Vegas knows how to treat the ladies.

For this reason, even at the risk of spoiling the wife, I went to Wal-Mart on February 14th to get her a little something.  And by “little something,” I mean a card.  Normally, I avoid Wal-Mart at all costs, because I have an inherent fear of roving bands of razor-wielding Latinas.  But on this particular occasion, it couldn’t be avoided.  Not because of the greeting card search, but because of their selection of Buffalo Rock products.  The most delicious soda available to the public consumer is Rasberry Ginger Ale.  It’s so tasty that I don’t mind subjecting myself to public ridicule and justifiable questions about my sexuality in order to obtain it.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find and pretty expensive.  But sometimes no other soft drink will get the job done.  It’s like the  “A-Team” of carbonated beverages.

Arriving at Wal-Mart, I was unable to park within approximately 2.4 miles of the entrance.  I waited in vain for about fifteen minutes for the shuttle to arrive, but none did.  I even asked a few passersby if they knew the shuttle schedule, but I guess they couldn’t hear me.  Undaunted and driven by my quest for the holy grail of all Buffalo Rock products, I began my trek and finally entered this monstrosity about an hour later.  I could’ve done it quicker but I had to leave a trail of breadcrumbs in case my compass failed on the return journey.  “Always be prepared,” that’s my motto.

I head first to the greeting card section, and so far so good.  The Latin Kings are obviously perceptive enough to see that they don’t want any, and I don’t blame them.   It’s apparent that I look like a man who has a rape siren, and isn’t afraid to use it.  Unmolested, I am initially disappointed to see that the Valentine’s Day section of the greeting cards is decimated.  Utterly decimated.  I mean, locusts left more behind in Old Testament days.  There are two cards left.  The first one is a “singing card” that plays a Jewel song when you open it.  I would identify the song but since they all sound identical that seems frivolous.  I immediately smash this card under my foot in the name of all that is right with this world.  Just over my left shoulder an angry lady wearing a “Jewel World Tour” shirt is saying something passive aggressive.  I respond with, “I guess that card wasn’t ‘Meant for You,’ eh?”  Because Jewel fans have no sense of humor, she does not laugh.

Then, as if fated by powers I do not understand, the last card calls out to me.  (Figuratively).  I open the card, and it says, “If our love were a garden, You would be my hoe.”  BOOM.  Perfection!  If that card doesn’t get me some Valentine ass tonight, nothing will!  If you’re reading this right now, I want this story to illustrate a maxim that will carry you far in life and will never, ever fail you.  That maxim is this: Always, always, always wait until the very last minute to do something you must do or buy something you must buy.  See, if you buy something earlier then when you have to, you might come across something even better, and where does that leave you?  I’ll tell you where…springing for another 65 cents on a better Valentine’s Day card, that’s where.   Not on my watch!

So far on this little journey, I’ve avoided being cut by a cholo, crushed the hopes and dreams of a Jewel fan, AND found the perfect greeting card for Mrs. Vegas.  Would things keep going my way?



I’m tired of unrealistic hyperbole used as the yardstick by which true love is measured.  “I’d swim the farthest ocean, I’d climb the highest mountain,” etc.  In addition to the impossibility of these feats, it is unrealistic that you’d have to go to such lengths to prove your love.  Unless you’re in love with a Sherpa, you aren’t likely to be challenged with reaching the summit of Mt. Everest.   (If you ARE in love with a Sherpa, congratulations on a statistical rarity). So, I’ve taken the liberty of constructing a more pragmatic standard of relationship testing.  I call it, “the Drive-Thru Paradigm.”   Let’s say your girlfriend calls you on your way home from work, and asks you to pick up something from the only fast food restaurant on the way.  How many cars have to be in the drive-thru before you say, “Fuck this, I’m not waiting a half hour so my too-lazy-to-fix-her-ass-some-hamburger-helper girlfriend can enjoy a Crispy Chicken Sandwich”?  How many cars before the fallout from getting home without that Frostee weighs less in a cost/benefit analysis than waiting in line behind minivanfulls of  potential ‘Biggest Loser’  contestants?  And this, my friends, is the practical measure of love.  Unfortunately, I can’t use the Drive-Thru Paradigm (or DTP for short when you explain this bulletproof plan to all of your family and friends).  I expressly forbid my wife from making extravagant dining requests, because I take her to IHOP every single Saturday and I don’t want her to get spoiled.  (Author’s note:  If you do roll home without the bag of McWhatevers, don’t attempt to diffuse the heat you’ll take by telling her, “It’s not like you really NEEDED it, anyway.”)

