By Alex Villegas © 2011
I remember walking by the Golden Nugget and hearing a bartender scream, “Does anyone know French?”
“I do!” I screamed as I ran over.
I took French for a couple of years in high school and always write that I can speak French on my resume. I met the criteria.
“What’s up?” I asked the bartender.
“This couple, I don’t know what they want,” he said, and pointed to the elderly couple next to me.
They were small, old, and scared. The second they opened their mouth I came to a daunting realization. I. Cant. Speak. French. Maybe I had a shot while sober, but I was so twisted I had a hard time standing still.
The old man finished talking and I gave him a blank stare.
“L’orange, l’orange,” he said and made a sphere with his hand.
“Ummm… I think he wants an orange,” I told the bartender.
“No. This is a bar, we don’t have oranges,” he said.
I looked back at the old couple and just shook my head. The old man then asked me if they had any kind of fruits. I didn’t even ask the bartender, I just shook my head again. The old man looked disappointed, put his arm around his wife and scurried off. I waved and thought about how I had just ruined their night.
All they wanted to do was enjoy Las Vegas and get some fruit. And they couldn’t even do that because they were in the US where everyone only speaks American. They were forced to have me as their only conduit to the world around them. Their only hope was a belligerently drunk Hispanic man with pupils the size of quarters. If that wasn’t bad enough, I couldn’t even properly speak their language. I also kept on patting the old man on the head for some reason. My guess is I was attempting to learn some French via osmosis.
I also know that we stopped at a casino because I have a faint memory of sitting down at a black jack table. I also have a vivid memory of waking up with $100 less in my wallet.
We also walked into a small bar called Don’t Tell Mama where I proceeded to make a ass out of myself. It was a very small bar with live entertainment. Patrons were encouraged to sing karaoke, but when they were too shy too (or not drunk enough to), the bartenders would sing and play the piano. It was cozy. There was also one specific bartender that was particularly attractive.
“Dude, she’s a lesbian,” said Tahoe.
“No she’s not,” I slurred back.
She came around with a jar asking for tips when I put the moves on her.
“You have an amazing voice and a great ass,” I said and tipped her a dollar. Pimp.
Two of the people with us shook their heads in disappointment.
“Um. Thanks,” she said
“Real smooth man,” said Tahoe.
Not willing to accept defeat just yet, I went up to the bar.
“So, how does a guy like me go about asking you out?” I said.
“Umm, you’re not my type. You see that girl up there,” she pointed at the butchy looking girl singing Hotel California. “She’s my girlfriend, she’s also an ass girl.”
“She picked the right girl then. Can I just have a Bud Light then? I’m gonna go drink in shame,”
Defeated, I took my beer and returned to our table
“She’s a lesbian isn’t she?” asked Tahoe.
I nodded, sat back down and watched her girlfriend sing Hotel California. I don’t know if she was actually talented or the E was still hitting me, but she sounded great.
“I love lesbians,” I said as I slumped into my chair.
“But they don’t love you,” said Tahoe, “and they probably never will.”
Alex Villegas is a writer from Connecticut.