed the 8 drink record (although it’s hard to count, since the glass never fully empties).
I close out my bill, which rings in at a whopping $6, by leaving a $20 on the table (always take care of your servers, kids!).
But not before triumphantly slamming my last mimosa and finally finding the bottom.
As soon as I stand up, the champagne hits me like a truck and I realize how drunk I am. I’m again reminded of my intoxication when I step outside onto the slick sidewalk.
Half out of necessity (it was time to break the seal) and half out of degeneracy, I rush into the first casino I see: Paris.
After 70 seconds of continuous urination, I make my way over to the Sports Book, where I place some bets for my boss: $10 on the Patriots winning the Super Bowl at +350 and $10 on the Bucks winning the Finals at +1500.
I sit down at some 50-play 1¢ video poker with predictably atrocious paytables. I start off with Deuces Wild, but quickly switch to Double Double Bonus
when I realize that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing in Deuces in hopes that the high variance will work in my favor. It does when I hit 4 Aces and a couple other hands that would be impressive if it wasn’t 50-play pennies.
I won’t bore you with photos of my measly wins, but I hit enough to play for a while and cash out close to even despite the shitty paytable.
With about 90 minutes until I should head to the airport, I decide to bounce over to the Cromwell to take advantage of the $10 3:2 blackjack. It proceeds to kick my ass quickly, so I cut my losses, color up, and make my way to a $15 Pai Gow table to kill the last hour.
I’m responsible and order water the first round, but when the guy next to me orders a round of tequila shots for the table, I join in on the fun since Momma didn’t raise no bitch.
When the waitress returns, I remember that I’m at the Cromwell and they probably have fancier comps than I’m used to. I ask what she can do for bourbon, and she offers some Woodford Reserve for the sweet price of $0. I have no choice but to order one on the rocks.
As you can probably guess, “one” quickly turned to many.
I was going to nurse my one bourbon on the rocks, however the waitress had a different plan. When she made her next round (which is quite fast, might I add, since the pit at the Cromwell is so small), she had another pour ready for me.
I look at her with a confused “did I order that?” look. She laughs and says “You didn’t order it, but I figured you’d enjoy it” as she pours it into my glass (to observe the 1 drink per person rule, of course), effectively giving me a double.
Unfortunately, this is my last photo and my last clear memory for the next 8 hours.
I vaguely remember rushing back to Planet Hollywood to get my bags.
Getting lost in Paris.
A panicked call to my designated driver.
Hopefully giving the Lyft driver Kostas’ leftover marijuana/paraphernalia from my backpack.
Somehow making it through TSA.
Tearing off a hangnail and bleeding slightly.
Miraculously making it to my gate in time.
Boarding the plane and scoring the aisle seat in the first row on the right.
Immediately slumping over to sleep.
A tap on my shoulder rudely interrupting my drunken stupor.
“Sir, we need you to come with us.”
Walking back up the jetway.
“Sir, we can’t let you fly on this flight. You’re too drunk… see? You hurt your hand.”
The next thing I know, I have a new boarding pass for a redeye flight tomorrow morning.
And this useless blue slip, that I (still) can’t figure out how to use.
A disappointed and confused phone call to my designated driver.
Finding a safe nook behind an empty gate.
Fashioning a makeshift pillow and blanket from my clothes.
Passing the fuck out.
Waking up confused and disoriented to a panicked call from my mom at 1am.
Not being able to explain my actions or apologize enough.
Back to sleep.
Cottonmouth and the desperate urge to pee at 3am.
Packing up my makeshift bed.
Freaking out that I haven’t washed my tattoo, that my Dial is in my checked bag, and I have no lotion.
The janitor telling me “There are five of y’all. You’re the one sleeping behind the gate, right?” as I stand at a urinal.
Pounding water like there’s no tomorrow.
Blowing $20 at 25¢ Deuces Wild since I have nothing else to do.
Texting my boss:
“Long story, but I missed my flight. I won’t be in today.”
- Sent from my iPhone, 3:22am
I am relatively sober at this point (as evidenced by the 0.03 I blow on my pocket breathalyzer). I am not too drunk to board the plane this time, so I take off without incident.
I won’t bore you with the details of my return flight, or the boring 2 hour drive from MCI back to rural Nebraska. Or the agony of returning to work the next day and trying to explain what happened with the poker face I don’t have.
All that matters is I’m home safe, still have the clothes on my back and a roof above my head, and a ton of fun memories with good friends new and old!
What a way to celebrate 25 — the year my prefrontal cortex is supposedly fully developed…