I’m really, really happy for the Saints and the city of New Orleans.  Now “Who Dat” can take its rightful place next to “Show Me the Money,” and “How YOU doin'”  in the lexicon of justifiable junk-punch catch phrases.

David Guetta needs to work on his game.  “Excuse, me, Miss, but I’m trying to find a way to say this without being disrespectful toward you.  You see, you’re nothing I could compare to the local neighborhood whore.  Also, the way you’re shaking that ass, I really just can’t take any more.”   I mean, if you’re trying  not to be disrespectful, you want to consider not coming right back with the word “whore” in any context.  The guys from Jersey Shore had better skills than that.  Almost.

I’m 31, so I’m just conceding that I’ll never,ever  get to re-create the bike dancing scene in RAD to Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel.”  And this makes me sad.  (Yep, I know the band name.  I might have the soundtrack.  Don’t make this a big deal.)

Since I’m in between jobs, I thought I’d look for a little volunteer work.  You know, give a little something back.  Because that’s just the type of guy I am.  So I called my local Senior Hunger office (selected because the name elicited visions of famished geriatrics answering  phones) to see what I could do.  Disappointingly, this organization seeks to end senior hunger, but has little or no starving seniors actually working there.  For my money, if grandpa really wanted a meal, the least he could do would be to get on his Rascal and answer a couple of phones.  But I’m not running things, so whatever.  I’m just saying that you shouldn’t get a free ride because you’re a 93 year-old shut in.  It isn’t a good example.  This office is perpetuating the idea that once you get to be a certain age, you don’t have to do shit.  Geriatric laziness is a real epidemic in this country, and until we take a stand, it’s just going to get worse.  And if you think I’m bitter just because Senior Hunger told me they couldn’t use my help because they don’t trust alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery not to steal narcotics from the seniors to whom they deliver, you’re absolutely wrong.  Haven’t even given it a second thought. I don’t need their Meals OR their Wheels.  Let the lazy old motherfuckers starve, for all I care.

If you’re a smoker, and your wife repeatedly tells you that you stink of cigarette smoke, don’t crack back with, “Well at least I can shower.  You smell like bitch, and that’s the kind of stank that don’t wash off.”

“Hello…is this 107.7 FM?  No, no, I don’t know the phrase that pays.  I was just giving you guys a little  jingle to tell you if you play that Kings of Leon song one more time, I’m going to BLOW MY FUCKING BRAINS OUT.  Have a great day.”

These are the things that keep me awake at night.

The other day my alcoholic buddy confided in me that he was in a new relationship and didn’t know how to tell her he was in recovery.  I don’t know why people come to me with things like that, since I’ve managed to so adeptly sabotage almost every relationship in which I’ve ever been.  I had one girl actually fake genital warts to get rid of me.  Any idea the dedication required to fake an STD?  I have to give her credit.  I mean, I told my therapist I give her credit…I can’t actually give her anything in person because of the restraining order and everything.  Neither here nor there.

I told my friend he should soften the blow by telling the new girl that he just found out he was HIV positive, and that she needs to get tested because it’s like a super-aggressive strain.   He should rub some Vapor-Rub under his eyes first so he can work up a good cry.  After her wailing sobs are stifled into near silent groans,  smack her a good one on the ass with a big grin and say, “Psyche!  I’m just an alcoholic!  You can’t catch THAT shit!”   Women love surprises!  And what better surprise than, “Guess what?  My dick is NOT a death sentence!  Love you, boo!”

Of course, alcoholism is a progressive disease that seeks to destroy everything good in your life, and ultimately, kill you.  But no reason to put a damper on the relationship early on with that nugget of wisdom.  She’ll be so thrilled she doesn’t have Super-Aids my friend may even instantly get some ass out of the deal.   She’s going to want to at least inspect the goods to make sure he wasn’t bullshitting about the entire thing, and that can only work to his advantage.

