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See You At The Chicken Ranch
Ghost of Jamie Present:

Well, I've got my usual morning-after-Christmas hangover.

I'm at my aunt and uncle's house, in Pittsburgh. Every year, the fam drives from Ohio to Penn. on Christmas day for drinking, food, presents, music and fun. When I first arrived, I was parched, so I asked for a glass of water. My family is worse than a frat house, I swear. My grandma was mocking me for being a water-drinking wuss.

Me: "This is the only family where you are chastised for NOT DRINKING ENOUGH."

We're crazy like a fox.

I've had a great Christmas so far, though. Good gifts, Neal and I didn't miss our flights to Columbus, and there's peace on Jamie's earth. We did hear about that dude with explosives in his shoe while we were getting ready to board our connecting flight in Detroit. That was fun, and scary! Add a little fear to your flying experience, yes ma'am.

Actually, I'm lying. I don't know if it's because I'm young with distorted perceptions of my own mortality, or because I'm too lazy to care, or because I'm very zen, "if something happens, something happens" about the whole thing, but I have absolutely NO fear of flying.

Anyway, I'm in Pittsburgh for a few days, and then it's back to Columbus so we can catch our flight to Ft. Lauderdale. AT 6 A.M. Dum dum duuuuummmm!

Ghost of Jamie Past: The End Of The Tale Of Vegas

First part here.

Second part here.

After Maggie left, I woke up and went to my dad's trade show. It was great. Free hors d'ouvrey food, free beer and wine, and free stuff all over the place.

Except for one thing.

The show featured booths with information on every aspect of the power industry, from trade magazines to giant valves to the stuff the janitors walk on when they clean the generators. I was a woman in a manly man world, and the men were noticing.

I eventually turned my name tag/show pass around, because dudes were constantly shouting, "Jamie! Jamie! Come over here!" The only good thing that came of that was a free margarita. An old man actually got in my face, wiggled his eyebrows, and said, "Hey, baby." Uh-huh.

I told dad that if he wanted to draw attention to his booth, he should have hired me and my friends to stand beside it and point.

That night, dad and some of his friends took me to see Carrot Top. The show was mildly funny, and I got a big drink called, "Merlin's Potion" that came in a shiny purple glass. After the show, we decided to get some dinner (at a great Italian place) and then do some gambling. The cab driver told us about The Chicken Ranch, the nearest brothel (totally legal in the state of Nevada!). I got an actual MENU from The Chicken Ranch, complete with Appetizers, Entrees, and A La Carte. I'm going to type that menu out as an entry later. When we found a casino ('cause they're really hard to come by in Vegas), I didn't feel like carrying around my big purple glass anymore... so they checked it. I was amazed.

"You can CHECK a GLASS?!"

"Baby, this is Vegas. For the right price, you can check ANYTHING."

"Can I check my shoe?"

"Aw, you're going to get me in trouble, now."

Dad and I lost a bunch of money, got some breakfast, and then went to bed.

The next day, I slept through the trade show. That night, we went to see The Blue Man Group. You know, the guys from the Pentium commercials.

That show was very abstract, but very cool. The finale was one of the most fun things I've ever done. Afterwards, my pops and I stayed up until 4 a.m. playing blackjack. We had a blast. At first, we lost a ton of money, and we were down to our last bit of dough. We scraped up a hand between us... and then started winning. We won for a couple more hours. For a while there, Dad was doing better than me, so every time he would win and I'd lose my last chip, I'd declare a "push," and shove his money over to my betting area. The dealers thought we were the funniest people ever.

The next morning, I got up, packed, and caught a cab to the airport. The return flight was nowhere near as eventful as the trip there, except for the guy behind me that kept SHOVING my reclined seat upright. I was very passive agressive about the whole thing, and just repeatedly reclined my seat back so far into his lap, he could have done a dental cleaning on me. Fucker.

I missed my dad immediately, but I was sure glad to see Neal. And to proceed to sleep for an entire weekend, in an attempt to shake the jet lag. I was still messed up into the middle of the next week, but I'm pretty sure you all can guess that it was totally worth it.

And thus ends the tale of Jamie's Trip to Sin City. And I didn't even get arrested. Ah, Christmas miracles.

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