We started our escapades at club Moon, where Hugh Hefner was celebrating his 85th birthday. But my comrades and I had seen this sort of Hefner send-up before. We also surmised the dancers at Moon as mere “Ohio tourists.” They were having fun, but we were locals seeking locals.
So we calved it over to the N9NE bar and stumbled upon our friend, the chef Kerry Simon, who had just finished a plate of deliciously dead chicken.
Another 5 feet from us, Vince Neil laughed without worry at the arms of a blonde and a brunette, whose cups runneth over. The rocker was flashing his new tattoo. It read, “Whore Island.”
Simon the gentleman was facing three plates of desserts, so he offered us nibbles. I dived for a doughnut. However, they had been placed in front of Neil’s buxom blonde.
“What do you make of this doughnut?” I asked Buxom Blonde. “It’s like a beignet.”
“What’s a beignet?” she said.
“It’s a doughnut in New Orleans.”
“I went to New Orleans once, I don’t know what a beignet is, and I’m leaving,” she said and sauntered to the washroom with her lady friend.
The bartender, legendary Johnny, asked why I hadn’t been in to see him lately. At first, I said, “I don’t know.” Then I eyed our $60 bill for four drinks and thought, “Oh, right.”
“Let’s go to the Cosmo,” someone suggested, and my comrades and I bid farewell to Simon and Neil and Johnny and piled soberly into our cars, landing in a booth on the secret floor of the Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Cosmo was shining. Everyone was wearing the right new clothes, hair and weight-to-age ratio to check themselves into Cosmo observation.
“It’s like being in the middle of ‘Sex and the City.’ Everyone here is purposely here,” Comrade No. 1 said. “Moon at the Palms was like ‘Porky’s.’ The people there just didn’t know better.”
Suddenly, an affable drunk-transplant from Chicago, wearing impeccable couture, flopped down at our booth and made laser beam eye contact with me.
“You look like a ladies man with those boots,” he slurred. “Why aren’t you covered in ladies?”
Our cocktail server, another new Las Vegan from Chicago, placed her hands on my shoulders and asked if I wanted a drink to go along with her smile.
“Yes,” I said, “and put it on that Chicago guy’s tab.”
After our playful flirtations with women in roaming mode, Comrade No. 2 said we should go say hi to a friend at a strip club called Discreet. It’s so discreet, I’d never heard of it.
Sober still, we walked through the Cosmo casino until a criminally cute tourist from California grabbed two of us by our arms and insisted we cheer on her bachelorette friend.
“You two — give her a lap dance!” Criminally Cute Girl demanded of us.
“Only if you give her a lap dance first,” I said. She did. My comrade and I had to pay up. We were gentle.
Criminally Cute Girl, toying with us excessively, pinched my left ear, as if she were my Nana, and began to infuse me with her grand truths regarding love. These truths were confusing.
“Do you know how many years I’ve been waiting for you?” I lurched at her as ironically Harlequin as possible.
With that, she let go of my ear and spirited off without a goodbye.
We arrived at Discreet by 2:30 a.m. There were as many dancers as customers: six each.
We glanced at a bar TV and — there was Vince Neil again, in his 1981 Motley Crue music video for “Live Wire.”
“Look at Vince’s hair,” I shouted.
He looked like Goldie Locks and the Three Curls.
Two dancers slid next to my comrades at the bar. They were beautiful and mothers of small children.
“I don’t drink much and I don’t smoke,” one told me.
“Why do you dance here, instead of other clubs?” I asked her.
“I used to work at (another club),” she said, “but the guy there was only nice to girls who sleep with him, and I wouldn’t sleep with him. He had a bed in his office. They treat me nice here.”
When it was her turn to disrobe onstage, I took out a $5 bill. She gyrated on hands and knees, motioning for me to luridly slip the cash under her G-string.
“I can’t do that. I feel like I know you now,” I said and folded the money into her hand. She laughed at my silly respect and thanked me.
Out of the blue, Comrade No. 1 got the bright idea we should go to Posh, the new nightclub inside Crazy Horse III strip club, to say hi to yet another friend. Off we went.
Posh was slamming at 4:30 a.m. The DJ was spinning the best progressive music we’d heard all night. Pretty people abounded, not just go-go dancers.
Our cheery friend there greeted us. He was standing next to a tall, thin beauty. And what she was “endowed” with — well, it wasn’t a college chair.
A spry lady friend of mine chatted with me about babies and vasectomies.
But there was no end zone in sight to this disjointed and desensitized evening. By 5 a.m., Comrade No. 2 had left for home. Comrade No. 1’s tired eyes looked as if they might fall out of his face.
It was time to tuck it in and head home.
“Uneventful night,” Comrade No. 1 said, and he wasn’t really wrong.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.