After Emily and I were married in 2010, we took a weeklong honeymoon in Las Vegas. A few days ago, I tried to have a conversation with Em about our wedding, and our Vegas trip. She still has no memory of this time period, since suffering her traumatic brain injury two years ago. This obviously got me to thinking about the experiences & incidents from our newlywed trip.......
I had booked a beautiful, 1200 sq ft, Penthouse suite, at Bellagio for a week. We got car service and a VIP lounge included in the nightly rate. I had taken many trips to Vegas before, but had obviously never stayed in anything quite like this. Upon arrival, we were taken to a private entrance, where we would check-in. As we entered, I noticed a big group of very large men. I recognized a much smaller man in the party. It was Champ Bailey, of the Denver Broncos. The rest of the guys had to be teammates or former teammates. As a football geek, I wanted to find a pen and request autographs, though instead, I decided to just introduced myself. I walked up to Champ, and said, “Hello Mr Bailey, my name is Herb, and this is my wife Emily, I’m a big fan of yours.” (I really was not). Champ Bailey turned to his entourage and said, “Hey, this is Herb....and THAT is Herb’s wife....Emily.” One of the extremely large men instantly yelled out, “Herb out kicked his coverage.”, which was followed by laughter, cheers and a few fist pumps. Once Emily and I got into the elevator, she asked me, “What did the guy mean, out kicked his coverage?” I explained that the group of NFL players thought she was HOT, and that they did not feel as though I was up to par with her beauty. I became less of a fan of Champ Bailey and the Broncos that day.
I had not told Emily what kind of room I had booked, or shown her any photos of the suite. I was pretty excited to see her reaction upon entering. It was everything I had hoped for. The suite was amazing and Emily loved it. For the next 30 minutes we just explored like a couple of kids left alone in a toy store. There was a large closet in the marble floored bathroom. I thought this would be a good place to hang some of our clothing. Upon opening the closet door, I saw a piece of material draped off the corner of the top shelf. I was curious as to what it could be, so I reached up and pulled it down. Imagine my utter shock, when I realized that piece of fabric happened to be a stained pair of tighty whities. When I say stained, I’m not talking about a little pee spot in the crotch of these Trump trousers. Apparently, Mount DoodyCaCa had erupted in some dude’s shorts, and he tried to simultaneously spray the brown burn with his own hose. I’m not sure how these Grampy pants made it past the cleaning crew, but I had to decide rather to tell Emily and hope it didn’t ruin the experience, or hide them and deal with it on my own. My first thought was, “I just got married, and I’m already thinking about keeping secrets?” I went ahead and showed her the treasure I had discovered. She was less than amused. I called the front desk and explained the situation. They sent someone up to get rid of the mess and gave us a $100 food credit for each day of our trip. We felt that finding a pair of disgusting underwear was definitely worth $700 worth of food.
We proceeded to explore the suite, and in the second of three bathrooms, we found a beautiful tub which overlooked the Vegas strip. There was also a fancy looking toilet with several different handles on it. We were intrigued! At that point and time in my life, my legs were still weak, as I continued to recover from my auto accident from a few years prior. It was much easier for me to sit on the throne when I had to pee.....so I did. I guess Emily felt this was a good time to start pulling levers. I would be the guinea pig. As I began to relieve myself of what I had been holding in, since before our flight, I received the second shock of our trip. I was full on, mid-stream, when a burning sensation smacked me square in my tainted region. I was relaxed, legs spread, the moment the scalding hot water, which my wife had turned on, came spewing from my undercarriage. The beautiful marble flooring was drenched with bidet water, and I had to quickly decide my exit strategy, or risk spending my honeymoon in a hospital burn unit. Rather than try to stand up with the possibility of a slip and fall, I rolled off to the right as I screamed in agony. Emily, laughing hysterically, turned the water off. She helped me off the floor and we got things cleaned up. Needless to say, neither one of us got back on that particular potty again. That was my first and only experience with the European way of ass cleansing. I’ll stick with the Angel Soft.
In 2010, one of our favorite shows to watch on television was “Pawn Stars”. I enjoyed going to auctions and yard sales to look for sports memorabilia, autographs, cards etc. sometimes I would run across items that would interest me, though I didn’t know a whole lot about them. If the price was right, I’d take a chance on it. I had once found a Mikimoto Japanese Pearl necklace at an auction, with original box and paperwork. I purchased it for $50 and sold it for $500. I had also come across some Steve Kaufman paintings at an estate auction. I only knew him as an apprentice to Andy Warhol, but not much else. The paintings were signed by Kaufman with his traditional “SAK” initials. The paintings were in rough shape, but I saw where some of his signed artwork were selling for thousands. I would end up purchasing two paintings for around $400. When I planned this trip to Las Vegas, I emailed the “Pawn Stars” show, to see if they would be interested in me bringing a painting for them to look at. They were, so I had one shipped to Bellagio with the intent to sell it and not have to send it back to Missouri.
Our appointment to go to the pawn shop was mid-morning on like a Wednesday. When we arrived, the line to get in was long. People were glaring at us as we walked on by and went inside with no problem. We had to sign a bunch of paperwork, and they had to clear the store before we could begin. I was wearing a St Louis Cardinals pullover with an old sleeveless t-shirt on underneath. The crew asked if I would remove the pullover for filming. I told them I couldn’t, so they allowed me to keep it on. I had to exit the building and walk in as if I were just arriving with the artwork. We did this 3 or 4 times. Five hours later, we were done filming, I sold the painting for $100 to Rick & Corey, and I’ve never had the desire to watch the show again. We were told if I was going to appear on a show, someone would get in touch with me. A few months later, while laying in bed, my phone began blowing up with texts, emails, FB messages and calls. I was never informed my 5 hours of filming would be condensed into 3 minutes of footage and aired on this particular night. It was quite the experience, but if I had it to do all over, I would have waited in line for half an hour and just visited like everyone else.
Overall, we had a terrific honeymoon in Las Vegas. I took Emily to the Vegas speedway where she rode in a NASCAR vehicle, as part of the Richard Petty experience. We played lots of Pai Gow Poker and were comped a lot of meals from the Asian restaurant next to our table. That was of course on top of the $100 per day in which we ate for free. We relaxed by the beautiful Bellagio pools and took in a lot of the Vegas sights. These are all fantastic memories for me, however, memories Emily no longer has.
Be grateful for and cherish each and every memory made. You never know when those memories could be lost.