You know what?  I take it back.  I DO know why my friends come to me with this stuff.   My plans of action are fucking bulletproof.  I may get a second job moonlighting as a relationship advice columnist with the local news.

“Dear Vegas….”

I had a pretty rough week last week.  Even though I hadn't gotten my Bar results yet, I was becoming familiar with the ins and outs of being a lawyer.  Client meetings, settlement conferences, depositions and motion hearings.  And although all that stuff is interesting and challenging, there's a darker side to being a plaintiff's lawyer.  It's nothing that violates the Professional Rules of Ethics, but it's still hard to deal with.  

So Vegas Sr. decided to take me out to a nice dinner so we could talk things over.  And I laid it out on the table.  I told him it was tough to sleep some nights.  I explained my ambivalence about taking cases with marginal liability.  As I finished by telling him I wasn't sure I was cut out for this field of law, he placed his fork down on his plate and looked at me.  He knew I was hungry for advice.  And this is what he said:

"You know what I like about this place?  The Caesar salad.  You know a place is going to have good food when you enjoy their Caesar salad.  No place has a mediocre entre when the meal begins with a good salad.  Especially a Caesar salad.  And, the thing is, even if the dinner is somehow average (which is basically impossible), you still go home happy because you know the Caesar Salad was great. Yep.  Nothing like it.  What were you saying?"

He returned my blank stare for a few moments, and then resumed happily munching his salad.  Awesome, Dad.  It's not like I was really expecting him to drop some golden nugget of wisdom on me.  Just a crumb…a flake even….of sage advice would've definitely tided me over.  Instead, I'm treated to a dialogue on how crispy romaine lettuce and anchovie-flavored dressing is the greatest achievement in civilized society.  Although, I don't know what I expected.  In undergrad, I once told my father I had lost $4,000 gambling on college football, and Johnny Knockdown said he was "gonna bust my knees up good for me."  The response of my wisened old Pa?

"Son, tomorrow is another day."

Tomorrow is another day? TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY? There wasn't going to be any tomorrow if Mr. Knockdown found me hiding underneath my girlfriend's couch! Didn't he understand? I explained to him the physics of having one's "knees busted for them."  I repeatedly illustrated to my Dad how much I truly loved walking, and my hatred for all things prosthetic.  I even rented "Casino" and showed him that scene where the guy gets his head put in a vice and his eyeball pops out.  And the fruit of my labor?  My father's final say on Icepick's lien on my femur?

"Son, the only thing I can tell you is what my father told me.  Things will always get better, and try not to look backward.  Now let's go get that salad before Knuckles finds you and you have to eat through a straw.  Hey! A Caesar Salad Smoothie! I bet I could make a million off that!"

"Yeah, Dad. That's a real can't-miss proposition you have there.  Banks will be lining up to finance that gem of a startup."

Now, if you'll excuse me….I have to work off this four grand my Dad loaned me by handing out fliers to Salad Julius.  

Enough small talk. I can't think of a stronger way to start an entry than: 

So I'm with some buddies at a titty bar the other day.

Sparkle walks up to me and asks, "Who's ready for a lapdance?"

I respond by pointing at my friend, because she wasn't that hot.  She proceeds to tell me how rude it is to point at someone else when asked for a lapdance.  Stopping nothing short of scolding me. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.

"Thanks for clueing me in.  I didn't realize there was so much etiquette involved in an establishment called 'The Purple Nurple.'  Also it's tough to catch a lecture on manners from a chick wearing smiley-face pasties and a glitter thong. But seriously, thanks."

 I was invited to leave.  Apparently, Sparkle was a little more sensitive to sarcasm than I had given her credit for. 

About two weeks ago, I decided to adopt a dog from the Humane Society.  I've always loved dogs, and I was finally ready to have one of my own.  Plus, this dog had a rough start to life, and needed someone to give her the life she deserved.  And I thought being able to tell girls I rescued a dog from a shelter would help me get laid. So far, the tally reads:

Chicks Scored With Due to Dog: 0    Dumps Taken on Carpet: 7

 So not a well thought out plan on my part.     

I actually did meet a pretty cool chick this past weekend.  I decided to ask her out, so I called her last night.  Here is a brief synopsis of our conversation:

Me: "Look, I'm sure you've been on a million boring-ass 'dinner and a movie' first dates. So I thought maybe we could do something fun like go to Atlanta for the day and go to a Braves game or Six Flags."

