So, I took a road trip to Las Vegas with my buddy DJ; (he was participating in an equipment auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and he invited to go and keep him company). He likes to gamble, hence – his play on Elvis’s song title, ‘Viva Las Vegas.’ I’ve never been good at it, myself; I walk into a casino and the slots seem to suck the money right out of my wallet. Instead of sitting at a card table, I just walk up and hand the dealer my money, ’cause, that’s how fast I’m gonna lose it. Luckily, we only spent ten bucks in Mesquite; we stopped at a casino there, mainly – to take some pictures of me, (with my Steve Austin action-figure, for The Bionic Toy Action Page). Despite – not winning a million bucks, it was a fun break to stretch our legs, and I did get some good pictures to post; (they were quite popular, too).
Another-plus, the weather was perfect: blue skies, scattered clouds and 66° throughout our drive; (it was 73° in Las Vegas, though, and I was barefoot as soon as we got to our fantastic, spacious Hampton Inn accommodations).
Now, I’ve never been to an auction yard, so I wasn’t sure what to expect at Ritchie Bros. Let’s just put it like this: I am fucking impressed. That is one well-run organization, folks. The customer service there was excellent (at every level). For instance: DJ had to use the restroom after signing-in, and he left me to pick up his packet of materials and free hat. He told me to have Tricia (a no-nonsense seasoned veteran) give me a hat, too. So, I asked her (pouting playfully), but she shook her head and informed me that she couldn’t, that I would need to sign-in. I told her no thanks, (as it really wasn’t a big deal, to me). However, when we went outside, Tricia came hustling out behind us (to give DJ directions to the yard), she asked me what kind of hat I wanted, (camo or black); I chose black, and she whispered, “Come inside with me. Sorry about that, we’re not supposed to do this and I didn’t want all the others to see.” Maybe, she broke the rules, but – you know what, she went above and beyond to satisfy a potential future customer and I think that was pretty cool; plus, I got a nice souvenir from our trip there. But, everyone here treated us this way and it was an awesome first-time experience.
Ritchie Bros. has quite a set-up, as well. It’s clean (inside and out), the sprawling yard is well-laid-out and they provide golf carts to get you around, the equipment is accessible for both, inspection, and – for bidders to start equipment and operate what they’re interested in. Again – there were friendly professionals at your beck-and-call, here, too. Hell, there was even a water truck making a constant run-thru of the yard, to keep the dust down (they’re located in the desert, north of Vegas, so…yeah, it’s a dust bowl).
Overall, I was just blown-away with this facility, on all levels, and I was excited to see my first auction; however, I wasn’t feeling well, so I opted not to go, this morning. But, damn – the place was packed when we got there. In fact, some rich guy (a regular high-spending customer flew-in by helicopter, while I was sitting in DJ’s truck. Man…what a great spectacle and learning experience, for me, though. (Also, the Air Force Base is nearby, so I got to see some cool planes flying over, while I waited).
Now, speaking of lost wages, Las Vegas can break ya in a New York second (if you let it); or – your proverbial ‘ship’ could come in while you’re there, (depending on the cards you’re dealt, that lucky pull on a slot’s handle, or – in the spin of that wheel, when that ball drops on your number); that’s just how it rolls in this paradisical desert playground, baby. But – if you’re broke and unemployed, (like I currently find myself), you could just go sight-seeing and spend wisely, as me and DJ did. I went down with $50 (borrowed, I should add), but I came home with $16 in my wallet. I bought a pair of cheap sunglasses for the ride, then we split the bill and grabbed a 7-ELEVEN pizza party-pack, to take back to our room (DJ’s company paid the tab for our room; they picked up our lunch at Ritchie Bros., too).
Beyond our limited gambling excursion at the Eureka Casino, earlier, we just tooled around Vegas and visited some places that had been suggested to me by Dayton Ward. We hit the Pawn Stars pawn shop, first. Now, the big guys weren’t there, but it filled with excited customers and was a great experience being there, (and – I got some awesome pics for the bionic action page). Then, we went to the Pinball Hall of Fame (on a mission to find an elusive The Six Million Dollar Man pinball machine), which – we didn’t find. It was a total bummer, but – fun, nonetheless; (and I got some more good photos of Steve, in Vegas). The Strip is always great to see, and – being this time of year, it wasn’t packed with tourists; (just your usual assortment of bums, street-walkers, locals, and – a few sightseers mixed-in). We intended to visit The Toy Shack, but it was getting late and the parking was outrageous; besides, DJ needed to study his material and prepare for his bidding war. Except for a couple of quarters dropped in some pinball machines, we didn’t spend any cash, but we had a terrific time! I got to see some very cool places and some new casinos, as well; I mean, the Trump Tower (for one) wasn’t here the last time I visited Las Vegas, and it’s impressive (unlike the guy its named after). One thing is certain, it sure beat sitting at home and being sick; (I’ve been battling the flu for the last week).
Okay… Now, I could’ve done without watching some old-timer taking a piss, just now, (we’re parked in front of a rocky, cactus-filled gully, and he was in my sight line when I glanced up); but whatever. He obviously wasn’t aware that I’m hangin’-out in the truck writing this, so hey, I’ll cut him some slack… When ya gotta go, ya gotta go! LOL! Guess, this disproves the adage ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’ – right? Hell, my morning mug-a-joe is saying I need to release; so maybe – I’ll take a quick trip into the gully, myself… LOL!
The best part of the trip, though, has been being able to spend time with my friend DJ. I’m glad he invited me to accompany him, and I’ve particularly enjoyed our conversations, on a myriad of topics. There’s nothing like good times and good laughs with good friends, to recharge your soul’s batteries and to hit the reset button on your life. I even persuaded him to take a ‘Stevie’; (a shot with Steve Austin, held up to look through his bionic eye).
That said, you know what that shithead did, yesterday? He bought some gag, scratch-off lottery tickets and had me believing I had just won fifty grand! He was laughing his ass off, but – I was not amused… Hahaha! It was a great joke, though, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Bastard… #GoodTimes
No, Vegas didn’t break us, but we had some good gut-bustin’ moments, and – THAT, my friends, is better than all of the riches in Las Vegas.
Eric GatorOne Cone