Photo cred: dvdbits.com
You wake up and roll over to the digital alarm clock that reads "TOO DAMN EARLY!" in bright red robotic font. The muscles don't move as well as they used to even after just strenuous activities such as "golf" and "drinking too much" on the weekend. Yes, a day of a 40 minute commute in heavy traffic with Mike and Mike giving point counter point commentary on the sports world where the athletes make your yearly salary while taking their morning piss. The work day isn't much better as you toil within your cube like a caged cat while the scent of catnip whistles by in the form of Krispy Kreme donuts that you can't touch because your supporting your wife's decision to lose a few pounds and just one frosting fleck would be the same as banging a mid-priced hooker in the Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom and her finding the used condom in your Docker's left front pocket.
You avoid the temptress while buzzsawing your way thru a dozen Blazin wings and buffalo chips with cheese and a tall Guinness and make it home in time to read a Scooby Doo adventure to the kids while the four year old manages to kick you in the balls three times because sitting still isn't in her vocabulary daddy. A deep sigh comes after picking up the Monday Night Football game in the third quarter as the Titans have already put this one to bed and your wife takes a quick sniff of your polo shirt to make sure hot sauce was the only thing that splattered on it.
But, there's hope Mr. Pappagiorgio. In several weeks there's a plane ticket with your given birth name on it for a round trip to VEGAS! Yes, you can grab a fake ID, lay $5 on a craps table, roll it up to several thousand impressing the Mirage enough to sport you a three bedroom suite with hot tub filled with European models and wise-guys who take you in as part of their crew without asking you to whack someone. Yes, you could be snorting coke off Paris Hilton's ass in the TAO VIP lounge while playing heads-up $10K/$20K with Doyle Brunson after getting backed by the New Jersey mafia. No Dora the Explorer to be found within a 500 mile radius of the Spearmint Rhino rooms with women of questionable morals grinding on YOU.
It's amazing that several millions Nick Pappagiorgio's visit Vegas every year toting $10 plastic replicas of the Eiffel Tower with dreams that they will be magically plucked from obscurity and placed into the life of a high-roller. But isn't that the whole point? The chase, the dream, the alternate reality. It's not a concrete goal like running a 10K, or losing 20 pounds, it's slipping thru Alice's Looking Glass and seeing a different side of life. Parents like myself love their kids and wouldn't give them up for all chips in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio. Nor their spouse for all the fake tits and perfectly toned legs that line up nightly at the strip clubs, because the wife gives you something that baby powder and glitter can not.
You can read Lost Vegas by Dr. Pauly and get a peek at the Vegas facade as the Nick Pappagiorgio's of the world pile into the World Series of Poker every year. Most will go home with pockets emptied by fellow card sharks and hooker bar denizens after rolling up the stakes and going to Vegas like Mike McD and getting busted on a two-outer by some 21 year old Scandi who's bankroll online would cover your yearly household expenses with enough left over to buy two brand new Benzs and slap a new roof on your 30 year old house.
Reality isn't why we go or get excited about Vegas, it's about the trip, the anticipation, and for this guy meeting with friends and co-workers in a way that degenerates should instead of on their respective couches wrapped in a lavender Snuggie with an internet connection. It is 50 days until I get to become Nick Pappagiorgio for five days straight and I can't wait.