Her:"Um, that's really creative. But I hate baseball and theme parks, and I already have a date for Saturday. But definitely give me a call next week."

Me (mumbling): "That's cool. I mean, I'm gonna be busy this weekend, too. Probably for the best. (She's hung up by now) But yeah, I mean, I'll totally call you next week. Cool."

It's good to know after three years of being off the market, I still haven't lost my touch with the ladies.

Fantasy Baseball is ruining my life.  There's no joke here.  Law Firm is a hair away from firing me due to lack of productivity.  This is because rather than write research briefs or negotiate settlements, I am on Yahoo! trying to orchestrate a monster trade to improve my heinous middle relief.  Why? I don't know. I can't explain it.  There's no financial incentive in my fantasy league.  Pride isn't an issue, as that died with ex-fiancee's "never given me an orgasm" bomb months earlier.  So it isn't money, it isn't pride, and yet I spend hours a day trying to find a way to improve my team's "Walks plus Hits divided by Innings Pitched," or WHIP to those of you with real lives.  My ace, Ben Sheets, went on the DL for the second time this season, and it ruined my day.  I'm storming around the office, kicking over trash cans, glaring at my paralegal and muttering under my breath. 

 "Lose a case?"    

 "Um, No."

"Surly insurance adjuster?"  


"Ben Sheets on the DL again?"   


After I finished my obsenity laced tirade toward the paralegal, Law Firm gave me something called "involuntary sick leave." I didn't see anything in the employee handbook about it, but I'm sure it's totally legitimate.

These are the things that keep me awake at night.

You really thought a blog with the words "General Scumbaggery" was going to be updated regularly? Come on….The truth is, the lack of updates have been due to four main reasons.  First, my first trial which will be detailed below.  Second, my adoption of a homeless mutt.  Third, my two gambling trips to Choctaw Nation and New Orleans.  And, finally, my laziness. 

Since last entry, I have experienced my first trial.  It was everything I thought it could be.  The subject matter was interesting, the jury was riveted to their seats, and the banter between Plaintiff and Defense counsel was better than anything written on Law and Order.  Well, almost.

I guess it wasn't that interesting.  It was a nine-year old Worker's Compensation case.  With about eighty medical exhibits to pore over individually.  Oh, and there was no jury.  Worker's Comp is always tried by the judge.  Also, not really a lot of back-and-forth between our side and opposing counsel.  None, actually.

The high point of the trial was our client breaking down in tears on the stand after being humiliated by the defense.  The courtroom quieted down while she composed herself and gathered some Kleenex.  A very silent, tense moment.  Until my cell phone rang.  Judges don't generally appreciate phones ringing in the middle of the testimony of a witness.  Especially when the ring tone is I'm In Love with a Stripper.  May have cost us the trial on that one.  May have cost me the job on that one.

Second only to Mike Jones interrupting our client, the other high point was the defense capturing our client on video doing things someone with a legitimate back problem could never do.  I think we could have overcome the footage of her grocery shopping.  Probably could have explained away the gardening.  But, in retrospect, the shots of her playing tennis like a pre-stab wound Monica Seles was pretty much a case-killer.  Although unorthodox, the Judge stopped the trial to ask explanation from myself and co-counsel on the physical activities of our client.  Since the other lawyer with me refused to look up from the Plaintiff's table, I did the best I could.

"Your Honor," I began, "My client is clearly uncomfortable in this 'so-called' tennis footage.  Her serve is weaker than it should be.  She under-extends on her forehand, which is taking away velocity.  And, in one frame, she is clearly in extraordinary pain when hitting the two-handed backhand.  I think this footage, if in anyway relevant, only shows how uncomfortable our client is when performing day-to-day activities.  Thank you."

(Sitting down, whispering to my client) "I think you can take off the neckbrace,now."

The judge then ruled from the bench (which is rare in workers compensation), awarding our client nothing.  This was terrible for two reasons.  First, we put in a lot of work on the case.  Coming in early, leaving late, and even working weekends.  It sucks putting in a lot of effort and getting nothing in return.  Since Law Firm bills on a contingency contract, we got 33% of nothing.  Which doesn't cover expenses.  Second, and more importantly, I was trying to date and eventually bang the client's daughter.  She was just a freshman in college, and kind of looked up to me in that vulnerable, inexperienced, way.  And I was going to use that vulnerability to have sex with her somewhere uncomfortable. 

