The Five Drunks You Meet in Vegas

The Five Drunks You Meet in Vegas

A Story by Shannon
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Talking loudly, he tells his phone and most of his fellow passengers, "I got the good sessions, but the hotel isn't up to par....(snort)...Ya I'll get a few rounds in".
He laments the legroom, the air quality and the lack of drink service before takeoff, then ends his call. The Convention Attendee, a business man from some unnamed company, sporting a crumpled suit coat. Probably accustomed to taking business class and either the economic downturn, or some other individual circumstances, have lead to him being closer to the back of the plane.
He thumbs his call button, catches the flight attendant' eye, holds up his empty glass, requesting "Another". You notice flight attendant deftly switching him to doubles. She winks at you as she removes his last drink from his sleeping hand.
Convention Attendee quietly snores the rest of the trip, waking after the plane lands to stagger into the airport.

***
“Don ya jus’ hateit wan peple wearashir’ an’ prolydonevenno the ban’”, Last Decade’s Frat Boy slurs as he slumps himself next to you on a casino bench, breathing cheap beer in your face.
You quickly decipher, 'Don’t you just hate it when people wear a t-shirt and probably don’t even know the band?', as he tilts his head in the direction of a young woman with her considerable assets on display in what might be the remnants of a vintage Skid Row t-shirt.
You ponder why he might have chosen you to engage in this conversation with, as you survey your plain, dumpy, middle aged self and his aging frat boy persona, complete with backwards cap, trendy sunglasses, and beer can in hand.
Seems like a harmless conversation, so you tell him you and your husband went to see Def Leppard the night before. His eyes widen, he lifts his hand expectantly and exclaims “Dude!”.
You decide 'why not?' and give him the requested high five. He asks about other 'old rock band concerts', making you chuckle: he has no idea he has just called you old. Many of your replies are followed by a round of “Dude!” and a high five.
By the time your husband arrives, Frat Boy is sprawled out on the bench beside you. Husband has a question in his eyes, combined with familiar amusement. You tell your temporary companion you are moving on.
Frat boy leaps to his feet, surprisingly quickly, as he is pretty tipsy, raises his had towards husband: “Dude, cool wife!”. They, too, share a high five before Frat Boy head back to the flashing of the slot machines.
***
The Fremont Street Wanderer, a Vegas local or at least a current resident. He is wearing a pair of jeans, coated with a layer of brown Vegas dust, and shoes that were probably once white. You flinch when you notice he has no shirt on; he also has red, tangled curls and freckled skin. The white skin of shoulders is in danger of a serious burn in the blistering heat.
As he lurches towards you, his eyes light up “Sis’er” he mumbles, then louder: “Sister”.
You pause briefly to greet him. He tells you that you must be siblings of sorts, aren’t all red heads related somehow? You laugh, “We must have a common ancestor”. 
When Wanderer reaches for you arm, you decide its time to continue down the street. He follows you, words running together with 'sis’er' eventually becoming the only discernible. A few stores later, security personnel intercept and begin to move him on his way. He tries one last time “Sister, please look!”
You look. He his pulling the waist band down on his jeans. Sigh, why did you look? But as you turn away, you see what he is trying to show you. A birth mark that looks remarkably like the one on the elbow he tried to touch earlier, just beneath his waist band on his hip. 
“Yes, pretty well the same” you acknowledge. He smiles brightly at you and stumbles away down the street.
***
The Girl’s Weekend Away Crew, must be 6 of them. Giggling, carrying pastel colored slushy drinks. They ask if some of them can sit at your table to watch a free show just outside the bar. Of course, you agree.
One asks “Where are you from?”
You tell them, to be met with blank stares, so you add “Canada”.
“My friend James lives in Ontario!”
“Are you from Ontario?”
“She’s from Ontario?”
“That’s like an hour from where I live!”
“The Ontario in Canada, not California”.
“Oh, that’s far from where I live”.
“I love Canadians”.
The Girls tell you about all the fun drinks they have consumed, that they are childhood friends, in Vegas to celebrate; everyone turns 30 this year. You wish them all happy birthdays, earning you a whoop and an offer (demand) to clink glasses. You never do tell them you live 2000 km from Ontario.
***
Talkative Bus Passenger, chatting animatedly with a mother and daughter from the South. Finding out the best things they have seen and done in Vegas, asking a bit about where they are from.
After several moments, your husband leans close to tease “You are the Vegas drunk now, honey”.
You shrug him off and continue your conversation about sweet potato pie with the woman and daughter, before his comment fully sinks into your fuzzy brain. Grinning, you apologize to the pair.
They laugh, soft sounds coloured by their accents. “You're fine.”
You proceed to regale them with tales of the drunks you have met in Vegas.

© 2016 Shannon


Author's Note

Shannon
Thanks for reading. Always looking for constructive feedback.

