“Nothing seems crazy when you’re used to it.”
LAS VEGAS _ Las Vegas on fight night is a spectacle to behold. Just as Rome once thrilled for the gladiator games, on Saturday Las Vegas was visibly charged with excitement. As you know by now Floyd Mayweather Jr. beat Manny Pacquiao in a snoozefest. The action we were promised? It was outside the ring.
The streets were swollen with luxury cars, black limos, stretch Hummers, billboard trucks and bass-blasting convertibles. On a normal weekend night, the Metro Police receive roughly 1,500 calls. Saturday it was 5,000. If that sounds sketch, it is. Fight nights bring out the crazy.
Walking around, I asked Vegas locals to share the craziest thing they’ve ever seen on a fight night. Many cab drivers, bartenders, cocktail waitresses, mounted police, mountain-sized bouncers and yellow-jacketed valets take the slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” quite seriously. Most of the cops and cabbies and the Batman, the Joker and Don Diego the Black Zorro didn’t really want to talk about the things they’ve seen, but I did find some folks who were willing to speak.
1. NICOLE (BARTENDER)
It’s gonna be a crazy weekend. There’s gonna be fights. Shootings. We bet on tonight. We have an over-under on how many shootings there will be. I said there’d be three. This one fight weekend I saw two hookers going at it here in the casino. One snatched the weave off the other one’s head. Then she dragged her through the casino by her bald head. And one weekend, right over there (she points behind the bar) where we scoop the ice, I saw two girls sitting in the ice machine. They were peeing in the ice. They were probably on drugs. It took sanitation and maintenance 24 hours to clean it out before we could use it. People tend to go crazy out here.
2. TONY (LIMO DRIVER)
There’s always a lot of drinking. And sometimes some people like to start a fight inside the limo with other guests. I’ve had to pull the limo over in traffic to break up fights. After the main event fight, it always get a little wild. There’s a lot of testosterone. But if there’s any blood in my limo, it’s $300 to clean it up. Or any kind of stains. Every time I drop off a guest I have to look for bodily fluid stains before the guests leave. It would be good if I had one of those blue lights they use on crime scene TV shows. That’d help out a lot, especially at night. (laughs)
3. ROOKIE (SECURITY GUARD)
See that? (Holds up his arm, shows me the crook of his elbow. There’s a thick keloid scar.) That was from a bottle. I told a guy he needed to leave. Apparently, the guy broke a bottle he was holding and then stabbed me in the arm. I never saw it coming. I was in the hospital for a day-and-a-half.
4. THOMAS (LIMO VAN DRIVER)
Man, anything that you can imagine, it happens. Anything you can imagine. And I let it happen in my limo. But then I make them clean it up before they get out. But with the bad drunks, I kick them out. If there’s a fight in my limo, I pull over, I call the cops. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen - I don’t want to say it. Every time I say something then the worst thing happens right after I say it. So, I am not going to say anything. But the craziest thing you can imagine, I’ve seen that in my limo.
5. OFFICER LEE (POLICEMAN)
You get a lot of mixed emotions so that leads to lots of fights - especially because everyone’s all hyped up from all the alcohol and the surge of testosterone around the fight night. But as far as like naked drunks running in the streets, this is Vegas, that’s normal here. That’s not crazy for us. It depends on your definition of crazy. I mean, you got murders and deaths every day.
But the craziest thing is, maybe, people falling off the escalators because they’re partying. They crack their skull open and die. They sit on the rail, they go all the way to the top, then they lose their balance because they’re drunk and they just fall. It’s sad. Really sad. It happens all the time. They drink. They’re not really paying attention to what they do. They’re not bad kids. Usually 21 or 22. Those escalators up to the bridges go up pretty high, and if you sit on the handrail … it’s happened quite a few times. Fall backwards to their death.
6. WILL (BARTENDER)
You see past the craps table - that glass tube? That’s an elevator. It’s see-through. All glass. So, I’m at the bar, and this lady goes, “Oh, my god!” So, I turn, and the empty elevator starts moving up as if someone hit the call button from a floor above. Then I see her. There’s a drunk girl squatting and pissing in the elevator as it goes up. Since it’s a glass tube, everyone can see her. But she’s so wasted, she doesn’t care. Her eyes were closed, and she just looked so content. She was grinning, like she was finally relieved. She just looks like “Ahhhhh…” while everyone watching her were laughing. She could have done worse, if you know what I mean. Security grabbed her soon as the elevator doors opened. They kicked her out.
7. DON KING HOLLYWOOD (DON KING LOOKALIKE)
The craziest thing I’ve seen is when they tip us small. No, I’m kidding. (He’s giving me a hard time since I didn’t tip him for the interview, but Vegas has taken all my cash, and he doesn’t take plastic.) The craziest thing I’ve ever seen is how all these people, who are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want, are out here getting along, so peacefully. That’s just crazy to me. And it’s beautiful to see.
8. JAVON (LIMO DRIVER)
The craziest thing I’ve seen? I got a $3 tip on a $1,000 ride.
9. RYAN (VALET)
On fight nights you’ll see lots of guys doing Fast and Furious in the parking lots. You see fights, lots of fights. But people around here, we still talk about the NBA All-Star Game. That was about six years ago. That’s when the casino got taken over. There were shootings. People were jumping over the bar stealing bottles. They were taking tip jars from cocktail waitresses, grabbed chips from the tables and tried to run off in the mayhem. They took over the casino. Security was overwhelmed. Everyone was understaffed. It got crazy.
10. NICOLE (BARTENDER)
This girl comes up to the bar. She’s European, which you’ll figure out later why I’m saying she’s European. She orders a drink, but when they bring it to her, she can’t pay for the drink. This guy at the end of the bar says ‘Hey, if you get naked, I’ll buy your drink for you.’ The girl - well, woman, she’s probably in her early 40s - she gets full-on naked. I’m talking no bra, no underwear, takes her shoes off - everything. But it’s not like a strip tease, she just takes off her clothes like it’s nothing.
Then she starts turning around, spinning, bending over. Soon, there’s a million and one guys snapping pictures and filming it on their phones. She’s so out of her mind, she has no idea what’s going on. Like I said, she was European. You could see everything, but she was still wearing something, if you know what I mean. (She indicates her crotch with the flourish of a magician’s assistant, and now I get why mentioning that she was European mattered, as they tend to groom, or not groom, differently over there.)
This goes on for like five or ten minutes. Security doesn’t do anything. They’re probably watching it. People were walking by, looking at her, but like it’s nothing. Then she finally grabs her clothes, gets dressed and leaves. She did all this for a Skyy martini. She doesn’t even drink her martini. She leaves her drink there. So she got naked because … Vegas.