Unfortunately, my fantasy never came to fruition. Because she and mother were sobbing after the Judge delivered a defense verdict filled with words like "fraudulent" and "disgrace," it was tough to ask her if she wanted to go to Chili's for some Jalepeno Poppers, or if maybe she wanted to catch a movie sometime.  Can't win 'em all, I guess. 

I'm sure I'll have many more chances to bend the professional rules of ethics involving illicit relationships with clients and/or their immediate family.  But you always remember your first……

Last week, I thought I’d really impress the braintrust at Law Firm by arriving before anyone else.  Even though I wanted to hang myself when my alarm sounded at 5:45 A.M., I crawled out of bed with dreams of impressing Law Firm into offering me a piece of the parternship.  Or at least giving an office without the word “maintenance” on the door.  At least The Partners had enough confidence in me to give me a key to the office and the alarm code.  I wish they had enough confidence in me to pay me more than the minimum wage in Cameroon, but I figured a little display of my work ethic would solve that problem.

I arrived at work at 6:20, with the office predictably locked and dark.  Everything going to plan.  No problems with the deadbolt occurred, and I strolled confidently to the alarm keypad.  My confidence quickly waned when the code supplied to me by my office failed to disengage the alarm.  Hurriedly, I re-entered the code.  Nothing.  The keypad began to make angry chirping sounds, and I began to get worried.  I try the code again, and again I receive the mechanical chirping that sounds like mechanical peals of laughter.  The main alarm siren now begins to sound.  It’s loud.  It sounds like a pack of bobcats caught in one of those machines that crush cars.  I’m sure I was screaming also, but it mattered little as I drowned out by the caucophony of bobcats. 

I ripped off my suit coat like Chris Farley in the SNL “Chippendale’s” skit and leaped over the reception counter towards the phone.  I dialed the 1-800 number listed on the keypad, hoping the good people at Ultimate Security Systems could save the day.  As if the herd of bobcats wasn’t bad enough, now a friendly voice is interspersed with the sirens informing me that “The Police Have Been Alerted” every thirty seconds or so.  Awesome.  At least it couldn’t get any worse.

Except the good people at Ultimate Security Systems don’t answer their phone unless it is normal business hours.  So after leaving an expletive laden voice-mail, I dialed the number the voice mail left me “if this is an emergency.”  Since my job was on the line, I decided this clearly qualified as an emergency.  The emergency number was disconnected.  So, if you’re getting raped or tortured, and you have one phone call to make, I seriously advise against giving Ultimate Security Systems a jingle in the hopes they’ll catch you on the jangle. 

Weeping openly and unable to breathe, I wrest my tie from around my neck.  The phone rings.

“This is Juan from ADT Security.  The Police have been alerted to your emergency.  Can I he…”


“Sir, I don’t speak Spanish.  And, frankly, I find the stereotype a little insulting.  In order to cancel the Police Alert, I’ll need the password.”


“Sorry, sir.  None of those are correct.  The owner of your office has been contacted, and the police should arrive shortly.  Please stay on the line for a short survey regarding ADT’s custome…”

But I’ve already dropped the phone to the floor.  Juan better be glad I didn’t have time to take that little survey.

Partner of Law Firm, accompanied by a police officer, burst through the front door of Law Firm.  Partner is wearing pajama bottoms and has horrible bed head.  He angrily jabs is finger into the keypad a few times, and the bobcats stop screaming.  The nice lady informing me of police alert is quieted.  As Partner turns and begins his glare that has intimidated juries for three decades, I miss her. 

“You’re up awfully early, sir,” I attempt.  “What say to some breakfast at The Crackerbarrel? My treat?”

The cop left, and the Partner chewed me out for causing him to miss out on his full eight hours.  Looks like I won’t be getting out of the Janitor’s closet anytime soon.  But it won’t stop me from trying.  I’m going back in tomorrow at 6:15.  I don’t remember the code exactly, but I’ll figure it out.  I’m at my best in pressure situations.