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Literary Las Vegas: Rick Lax

“Rick Lax’s 100 Percent Foolproof System for Sneaking into Nightclubs Without Paying Cover, Picking Up Beautiful Women in Under Forty-Five Minutes, and Writing Overblown Chapter Titles,” is the title to Chapter 4 in Lax’s book “Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas.” But this book is more than just a would-be hustler’s guide to the city. The lawyer/journalist/author taps Las Vegas as a classroom to study the art and vice of deception. From prostitutes and card sharks to magicians and headliners, he takes lessons in lying and shares his gritty adventures along the way.

Lax went into the project with the intention of a brief stay, but the Russian dancer he took a room with warned him he may never leave.

“You’ll be here longer — you’ll see. The city sucks people in. Nobody under thirty moves out of Vegas,” she said.

So far, her prediction has stuck.

Lax plans to share his forays into stunt journalism, and he may even talk about his upcoming book,”I Get Paid For This,” at a meeting of the Las Vegas Writers Group scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Tap House, 5589 W. Charleston Blvd. The meeting fee is $5. The public is welcome. For more information, visit meetup.com/las-vegas-writers. Learn more about Lax at ricklax.com.

Excerpt from “Fool Me Once”

These women weren’t dressed like your typical prostitutes. They were dressed like prostitutes who, for Halloween, had decided to go out as slutty hookers. You name the prostitute cliché and these two were on it like leopard print on a miniskirt. Fishnet stockings? Check. Thigh-high leather boots? Check. Sophia Loren eye shadow? Check.

They were sitting at a table for four and the two other seats were free, so I asked them whether my mom and I could join them for dinner.

“Of course, sweetie,” the blond one said, mentally preparing herself for what was sure to be the weirdest request of her professional career.

We set our Panda Express trays down and my mom got the ball rolling:

“Where are you nice young ladies from?” she asked.

“We’re both from Oakland, but we met on the Strip,” the redhead said. “How about you?”

“Michigan, then Chicago,” I told her.

“Yeah, you seem like a midwesterner,” she replied.

“Well, be careful who you trust out here. Especially on the Strip. Everybody’s working an angle.”

She delivered the line with no apparent irony.

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