My Last Hundred Bucks: Vegas Baby Vegas!

by Beatrice Hogg

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In May, when I bought my $225 roundtrip ticket for Las Vegas, I was working a full-time temp job at a County office. The job was supposed to last for six months; instead I was fired a month later, on Friday the thirteenth, because I was “too slow.”

Even though I was broke, I wasn’t missing a chance to go to Vegas.

Saturday, July 5

$5.00–24-hour bus pass.

$11.89 — A black Fender tee shirt and a black crushed velvet shirt at Buffalo Exchange, both too hot to wear in the 110-degree heat.

$14.83 — Bottles of water, Coke, brownie bites and granola bars at Albertson’s.

$18.13 — Lunch at Mr. Lucky’s in the Hard Rock Hotel. They may have called the turkey burger “Free Bird,” but it cost $15.

$4.09 — Walgreens on the Strip as I forgot to bring a bottle of water from the hotel. And they had Coke Icees — I LOVE Coke Icees!

Sunday, July 6

$16.15 — Zia Record Exchange — you can never have enough Jeff Beck, Aerosmith, Who or Rage Against the Machine. It was buy three used CDs, get one free. sale How could I resist?

$2.48 — McDonald’s. I was hungry and I had just missed the bus.

$5.00–24-hour bus pass. Stayed too long at Zia and McDonald’s.

$7.56 — Headband at Charlotte Russe at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North. I couldn’t afford the shoes I wanted from the Vans Outlet or the bag I wanted from the LeSportsac Outlet, even though they were on sale, but I had to justify walking around for three hours.

$6.00 — Video Poker at Aria, trying to win money to go back to Vans and LeSportsac. I won $10, not enough for a shoe or a purse.

Monday, July 7

$5.00 — Half price lunch buffet at an off-Strip casino. I had to hurry because it was 2:45 PM and they took the lunch food away at 3:15 PM — classy. Most buffets that I have been to on the Strip just start adding dinner fare at a certain time, but this place did not allow new diners between 3PM and 4 PM. The food wasn’t great, but at least I didn’t get sick.

$2.00 — Bus fare to the airport.

Maybe a few extra dollars were spent in random slot machines at the Hard Rock Hotel, Caesar’s Palace, and the off-Strip casino, but don’t remember; I was caught up in the moment…

Moral of the Story: Don’t go to Las Vegas with only $100, get plenty of water if you go in July, and don’t go to buffets where all of the food has to be taken away.

Beatrice M. Hogg is a coal-miner’s daughter and freelance writer who was raised in Western Pennsylvania and has lived in Northern California for twenty-five years, where she wrote her novel, Three Chords One Song, and continues to write about music, long-term unemployment and life in general.

Photo by the author