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Reviews

'The Five Drunks You Meet in Vegas'
Shannon,
This was an enjoyable walk within your experience of a visit to Las Vegas. I have never been so it is interesting to see how various people have explained what it was like for them. It sounds like you enjoyed yourself very much. Each of your descriptions of each individual mentioned was given good description.
This was a fun read.
Kathy

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lively and amusing tales of people encounters. Each cameo tells a story and creates a wonderful sense of the multi-faceted nature of the human being.

You clearly are a stunning sight - and attract all kinds to your blazing red hair.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Shannon

2 Years Ago

Well, Jibey, I think they just recognized the interest in another human being, mostly. Thank you for.. read more

I've never been there on my own, always with my wife and daughters. Never "hit the jackpot" but always managed, on the slots, to win enough to fill the car up with gas. Last time we stayed at Circus Circus it was 1981. Kids loved it!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

I was with my husband when I met these people too.. Was fascinating.
Thank you for the read .. read more
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Cyd
I thought it was pretty funny how clear everything in my head was despite there being very little, basically none description of the surroundings. I guess you mentioning Vegas and most people have plenty of images in their head already. Sometimes I think that’s the best way to draw a picture, let the reader to the job for you so to speak. So in my world it was always night with soft light or some colored light from some neon signs or similar.

I like the observations being tied together at the end, this could probably be a longer piece but it doesn’t have to be. Short is great in our modern busy lives.

PS. Doubt you’ll get a Vegas story from me, it seems like a horrible place for a person like me :p But a nice place to observe people and spot a few characters.


Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for the read and review. I was thinking along the same lines you were. Most people have .. read more
This is great. It's what it means to be a writer. We live too often vicariously through others as we collect stories and tales. Adding the narrator in was definitely a fun touch at the end.

This definitely put me right there with you throughout the action. The only complaint was that while the character descriptions were great. Perfect thumbnails that painted everyone she met, I'm curious why you ignored each setting so much. Beyond that I can't for the life of me find a thing to criticize.

Excellently done and I hope to read more.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for the read and review. I always appreciate feedback. I'm this case, I decided, descr.. read more
Dante Carlisle

3 Years Ago

A valid argument. Especially for something like this that is meant to throw you around the locations.. read more
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Hi
You have a wonderful storytelling ability here that walked me through Vegas in your eyes. A solid mix of narrative and quotes had me in the story and an outside observer as well. Your presumed possible side stories of the characters I felt supplemented the story well. The ending was refreshing. Thanks.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you. I find myself often pondering people's stories, especially when observing those around m.. read more
I really liked this story. It was so fun to read about these different characters, and the accents/ ways they were speaking added to it. The ending was great, too - when the narrator became one of the drunks. And the use of the 2nd person is unusual, but works well in this piece.

Nitpicking:

- "catches the flight attendant'(s) eye"

- "You notice (the) flight attendant"

- "as he is pretty tipsy, raises his h(e)ad"

- "reaches for you(r) arm"

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for the read and review. I appreciate the nitpicking too.
This one was always wr.. read more
I absolutely adore this piece. At times a witty commentary on experiences a vast majority of adults have had, meeting drunk people in various places, and at other times an incredibly personal piece that feels like a confessional almost. Not in a bad way, mind you.

The fact that the stories basically tell the story of a trip to Vegas, starting with the plane ride and ending with a bus, gives the story all of the narrative structure that it needs. There is no plot necessary - this is a collection of very vivid vignettes. Each is told to its completion without too much or too little detail.

Some of the descriptions that worked really well for me include the girls' "pastel colored slushy drinks," the coyness of the flight attendant's wink, Frat Boy's repeated "dude"s and slurred speech, and the outfit of the Freemont Street Wanderer. These little additions really bring the characters to life.

Overall, you've managed to capture the human experience (or at least one aspect of it) with remarkable clarity. If another draft were in the works, I would say focus on cleaning up Freemont - it was the only one that seemed a little jumpy in pace to me. And I think it has the most potential, because it adds a little conflict and tension before resolving nicely.

Great work, and I can't wait to read some more of what you've written!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much Joshua for the read and review. It was definitely intended to be a series of obs.. read more
Hi S. - This is an interesting piece. I like that you manage to stay at arms length for the most part... an observer rather than an a participant in this tale. You did not pass judgment... at least not out right but I can only imagine what it is you had to say to your husband about your ordeal.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Arm's length is pretty embedded in my writing style, actually. I tend to observe and people are so.. read more
Lol girl you are hilarious and very descriptive. You really nailed this one with your creativity and wit. I am assuming it wasn't true or was it? Loving your different dimensions of writing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Selena. This one was tricky. Second person not easy to pull off. I feel like most of .. read more

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Added on July 6, 2016
Last Updated on September 11, 2016

Author

Shannon
Shannon

Canada



About
I like to explore the world through the human experience, at once both varied and singular. Reading, writing and meeting people makes one's world larger. I enjoy connecting with people, learning.. more..

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